Continuous Efforts to Enhance University Responses

Over the past three years, USC has engaged in multi-disciplinary and university-wide efforts to transform its Human Resources, compliance, and Title IX programs, incorporate lessons learned, and drive change through commitment to care, culture and compliance. The university has also continued to work collaboratively with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), producing data and information to OCR as required under the February 2020 Resolution Agreement.  Despite the practical and fiscal challenges that have resulted from the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university has remained steadfast in its efforts to transform campus culture to prioritize integrity; excellence; diversity, equity, and inclusion; well-being; open communication; and accountability. The university’s efforts to rebuild trust and live its institutional mission are provided in reverse chronological order to allow for ongoing updates to this page.

2020-2021 Academic Year

During the 2020-2021 academic year, the university launched the Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (EEO-TIX) a centralized report and response office that provides consistent and equitable access to supportive measures and informal and formal resolution options, and implemented a university-wide Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation that applies to all students, staff and faculty. Key accomplishments during the course of this academic year have included hiring a first-ever Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (and Title IX Coordinator) and Deputy EEO-Title IX Coordinator for Health Care; expanding staff and resources within the EEO-TIX Office; strengthening internal protocols and improving document management systems within the EEO-TIX Office; and training Title IX investigators, decision-makers, appellate authorities, and implementers on the final Title IX regulations, released by the Office for Civil Rights in May 2020. These changes were implemented to comply with the February 2020 OCR Resolution Agreement and the final Title IX regulations, as well as to incorporate effective and promising practices nationally.

The university has also invested in expanding its Clery Act Compliance Program and enhancing coordinated Title IX and Clery Act responses to reports of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

More detailed information on these efforts is below.

Deputy EEO-Title IX Coordinator for Health Care & Health Care Title IX Investigators

In November 2020, the university welcomed Nicoli Richardson as the inaugural Deputy EEO-TIX Coordinator for Health Care. Ms. Richardson is an attorney with experience in investigations and the medical and health care field, including Title IX and the Affordable Care Act compliance. This role satisfies an important element of the Resolution Agreement and reflects the university’s continued commitment to integration and coordination of Title IX responsibilities between Keck Medicine and the university. Ms. Nicoli reports directly to Catherine Spear, Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX and Title IX Coordinator.

The university has designated a Senior Investigator to serve as the Health Care Title IX Investigator. The Health Care Title IX investigator reports to the Deputy EEO-TIX Coordinator-Healthcare and focuses on possible sex discrimination by Keck Medical Enterprise employees against students and employees and related healthcare matters.

Centralized Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX

On August 14, 2020, in conjunction with the implementation of the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (the Policy), the university officially announced the opening of the Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (EEO-TIX Office). The EEO-TIX Office combines the prior functions and staff of the Office of Equity and Diversity and the Title IX Office to provide a centralized resource for all students, staff, and faculty regarding reports of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under the Policy. The centralization of supportive, prevention, investigative and resolution processes within the EEO-TIX Office ensures a coordinated and consistent approach across all campus constituents and helps the university consistently track patterns or trends, provide equitable access to reasonably available supportive measures, ensure that fair, impartial and timely grievance processes are followed, and take prompt, equitable, and responsive action to remedy concerns. The EEO-TIX Office is overseen by the Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (and Title IX Coordinator).

Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (and Title IX Coordinator)

In the summer of 2020, the university hired an experienced career civil rights attorney, Catherine Spear, Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX (VP EEO-TIX), to coordinate the university’s compliance with federal and state civil rights laws and lead the university’s efforts to foster a community free from discrimination and harassment. The VP EEO-TIX is responsible for ensuring the university’s monitoring and compliance with laws, policies, and procedures relating to discrimination based on age, race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, protected veteran status and other protected classifications under Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and other federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to equal rights and nondiscrimination laws. Ms. Spear has almost 20 years of experience with the Office for Civil Rights, including in key leadership positions, as well as 6 years of oversight of Title IX programs within institutions of higher education. The VP EEO-TIX reports directly to the Senior Vice President for Human Resources, with a dotted line reporting relationship to President Carol Folt.

In January 2021, the university created two new positions to assist in directing the operations of EEO-TIX with regard to formal and alternative resolutions and managing timely, high quality, fair, and thorough investigations. Kegan Allee-Mowad, the former Associate Director of the Title IX Office, and Lacey Rainwater, the former Assistant Director of the Office of Equity and Diversity, have each been selected to serve as a Deputy Coordinator for Investigation and Resolution. Together, they supervise and ensure attention to the professional development of a team of EEO-TIX investigators, ensure legally compliant investigative practices and protocols, assist with the training of internal and external investigators, and provide training and education programs about EEO-TIX resolution processes to University community members.

The university has hired for the following new roles: Deputy EEO-TIX Coordinator—Healthcare; Senior Investigators—Healthcare; Associate Vice President for EEO-TIX and Deputy Title IX Coordinator; Communications and Marketing Director; Training, Education, and Prevention Coordinator; Hearing Manager; Executive Assistant to the VP and AVP for the Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX and Title IX Coordinator/ Office Manager; Equity and Inclusion Specialist/Senior Database Analyst; two Deputy Coordinators—Intake, Outreach, and Support; two Deputy Coordinators—Investigation and Resolution; and two Intake, Outreach, and Care Managers.

University-wide Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation

On August 14, 2020, in compliance with the final Title IX regulations issued in May 2020, the University implemented a new university-wide Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (Policy) and two accompanying Resolution Processes. The Policy coordinates and replaces USC’s existing student, faculty, and staff policies to streamline access to reporting options, resources, and procedural options. The Policy incorporates a university-wide approach to preventing and responding to discrimination and harassment on the basis of protected characteristics, retaliation, and specific forms of harassment based on sex: sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and related forms of conduct. It applies to all university community members – students, faculty, staff and third parties. Under the Policy, designated university employees continue to have reporting responsibilities to ensure prompt and consistent access to resources and information for all community members.

The Policy includes a robust intake and outreach process, and any person who seeks support or assistance under the Policy will be provided with a written and clear articulation of resources, supportive measures, options, and processes. The Policy is accompanied by two sets of Resolution Processes, one that applies to all forms of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and retaliation, and one that applies to all other forms of prohibited discrimination and harassment based on protected characteristics and related retaliation. Both sets of resolution processes follow a parallel process for intake and outreach, initial assessment, the provision of supportive measures, investigations, and informal resolution. The formal resolution processes include: notice and a meaningful opportunity to respond, equitable opportunities for the parties to participate, trained and experienced investigators and decision-makers free from conflict of interest and bias, the right to an advisor of choice throughout the process, use of the preponderance of evidence standard, and reasonable time frames for the investigation, resolution, and appeal. Under both resolution processes, the investigation procedures are robust, including an opportunity to present witnesses and information, review all of the evidence at the end of the investigation, submit written comments, review a written investigation report, and submit written comments.

As required by the Title IX regulations, the resolution process for sexual misconduct includes a live hearing (which may be virtual) in front of a neutral and impartial decision-maker where the party’s advisors have the right to pose relevant questions of the other party or witnesses. Any statements that are not subject to this questioning (cross-examination) cannot be considered by the decision-maker. The university will provide an advisor for any individual who does not have an advisor at the hearing. The procedures for other forms of discrimination and harassment provide all of the same procedural safeguards through the investigation as the sexual misconduct process; the only distinction is that the investigator, in consultation with the Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (EEO-TIX), makes the determination of responsibility; no live hearing is required.

The Policy was developed through an inclusive process that involved consultation with University administrators and staff in the former Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) and Title IX Office, the incoming VP for EEO-TIX, external subject matter experts, and a newly-created internal committee—the Policy and Community Advisory Committee (PCAC) (see below).

The Policy was disseminated to faculty, staff and students on August 14, 2020.

Enhanced Communications Regarding the EEO-TIX Office and Policy

The opening of the EEO-TIX Office was accompanied by a newly-developed website. The website includes an overview of the office, information about the VP for EEO-TIX, information about how to report discrimination and harassment, a link to the Policy and the university’s Notice of Non-discrimination, a set of Frequently Asked Questions, and a robust list of campus and community resources. It also includes a link to training materials for USC employees involved in the reporting and resolution processes as required under the Title IX regulations. The website includes an online feedback form for community input on the new policy and process, as well as related concerns.

In addition, the website includes a flow chart explaining reporting options:

What Are My Choices For Reporting graphic


And an infographic regarding key Policy provisions:

Equity Support Options graphic


Policy and Community Advisory Committee (PCAC)

In the summer of 2020, following the May 2020 release of the final Title IX regulations, the university convened a Policy and Community Advisory Committee (PCAC) to assist the university in ensuring that it carefully considered the interests, perspectives, and impacts that changes in policies, procedures, practices and systems might have on its many diverse schools and units. The PCAC, comprised of faculty, staff, and students, serves as an important voice in the university’s efforts to improve systems, processes and culture, better care for its people, and promote accountability and responsibility in keeping with its institutional values. The PCAC includes the presidents of the Academic Senate and Staff Assembly, representatives from Graduate and Undergraduate Student Government, and faculty and staff at schools and departments across the University. While the charge of the PCAC encompasses all issues related to people, culture, and accountability, one of the first issues PCAC considered was the development of a revised Title IX policy that incorporates the required policy actions under the OCR Resolution Agreement and the final Title IX regulations. PCAC has been meeting since June 2020 to engage in dialogue about Title IX, the impacts of the final Title IX regulations for university stakeholders and constituents. PCAC is an ongoing committee that will continue to provide a forum for community dialogue and engagement.

2019-2020 Academic Year

Spring 2020: Student Well-being Index Survey  

In the spring of 2020, USC Student Health developed a Student Well-being Index Survey (SWIS) to be used as an annual tool to track the population health of USC students in targeted areas of inquiry. The findings from SWIS will be used to measure USC’s progress toward strengthening a culture driven by student well-being and to support planning, implementation, and evaluation of USC Wellbeing Collective efforts. The Wellbeing Collective seeks to enhance the culture of equity and inclusion, cultivate a culture where individuals and communities thrive, disrupt the culture of at-risk substance use, and foster a culture of consent and healthy relationships. Over 20 cross-campus departments, units, and recognized student organizations at USC have committed to work collaboratively with the Wellbeing Collective in support of these goals.

30,312 USC students were invited to participate in the SWIS from the period of April 9 to May 8, 2020. Participants were chosen by a random sampling or census sample to include undergraduate students at the University Park Campus, graduate/professional students at the University Park Campus, undergraduate students at the Health Sciences Campus, graduate/professional students at the Health Sciences Campus, and graduate/professional online students. Approximately 6,831 students submitted the survey (22.5% response rates) as of May 8, 2020. Gender-based violence measures were included in the bystander behavior and sexual violence sections of the Student Well-being Key Performance Indicators Module and the Hazing Module. The Student Well-being Key Performance Indicators were developed by the Wellbeing Collective in partnership with USC Student Affairs, USC Student Health and other campus partners.

Resolution of Directed Investigation by the Office for Civil Rights

In February 2020, the university entered into a Resolution Agreement with the Office for Civil Rights that focuses on centralizing the university’s response to sexual and gender-based discrimination and harassment, improving record keeping and data management systems, and expanding training and education. Additional information about the resolution of the OCR investigation is available on the OCR 2020 webpage.

Campus Coordinating Response Team (CCRT)

In February 2020, USC Student Health, Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP) formed the USC Campus Coordinating Response Team (CCRT) with the goal to oversee the development and implementation of policies, prevention initiatives/efforts and responses to address sexual and gender-based harassment and violence, with a tailored and particular focus on the LGBTQ+ student cohort. The CCRT includes approximately 30 members from campus partners, including Residential Education, Disability Services, Public Safety, USC Student Health, Student Activities, Undergraduate and Graduate Student Government, Threat Response, Crisis Intervention, Office of International Students, LGBT Resource Center, Title IX, and Student Cultural Affairs.

The initial goals for the CCRT included:

  • Developing, implementing, reviewing, and revising programs and procedures to effectively respond to gender-based harassment and discrimination, including sexual assault, domestic/intimate partner violence, dating violence, and stalking;
  • Promoting prevention and intervention efforts that are appropriate, research-informed, culturally relevant, and inclusive of historically marginalized or underserved groups;
  • Assessing USC’s campus climate regarding gender-based harassment, discrimination, and violence;
  • Evaluating current strategies and programs aimed at preventing and responding gender-based harassment, discrimination, and violence; and
  • Developing and overseeing a communications strategy to engage USC students, faculty, and staff in prevention and response efforts.

Expanded Resources for Support

In January 2020, the University announced the creation of a sexual assault survivor Advocates Program, providing 24-7 on-call assistance to survivors. The University created five new USC Student Health Advocates dedicated solely to helping survivors at USC. The Advocates Program expands the scope of services provided by RSVP, providing after-hours accompaniment to a forensic examination and free transportation.

LGBTQ+ Violence Prevention and Intervention Services

In early 2020, the university received a California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) grant to hire a full-time advocate to provide trauma-informed and culturally sensitive supportive services for LGBTQ+ students. The full-time advocate will work closely with RSVP’s violence prevention specialist to develop prevention and outreach approaches and materials; the goal is to train the whole Public Safety force in culturally-appropriate and trauma-informed practices when responding to students who have been impacted by sexual and relationship violence. The grant supports the further development of the CCRT with a focus on the LGBTQ+ student cohort and assists the University in developing more specialized approaches for other student cohorts that have high rates of sexual victimization. The CalOES grant also allows the university to designate a half-time safety officer trained in trauma-informed approaches to implement ongoing training and consultation to other campus safety officers who may work with LGBTQ+ students. All intervention and prevention activities for this grant are guided by the CCRT, comprised of campus and community partners who have expertise in providing services to the LGBTQ+ community.

NASEM Retreat: A Conversation about Sexual Harassment: Prevention, Response, Remediation, and Evaluation 

On January 17, 2020, the University hosted a retreat, entitled A Conversation about Sexual Harassment: Prevention, Response, Remediation, and Evaluation. The retreat was part of the university’s efforts as a founding member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education (see below). The retreat was designed to inform a larger audience of the 2018 NASEM report entitled Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the University’s involvement as a founding member of the Action Collaborative; to share innovative ways schools are already engaging in addressing and preventing sexual harassment; to brainstorm around the themes of the four NASEM Action Collaborative working groups; to clarify the roles of central offices and resources; and to map the next steps as a University, including possible development of an organizational structure specifically directed towards Gender Equity and related issues. The retreat included student, faculty and staff representatives from each school; deans; and key organizational units involved in addressing and preventing sexual harassment on campus.

New Senior Leadership in Key Areas

In the summer of 2019, USC inaugurated a new president, Dr. Carol Folt, and welcomed Charles Zukowski as University Provost, Winston Crisp as Vice President for Student Affairs, and Felicia Washington as Senior Vice President of Human Resources. Under Dr. Folt’s leadership, this team is strongly focused on fostering a culture of accountability and responsibility, remedying any impacts of George Tyndall’s actions, and working to prevent similar conduct from occurring again.

As of January 1, 2020, Ms. Washington oversees the University offices responsible for professionalism, ethics, compliance and investigations, including the offices responsible for preventing and responding to discrimination and harassment on the basis of a protected characteristics. The newly created Human Resources website the Senior Vice President of Human Resources’ expanded leadership role supporting people, creating accountability, and advancing USC’s mission. The website acts as a “front door” to the broader scope of offices, initiatives, and collaborations.

2018-2019 Academic Year

AAU Campus Climate Survey

In the spring of 2019, the University participated in the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct. The survey was designed to capture data on the incidence and prevalence of sexual harassment and gender-based violence on USC campuses, as well as assess students’ perceptions related to campus resources, bystander and reporting behaviors. The study also provided data for the USC community to make informed decisions on resource allocation in order to plan and implement appropriate comprehensive prevention efforts and programs. The University previously participated in the AAU Survey in 2015; a comparison of the 2015 and 2019 data allowed the University to measure progress in reducing incidents of sexual assault and misconduct.

Between April 2 and May 5, 2019, all USC students were invited to complete the survey. A total of 8,381 undergraduate, graduate and professional students responded to the survey – a survey response rate of 17.9%. Overall, 15.8% of undergraduate students and 19.5% of graduate and professional students responded to the survey.

In July 2019, the University created a Sexual Assault Climate Survey Task Force (AAU Survey Task Force) to review the AAU Survey findings, review its validity and reliability, develop specific recommendations for campus policy, practices, and services based on findings, develop a comprehensive communications plan for sharing the survey results, and make recommendations for future program evaluation and research. As part of its charge, the AAU Survey Task Force reviewed the recommendations from the Joint Task Force Final Report and consolidated select recommendations to supplement recommendations by the AAU Survey Task Force. The AAU Survey Task Force was led by Co-Chairs Vice President of Student Affairs Winston Crisp and Chief Health Officer and Associate Vice Provost for USC Student Health Dr. Sarah Van Orman. AAU Survey Task Force members include key stakeholders from Title IX, USC Student Health, Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention, Communications, Executive Operations, Faculty, and Student Governments, as well as an independent external consultant.

Beginning in October 2019, the AAU Survey Task Force offered a variety of in-persona and virtual forums to socialize the campus community to the results of the AAU survey. Those forums included town halls, focus groups to reach disproportionately affected student populations, and AAU Data Walks, a participatory way to share relevant data with affected communities. In addition to the sharing of information, these in-person and virtual sessions provided an opportunity for students in academic and cultural communities to better understand the data and its implications and share their own experiences related to sexual assault and misconduct on campus. Together the engagement yielded participation by over 500 students and provided diverse forums for robust discussion and feedback. Throughout all engagement efforts, students were invited to share observations and insights and offer input on prevention and response planning.

The AAU Survey Task Force made two overarching recommendations: create a Campus Coordinating Response Team (CCRT) charged with developing, implementing, and overseeing various methods for comprehensive sexual harassment and assault prevention; and, publicize and make available the full report and recommendations for implementation of the AAU Survey Final Report. Additional recommendations include: (1) further develop and promote campus comprehensive prevention resources; (2) provide comprehensive prevention-oriented training for all students, faculty and staff throughout their time at USC; (3) evaluate and expand methods to increase reporting; (4) increase accountability for incidents of sexual harassment perpetrated by faculty and staff; (5) collect additional data; (6) increase education regarding sexual harassment; and (7) continue University efforts to decrease alcohol consumption.

In October 2020, the AAU Survey Task Force released the final AAU Survey Task Force Report.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education

On April 20, 2019, the university joined the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to launch an Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment. The university is one of the founding universities in the NASEM Action Collaborative, which includes four goals: raise awareness, elevate evidence-based institutional policies, gather and apply research, and develop a standard for measuring progress in order to reduce and prevent sexual harassment in higher education. These goals reflect the University’s ongoing mission to continue to lead our university into the future with civility and mutual respect. To facilitate the University’s commitment to these goals, the University formed a working group composed of fifteen staff and faculty members. This working group’s efforts built upon the foundation established by the Joint Task Force.

As a founding member, the University committed to developing new approaches to address sexual harassment from a preventive orientation; implementing and testing new or revised programs, policies and practices each year; sharing the results from these new or revised approaches each year; and identifying and engaging a group of additional individuals at the institution who can assist and inform this work (including experts, researchers, key stakeholders and individuals with job responsibilities related to issues of sexual harassment).

In December 2020, the VP for EEO-TIX agreed to assume co-leadership – along with Dr. Parveen Parmar, Keck School of Medicine faculty member and director of the Center for Gender Equity in Medicine and Science (GEMS) – of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education at USC (see below). The university is a founding member of the Action Collaborative, which is focused on identifying, researching, developing, and implementing evidence-based policies and practices for addressing and preventing all forms of sexual harassment and promoting campus climates of civility and respect.

Prevention and Education

In January 2019, the University announced that USC Student Health, RSVP was expanding its outreach and education efforts to include education offerings for students and others on topics like obtaining consent from sexual partners, creating healthy relationships and reporting instances of sexual harassment or other forms of victimization. A USC Student Health prevention specialist and three prevention educators were hired to teach members of the USC community how to combat sexual assault and relationship violence and to share information about resources available to victims.

The University built on its existing orientation program, Think About It, to develop a new workshop on affirmative consent. The University also developed a pilot in-person workshop, Trojans Respect Consent, to be delivered to incoming first-year students. In addition, the University has a Healthy Relationships Workshop and Sexual Harassment (for Graduate Students) Workshop.

The University sponsored and coordinated Bringing in the Bystander training for student leaders and a select group of faculty and staff in collaboration with Undergraduate Student Government. Bringing in the Bystander is an in-person educational program that encourages participants to become positive bystanders in instances of sexual and interpersonal violence and harassment. Through Bringing in the Bystander, students gain the skills and knowledge to intervene before or during an incident, speak up when their peers make light of sexual or dating violence, support survivors of trauma, and learn practical skills for safe and effective intervention. Bystander Intervention Workshops have since been offered to student leaders across the campus.

Trauma-Informed Care

In 2019, the University adopted trauma-informed principles throughout USC Student Health. To better implement training and shifts in practices, USC Student Health formed a Trauma-Informed Care Steering Committee to shepherd the organizational transformation. The Steering Committee includes designated members of executive leadership teams and department heads or their designees. To facilitate the consistent application of the Trauma-Informed Care principles, all staff in USC Student Health attended an in-person training and completed online video and reading requirements. Training will continue on a bi-annual basis to ensure sustainability.

In addition, during the summer of 2019, the Student Affairs Division convened an institute to introduce their staff to trauma-informed student services and the Community Resilience Model (CRM), a wellness workshop. Approximately 200 staff from all departments in Student Affairs attended.

Office of the Ombuds

In January 2019, the University created the USC Office of the Ombuds to provide independent, confidential and impartial support for the University community.  The Office of the Ombuds serves as a problem-solving resource and strives to create a safe place for people who come to the office to discuss and examine concerns. The Office of the Ombuds can help address a wide variety of issues and concerns, including organizational climate, change management, interpersonal issues, ethical concerns, issues of perceived unfairness or incivility, behavioral or stylistic differences in the workplace or classroom, or inquiries related to university procedures and policy. The Office of the Ombuds can also identify patterns, trends, or systemic concerns and share this upward feedback with the University through anonymized and depersonalized data and information. Katherine Greenwood was appointed the University Ombuds at the University Park Campus and Thomas Kosakowski was appointed the University Ombuds at the Health Sciences Campus.

President’s Culture Commission

On November 13, 2018, Interim President Wanda Austin announced the launch of the President’s Culture Commission to oversee the University’s efforts to improve campus culture. The President’s Culture Commission grew out of the work of the Task Force on Workplace Standards and Employee Wellness, which was created in August 2017 to address root issues related to the issues attendant to the former Dean of the Keck School of Medicine. The Task Force on Workplace Standards and Employee Wellness sought to understand, identify, and handle mental health challenges; improve campus wellness, especially in the health professions; balance individual and privacy rights with campus protection; understand the intersection of addiction and criminal conduct; improve the flow of information across campus; and ensure that incoming reports of improper actions, even if anonymous or questionable, get referred to the appropriate office. The Task Force on Workplace Standards and Employee Wellness, comprised of faculty, staff, and students, assessed four areas of culture: leadership, concerns, wellness, and values.

Vice President, Ethics and Compliance and Chief Compliance Officer

In November 2018, USC welcomed Stacy Giwa as Vice President, Ethics and Compliance and Chief Compliance Officer. Since her arrival, Ms. Giwa has helped to establish a new Office of Culture, Ethics and Compliance, which works across the University to explore values and engage faculty, staff and students in driving culture change based around identified values and behaviors, partners with key stakeholders to build effective compliance programs, and investigates complaints related to conflicts of interest, privacy and security laws, health care billing, and misconduct related to research grants, and Code of Ethics violations not within another office’s jurisdiction. Ms. Giwa focuses on values and culture with the goal of strengthening integrity and ethical decision-making across the university.

Joint Provost/Academic Senate Task Force

In the summer of 2018, the University created the Joint Provost/Academic Senate Task Force (Joint Task Force). The Joint Task Force, comprising students, staff and faculty, was charged with developing recommendations for cultivating a culture and environment at USC in which sexual harassment is not allowed to persist, where reporting of harassment is encouraged and expected, and where reports and instances of harassment are handled appropriately.  The Joint Task Force focused on faculty misconduct and harassment, including faculty mentoring and supervision, communications and transparency, and gender harassment. The Joint Task Force issued its Final Report, Interrupting Sexual Misconduct and Gender Harassment at USC: Recommendations by the Joint Provost/Academic Senate Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Gender Violence, on March 25, 2019. The Joint Task Force made recommendations in five areas, as follows: acknowledge the past and look to the future; codify values and promote standards of conduct; implement relevant, accessible, and transparent policies and procedures; institute and evaluate an alternative response system; and, strengthen infrastructure on sexual misconduct and gender harassment.