University of Southern California

Office of the President

C. L. Max Nikias

USC’s 11th president, C. L. Max Nikias is an accomplished scholar and innovator whose 21 years at USC have been characterized by vision and a talent for seeing and seizing opportunities. From his creation of a multimedia research center and his energetic tenure as dean of engineering, to the pacesetting initiatives he set in motion as USC’s provost, he has helped propel USC toward its goal of becoming one of the most productive and influential research universities in the world.
Read more about President Nikias

Mrs. Niki C. Nikias, center, accompanied by USC Alumni Association President Ramona Capello, center left.
USC Trustee Edward P. Roski, Jr.; Gayle Garner Roski; Julie Mork; USC Trustee John Mork (chairman); Niki C. Nikias; USC President C. L. Max Nikias.

From the Office of the President

Mork Family Scholars meet their namesake benefactors

Topics: News

Mork Family Scholars 2014

USC Trustee John Mork (top row, third from right) and his wife, Julie Mork (bottom row, right), hosted a retreat for USC Mork Family Scholars with USC President C. L. Max Nikias (top row, third from left) and his wife, Niki C. Nikias (bottom row, third from left).

The USC Mork Family Scholars were hosted by the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies during a weekend-long excursion to Catalina Island from April 12-13, 2014. While there, the students were welcomed by USC Trustee John Mork and his wife, Julie Mork, and USC President C. L. Max Nikias and his wife, Mrs. Niki C. Nikias.

The itinerary included discussions on leadership with John and Julie Mork, and an informal class on classics with President Nikias. Additional excursions included a visit to the plankton lab, nature hikes, and a tour of the island’s hyperbaric chamber.

USC Mork Scholarships are awarded to undergraduates based on academic merit. The scholarships include full tuition and a living stipend of $5,000 annually for four years, as well as guaranteed space in the honors residential college. The USC Mork Family Scholars program was created in 2011 with an exceptional gift of $110 million —the single largest gift in the university’s history for undergraduate scholarships and one of only seven gifts to USC of $100 million or more.


Literary luminaries celebrated in prelude to Festival of Books

Topics: News

Eddy Hartenstein, C. L. Max Nikias, Davan Maharaj.

Eddy Hartenstein, C. L. Max Nikias, Davan Maharaj.

Los Angeles Times publisher, Eddy Hartenstein, University of Southern California President C. L. Max Nikias, and Los Angeles Times editor Davan Maharaj met informally before the start of the the Los Angeles Times Books Prize Ceremony on Friday, April 11, 2014 in USC’s Bovard Auditorium. Among the winners of this year’s Book Prize awards was USC alumna Susan Straight, who was awarded the 2013 Robert Kirsch Award for her fiction set in Southern California. The event was a prelude the 2014 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the University of Southern California, the fourth consecutive year the weekend-long event has been held on the USC campus. Held annually in the spring, The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is the largest literary festival in the country.

In Sacramento, bringing Cal Grant students together with lawmakers

Topics: News

USC Delegation to Sacramento 2014

At the State Capital Building. Front row: USC Trustee Edward P. Roski, Jr., Shamoiya Washington, USC President C. L. Max Nikias, Jasmine Torres. Marco Valadez. Middle row: USC Trustee David Dornsife, USC Trustee Lisa Barkett, USC Trustee Monica Lózano, Bill Barkett. Back row: USC Chief of Staff Dennis Cornell, USC Vice President of Government Relations Martha Escutia, USC Trustee Christopher Cox, USC Sr. Vice President of University Relations Thomas Sayles.

USC President C. L. Max Nikias, USC Trustees, senior administrators and three USC students who are Cal Grant recipients made a recent visit to Sacramento to speak with California lawmakers. The USC delegates discussed the importance of the Cal Grant program, which has provided funding for more than 2.3 million students in the state since its creation nearly 60 years ago. At USC, 93 percent of Cal Grant recipients complete their degrees in six years — a rate higher than at most public universities in California.

USC President C. L. Max Nikias, Jasmine Torres, Shamoiya Washington, and Marco Valadez with Governor Jerry Brown

Governor Jerry Brown, Jasmine Torres, Shamoiya Washington, Marco Valadez, President Nikias

The three students who journeyed to Sacramento — Jasmine Torres, Shamoiya Washington, and Marco Valadez — shared their personal stories with lawmakers, putting a real face on the challenges low-income students face when assessing their higher education options. The USC delegation asked legislators to reconsider the planned 11% cut to the Cal Grant program slated to take effect this summer. The proposed cut would bring the maximum grant to $8,056 for students attending private colleges and universities, the lowest it has been in 16 years.

Presidential priorities

  • Transforming USC into a major hub of the emerging Age of the Pacific—by creating trans-Pacific alliances, by fully utilizing Los Angeles as a laboratory for trans-Pacific research, education and culture, and by building the foremost network of Pacific leaders.

  • Ensuring that the USC academic community serves as a key engine of intellectual, economic and cultural progress for the nation, and allowing its vast array of disciplines to be combined creatively in order to catalyze new knowledge and innovation.

  • Ensuring that USC promotes imagination and invention by creating a living and learning environment in which the university’s undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty are fluent in a wide variety of intellectual areas, ranging from classical literary works to the latest digital technologies.

  • Serving the neighborhoods around our two campuses through job creation and quality k-12 education. Further strengthening the legendary traditions of the Trojan Family.

  • Leading USC during the most ambitious fundraising campaign ever announced by an American university. This historic endeavor will raise $6 billion to support USC's faculty and students, as well as its academic priorities, capital projects, and essential infrastructure.