Speeches and Communiques

— Office of Dean Jack H. Knott —


A Message to the Price School Community: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy
January 14, 2018

“This weekend marks the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., one of the key founders of the modern civil rights movement. As I reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, I think back on the call to service he accepted as a young man that led to his lifelong pursuit of justice and fight against inequality. He believed that life’s most persistent and nagging question for each of us is, ‘What are you doing for others?'” Read full memo »


A Message to the Price School Community: The Decision to End DACA
September 5, 2017

“As we consider the implications of this decision and the unresolved issues around immigration policy, I am reminded again of our School’s mission to improve the quality of life for people and their communities. One of the basic tenets of our curriculum is that effective policy always advances the public good and takes into account the impact on those most affected.” Read full memo »

A Message to the Price School Community: Hurricane Harvey
August 29, 2017

“Thirty-three Price students hail from the state of Texas, with at least four from the Houston area, and I’m sure many of us in the Price community have friends or family that are affected by this disaster. We think of them, and we look for ways to reach out and help.” Read full memo »

A Message to the Price School Community: Our Commitment
August 22, 2017

“The horrific events in Charlottesville… followed swiftly by the attacks in Barcelona are grim and painful reminders of the deep divides that not only mark our nation, but much of the world. As a School, we believe the fight for social justice and equity requires sustained, productive action, which must be indelibly linked to quality research and clearly reasoned, persuasive arguments if we are to achieve the change we want to make in the world.” Read full memo »

A Message to the Price School Community: Good Citizenship
January 20, 2017

“As members of a policy community, it is our responsibility to advance education and engagement to create an informed citizenry. …Democracy depends on competing ideas, so effective engagement must include citizens with opposing opinions. We will accomplish little unless we step outside of those bubbles.” Read full memo »

The Silence of Good People: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 2017

“Equitable treatment is a nonpartisan issue. It is a basic tenet of human rights and social justice. A look through history demonstrates that it is not handed to us. …When I think of Dr. King sitting in that jail, enduring harsh conditions and the opprobrium from all corners, even from well-meaning citizens, I think of the courage it took for him to continue the pressure to achieve freedoms that today cannot be taken for granted.” Read full memo »


A Message to the Price School Community: Saluting our Veterans
November 11, 2016

“… there is a great need for a fully articulated and comprehensive public policy at the national, state and local levels that clears the way for veterans to make successful transitions from active military service to take their places as productive members of society. We need an integrated approach that includes housing, employment, health, and social services.” Read full memo »

A Post-Election Message from Dean Knott to the Price School Community
November 11, 2016

“A commitment to social justice is implicit in the Price School mission, and we will continue to be tireless advocates for openness and inclusion, working to ensure that every voice is represented in the decisions that affect our communities and nation.” Read full memo »

Election Day Message to the Price School Community
November 8, 2016

“The right to vote is the most fundamental exercise of our democratic right and the most important way citizens can influence the course of public policy in the country. While representative democracy had its birth in ancient Athens, historically and globally, the right to fair and free elections in which everyone can vote took centuries to accomplish and still today is limited to only a small percentage of countries worldwide.” Read full memo »

Remarks for USC 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony
September 9, 2016

“As we lay wreaths and hold ceremonies to remember those who suffered and died in 9/11, let us remember that, as a human race, we all share each other’s sorrows and hopes, and together as a nation and a world, we must not let terrorism defeat us nor alter our commitment to the values we hold dear of inclusion, social justice, freedom, and liberty.” Read full memo »

A Message to the Price School Community Addressing the Recent Shootings in the U.S.
July 12, 2016

“These recent developments prompt us to reflect and further act. We cannot view these divisive political attitudes and community tragedies through the prism of indifference. Racial injustice is a collective problem – it’s not just about a handful of individuals. We’re all in this together, and we need to summon our collective courage and strength to find a solution. That’s our responsibility as a community.” Read full memo »

George Washington Leadership Lecture: The Ongoing Debate on Immigration Policies
Los Angeles, CA
January 27, 2016

“When George Washington held the Presidential Office, the country grappled with immigration and naturalization politics. Fast forward more than 200 years later, and today we still encounter challenges in balancing inclusiveness, economic growth, social justice, and national security.”
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A Message to the Price School Community: The Initiative on Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusion
December 1, 2015

“As a policy school, we have a responsibility to respect and embrace our differences and advocate for social justice. The Price School’s Initiative on Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusion will work to further advance these values throughout our classrooms, in our research, on the USC campus, and in society more generally.”
Read full memo »

Veteran Entrepreneurs Roundtable
Los Angeles, CA
May 21, 2015

“As noted by the Small Business Administration in 2012, data from the Census Bureau clearly demonstrate the success – and impact – of veterans as business leaders. Nearly one in 10 small businesses in the U.S. is veteran-owned. These 2.4 million small businesses collectively employ almost 6 million Americans and generate over $1 trillion in receipts.”
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Athenian Society Dean’s Speaker Series: Women in Leadership
Los Angeles, CA
May 7, 2015

“At the Price School, we don’t just educate students; we prepare the next generation of leaders. Unfortunately, in today’s world, we see a gap in the composition of leadership in all sectors of society. To put it simply, women are underrepresented in these roles. And that needs to change.”
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Athenian Society Dean’s Speaker Series: Beyond Healthcare Reform
Los Angeles, CA
April 23, 2014

“The Affordable Care Act and its rollout has become the focus of national attention — and understandably so. There may be no single issue of higher priority than healthcare, particularly with regard to access, quality and cost of care.”
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Keynote Address: 2013 Lien Conference on Public Administration
November 15, 2013

“Philanthropy and foundations can serve as catalysts for new and innovative social service delivery models. Community foundations also are very important in the United States and could be very import ant in Asia for connecting donors to needs by putting resources at the local level and building civil society and non-profit capacity.”
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USC Price Conversations in D.C. – (De)funding Social Sciences
Washington, D.C.
October 16, 2013

“… without the power of social and policy research in our society, without the funding of it, and without the deployment of scholars coalescing and advancing the spirit of interdisciplinary theories, our nation will lesson its ability to make intelligent and informed decisions on a range of major social, economic, and policy issues.”
Read full speech | See PowerPoint slides »

Undergraduate Student Orientation 2013
Los Angeles, CA
August 22, 2013

“Indeed, there are many lessons we can learn from Sol Price and his story. … First: Find your passion, and follow it. … Second: Be creative. … Third: Strive to develop personal character.”
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Master’s Student Orientation 2013
Los Angeles, CA
August 20, 2013

“Students who come to USC Price are interested in becoming tomorrow’s leaders and making a difference in the world. Your education here will prepare you to do just that — whether in urban planning and real estate, public policy, public administration or health administration and policy.”
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Dean’s State of the School Address 2013
Los Angeles, CA
June 4, 2013

“The complexity of the challenges we face here and abroad, by their very nature, dictates that solutions will only be found by reaching across disciplines, and the public and private sectors as well as across geographic regions, from local to global. And this is what the Price School does better than any other school.”
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USC Global Conference, Price School Reception
Seoul, Korea
May 24, 2013

“We don’t see excellence as a single achievement; rather, we see it as continuously reaching for new heights and exceeding our own expectations. And we know that our distinguished alumni support the reputation and impact of the school world wide. And we are particularly proud of our Korean alumni who work at universities, in government, and in the private sector, helping to shape their world for the better.”
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Lien China Development Forum
“Corruption, Social Inefficiency, and Economic Development in China and the United States”
Beijing, China
November 2012

“China has had remarkable economic development at amazing speed, and it is now time for China to achieve the next stage of advancing social and economic development.”
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Presidential Address, NASPAA Annual Conference
Austin, Texas
October 19, 2012

“Several factors are dramatically changing higher education and are having a major impact on our schools and programs. These factors present significant challenges and potentially new opportunities for us, but only if we rise to meet them.”
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Dean’s State of the School Address 2012
Los Angeles, CA
May 15, 2012

“You probably have heard of USC’s campaign slogan, ‘The destined reign of Troy.’ But as William Jennings Bryan once said, ‘Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice; not something to wish
for but to obtain.’ I invite you to join with us on this adventure in working together to obtain the destiny of greatness for our school and USC.”

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Price School Naming Gift Celebration
Los Angeles, CA
February 7, 2012

“This is a historic moment for our school; the intersection of our past accomplishments and our future successes. Today is our opportunity to celebrate the great school we are and the even greater one we will become; a school that will build on its rich past and reach further in research, education and impact to change lives, improve communities, and shape our world for the better.”
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Price Gift Announcement to Faculty and Staff
Los Angeles, CA
November 21, 2011

“I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished together as a school, and look forward enthusiastically to welcoming the Price Family Charitable Fund as partners, collaborators and friends. They join with us to work toward a common purpose that honors Sol Price and improves the quality of life for people and communities in a meaningful and sustainable way, for generations to come.”
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Dean’s State of the School Address 2011
Los Angeles, CA
May 18, 2011

“…now, more than ever before, it is vital to find lasting solutions to society’s biggest challenges and to develop exciting, new opportunities for the future. … through our intellect and through our education, this is fundamentally what we strive to achieve.”
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Dean’s State of the School Address 2010
Los Angeles, CA
May 20, 2010

“This school and its faculty and students are a valuable resource to the region, the state, and the nation.”
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Remarks at the Trojan League of Los Angeles Annual Benefit
Los Angeles, CA
February 27, 2010

“Today’s headlines — rising unemployment, effective public and non-profit management, homeland security, healthcare reform, old infrastructure, transportation gridlock, environmental and financial sustainability, and a depressed real estate and housing market — are being tackled head-on by our students, faculty and alumni.”
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Dean’s State of the School Address 2009
Los Angeles, CA
May 15, 2009

“Given the jobs needed and the challenges facing the country, [our] students are in the right place at the right time. Successfully tackling multifaceted, often intractable, problems will require exceptional levels of leadership and collaboration. As a school, [we] distinguishes [ourselves] from academic peers by embracing a special approach that builds bridges across boundaries to provide innovative solutions to societal issues.”
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