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

Legacy of Judge Widney Immortalized on Campus

Topics: News

Pauly Brothers, C. L. Max Nikias

Gregory B. Pauly and Bruce Pauly, right, present Widney family heirlooms including the hat and cape of Joseph Widney (the second president of USC) during the Judge Widney Statue Dedication, Friday, August 29, 2014, in Los Angeles, California. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

The legacy of USC founder Judge Robert Maclay Widney was celebrated at the unveiling of an 8-foot bronze sculpture newly installed at the entrance of the Judge Widney Alumni House, during ceremonies held on the USC campus on August 29th, 2014.

The 1,000 lb. art piece was created by renowned California-born artist Christopher Slatoff, and the ceremony was attended by USC Trustees, senior leadership, and members of the USC community as the Trojan Marching Band led the crowd in a spirited display of cheering and music. Special honored guests at the event were the living descendants of Judge Widney, who presented USC President C. L. Max Nikias with two family artifacts: a top hat and cape owned and worn by Joseph Widney, Judge Widney’s brother and the second president of USC. The pieces have been donated to the University and will be preserved in USC’s permanent archive. Read full story.

Welcome, Class of 2018!

Topics: News

USC President C.L. Max Nikias, center, and wife Niki C. Nikias, left center, take selfies with students as students move into residential housing during Welcome Week at USC, Wednesday, August 20, 2014, in Los Angeles, California.(USC Photo/ Gus Ruelas)

USC President C.L. Max Nikias, center, and wife Niki C. Nikias, left center, take selfies with students as students move into residential housing during Welcome Week at USC, Wednesday, August 20, 2014, in Los Angeles, California.(USC Photo/ Gus Ruelas)

As the new freshman class arrived on campus with families and belongings in tow, USC President C. L. Max Nikias, Mrs. Niki C. Nikias, and USC Board of Trustees chair John Mork (left center, second row) greeted the incoming Trojans in front of Birnkrant Residence Hall.

“USC is a place today where 53,000 applicants competed for 2,700 spots in the freshman class,” President Nikias told the sea of enthusiastic faces during convocation ceremony, part of the week-long program of activities known as Welcome Week. “We searched far and wide to find you. … So if you feel very special to be here today, I’ve got news for you — it’s because you are!”

Nikias challenged the incoming class to redefine literacy as a fluency of the powers of imagination, the arts and literature, world cultures, digital media and most importantly, of ethics. The president concluded his uplifting speech with instructions on “a simple gesture” that all Trojans know.

“No matter where you are in the world,” he said, “whether you are walking along the streets of Los Angeles or in the heart of New York City or Mumbai or London or Shanghai or the island of Santorini, if you recognize another Trojan, you flash the victory sign and say: ‘Fight on!’”


President Nikias voted Chairman of Association of Pacific Rim Universities

Topics: News

Nikias visits APRU Secretariat

USC President C. L. Max Nikias (third from left) visited with APRU secretary general Christopher Tremewan (third from right) in the Singapore office of the APRU Secretariat.

President C. L. Max Nikias was elected as the chairman of APRU (Association of Pacific Rim Universities) for a two-year term. APRU is a network of 45 premier research universities from 16 Pacific Rim economies. President Nikias served as the vice chairman of APRU prior to his current election as chairman, and had the opportunity to visit with APRU secretary general Christopher Tremewan during a USC delegation visit to Singapore in February of 2014.

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.