11/22 – Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs announcement

Dear Trojan Community,

I write today to share that Charles Zukoski will be stepping down from his post as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, effective January 1, 2023, and returning to his roots in full-time teaching and research at USC. 

I want to thank Provost Zukoski for his dedication and service to USC, our faculty, staff, students, and communities. He plans to take a leave before returning to his position as professor of chemical engineering and materials science in the Viterbi School of Engineering. As an internationally renowned scholar and member of the National Academy of Engineering since 2007, he will continue to build the strengths of USC through his scholarship and teaching. 

Provost Zukoski has played a significant role in helping the university navigate both major challenges and opportunities over the last three years. Since his appointment in October 2019, he has overseen the searches for and appointments of 10 deans and senior leaders. He played a critical role in the creation of a new governance structure for USC’s academic medical system, Health Sciences schools, and university clinical services. He worked closely with the Academic Senate to establish smooth lines of communication that undergird our commitment to shared governance, helped create a new system of academic oversight for our athletics programs, met with students and participated in myriad student and community events, and worked closely with the USC Board of Trustees and the Boards of Councilors of our 22 schools. 

Provost Zukoski played a pivotal role in the university’s response to the challenges of the pandemic. As provost, he coordinated our transition to remote education and ensured that our responses to new developments were executed efficiently. He spearheaded work with our deans to implement an effective return to in-person learning strategy, participated in the development of our moonshots, and was an active national presence for USC. 

I am also grateful to Executive Vice Provost Elizabeth Graddy who has agreed to serve as interim provost. We will soon begin our formal search for the next provost and will have more news to share in the next few weeks. 

This is an exciting time of growth and innovation at USC, and we will seek to identify a dynamic and strategic leader to continue building on the programs and legacy created by Provost Zukoski. 

Please join me in thanking Provost Chip Zukoski for his many contributions. 


Carol L. Folt