USC s Plan for Increasing Academic Excellence Building Strategic

Document Sample
USC s Plan for Increasing Academic Excellence Building Strategic Powered By Docstoc
					                   USC’s Plan for Increasing Academic Excellence:
      Building Strategic Capabilities for the University of the 21st Century

               The central mission of the University of Southern California is the
               development of human beings and society as a whole through the
                   cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit.

                                                     conditions in the world are changing ever
I. INTRODUCTION                                      more rapidly. Thus, more-flexible strategies
    USC’s academic excellence, status, and           must be developed which will enable USC
reputation have increased greatly over the           to accelerate its progress under evolving
past decade as the university has                    external circumstances.
implemented its 1994 and 1998 strategic                  Like all universities, USC actively
plans. These successes continue to be built          shapes its own future, and as well is shaped
on a strong financial base, greatly bolstered        by external conditions over which the
by the largest fundraising campaign in the           university has little or no control. As the
history of higher education. Students from           twenty-first century opens, the external
over one hundred nations now compete for             environment for higher education is quickly
the opportunity to study with our                    changing in significant ways. We anticipate:
distinguished faculty, research activity is at       intensified competition among higher
an all-time high, visual and performing arts         education providers worldwide; increasing
are flourishing, and our endowment has               demands for greater regulation and
nearly quintupled in the past thirteen years.        accountability; and extensive realignments
    As we proceed to make even greater               in federal support. After five decades of
contributions to the cultivation and                 relative stability, national science policies
enrichment of the human mind and spirit, we          are shifting toward a greater emphasis on
will continue to implement the strategies            research that directly addresses practical
from our 1994 and 1998 plans, both of                issues in the national interest.
which have served us well. USC remains                   No one can foresee how these trends will
committed to continually improving the               unfold in the coming years. Furthermore,
world-class, innovative education we                 circumstances outside higher education,
provide to our undergraduate, graduate and           such as changing international conditions
professional students. Our focus on                  and unexpected economic and technological
increasing academic excellence, on hiring            developments, may undermine the long-term
the best and most creative faculty, and on           feasibility of specific strategies that make
encouraging pathbreaking research, must              sense today. As we engage in a planning
continue to underpin all of our future               process that looks ahead over the next 10 to
activities. Similarly, our traditional core          20 years, we have been mindful of such
values and shared ethical principles must            uncertainties and have made no attempt to
always guide our actions. At the same time           provide a detailed road map. Rather, we
we must acknowledge the fact that                    have identified a set of strategic capabilities

that will help position USC to meet                 informed risk-taking underpin each of these
challenges that are unknowable today. Such          commitments.
capabilities will give USC the expertise and
flexibility to adapt to change while taking a       A. Meeting Societal Needs
pro-active stance toward setting and                Historic but increasingly archaic divisions
achieving its vision. Ultimately, developing        between basic and applied research and
such capabilities will enable USC to better         scholarship often blind both faculty and
secure its place among the world’s greatest         society at large to the real societal
universities.                                       significance of much of university research.
    This strategic plan begins by describing        By rejecting the false dichotomy between
a vision for USC’s future, and then proposes        fundamental and applied research, and by
the strategic capabilities that will help USC       creating structures which enable and
realize that vision. It also puts in place a        encourage synergistic interactions among
system whereby implementation of the plan           different kinds of research, USC will secure
will be reviewed and adjusted by a                  its status as a university of major societal
permanent Planning Committee on a regular           importance.
                                                         The vision for USC’s future emphasizes
II. A VISION FOR USC’S FUTURE                       becoming a major force in addressing
                                                    critical issues facing society and creating
USC intends to become one of the most
                                                    new societal opportunities. Along with
influential and productive research
                                                    excellence in the traditional basic research
universities in the world. Three core
                                                    domain, we will be recognized as the
approaches will underlie our efforts:
                                                    university with the greatest social
                                                    impact—the place where rigorous
A. We will conduct a range of research and
                                                    fundamental and applied research can be
   scholarship that advances knowledge
                                                    brought together to create solutions to the
   and at the same time addresses issues
                                                    pressing concerns of society.
   critical to our community, the nation,
                                                         USC is greatly expanding its research
   and the world.
                                                    mission in a wide variety of fields from
B. We will create a significant global
                                                    medicine to history and from engineering to
   presence that will increase international
                                                    musicology. One part of this effort entails
   visibility, reach, and impact of our
                                                    developing a research park adjacent to the
   research, scholarship, art, education,
                                                    Health Sciences Campus, which will benefit
   and service.
                                                    the city, county and society as a whole as it
C. We will focus our educational programs
                                                    deepens the connections between basic and
   on meeting the needs of qualified
                                                    applied research and channels new
   students worldwide, from
                                                    knowledge toward meeting society’s needs.
   undergraduates through continuing
                                                         Focusing on societal problems positions
   professional development. This
                                                    USC for competitive success in a changing
   commitment will guide our choices
                                                    environment. As we move further into the
   regarding pedagogy, instructional
                                                    21st century, society will increasingly value
   technology, curriculum, admissions, and
                                                    universities actively engaged in addressing
   support services.
                                                    issues of practical societal importance. The
Our ethical principles and core values
                                                    research we pursue and the alumni we
regarding free inquiry, community, and
                                                    graduate will be judged on the basis of such
                                                    contributions. We already see this happening

with regard to trends in extramural funding,         treatment, economic development, security,
higher education policy, and student goals.          environmental quality). Thus, research,
                                                     scholarship and art that focus on society’s
Leveraging USC’s Strengths                           important problems will of necessity
    This element of the vision recognizes            become increasingly global, and our faculty
some of the distinguishing features of our           will require greater access to foreign
university, including our urban location,            researchers, governments, businesses, and
student diversity, breadth of disciplines and        communities. This global perspective and
fields of study, strong reputation for               presence will help to ensure that the work of
interdisciplinary research and scholarship,          our faculty is read and applied worldwide.
close ties to the local community and the                The histories of USC and the region it
Pacific Rim, and outstanding community               serves are closely linked, and both evolve
service and patient care capabilities. The           together. Los Angeles and Southern
problems that our university can                     California increasingly form the economic,
productively address span an extraordinarily         political and cultural capital of the Pacific
broad range, from those that are                     Rim. At USC we must recognize the deeply
technological or social to those that touch          international character of our home in order
directly the human spirit and its aspirations.       to continue to meet the changing needs of
    USC’s long-standing efforts to link              our city and region. Political and business
fundamental and applied research already             decisions made far away, in both the United
contribute important new knowledge to                States and abroad, have direct effects on Los
society, and these efforts will grow in the          Angeles; similarly, the influences of Los
future. Existing efforts combining basic             Angeles businesses, universities, and
research and its applied uses include the            demographic trends extend well beyond the
Institute for Creative Technology, the               borders of our nation. To best serve the
Southern California Earthquake Center, the           interests of Los Angeles and Southern
USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center               California, our faculty need to understand
and Hospital, the Andrus Center for                  the region in its global context. Ultimately,
Research on Aging, and the USC Center on             one of most important contributions we can
Public Diplomacy.                                    make to our region is to be a great research
                                                     university, understanding and influencing all
B. Expanding Global Presence                         aspects of our lives.
                                                         Additionally, a global presence will
The convergence of globalism, technology,            attract the most talented students in the
and education will require leading                   world to USC. The demand for education is
educational institutions to become truly             increasing worldwide, and the best students
international in presence, focus, and scope          will view higher education as an
in order to create global visibility and brand       international market, heightening
equity.                                              competition and creating a truly global
                                                     student body. We seek to become the
    Great universities have international            university of choice for future leaders in all
visibility and reach, and if USC is to cement        parts of the world.
her status as a great university she must
expand her global presence. Most of
society’s major concerns are global in scope
(e.g., sustainability, disease prevention and

Leveraging USC’s Strengths                           and interests; in most cases, they are one and
    Beginning in its earliest days under             the same.
President Bovard, USC looked to the Pacific
Rim as a topic of study and a source of              C. Promoting Learner-Centered
students. Similarly, when the university             Education
celebrated its 50th anniversary, President
Von Kleinsmid emphasized the role of Los             The learner-centered university of the 21st
Angeles as a “world center” and the                  century will focus on the educational needs
international backgrounds of the university’s        of the student rather than the structure and
faculty and students. More recently, USC’s           needs of the teaching institution.
1994 strategic plan made
internationalization one of its four central             The third pillar of our new vision is
themes. The present vision of expanding the          nothing less than a new concept of education
university’s global presence builds on these         within research universities, which we are
traditions.                                          calling a “learner-centered” orientation.
    USC’s reputation and network across the          Essentially, learner-centered education gives
Pacific Rim provide a strong base on which           primacy to the needs of students. This means
to build. Our role as the founder of the             thinking expansively about who our students
Association of Pacific Rim Universities              are, how their backgrounds and needs may
gives us access to high-quality partners. Our        change in the future, and how best to engage
international offices are successfully               them in learning. Because students learn in
strengthening USC’s recruitment efforts,             different ways and bring different goals and
developing alumni networks, and providing            aspirations to the university, this new
support for faculty research in a lean but           approach translates into greater flexibility
effective infrastructure. Moreover,                  and individual responsiveness in the way we
thousands of international students continue         structure and deliver education and student
to seek a USC education and serve as global          services.
goodwill ambassadors for us. While on                    New technology enables and facilitates
campus, international students enrich                new ways of teaching students. Historically,
campus life, and serve as invaluable                 the respect and credibility accorded to
resources in the peer-learning experiences of        professors derived in large part from their
our domestic students. Our School of                 disciplinary knowledge, which was
International Relations, other internationally       unmatched outside the academy. Their
focused programs in the College, and                 principal role as teachers and mentors was to
numerous international projects and                  transmit that knowledge to future
collaboratives in virtually every professional       generations. Today, technology makes
school, also speak to our growing global             information broadly accessible, and
presence.                                            knowledge accumulates so quickly that
    The international nature of Los Angeles          information rapidly becomes outdated. Thus,
itself is another advantage. Our local               we need a new approach to teaching that
community comprises large numbers of                 moves beyond transmitting information.
individuals, businesses, and cultural                Instead, faculty must play a more active role
institutions with international linkages. As a       in helping students learn to locate, assess,
result, we do not have to choose between             apply, and create information.
focusing on local versus international issues            A learner-centered approach will attract
                                                     prospective students. By becoming more

innovative and responsive, we will be better          learning how USC can best use technology
able to recruit the next generation of leaders        to enhance education, particularly on the
and will advance USC’s overall mission and            University Park and Health Science
reputation. Our recent experience has                 campuses and through distance learning
demonstrated how critical high-quality                programs.
students are to the reputation and visibility
of the university. As our undergraduate               III. DEVELOPING STRATEGIC
program became more popular and selective,            CAPABILITIES
the entire institution derived great benefits.
Increasingly, however, we believe that top                 The vision of USC we have described
students will consider the worldwide higher           will require fundamental changes over the
education market and seek out those                   long term. To facilitate such evolution, we
programs that match their interests, goals,           believe that USC should focus on
needs, and learning styles. In addition, the          developing four strategic capabilities as
age, educational goals, and needs of learners         described below. Although the process of
continue to change—requiring us to rethink            nurturing change will extend well into the
prior assumptions about whom we teach, as             future, we can begin the process
well as where and how our educational                 immediately by launching a number of
programs are delivered.                               initiatives to lay the groundwork for
                                                      developing capacity in each of these areas.
Leveraging USC’s Strengths                            Our Deans, Vice Presidents, and faculty
    Over the past decade, USC has                     leaders will serve as champions of particular
established not only one of the best                  initiatives and will work closely with
undergraduate programs in the world, but              faculty, students, and staff in design,
also one of the most responsive to students’          implementation, and assessment. The hard
interests. A good example is our policy of            work and dedication of the university’s
allowing students to integrate the core               faculty, staff, students, and alumni will
disciplines within the College with more              ensure the success of these efforts.
applied fields of study in our professional
schools. The Renaissance Scholars program             A. Span Disciplinary and School
encourages undergraduate students to pursue           Boundaries to Focus on Problems of
studies in fields that are widely separated           Societal Significance
intellectually in order to create “breadth with           Since societal problems rarely fall within
depth.” More recently, we have taken steps            the domain of a single discipline or school,
to renew and strengthen graduate education            collaboration that brings together different
by advancing curriculum, building cross-              perspectives and skills may be the best
school cooperation, and improving student             means of addressing such problems.
support. Also helpful are several successful          Existing disciplinary and school boundaries,
interdisciplinary programs, including the             however, often impede effective
Thematic Option program for                           collaboration. We must create mechanisms
undergraduates, and the Neural,                       that remove structural disincentives to such
Informational and Behavioral Sciences                 collective efforts on problems of major
(NIBS) doctoral program, a unique                     significance. We have made significant
interdisciplinary melding of neuroscience,            strides in building this capability as a result
cognitive science, and engineering                    of our two previous strategic plans, but we
disciplines. In addition, we have been                must now move forward even more

    If we succeed in easing movement                 B. Link Fundamental to Applied
across academic boundaries, we must also             Research
ensure that our administrative and student               In developing USC as the university
support units are equally flexible and               with the greatest societal impact and global
responsive. This will require a high level of        presence, we will have to overcome
coordination among administrative                    longstanding divisions between fundamental
departments as well as between                       versus practical/applied research and
administrative and academic units.                   scholarship and build closer relationships
                                                     between the core arts and science disciplines
First Year Initiatives to Develop this               of the College and our professional schools.
Strategic Capability:                                Only in this way can research universities of
1. Graduate seminar series. To ensure                the future retain their critical role as
   that academic masters and Ph.D.                   provider of most of the truly fundamental
   students have a better understanding of           research in our society, while at the same
   how their research can contribute to the          time responding effectively to society’s
   study of important social problems, we            needs.
   will develop a series of graduate Social              This does not mean that a single
   Impact Seminars that provide                      individual must be engaged in both the
   interdisciplinary perspectives on                 fundamental and applied aspects of research,
   important social problems. The goal is            but rather that the university must stimulate
   that such seminars become a                       dialogue and understanding among
   distinguishing feature of doctoral study          researchers across the spectrum from
   at USC.                                           fundamental to applied. As we build
2. Collaborations across academic units.             capacity in this area, we will face
   Academic program reviews have                     challenging questions about the domains and
   identified several areas in which the             boundaries of the disciplines, the relations
   quality of research and education could           among and between the disciplines, the
   be improved by forging collaborations             academic organization of the university, and
   across schools, thereby enhancing our             the goals and structure of our educational
   capacity for examining key societal               and research programs. This challenge may
   problems. A new Provost’s Advisory                not be as daunting as it seems, however,
   Group on Interdisciplinary and                    because the longstanding dichotomy
   University-wide Programs will identify            between basic and applied research is
   and assess areas of existing strength in          becoming less rigid, with applications
   interdisciplinary fields and in disciplines       suggesting directions of fundamental
   that cut across existing academic units,          research and the results of fundamental
   bring together the principal players, and         research leading to applications.
   then recommend to the Provost where to
   focus resources. This group will also             First Year Initiatives to Develop this
   identify institutional obstacles to               Strategic Capability:
   collaboration across academic units, and          1. Research agenda. Activities emerging
   make recommendations for ways to                     from the 1998 critical pathways that
   remove those obstacles.                              promote USC’s mission and vision for
                                                        the future will continue to receive
                                                        support from the Provost’s Office. In
                                                        particular, support will be directed

   toward research teams that (a) involve           national policymakers. And since important
   faculty and graduate students from three         social problems do not stop at the borders of
   or more schools, (b) show a unity of             our nation, we will need to enter into
   basic and applied research, and (c)              international networks, engage in
   address important societal issues. The           international projects, and assist our faculty
   Center for Interdisciplinary Research            in gaining access to foreign researchers,
   will continue its work of forging                governments, and businesses.
   connections between scholars and across              Whether our partnerships be with
   disciplinary boundaries, and will                organizations across the street or across the
   examine ways of engaging more faculty            globe, they should significantly benefit the
   in this process. In particular, the Center       university by (1) enhancing research and
   will seek additional involvement from            scholarship by providing skills, viewpoints,
   faculty in the humanities and the social         and resources unavailable at USC; (2)
   sciences as it expands the scope of its          advancing the arts by providing new
   work.                                            audiences, venues, collaborators, and
2. Service-learning. A growing body of              inspiration; and/or (3) enabling us to provide
   research indicates that service-learning         new educational opportunities without
   courses, when designed and delivered in          creating expensive infrastructure or
   accordance with good practices, have             expanding the faculty. As with any effective
   measurable benefits, including the               partnership, these efforts must also prove
   opportunities to (a) explore the applied         beneficial to our collaborators.
   implications of theory and scholarship in            Our relations with policymakers are also
   a range of disciplines and (b) derive            becoming increasingly important, and we
   fundamental hypotheses and insights              need to expand our efforts to build capacity
   from applied experience. We will ask             in this area. The university’s ability to have
   that every school and department                 an impact on society requires strong ties to
   incorporate one or more appropriately            multi-national, national, state and local
   designed service-learning courses into its       policymakers who both establish public
   undergraduate curriculum. The goal is to         policies and allocate funds for research and
   expand the opportunities for every               postsecondary education. USC has long had
   undergraduate student to enroll in               strong relations with California’s leaders; in
   service-learning courses preferably              recent years we have also increased the
   related to her major or her minor(s),            university’s visibility nationally and
   before graduation.                               garnered support from Congress and a
                                                    variety of federal agencies. As we move
C. Build Networks and Partnerships                  forward, however, it is essential that we
    Because USC will not encompass all the          work systematically to build alliances at all
skills and knowledge required to address            levels of government.
major societal needs and questions, many of
which having global implications, we will           First Year Initiatives to Develop this
have to develop new partnerships and joint-         Strategic Capability:
ventures with various kinds of entities.            1. Global presence. Extending USC’s
These include other universities; non-profits          global reach will require expanding our
such as libraries, museums, think tanks, and           international offices and exploring
non-governmental organizations; businesses             partnerships with local institutions to
and corporations; and domestic and multi-              offer graduate and professional programs

   throughout the world, with a continued            disciplines. We will need to develop
   emphasis on Asia and Latin America.               alternatives to the 15-week semester, to
   The local institutions will provide the           various course requirements, and even to
   social infrastructure appropriate to the          classroom-based learning. Increasing
   local society, while we will provide              responsiveness to learners will also require
   some aspect of the educational                    creating a culture that values teaching as
   experience (probably in subjects where            well as research. Some educators today
   local expertise is not high). We will             perceive a learning-centered approach to
   open one additional international office          higher education as incompatible with a
   this year, and will set up a committee to         research emphasis. We disagree, and it will
   define the conditions under which                 be important to create the incentives, skills,
   partnerships are appropriate.                     support, and rewards for our faculty that will
2. Federal government relations. We                  change these perceptions over time.
   have already begun to build stronger ties              New technologies will continue to
   to the federal government. This year              expand the learning opportunities available
   USC opens its federal relations office in         to students and enable learning to take place
   Washington, and we will extend and                at the time and place of a student’s
   intensify our efforts, in conjunction with        choosing. Technology also allows support
   University Relations, to ensure that the          services to become more integrated and
   work of our faculty and students relevant         more responsive to students. USC has the
   to societal issues is visible to key              potential to play a lead role in the evolution
   policymakers.                                     of learner-centered education because many
                                                     centers on our campuses are already
D. Increase Responsiveness to Learners               engaged in creating new forms of
    To become learner-centered, USC must             technology-assisted learning, such as the
develop three related capabilities: (1) create       Institute for Creative Technologies, the
educational structures and methods that              Integrated Media Systems Center, the
better fulfill student needs, (2) harness            Distance Education Network, the
technology for more responsiveness and               Information Sciences Institute, and the
flexibility in education, and (3) offer              Institute of Multimedia Literacy. The
learning opportunities beyond graduation             Rossier School and relevant work in public
and across the world.                                policy, psychology, neuroscience,
    Creating more student-oriented                   communications, and others are also
structures and methods means shifting                valuable resources.
priorities from what the faculty now know                 Finally, increased responsiveness to
and how the university is presently                  learners means providing more education to
structured, toward what students need to             adults at various stages of their
learn and how they can best access that              development, from early career through
learning. Traditional lecture courses will           retirement. In this way USC can serve a
decline, giving way to a variety of more             broader base of students, including working
flexible and interactive approaches to               professionals seeking continuing education
learning. The structure of the curriculum            and professional development, retirees, and
will also become more flexible, emphasizing          others interested in lifelong learning. This is
demonstrations of mastery and providing              also an area which will enhance USC’s
more opportunities to integrate learning             global reach by providing professional
across degree levels, schools, and                   education at sites around the world. There

are many areas of the world that need              5. The administrative imperative.
excellent professional programs that can              Responsive and flexible support services
serve the needs of students worldwide and at          are the foundation of a learning-centered
the same time expand global visibility and            institution. During the 2004-2005
provide new sources of revenue.                       academic year USC will review its
                                                      academic support capabilities to ensure
First Year Initiatives to Develop this                the efficacy of these centers, programs
Strategic Capability:                                 and offices. Also, as USC moves toward
1. Distance learning. Every school will be            more extensive educational
   asked to create and offer at least one             programming beyond its two primary
   distance- or distributed-learning course           campuses we must “invent the future” of
   within the next three years. The goal is           student support. A task force will be
   for every academic department or                   asked to create and eventually
   interdisciplinary program to eventually            implement the next generation of student
   offer sufficient distance-learning                 services, both here and for students at
   curricula for every undergraduate to take          remote sites.
   a minimum of one such course while at
   USC.                                            IV. MAINTAIN CORE VALUES
2. Life-long learning. Each dean will be
   asked to develop a plan for continuing               Developing these strategic capabilities
   professional education or lifelong              will require far-reaching changes in
   learning. The full range of pedagogical         university structure and culture. It is
   options for new courses and programs            important, therefore, to ensure that the
   should be considered in creating these          evolution of the university remains
   plans. The most promising of these plans        grounded in USC’s core values.
   will, in subsequent years, receive                   Four sets of core values are particularly
   priority consideration for bridge funding       critical in this context. First is free inquiry,
   to begin implementation.                        an institutional commitment to the search for
3. Initiative on pedagogical technology.           truth that must be defended against any
   A virtual Center on Pedagogical                 external or internal threats.
   Technology will be created by                        The second set of core values is usually
   coordinating the many programs at USC           described as the values of the Trojan Family,
   that are currently engaged in creating          standards which have long defined USC’s
   new technologies to enhance learning.           interactions with its stakeholders and which
4. Center for Learning: A Center for               will continue to guide us in the future. These
   Learning will be created by coordinating        standards include: caring and respect for one
   and reorganizing the several existing           another as individuals; appreciation of
   organizations within USC that help              diversity; team spirit; strong alumni
   faculty and graduate students increase          networks; and a commitment to service.
   their effectiveness as teachers. The new             The third set of core values involves a
   Center will broaden the types of services       commitment to informed risk-taking within
   offered to faculty and graduate students,       a culture of targeted experimentation that
   and ensure that research on the                 can help USC prepare for an uncertain
   effectiveness of different pedagogies is        future. By crafting experiments related to
   fully incorporated into our programs.           our vision and strategic capabilities, we will
                                                   learn what works in a changing world. Such

experiments will be most beneficial if we                   A standing Planning Committee will be
can learn to appreciate the fact that not all          created under the leadership of the provost
attempts at innovation will succeed, and that          to provide continuing monitoring and
much can be learned from so-called “useful             extension of this Plan for Increasing
failures.”                                             Academic Excellence. The faculty and staff
    The fourth and final set of core values            who were members of the Strategic Planning
comprises our commitment to ethical                    Committee that initially led the creation of
conduct as spelled out in our recently-                this Plan will serve as the core of this new
adopted Code of Ethics.                                committee. In subsequent years, one-fifth of
    These values define our community,                 the members will rotate off and be replaced
sustain a sense of cohesiveness, and connect           each year. Data portfolios relating to the
us to our past and to our future. They will            strategic capabilities will be created to help
guide us in making difficult and sometimes             the Planning Committee evaluate the
risky decisions, and will help us make                 success of each initiative on an annual basis.
choices that preserve USC’s integrity,                 This evaluation will lead to
community, and quality.                                recommendations for improving the
                                                       initiative, or to terminating it if it is not
V. EVOLUTION AND EVALUATION                            working or if the objectives have been
                                                       reached. In addition, each year the Planning
    Attaining this vision for USC will                 Committee will propose new initiatives to
require ongoing oversight and continuous               support and extend the Plan. These
extending of the approaches described here.            recommendations will be made at the end of
Existing initiatives must be evaluated,                each Spring semester, so that they can be
reshaped, and sharpened, while at the same             discussed in detail at the last meeting of the
time new initiatives must be created which             academic year of the Academic Affairs
will further develop the strategic capabilities        Committee of the Board of Trustees. The
of the university. Innovative approaches               modified and the newly developed
must be developed which will move USC                  initiatives then will be shared with deans so
further on its journey to becoming one of the          that schools can incorporate them into their
most influential and productive research               Fall planning cycles the following academic
universities in the world.                             year.

                                            APPENDIX I
The central mission of the university of              global center, attracting more international
Southern California is the development of             students over the years than any other
human beings and society as a whole                   American university. And we are private,
through the cultivation and enrichment of             unfettered by political control, strongly
the human mind and spirit. The principal              committed to academic freedom, and proud
means by which our mission is                         of our entrepreneurial heritage.
accomplished are teaching, research, artistic
creation, professional practice and selected          An extraordinary closeness and willingness
forms of public service.                              to help one another are evident among USC
                                                      students, alumni, faculty, and staff; indeed,
Our first priority as faculty and staff is the        for those within its compass the Trojan
education of our students, from freshmen to           Family is a genuinely supportive
postdoctorals, through a broad array of               community. Alumni, trustees, volunteers
academic, professional, extracurricular and           and friends of USC are essential to this
athletic programs of the first rank. The              family tradition, providing generous
integration of liberal and professional               financial support, participating in university
learning is one of USC's special strengths.           governance, and assisting students at every
We strive constantly for excellence in                turn.
teaching knowledge and skills to our
students, while at the same time helping              In our surrounding neighborhoods and
them to acquire wisdom and insight, love of           around the globe, USC provides public
truth and beauty, moral discernment,                  leadership and public service in such diverse
understanding of self, and respect and                fields as health care, economic development,
appreciation for others.                              social welfare, scientific research, public
                                                      policy and the arts. We also serve the public
Research of the highest quality by our                interest by being the largest private
faculty and students is fundamental to our            employer in the city of Los Angeles, as well
mission. USC is one of a very small number            as the city's largest export industry in the
of premier academic institutions in which             private sector.
research and teaching are inextricably
intertwined, and on which the nation                  USC has played a major role in the
depends for a steady stream of new                    development of Southern California for
knowledge, art, and technology. Our faculty           more than a century, and plays an
are not simply teachers of the works of               increasingly important role in the
others, but active contributors to what is            development of the nation and the world.
taught, thought and practiced throughout the          We expect to continue to play these roles for
world.                                                many centuries to come. Thus our planning,
                                                      commitments and fiscal policies are directed
USC is pluralistic, welcoming outstanding             toward building quality and excellence in
men and women of every race, creed and                the long term
background. We are a global institution in a

                        Adopted by the USC Board of Trustees, February, 1993

                                            APPENDIX II

    USC’s Plan for Increasing Academic                 4. Internationalization
Excellence: Building Strategic Capabilities            To build upon USC's strong international
for the University of the 21st Century                 base of alumni, students, and established
continues the work of the 1994 Strategic               relationships and Southern California's
Plan and the 1998 Four-Year Report on that             position as an international center to
document. The 1994 Strategic Plan focused              enhance future global opportunities for
on four initiatives:                                   education, research, and career
                                                       development. Because of the characteristics
1. Undergraduate education                             of Southern California and of our students
To provide a distinctive undergraduate                 and alumni, focus efforts on the countries of
experience built on excellent liberal arts (the        the Pacific Rim and of Central and South
term includes the humanities, the natural              America.
sciences and the social sciences) and
professional programs, incorporating a                     The 1998 Four-Year Report on USC’s
characteristic USC core liberal education              strategic plan identified four particular
and providing unique opportunities for                 themes that provide critical pathways to
career preparation through innovative                  increased excellence and distinction for
collaborations between the liberal arts and            USC. The four critical pathways take on
our diverse array of professional schools.             special significance because of their high
                                                       intrinsic importance and because they offer
2. Interdisciplinary research and                      certain advantages with respect to USC’s
education                                              competitors. Each is contained in all four of
To create the organizational flexibility, and          the strategic initiatives, and as a
capacity for teamwork, to become a world               consequence, strength in these areas provide
center for innovative interdisciplinary                an excellent base on which we can later
research and education in selected areas.              build strength for other fields. The critical
Emphasize programs that span the spectrum              pathways are:
from basic to applied research and programs
with a high degree of societal relevance.              1. Communications
                                                       Understanding and helping to solve
3. Programs building on the resources of               technical, social, cultural, legal and political
Southern California and Los Angeles                    issues of communications in its many forms.
To create programs of research and
education that utilize and contribute to the           2. Life Sciences
special characteristics of Southern California         Coordinating and building on considerable
and Los Angeles as a center of urban issues,           expertise in the life sciences ranging from
multiculturalism, arts, entertainment,                 the basic biological sciences to clinical and
communications, and business.                          engineering applications.

                                                       3. The Arts
                                                       Coalescing our considerable strengths in the
arts to move USC to the center of the                work. Similarly, USC’s place in Southern
cultural stage in Los Angeles.                       California and the need for
                                                     internationalization are as relevant today as
4. The Urban Paradigm                                ever—and the contributions we make to
Exploring how complex urban environments             solving critical problems in society depend
function and how to improve them.                    on recognizing and developing the deep
                                                     connections between our region and the
     The present Plan for Increasing                 world. Finally, the critical pathways are
Academic Excellence builds on the four               important frameworks for organizing and
initiatives and the four critical pathways.          understanding USC’s strengths. They serve
Undergraduate education remains a high               as over-arching themes encompassing the
priority for USC, and it will become                 myriad of disciplinary and interdisciplinary
increasing learner-centered in the coming            paths taken by our faculty and students as
years. Interdisciplinarity also continues to         they ask and answer important questions that
be critical, with particular attention to the        push the boundaries of human knowledge.
nexus between fundamental and applied