Shaun Harper, one of the nation’s foremost racial and gender equity experts, has joined the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy as Professor in the Department of Public Policy and Management.
Harper will teach in executive and certificate programs, conduct and publish policy-focused research, advise doctoral students and serve on dissertation committees, assist in the recruitment of diverse faculty and students, and help reach the school’s strategic DEI goals. In addition, he will represent the USC Price School in local, state, and federal legislative hearings, as well as in various policy activities and partnerships across all levels of government.
“Fairness, equity and inclusion are at the top of the USC Price School’s list of core values, so we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Shaun as the newest member of our faculty,” said Dana Goldman, dean and C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Chair of the USC Sol Price School. “Shaun is not only a rigorous scholar but one of our country’s most thoughtful public intellectuals who combines his intellectual curiosity with a deep commitment to improving people’s lives.”
Harper said: “I am honored to be joining the USC Price School. Analyzing the effects of policies on people, particularly those whom unfair structures and systems cyclically disadvantage, satisfies me intellectually. But much more satisfying is using what I know to inform policy activities, with the ultimate goal of improving those people’s lives, their communities, their workplaces, and the institutions in which they are educated.”
Harper is Founder and Executive Director of the USC Race and Equity Center, which illuminates, disrupts, and dismantles racism and advances equity for marginalized people. Over its 12-year lifespan, the center has generated more than $37 million in grants and contracts for diversity, equity, and inclusion projects.
He also holds faculty appointments at the USC Rossier School of Education and USC Marshall School of Business. He joined USC in 2017 after spending a decade at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a tenured professor.
Harper is one of USC’s 14 Provost Professors, an elite cadre of interdisciplinary faculty members who hold joint appointments in two or more academic schools at USC. He was named University Professor last year, a distinction bestowed only to 27 of nearly 4,700 full-time USC faculty members. Additionally, he holds the Clifford and Betty Allen Chair in Urban Leadership.
Harper also is an expert on intercollegiate and professional sports. One of his 12 books, Scandals in College Sports, offers comprehensive analyses of significant policy violations that occurred over four decades. He is writing a new book on the equity implications of name, image, and likeness policies in college athletics.
He has testified twice to the U.S. House of Representatives and spoken at numerous White House and federal agency convenings as well as at three Congressional Black Caucus annual legislative conferences.
His research has been included in several amicus briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court and cited in over 22,000 published studies across a vast array of fields and disciplines.
The recipient of dozens of top academic awards and four honorary degrees, Harper was ranked this year by Education Week as the fourth-most influential scholar in the field of education. He served as the 2020-21 American Educational Research Association president and the 2016-17 Association for the Study of Higher Education president. He was inducted into the National Academy of Education in 2021. The following year, U.S. President Joe Biden appointed him to the National Board for Education Sciences. He has been a National Education Policy Center Fellow since 2016.
He has published 70 articles in Forbes over the past 14 months and has written articles for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Fortune, CNN.com, and other major press outlets. He has been featured or quoted in hundreds of additional news outlets including The New York Times, TheWall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and The Atlantic. He was named editor-at-large of TIME magazine in 2020. Harper has been interviewed on CNN, ESPN, NBC News, NPR, and the Dr. Phil Show.