Dean’s Message

Shaping the World

A Message from USC Price Dean Jack H. Knott

Dean Jack Knott Dean Jack Knott moderates a discussion featuring University Professor Kevin Starr and USC Price professor Dowell Myers during a recent Athenian Society event.
Photo by Tom Queally

On behalf of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, I welcome you to the May 2012 issue of our newsletter.

Commencement marks a very special time of the academic year. For our graduates, this occasion represents a significant personal milestone — the culmination of all their diligent work as Price students. It is an exciting time, filled with opportunity and eagerness for the future.

And for me, I am reminded also of the exceptional dedication of our faculty. USC Price faculty are deeply committed to providing students with an enriching education inside the classroom, as well as preparing them to be leaders beyond it — leaders who are innovative, ethical and engaged.

Graduation marks a time for me to honor not only our outstanding students, but also the faculty who helped shape them.

In this edition of the newsletter, you can learn more about the great contributions our faculty also make in their respective academic fields, in addition to the many recent events held at the Price School.

I invite you to read about our faculty’s participation in last month’s American Planning Association national conference, and a groundbreaking symposium on rethinking campaign finance reform orchestrated by our Sacramento Center. Also covered in this issue is our Center for Sustainable Cities Earth Day forum that focused on California’s renewable energy portfolio, and professors Dowell Myers and Kevin Starr discussing the challenges facing California at a recent Athenian Society event. In addition, we feature an article on Peter and Jennifer Buffett sharing their thoughts on philanthropy as part of a lecture hosted by our Center on Philanthropy & Public Policy.

The Global Reach section highlights Professor Dan Mazmanian’s keynote presentation at the Governance of Adaptation Symposium in the Netherlands, a seminar by Senior Fellow Richard Little examining sustainable funding for China’s infrastructure, and a CREATE lecture assessing “The Long Campaign” of the War on Terror.

Our Knowledge-in-Action section covers several recent USC Price panels and events that featured many of our own faculty as well as special guest speakers, Leonard Schaeffer, founding chairman and CEO of WellPoint, and U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr.

Four new, leading-edge studies authored by Price faculty, are featured in Research News. Each of these studies garnered widespread, national media attention as well.

We are also pleased to highlight events organized by USC Price student associations. They include the first student-led nonprofit case challenge, a healthcare career panel, a discussion on affordable housing, a panel on social justice, a panel examining the race and gender wealth gap, and a talk on women in key leadership roles.

Our Alumni Spotlight this month features Bob Champion MRED ’96, who is the founder and president of Champion Real Estate Co., one of the pioneers in creating urban mixed-use project developments.

In addition, the USC Price Making the News section includes a sampling of our faculty presence in the national media in recent weeks, from the Los Angeles Times to the New York Times to NBC, just to name a few.

Lastly, I invite you to watch our featured video, a “Road to the White House” presentation by Professor Eric Heikkila that examines China from a U.S. policy perspective.

As we head into festive commencement activities, I again want to thank our faculty along with the entire Price School staff — for their extraordinary efforts to create a productive and rewarding educational experience for our students, for their tireless work in advancing our mission to shape our world for the better.


Jack H. Knott
C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Dean and Professor
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy