Ethics at USC – Dean’s Message
The USC code of ethics requires all in the Trojan community to commit to “discharging our obligations to others in a fair and honest manner” and to respect “the rights and dignity of all persons.”
Our new Price School academic ethics statement and website reinforces the university’s commitment to academic integrity but also seeks to go beyond policing plagiarism or cheating. Ethical decision-making is especially critical for future leaders and scholars in the public, nonprofit, and business sectors who are training and studying at Price. It is you who must solve complex policy, planning, and development challenges, while also engendering trust among the people you serve.
Ethical behavior is at the foundation of our work at the Price School, which was founded in 1929 as one of the very first professional schools at USC in response to civic groups and the Los Angeles city leadership wanting a school at USC that would train public administrators and urban planners in an ethical and professional manner.
The Price School’s mission statement declares that we have an “ethical responsibility to continue serving our global community at the highest level of excellence.” This mission, our call to action, also reflects the values of our school’s namesake, Sol Price, a visionary entrepreneur who was also a man of great integrity, guided by a strong moral compass to improve the quality of life for the less fortunate.
Our new ethics policy and website is important, needed, and integral to our mission. But we know that a formal compliance program by itself cannot make and maintain an ethical culture in an organization. The best practices emerge from organizations that set a good example; keep promises and commitments, and most importantly, support each other’s efforts to internalize the ethical values of their community. Likewise, the Price School will go beyond just informing our students, faculty, and staff about ethics and compliance; we will also listen, encourage, and model behavior to build a strong ethical culture and community.
Jack H. Knott
C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Dean and Professor