USC’s highest commitment is to the safety and health of all members of the Trojan community. Since George Tyndall’s actions came to light we have implemented sweeping institutional changes which identified gaps in university policies and processes. These changes are designed to prevent this kind of behavior from happening again. Our efforts include a new university-wide policy to protect students, staff and faculty and to prevent sexual and gender-based harassment and violence on campus, as well as policy and procedure changes within USC Student Health.
Reforms within USC Student Health include:
- Fully integrated USC Student Health into Keck Medicine to provide direct oversight of standard of care and physician conduct, uniform policies and procedures, and coordination of diverse reporting responsibilities. (Student Health previously was part of the Division of Student Affairs.)
- Revamped the sensitive exam policy, protocol and training for all medical staff based on American College Health Association best practices.
- Introduced groundbreaking, multi-language patient education materials about sensitive examinations so that students, particularly those accessing health care in the U.S. for the first time, know what to expect.
- Hired more female, board-certified physicians so students are able to choose a provider of their gender preference.
- Expanded the services of the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention program to include 10 additional full-time employees.
- Created new and easily accessible methods for collecting information about potential misconduct, including through the solicitation of patient feedback, and implementation of plain-language notice for recognizing and reporting sexual harassment and gender-based violence.
- Increased training of Student Health staff in the areas of risk management, trauma informed care, and LGBTQ+ sensitivity.
- Appointed an Independent Women’s Health Advocate. This independent individual, selected jointly by federal class action plaintiffs and USC and approved by the court, is serving a three-year term. She is supporting USC’s implementation of institutional changes and is providing suggestions for trainings, policies, procedures and student engagement, among other responsibilities.
University-wide reforms include:
- Engaged in a university-wide culture journey to explore our values, which includes updating our Code of Ethics based on information we are gathering from our community. We also will align the supportive behaviors that bring those values to life and develop opportunities to improve our systems and processes.
- Implemented a university-wide Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation that applies to all students, staff and faculty.
- Created a centralized Office of Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX Office (EEO/TIX), which is charged with preventing and responding to all forms of discrimination and harassment based on protected characteristics. The EEO/TIX Office provides consistent and equitable access to supportive measures and informal and formal resolution options for all forms of discrimination and harassment for all students, staff and faculty.
- Hired an experienced career civil rights attorney to serve as the Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX and Title IX Coordinator to oversee 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.
- Hired an experienced health care attorney to serve as the Deputy EEO/TIX Coordinator for Healthcare.
- Expanded staffing and resources for the Office of EEO-TIX to promote prompt and equitable responses and implemented a centralized reporting and data and compliance management system to track all reports and identify patterns and trends.
- Established the Office of Professionalism and Ethics to serves as a centralized clearinghouse for complaints and the subsequent tracking of those complaints at USC for both campuses and all university programs and affiliates.
- Hired a senior vice president to oversee all HR functions and to transform HR, creating a centralized, professionalized, high-performing HR organization.
- Created the Office of the Ombuds to provide independent, confidential and impartial support for the university community.
- Expanded existing training programs and developed new training programs designed to prevent sexual and gender-based harassment and violence. This training is required for all USC students and staff and covers topics such as affirmative consent, bystander intervention and sexual harassment.
- Increased the number of team members supporting required training and 24/7 victim advocacy services.