Message from the Dean
Since 2005, it has been my privilege to serve as dean of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, one of the most distinctive and highly regarded schools of its kind in the nation.
At USC Price, faculty and students alike share a common concern for the public good and a vision of a better tomorrow. We are committed to producing innovative research and improving communities here and abroad.
What sets USC Price apart from its peers is a unique multidisciplinary approach that bridges the public, private and nonprofit sectors to address the complex problems in our rapidly changing world. The school has long recognized that 21st century challenges can be met only by leaders who are able to think broadly, work collaboratively, and engage the public.
Every fall, new students imbue the school with their own intellectual curiosity and far-reaching ambition. Our faculty members are engaged in rigorous scholarly endeavors, and policymakers and practitioners routinely travel to campus to teach and interact with our students. Nowhere else have I found such a dynamic combination of intellectual pursuit and real-world problem-solving.
Indeed, USC Price is located in a remarkable setting in which to explore today’s most critical social issues. Los Angeles is not only a diverse and dynamic metropolitan region, but it also serves as a global gateway — a vibrant center of the Pacific Rim. Our school strives to inspire thought and advocate solutions that begin locally and resonate globally.
The most exciting part about serving as USC Price’s dean is that, although the school is home to top-ranked teaching and research programs, its potential for further growth and achievement is virtually unlimited.
Students play a vital role in USC Price’s work. A national leader in applied learning and research, the school offers considerable opportunities for students to work with faculty in addressing real-world problems, to complete internships, and to interact with prominent practitioners. USC Price students travel abroad each year on international labs and planning studios to analyze global challenges first-hand. In recent years, students have explored infrastructure issues in China, examined poverty in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and studied sustainable tourism in Costa Rica.
Academic research underscores USC Price’s commitment to creating knowledge and educating leaders for the betterment of communities worldwide. USC Price fosters a climate of scholarly inquiry and is home to internationally renowned research centers. Collectively, the USC Price faculty rank third at USC in terms of per capita research grants — a reflection of both their productivity and the quality of their research. Currently, USC Price has more than 130 active contracts and grants totaling $35.3 million. Topics of recent USC Price research include hospitals and community development, how anti-discrimination laws affect minority homeownership, citizen involvement in the policy process, the economic impact of terrorist events, and many other topics on the central themes of the school: governance, place, and community.
USC Price faculty members are among the most distinguished and respected scholars in their fields. They are routinely sought by journalists for their expertise. This past year, USC Price faculty members were interviewed as experts by many of the nation’s leading news publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, and such broadcast networks as NPR, CNN and NBC. Our faculty have won prestigious national scholarly awards, and serve in key leadership positions at major professional associations and on academic journals. Their work is complemented by that of the dozens of professional practitioners who constitute the school’s adjunct faculty. Learn more about the USC Price faculty at www.usc.edu/price/faculty.
Our alumni are among the school’s greatest assets. They represent the culmination of an USC Price education and serve as the foundation of the school’s aspirations. Building a strong and cohesive alumni community is of primary importance to the school and to me personally. I invite you to participate in the USC Price Alumni Association, which hosted its sixth annual USC Price Alumni Guardian Awards on November 13, 2012. The gala honored three distinguished individuals: Leo Chu, president, California Casino Management; Leonard Schaeffer, founding chairman and CEO, WellPoint; and Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter and producer.
In addition, you may visit our alumni Website – www.usc.edu/price/alumni – to learn about upcoming events and involvement opportunities, peruse employment opportunities, update your contact information, post a class note, or reconnect with former classmates.
We have also launched a USC Price Annual Fund program. Currently, an unrestricted gift is the most important contribution you can make to USC Price. Unrestricted gifts help maintain the extraordinary depth and breadth of our intellectual endeavors, and they give us the ability to respond quickly to emerging opportunities. Gifts of any size provide resources where they are needed most, including student scholarships, classroom technology, travel and conference stipends for faculty and students, and other learning and research opportunities. I hope that you will consider supporting the fund.
It is not possible in a brief introduction to even scratch the surface of the many exciting developments at USC Price. To stay abreast of the latest news, events, announcements, and involvement opportunities, I suggest that you regularly visit the school’s Web site. And if it’s been a while since you’ve been on the campus, I hope you will consider visiting USC Price in our home in the beautiful Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall. Please call (213) 740-0550 and let us know when you’ll be coming by.
Jack H. Knott
C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Dean and Professor