November 8, 2021
Dear Trojan Community,
When I came to USC two years ago, it was clear that the challenges we faced would require the collective efforts of a great university. This university has embraced change, committed to a new culture, and is building a sound foundation for USC’s future. I have been inspired by the shared commitment and care of so many faculty, staff, and students. We have resolved many challenges of the past and are continuing to address new issues as they arise. It is a privilege to take this journey with you.
Many of these issues are complex and long-standing and take time to understand and address. I see it as USC’s responsibility to communicate accurate information broadly, to listen to and answer your questions – so that opinions and actions can be grounded in truth. It also is our responsibility to correct important misinformation and inaccuracies, such as those found in recent news reports and commentary about USC’s candor, progress, and commitment to change.
Trust is hard-earned, easily lost, and difficult to reestablish. We know that trust requires a high degree of openness and accessibility to information. We have made as much information as possible publicly available in many forums. Yet, we realize it may not be easy to sort through the volumes of documents and FAQs, which have been posted and publicized on both change.usc.edu and we-are.usc.edu over the last two years. We also realize that it can be frustrating when we don’t have all the facts and details nailed down immediately. We are determined to improve how we share vital information and redouble our efforts to ensure our processes and the resources available are clear and more easily understood.
In response to the current situation, members of my team, who are closest to the facts, have created an additional in-depth set of FAQs to correct misinformation, answer detailed questions, and lay out the facts about recent events on and around the University Park Campus. All of this is publicly available online, including a recent online town hall attended by hundreds of students that included a Q&A session. We hope these resources will help you stay informed and find answers to your questions.
Our mission is grand, our aspirations great, and we are fortunate to have a community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni who care deeply about USC. We will continue to invest in resources to support the well-being and safety of our students, staff, and faculty, work to promote a culture of caring and accountability, and lead with empathy and integrity. The future demands nothing less.
Carol L. Folt