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

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.

Annual veterans dinner salutes service members

Topics: News

USC President C. L. Max Nikias with students who are veterans and ROTC cadets.

In an annual USC spring tradition, university leadership paid tribute to the women and men of the U.S. armed forces who are part of The Trojan Family—including the many veterans on the faculty and staff, and the veterans and ROTC cadets who are part of the student body. President C. L. Max Nikias proudly acknowledged the longstanding relationship between USC and the military, which encompasses teaching, service, and research throughout the university.

“Few if any universities can match USC’s commitment to the military and its service members,” President Nikias told the ballroom filled with dress uniforms representing all five branches on April 3. “In the 1970s, USC and Notre Dame were the only two universities to maintain their relationship with ROTC. We are proud of that,” he said.

Read the complete article at USC News.

View additional photos from the event on the USC Flickr site.


Inaugural Choong Hoon Cho chair installed at USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Topics: News

Professor Michael Kassner, USC Trustee Y.H. Cho, USC President C.L. Max Nikias

Dean Yannis C. Yortsos, Professor Michael Kassner, USC Trustee Y.H. Cho, USC President C.L. Max Nikias

In an elegant Wednesday, March 26 ceremony, USC Viterbi School of Engineering installed the inaugural Choong Hoon Cho Chair in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. The chair is named after Choong Hoon Cho, the late chairman of Korean Airlines and father of USC Trustee and alumnus Y.H. Cho.

Professor Michael Kassner, the holder of the chair, is an expert in the area of mechanical behavior of metals, materials creep, fracture, fatigue and thermodynamics, and joined USC in 2003 as AME department chair. More recently, he oversaw a nearly $1 billion basic research budget for the U.S. Navy as director of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Washington, D.C. Kassner received the U.S. Navy’s Meritorious Public Service Medal for his service.

“Thanks to the inspired support of Y.H. Cho and the Boeing Company, the Choong Hoon Cho Chair in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering will serve as a vital cornerstone of academic excellence,” USC President C.L. Max Nikias said.


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.