Chronicle of Higher Education on USC's new President

Discussion in 'GarryP's Trojan Huddle' started by PacTrojan, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. Chronicle of Higher Education on USC's new President
    PacTrojan

    PacTrojan Junior Member


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    #1
    Interesting take on our new president from the top journal covering universities/colleges.
    She clearly likes a good fight. I get the sense that Swann, since he reports directly to the President, is going to be on the hot seat the moment she takes over in July.

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    A Confederate Statue Undid Carol Folt’s Chancellorship at UNC. But It May Have Landed Her USC’s Top Job.
    By Jack Stripling
    The Chronicle of Higher Education
    MARCH 20, 2019

    By naming Carol L. Folt on Wednesday as its next president, the University of Southern California sent a clear message that the former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill chancellor had elevated her national reputation in a grueling fight over the fate of a Confederate monument.

    Folt's chancellorship, from which she resigned in January, was a case study in crisis management, culminating with her dramatic final directive that the remnants of a controversial statue known as Silent Sam be removed from a place of prominence on North Carolina's flagship campus. That decision, members of Southern California's presidential-search advisory committee say, helped to establish Folt as a logical and potent pick to lead a university that has lurched from one scandal to the next in recent years.

    "This was a decision of great courage and integrity, and it stands for me as a model for what university presidents should do," said Viet Thanh Nguyen, a member of the search committee and an English professor. "For me it was very important to have someone who had the moral fortitude to deal with these issues and also had the actual experience of dealing with these issues."

    Southern California's growth in prominence, selectivity, and wealth has of late betrayed a darker side. The university is ground zero in a college-admissions scandal that came to light this month, and that's just the latest spate of bad news. Accusations of sexual misconduct against a campus gynecologist, and revelations that a medical school dean abused hard drugs and consorted with a prostitute have raised deeper questions about administrative oversight and the university's culture.

    In the thick of the Silent Sam controversy, when Folt was torn between activist students who wanted the statue gone and conservative lawmakers who insisted it stay put, the chancellor appeared to be eternally condemned to lose-lose propositions. But her move to Southern California upends that narrative, transforming an episode for which she was relentlessly criticized into a résumé builder.

    "As a writer, I like this story," said Nguyen, whose novel, The Sympathizer, earned the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, in 2016.

    It is fair to ask at this point whether Folt, who is all smiles in public, relishes a good fight. This isn't the first time she has steered headlong into a crisis.

    When Folt took the helm at North Carolina, in 2013, the university was still reeling from an academic-fraud scandal that involved disproportionate numbers of athletes. Privately, search consultants buzzed about who would want such a job — even at a top-tier university.

    Geoffrey Cowan, a member of the search committee, said that Folt recognizes that a crisis gives new presidents room they might not otherwise have to make changes.

    "It creates an opportunity for Carol Folt to come in and create a tremendous new fresh burst of energy and excitement and a core sense of ethics," says Cowan, a communications professor.

    Just as at Chapel Hill, Folt will be Southern California's first permanent female leader. She is an outsider at a university that has been led in recent memory by insiders. C.L. Max Nikias, who agreed to resign last May, came to USC in 1991 and succeeded Steven B. Sample, who had led the university for 19 years.

    During her tenure at North Carolina, Folt was known to be hands-on with students — even when it was unpleasant. In one memorable confrontation, which was captured on video, an African-American student called Folt "a disgrace" for equivocating over the Silent Sam issue. Folt stood there and took it, demonstrating a quality that Southern California professors say the university needs.

    "It's much easier to hide," says Elizabeth M. Daley, a search-committee member and dean of the School of Cinematic Arts. "This is not someone who is going to hide. She will do what has to be done."

    Folt's move to a private institution from a public university, where she dealt with aggressive lawmakers and politically appointed trustees, may offer something of a reprieve. The power brokers she'll answer to now include high-powered celebrities like Steven Spielberg, who is on the university's board. They'll have opinions, Daley says, but Folt isn't likely to get bogged down in the wedge issues that dominated her final year at Chapel Hill.

    "It's probably a more reasonable and progressive constituency — a constituency that is going to come nearer to sharing her values," Daley said. "Hopefully that will help her focus on the other work at hand, instead of focusing on the pedestal of a Confederate statute."

    She'll almost certainly make more money, too. Folt's base pay at Chapel Hill was about $600,000, compared with Nikias's $1.3 million.

    Professors say they'll be looking for Folt to assure them, from the very start, that she represents a new kind of leadership where transparency and integrity are valued.

    "A hallmark of her leadership is community building, and there is absolutely no way USC can turn the corner without trust being rebuilt," said Sharoni D. Little, a member of the search committee and chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer for the Marshall School of Business. "You can't just come in for a day and say you're open to that; you're going to have to demonstrate that."
    --
    Jack Stripling covers college leadership, particularly presidents and governing boards.

    https://www.chronicle.com/article/A-Confederate-Statue-Undid/245940?cid=wsinglestory_hp_3
     
       
  2. uscvball

    uscvball Junior Member


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    Swann is still junior level in terms of importance. What will she do about Max? Caruso? Quick? Ellis? The Tyndall case?
     
  3. The Lizard King

    The Lizard King Junior Member


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    Time will tell how effective she is. I give her 1-2 years to clean house. If she does, she's the president most here on this board wanted the BOT to hire. If not, then she is just a place maker until a real president gets hired.
     
  4. KeenObserver

    KeenObserver Junior Member


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    #4
    The school needs to be itself and find it’s identity again. That includes a flagship athletics program a powerful alumni network and preparing people for life. USC needs to stop engaging in politics and stop selling out to the highest bidder.

    Back to basics.
     
  5. The Lizard King

    The Lizard King Junior Member


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    #5
    Common ground.
     
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  6. bob c in az

    bob c in az Junior Member


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    #6
    She is 68, just a place holder.
     
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  7. 023lenlen

    023lenlen Senior Member


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    #7
    68 is young compared to the POTUS, senior legislators, SCOTUS, etc.
     
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  8. Trojack

    Trojack Junior Member


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    68 is not young for a university president. If she lasts three years, she will be our oldest seated president. IMHO, she simply fit an immediate "agenda" and not a "strategic plan". From everything I've read and personally heard from faculty at UNC, her management style is basically to stick a wet finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing.
     
  9. dp4life

    dp4life Points Member


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    #9
    Just like the football program, eh?
     
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  10. Carnauber

    Carnauber Junior Member


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    #10
    I’m sure you’ve read volumes and had multiple in depth conversations with “faculty” at North Carolina. She put the finishing touches on a confederate statue, in a state that had the most confederate casualties in the civil war. I live in the south, and if you don’t then you have no idea how deep this runs. I don’t know if she will be a good president at USC or not - I’ll bet mortgages she is better than that whore Nikias ever was - but to say she goes whichever way the wind blows, when she lost her job for a hard decision she made, is both obviously dumb and obviously dishonest.
     
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  11. 023lenlen

    023lenlen Senior Member


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    To wit the President of Harvard is 67. BTW I believe your assessment of her doesn't jive with what is published.

    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/02/16/colleges-keep-hiring-experienced-presidents-even-their-60s-and-70s
     
  12. Area51Trojan

    Area51Trojan Junior Member


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    #12
    No one can be successful and long-term at USC currently no matter their age.

    USC is corrupt to its very core. That core began to rot decades ago when the school decided that the way to rarefied academic air was solely through money. Money buys Nobel winner, money buys pretty buildings, money buys more VP and administrators which doubled then tripled in size in a mere 10 years. The USC President loved having a large fiefdom and decided his place in history would be judged by how much money we had in the endowment, how many buildings we built and how many applications for enrollment we declined. Coupled with becoming the school of choice of the ASEAN rim we now have created for future Presidents. Sure, let's say she creates a winning athletic department but the school slips, money becomes harder to raise because she shows integrity deciding to create more space for American children and retain that home-grown potential in leu of full tuition ? That full pop is hard to say no too as is chasing government grants and all that entails like administrators who sole purpose is to make sure that money keeps arriving.

    We keep saying go back to our roots...what are those roots and in reality can we ever go back to them? USC likes money, it likes being LA's largest employer and the clout associated with that role.

    I hope she does well in one regard, she punishes everyone associated with the scandals and cover-ups. If she does that alone then she will be a winner in my book. FB is secondary. I could not post again unless I actually believed that after what I wrote about Penn State, USC needs to address that internally and externally and make sure that every single person employed at USC has the ability to make sure that NEVER happens again.
     
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  13. J4SC75

    J4SC75 Junior Member


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    #13
    Sure, she won't be at SC for 20 years, but she's healthy, active and could easily serve for 10 years. It's about what she does with the time and not how much time does she do it. After all, what did Max do with his time?
     
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  14. Trojack

    Trojack Junior Member


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    When presented with the issue of the Confederate statue, her initial thought was to move it to a place on campus where it would be less conspicuous, not to get rid of it. It was only after she assessed the direction of the wind that she made her decision. That's right out of Nikias 101 and how he handled Puliafito and Tyndall. Sorry, I've seen that movie before.
     
  15. BarNone

    BarNone Junior Member


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    Her decision on dean Ellis will tell me all I need to know. She backs him and refutes Wanda and Caruso which would take real leadership and balls or she coasts ahead on their decision. As others have posted removing confederate statues in this day and age is not particularly bold. Doing the right thing and reversing a tragedy made by your interim predecessor would be
     
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  16. mfortroy

    mfortroy Junior Member


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    Just a reminder to everyone, that President-elect Folt did sign a 5 year contract and Rick Caruso stated, that he expects her to serve 10 years. This certainly doesn't look like a placeholder to me. Like every other supporter of SC, I certainly hope that she's successful (in most ways that we consider important) during this critical period in the university's history.
     
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  17. TrojanMoondoggie

    TrojanMoondoggie Junior Member


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    #17
    I agree.
    The school needs to purge itself of as many of these problematic people as possible.
    Someone referenced it as an exorcism that has to take place. I found that pretty funny. But sadly, true.
    When this story broke, eyebrows across the country raised as to the schools involved. Wow....Stanford. Wow....Yale. Wow....Georgetown. USC? Business as usual.
    And there's a reason for that.
    As for USC selling itself to the highest bidder, that's an equally troubling thing.
    Doesn't Stanford have three times the endowment that USC has. But they have that endowment, without having stirred up controversy over the years.
    USC just doesn't seem to get it. How to improve your stature without shooting yourself in the foot. Or how to continue your rise in academia without sacrificing integrity.
    I sure hope she has what it takes to clean house too. Because USC has found itself in a situation where it needs a fresh start.
    Until that happens, every story that comes out of USC will not be a surprise to anyone.
    And that's how USC is different from the rest of these schools involved in this scandal. Again, eyebrows raised with these other schools. With USC, no one is surprised. And that says a lot.
     
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  18. ConquerorSC

    ConquerorSC Points Member


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    #18
    Those are strong words but, sadly, they are true. It was embarrassing when Max and USC were shunned and rejected by top, senior level researchers when he tried to buyout a biotech/med company in the San Diego area and, separately, it was also a black eye when UCSD won key battles in their lawsuit against USC for buying out one is their top researchers and taking his grant and poaching virtually his entire team at their university. Max thinks he can simply buy everything, including reputation. But it doesn’t work that way.
     
  19. Troy70

    Troy70 Junior Member


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    Backing Marshall Dean as did the Board of Marshall coming out & blasting Slick Rick & Austin. Bringing back alumni SCions enrollment back to 20-23 % . Cleaning out HH starting with our golf pro AD. Bringing big time winning Football Coach & supporting staff. Do this alumni donations will come back.
     
  20. Carnauber

    Carnauber Junior Member


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    The proposal was to build a 5.3 million dollar museum and make Silent Sam a part of that, warts and all - that’s “less conspicuous” in what universe? In fact, that proposal is when the abuse from both sides really started. She was trying to stay within the North Carolina laws as best she could, over and over, looking for any deal that might suffice, and when none would work, she fell on her sword, took the statue down completely, and resigned the same night. She could have been prosecuted, friend. Please just do some cursory reading before you try to shit on someone you don’t know from Adam. The world already has plenty of those people.
     

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