Letters to the Editor: USC can’t reform without students and faculty on its board of trustees

USC's main campus near downtown Los Angeles
An aerial view of USC’s main campus near downtown Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The USC Board of Trustees has adopted a number of “best practices” reforms to bring it in line with other American elite colleges and universities with a goal of avoiding some of the costly errors of the past decade.

However, still under discussion is whether or not to add faculty and students to the board, which is largely composed of wealthy people from the business community.

The overriding objective of businesses is to return a profit to their investors. The overriding goal of universities is to search for truth. Clearly, financial support is necessary to conduct this search, but shouldn’t the views of faculty and student stakeholders be represented on the board?

To deny them representation is as absurd as the possibility of the entire board of a large corporation, say IBM, consisting entirely of students and faculty members.


Dan Caldwell, Malibu

The writer is a professor of political science at Pepperdine University.


To the editor: As a deeply embarrassed holder of two degrees from USC, I can only offer the following comment in response to the university’s effort to reform itself: It’s akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.


When all the trustees are replaced, I will start to believe that the university is getting serious about reform.

Noel Park, Rancho Palos Verdes