USC Culture Journey Continues

The USC Culture Journey

The USC community has been shaken by and deeply impacted by recent events around racial and economic inequity. USC is committed to fostering a community of diverse viewpoints to build a generation of innovators, leaders, visionaries and creators. Please join the USC Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBCSA) for a university-wide dialogue on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020, at 1 pm PST for Speaking Out Loud: Enough is Enough.

This forum will provide a safe space for Black students, staff, faculty, and allies to decompress and have some rich dialogue about anti-blackness and the many systemic issues that plague the Pan-African community in America.


The Culture Journey is USC’s university-wide initiative to explore our values, align the supportive behaviors that bring those values to life, and develop opportunities to improve our systems, processes and culture. Our community is engaged in shaping our culture together.

In October 2019, nearly 20,000 USC students, faculty and staff shared their voices on current and desired values at USC. The results of the Values Poll served as a starting point for conversations designed to capture the community’s feedback on values and behaviors.

The poll was the start of our culture conversations. In 2020, we held Culture Sessions (Town Halls and Discussion Sessions) to share the poll results with our schools and units.

USC Town Halls and Discussion Sessions – The culture conversation continues

From January – March 2020, more than 4,000 students, faculty and staff across USC participated in sharing their voices at nearly 170 Culture Sessions. The Town Halls gave our community the opportunity to continue conversations on culture. Participants heard USC Cultural Values Poll results, both university-wide and school/unit-specific. At Discussion Sessions, the USC community shared their insights, experience and input on values, behaviors, systems and processes that are working well or need improvement.

Approximately 120 Culture Facilitators and Culture Advocates – faculty and staff across USC, trained in the Barrett Values model ( – facilitated these sessions.

We held:

  • Eight USC-wide Town Halls at UPC and HSC to share high-level poll results
  • 38 school and unit Town Halls that shared school/unit-specific poll results
  • 44 USC-wide in-person and virtual Discussion Sessions, to gather staff, faculty and student feedback on specific values, behaviors, systems and processes
  • 79 school and unit Discussion Sessions, focused on feedback on their schools’ and units’ poll results

We are grateful to everyone who provided input and insights to help shape USC’s future!

You can view the Town Hall presentations from each school/unit here.

President Folt’s welcome to USC Culture Sessions attendees

In this video, President Folt introduces the USC Culture Journey to all culture session attendees – Town Halls and Discussion Sessions.

What’s next in the Culture Journey?

We are defining who we are, who we want to be and how we create the path forward to a stronger USC for each generation of Trojans to come.

  • Through the USC Cultural Values Poll and with the input of the entire Trojan community, we understood and assessed our current and desired values.
  • In Culture Sessions – Town Halls and Discussion Sessions organized at the university, academic school and unit level — we refined and aligned our values to behaviors that create and support an improved culture.
  • In May 2020 and beyond, we will:
    • Share what we heard in the discussion sessions with our governance bodies (Staff Assembly, Academic Senate, Dean’s Council, Student Government), President Folt and her senior leadership team
    • Share the findings, values, behaviors and prioritized systems and processes – all from your input – with our deans and business unit leaders
    • Share with the USC community
    • Begin planning culture initiatives across USC, partnering with each school and unit to develop and support culture initiatives
  • The journey will focus on desired values and behaviors to support the planning, development and improvement of systems, processes and skills in 2020 and beyond.

Download the Culture Journey Timeline.

Want to know more?

Download the FAQ about the Culture Journey, Values Poll and Culture Conversations.

Download the Values Poll Fact sheet.

Download the Culture Network Fact sheet.

Interested in USC’s Culture Journey or becoming a partner for culture change? Email us at:

Media coverage on the Culture Journey

Faculty, Staff and Students Chart USC’s Future Through ‘Culture Journey’ (Trojan Family Magazine, Spring 2020)

USC’s Culture Commission is following up the Cultural Values poll with campus-wide discussions (USC Annenberg Media, February 18, 2020)

Annenberg Values Poll town hall prompts conversations about culture values (USC Annenberg Media, February 18, 2020)

From Where We Are: Dornsife reacts to USC’s Cultural Values Poll, new study shows how vaping affects human genome and why we need minority voices in journalism (USC Annenberg Media, February 13, 2020)

Dornsife hosts values town hall (Daily Trojan, February 14, 2020)

USC Dornsife has mixed thoughts on culture values poll results (USC Annenberg Media, February 13, 2020)

USC holds penultimate values town hall meeting (USC Annenberg Media, February 3, 2020)

University pilots culture sessions (Daily Trojan, January 22, 2020)

In wake of scandals, USC radically cuts number of trustees, imposes age limits, pledges more diversity (Los Angeles Times, November 5, 2019)

The USC Values Poll is a promising start but not the finish line (Daily Trojan, October 21, 2019)

Interim president establishes culture commission (Daily Trojan, November 14, 2018)