Dear Trojan Community,
As you may have seen, Rick Caruso, Chair of the USC Board of Trustees, just announced that he will be entering the race for mayor of Los Angeles and will be stepping down as Board Chair.
Chair Caruso has been an inspired Board leader and his passion for and commitment to USC run deep. Ensuring the well-being and opportunity to excel of our students, staff, and faculty has always been his guide. He is known to and respected by so many of you because he is a visible presence on our campuses visiting classrooms, attending town halls, and even showing up to support our athletes and our band members during practice. He has been a hands-on chair and unwavering in his support of our academic mission.
I am grateful for his steadfast leadership and have relied on his wise counsel since becoming president. One of the first things I learned from him is the importance of the Trojan Family and the profound love and loyalty felt by so many who have been touched by USC. When he assumed the role of Chair in 2018, he and the Board of Trustees vowed to bring accountability, shared governance, responsible leadership, and effective reporting practices to the university and to reform campus culture. He guided the university during a period of great turmoil. When the Board moved to modernize its governance practices, he led the way with openness and an unwavering determination that helped propel us forward. Chair Caruso’s vision and faith put USC on the path to restoring trust in and integrity across the institution.
Chair Caruso and all of our Trustees have been extraordinary in their care and stewardship of this university. I look forward to working with the Board to elect the next Chair. This process will begin immediately, and Chair Caruso will step down as soon as his successor takes over the role.
While USC never endorses or supports any political candidates, we wish all the mayoral candidates well. We admire those individuals who are dedicated to public service and willing to take on the many challenges and difficulties that come with running for an elected office.
The university is moving forward with ambitious goals for the years ahead, and we are well positioned to achieve our mission. I am confident that our Board of Trustees will select a Chair who will continue the important and demanding work that began in 2018.
Carol L. Folt