Readers React: USC’s new president is taking over a school ‘in a moral and ethical free fall’

Incoming USC President Carol L. Folt participates in a news conference in Los Angeles on March 20.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As incoming USC President Carol L. Folt gathers facts to move forward, she must confront one thing as soon as she takes over: The university is in a moral and ethical free fall, for which the highest levels of administration are responsible.

It is time to clean house from the top down. Any enablers of the multiple scandals over the last 20 years must also be let go. The alumni and donors are rapidly losing confidence in the ability of the school to fix itself.

Folt must clean this mess and fast, or this once powerful institution of education will become little more than an oversized community college near downtown Los Angeles.

Welcome to USC, Dr. Folt — and fight on.


John MacIntyre, San Diego


To the editor: I hold multiple degrees from USC’s school of engineering, and I spent most of my 37-year career in the aerospace and defense industries developing large software systems that dealt with millions of lines of code.

Attempting to end up with a product with near zero defects, we routinely used a problem reporting system where every person involved, from the lowliest worker to the highest ranking manager, was required to submit a report on any defect he or she encountered. These problem reports were all evaluated, prioritized, assigned, acted upon, documented and archived forever.


I believe that if USC had such a reporting and management system in place, none of the problems that it has had recently would have gotten very far along.

I urge Folt to implement such a system that, instead of correcting lines of software code, deals with human beings in the USC organization.

Eddie Dawes, Hacienda Heights

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