Committees

Below is a list of university-wide committees which are appointed by the President, Academic Senate, or the Provost. Faculty who wish to be considered for committee service should notify their respective Faculty Council chairs, department chairs or dean of faculty. Retired faculty should contact the Emeriti Center.


Academic Program, Curriculum & Degrees | Arts, Sports & Events | Benefits | Honors | Policy | Research | Safety | Student Affairs | Technology in Learning | Promotion and Tenure

Academic Senate Committee on Part-Time Faculty*

The Committee on Part-Time Faculty monitors and evaluates the working environment, terms and conditions of employment, job security, compensation, benefits eligibility, opportunities for participation in governance, opportunities for professional advancement, and participation in the academic life of the university provided for part-time faculty. It monitors compliance with the Faculty Handbook and with stated school policies of the schools or units as they relate to part-time faculty.  It makes recommendations to relevant Senate and University committees, and to the Academic Senate, concerning any policy issues that have an impact on Part-Time faculty.

Membership will include primarily part-time faculty, as well as the co-chair of the CNTTFA and tenure-track faculty.

Joint Academic Senate/ Provost Committee on Finance and Enrollment

The Committee on Finances and Enrollment plays a crucial role in shaping the central policies of the university about university-level finances (e.g., net tuition, income and expenditures etc.) and university-level enrollment management (e.g., size, scope, and make-up of the university’s student body). The committee consults with the Vice President for Budget and the Vice President for Enrollment. The Committee’s recommendations will be considered on par with those of deans. The Committee makes its recommendations to the Provost, or to the Board of Trustees through the Provost, and the Provost will consult with the Committee if he does not concur with the recommendations. The committee will work very closely with the Academic Senate. The core members of the Committee are the officers of the Academic Senate  If additional or replacement members  beyond the Senate officers are needed in any year, they will be elected by the Senate or the Executive Board, selecting from among other members of the Senate Executive Board if possible. Members must include tenured faculty and research, teaching, clinical or practice faculty, including both full and part-time faculty. To provide continuity, members should usually serve staggered three-year terms. The Vice President for Budget, the Vice President for Enrollment, and the Senior Advisor to the Provost are non-voting, ex officio members. The Committee co-chairs are the President of the Faculty and the Senior Advisor to the Provost.

Committee Members

Academic Program, Curriculum & Degrees

  • Joint Academic Senate/ Provost Committee on Teaching and Academic Programs (CTAP)
    The Committee on Academic Programs and Teaching is responsible for advising the Provost on multi-school curricula and on undergraduate curricular issues and policies arising from recommendations from the Undergraduate Studies Committee (UGSC); on unit requirements, residency requirements, and broad-based policies and issues related to the academic appeals process under the purview of the Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures (CAPP); on student conduct matters under the purview of the Office of Student Affairs; on policies and programs related to the Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET), including the improvement of faculty teaching, training for classroom technology; on setting priorities and launching initiatives in support of interdisciplinary teaching; and on policies and initiatives recommended by the Graduation and Retention Committee (GRC). The committee also advises the Provost on strategic issues that fall under the purview of the Coupling Implementation Committee, the University Writing Committee, the Provost’s Oversight Committee on Athletic Academic Affairs (OCAAA) and the Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid Committee (UAFAC). Committee Members
  • Academic Calendar Committee
  • Committee on University Libraries
    The USC Libraries Committee is a joint advisory group of the Academic Senate, the Provost, and the USC Libraries. The committee advises the Dean of the USC Libraries and the Provost on matters related to printed and digital information resources and technologies, and on policies associated with scholarly communication, research, teaching, and study. The Dean of the Libraries in turn apprises the committee of current issues and challenges associated with these resources and endeavors. The committee reports on its activities to the Academic Senate and Provost on a regular basis. Committee Members
  • Continuing Education Committee
  • Graduate School Advisory Council
    The Graduate School Advisory Council and its task forces advise the vice provost for graduate programs on issues related to graduate study. Fellowship task forces evaluate candidates nominated by their programs and recommend a list to the provost for approval.
  • University Committee on Academic Review (UCAR)
    The University Committee on Academic Review (UCAR) oversees the process of academic program review. UCAR is a permanent, standing university committee appointed by the President. Recommendations for membership is solicited from a variety of sources, including academic deans and the Executive Board of the Academic Senate. Committee Members
  • University Committee on Curriculum (UCOC)
    The committee plays a crucial role in the decisions regarding the university’s curricular, major, minor, and certificate offerings, and the requirements to successfully complete those offerings. It takes over a thousand actions a year, with most proposals acted on in one of the subcommittees, while complicated proposals are acted on by the executive committee that includes chairs of subcommittees. The committee’s actions are published in the University Catalogue. UCOC advises the Provost on all matters pertaining to the adoption, elimination, and revision of courses and programs. It reviews and recommends university-wide policies on curriculum, and also works with units to ensure that appropriate processes are in place in each unit to provide for faculty oversight, development, and evaluation of curriculum. The committee reviews and approves forms and checklists developed by the staff of the Curriculum Office. Recommendations made by the committee are to be based entirely on academic considerations, with revenue concerns resolved by the dean and the Provost. All committee members are faculty. New members are selected in consultation with the Academic Senate Executive Board. Within the University Committee on Curriculum, there are:

    • Arts & Humanities Subcommittee (UCOC-AH)
    • Natural Sciences, Math, & Engineering Subcommittee (UCOC-SME)
    • Social Sciences, Communication, Business Subcommittee (UCOC-SS)
    • Health Professions Subcommittee (UCOC-HP)
    • Diversity Requirement Committee (UCOC-DRC)
    • General Education Committee (UCOC-GEC)
    • Overseas Studies Panel (UCOC-OSP)
    • Writing Committee (UCOC-WC)

    Committee Members

  • Academic Senate Committee on Campus Climate*
    The Campus Climate Committee monitors and assesses campus climate conditions, policies, and practices. It identifies, and shares with the senate, effective approaches to cultivating a culture of equity, inclusivity, and respect that enhance the success of all faculty, students, and staff within a pluralistic context. It will alert the senate to issues on campus that require attention, and will make recommendations for how the Senate can be helpful in addressing these issues, in collaboration with the Provost’s office. This committee will work with the Senate Executive Committee to plan and implement two mini-retreats a year (one in the fall and one in the spring) that aim to enhance campus climate at USC. Topics might include how to better recruit, retain, and support a diverse faculty, or how to achieve more gender equity in STEM fields, or how to help faculty to have difficult dialogues around culture in the classroom. It will provide an end-of-year report to the Senate with recommendations for overall improvement to campus climate conditions, policies, and practices, to be shared with the Provost’s office.

Arts, Sports & Events

  • Advisory Board for the USC Fisher Museum of Art
    The Advisory Board for the USC Fisher Museum of Art is drawn from the audiences that the Museum serves: faculty, staff, students and administration. The Board advises the Director of the Museum on issues related to policy and governance, major acquisitions and major deaccessions, and other matters of significance. This committee reports to the Provost. Members are appointed to a two-year term.
  • Public Art and Campus Design Committee
    This committee has been established to manage the public art program on campus and is responsible for creating a programmatic master plan and developing policies on topics such as project management, donations, controversy resolution, and public information and education. The committee will consider and recommend approval the acceptance of donated works of art, the appointment of artists to create works of art, the final design, and the siting of the art.
  • University Convocations Committee
    The University Convocations Committee (UCONVO) advises the president and the university marshal on broad policy matters related to the form and content of Commencement, Academic Honors Convocation, and any other all-university academic convocations.

Benefits

  • Academic Senate Committee on Faculty Environment*
    The Committee on Faculty Environment monitors the various aspects of the total environment in which faculty of the University carry out their responsibilities of research, teaching and mentoring students, and service. The committee may recommend to the Academic Senate steps for improving the faculty environment in areas such as: the basic terms of faculty employment, fringe benefits, faculty compensation and retention, faculty contracts, office and laboratory space, parking, and other facilities on which faculty rely.
  • Employee Benefits Committee
    The Employee Benefits Committee reviews, evaluates and recommends in reference to the issues of benefit costs, formulation of changes and implementation of new programs, response to changing legal climate affecting benefit plans, and monitoring changes in the tax code affecting university benefit plans.
  • Committee on Work and Family Life
    The Committee on Work and Family Life seeks to further improve the quality of life of USC faculty and to promote health and wellness. It advises the Center for Work and Family Life. It also explores ways to enhance current childcare benefits and services, working with the Senior Vice President for Administration and his staff on a needs and feasibility analysis to explore expansion of those benefits and services.

Honors

  • Honorary Degrees Committee
  • Lifetime Achievement Award Committee
    This committee recommends which retired faculty deserve recognition at the annual Academic Honors Convocation with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The committee is advisory to the President.
  • Academic Senate Task Force on Distinguished Faculty Service Award*

Policy

  • Academic Senate Committee on RTPC Faculty Affairs
    The Committee on RTPC Faculty monitors the working environment, conditions of employment, benefits eligibility, opportunities for participation in governance, opportunities for professional advancement, and participation in the academic life of the university provided for RTPC faculty. It tracks any significant changes in the proportion of RTPC to tenure-track faculty within the total faculty in individual units and in the university as a whole, and monitors compliance with the Faculty Handbook and with stated school policies of the school or unit. It may make recommendations to relevant Senate and University committees, and to the Academic Senate, concerning any policy issues which bear on the use and profile of RTPC faculty. Membership will include RTPC faculty (full-time and part-time, research track, clinical track, and teaching track) as well as tenure-track faculty. Committee members
  • Academic Senate Faculty Handbook Committee*
    The Committee on the Faculty Handbook shall receive proposed changes to the Handbook in matters of University governance, faculty services, policies, and responsibilities which have been agreed upon by the Faculty Senate and the Administration. The committee reviews all statements to ensure that the integrity and spirit of the Handbook language is maintained and will record such statements for incorporation in the new Handbook editions when so directed by the Academic Senate. The committee is also responsible for codifying the records of changes in the Handbook, providing a record of the source, content, and approval authority of each revision, and monitoring and recommending policies and procedures for future Handbook revisions.
  • Committee on Academic Policies & Procedures (CAPP)
    The Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures (CAPP) is responsible for advising the Provost on unit requirements, residency requirements, and broad-based policies and issues related to the academic appeals process. Committee Members
  • Academic Senate Committee on Sustainability*
    The Committee on Sustainability will research and advocate ways that USC can make all of its policies and operations more consistent with environmental sustainability on a university-wide and school-by-school level. The committee will discuss and make recommendations as to how our faculty can use our teaching and research to increase awareness of and take actions consistent with environmental sustainability. It will make suggestions to the administration through the Senate as to actions and policies that could be developed to promote and increase sustainability on all of our campuses. The committee’s areas of examination will include teaching, research, and the operations of the University and each School in adopting the most pragmatic and advanced behaviors relating to our handling and use of energy, water, food, transportation and waste.
  • Academic Senate Committee on Development and Implementation of University Policies*
    The Committee on Development and Implementation of University Policies shall monitor and review, on its own initiative or as requested by the Senate or the Executive Board, any University policy, especially those that materially affect the primary work of the faculty or its role in governance of the University, such as in the operation of the faculty councils in the several schools and faculty participation in the review of deans and chairs. The committee shall pay special regard to the manner in which relevant policies originated, their rationales and content, and their implementation. In-depth studies of particular areas of University process shall only be carried out at the direction of the Executive Board. The committee shall also inform the Senate about the disposition of any requests or recommendations concerning University policies directed to the University Administration by the Senate.

Research

  • Conflict of Interest Review Committee
    The CIRC is charged with reviewing conflict of interest disclosures and formulating recommendations to manage, reduce, or eliminate conflicts of interest. The CIRC consists of faculty members appointed by the Provost’s office, a representative from the Office of compliance, a representative from the USC Stevens Center for Innovation (non-voting), a representative from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the Office for Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS), an attorney from the Office of General Counsel (non-voting), a representative from the Department of Contracts and Grants (non-voting), and such other representatives as may be determined by the CIRC.
  • Institutional Review Board (Health Sciences IRB and University Park IRB)
    The Institutional Review Board at the University of Southern California is charged with protecting the rights and welfare of human research subjects in research studies conducted at USC and elsewhere by USC faculty, staff, graduate or undergraduate students, regardless of funding or type by or through USC.
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
    The University of Southern California Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees USC’s animal programs, animal facilities, and policies ensuring appropriate care, ethical use, and humane treatment of animals.
  • USC Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (SCRO)
    The SCRO reviews, approves, and provides oversight over all issues related to the derivation and use of human pluripotent stem cells as defined by federal and state law.
  • Joint Academic Senate/ Provost Committee on Research
    The Committee on Research shall periodically review and make recommendations concerning policies and issues relating to the conduct and support of faculty research. This shall include, but not be limited to, services provided to scholars by the administrative units of the University. The Committee shall also provide liaison to the following University committees: Library Committee, Research Committee, and Computer Committee. Committee Members

Safety

  • Institutional Biosafety Committee
    The Institutional Biosafety Committee is responsible for enforcing policies and guidelines related to the use of all potentially hazardous biological agents including but not limited to infectious agents, human and non human primate materials (including established cell lines), known regulated carcinogens, select agents, recombinant DNA and studies involving human gene transfer. The committee is responsible for ensuring that research involving these agents is conducted in a manner that does not endanger the researcher, laboratory worker, human research subjects, the public or the environment.
  • Radiation Safety Committee (one for HSC and one for UPC)
    In accordance with state and federal regulations, the Radiation Safety Committee must evaluate all proposals for, and maintain surveillance over, all uses of radioactive materials.

Student Affairs

  • Oversight Committee on Athletic Academic Affairs (OCAAA)
    The committee provides the Provost with oversight and advice on matters related to academic support for student-athletes through the following functions:

    1. Reviews and advises on programs, operations, and policies of the Student Athlete Academic Services (SAAS).
    2. Reviews and advises on policies and practices designed to assure academic integrity in all academic-related matters for student-athletes.
    3. Reviews the academic performance of student-athletes, including progress to degree and graduation rates.
    4. Serves as a review board for student-athlete appeals affecting athletic eligibility.

    Committee Members

  • Student Behavior Appeals Panel
    The Student Behavior Appeals Panel serves the President through the Vice President for Student Affairs. All recommendations of the Student Behavior Appeals Panel are subject to review and possible modification by the Vice President for Student Affairs and, once approved, are final and binding upon all parties.The members of this panel are appointed by the President. Each appeal is reviewed by three members including at least one student and one faculty member. The panel is advised by an appointee of the Vice President for Student Affairs. The advisor is a non-voting member whenever the panel convenes.The Student Behavior Appeals Panel meets on a regular basis to review all appeals where academic sanctions and/or sanctions of expulsion, suspension, revocation of degree and revocation of admission are imposed.

Technology in Learning

  • Educational Technology Committee
    This committee advises Information Technology Services (ITS) leadership on strategic planning, policy guidelines, and support opportunities and challenges related to learning management systems (LMS). The committee also communicates its shared priorities to the USC academic community to improve LMS user experience and to ultimately increase use. The committee is comprised of up to eight faculty members from various academic units and ex-officio members representing ITS.
  • Joint Academic Senate/ Provost Committee on Information Services*
    The Committee on Information Services (CIS) is a joint advisory committee of the Academic Senate and Office of the Provost. The committee advises the chief information officer (CIO) and Academic Senate on matters related to federated information resources and technologies and on policies associated with the use of technology for scholarly work, teaching, learning, and academic administration. The CIO informs the committee of the current issues and challenges associated with these resources and endeavors.The CIS represents faculty interests associated with information technology use across the university, formally or informally identifies the faculty’s needs and concerns, and communicates recommendations back to the CIO and provost. The CIS also serves as a body that stimulates and guides information technology innovation within the university.Members are appointed jointly by the CIO and the Academic Senate, with the approval of the Provost, for a term of one year. The committee reports on its activities to the Academic Senate at least once a year.The CIS may establish subcommittees as needed. Subcommittees will be chaired by a member of CIS and may include faculty, students, or staff members who are not CIS members. Committee Members

Promotion and Tenure

  • Academic Senate Committee on Faculty Rights & Responsibilities*
    Each year the committee will establish from among its members a Panel on Collegial Problem-solving. This panel will be available for consultation, on a confidential basis if those concerned wish, and the informal resolution of disputes or other problems that may arise within departments, either between individuals and the department or among faculty colleagues, subject to a disclosure statement clearly indicating that the participants understand that legal advice is not being given. If attempts at informal resolution are unsuccessful, the panel may recommend formal mediation or, in extreme cases, with the assent of those involved, may refer the matter to the office of the Provost.
  • Joint Academic Senate/ Provost Committee on Deadlines and Leaves
    Unresolved questions concerning what prior service must or must not be counted, and other matters pertaining to the length of the probationary period, shall be directed to the Committee on Deadlines and Leaves for its review and recommendations to the President. This review may take place before the appointment is accepted, or on request thereafter. The Committee also gives its review and recommendations on requests to change a probationary deadline based on special circumstances.If an approved school guideline establishes an up-or-out deadline for RTPC promotion, and the faculty member does not accept a decision by the dean on stopping the clock, the Committee on Deadlines and Leaves gives its review and recommendations to the Provost. In such cases, the Committee will include RTPC faculty of the rank of associate professor or above, as well as tenured faculty.If there is an appeal as to the grant or denial of a sabbatical or other research leave, the Committee on Deadlines and Leaves gives its review and recommendations to the Provost. If the case involves a RTPC faculty member, the Committee will include RTPC faculty of the rank of associate professor or above, as well as tenured faculty.The committee consists of a chairman and additional members (usually six) named by the Executive Board, some of whom will be RTPC faculty who will serve in RTPC cases, and in addition members (usually two) who are vice/associate/assistant deans, named by the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs.Committee Members
  • Faculty Tenure & Privileges Appeals Committee
    The Committee on Faculty Tenure and Privileges Appeals is a standing University body. Its membership, appointed by the President from among persons nominated by the Academic Senate, is made up of at least 40 full-time tenured faculty, and at least four full-time RTPC faculty of the rank of Associate Professor or higher who serve only where the Handbook requires a RTPC faculty member. At least four committee members shall have law degrees and at least six other members shall have had prior service on a grievance panel. Nominations and appointments shall be at annual intervals for a three-year term. By agreeing to serve on the Committee on Faculty Tenure and Privileges Appeals, faculty members are making the commitment to be available to serve on grievance panels and will accept such requests to serve whenever possible.
  • University Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure (UCAPT)
    The University Committee on Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure (UCAPT) provides the Provost of the university with advice on the appointments and promotions of faculty at the ranks of associate professor and professor. Committee members hold the rank of full professor and have previous experience on school or division faculty promotion committees. UCAPT generally consists of at least six panels of five to eight faculty members in related disciplinary areas. UCAPT members are a rotating group of outstanding scholars, educators, and creative artists, diverse by field, intellectual approach, ethnicity, and gender. At the end of each academic year, the University makes public the names of UCAPT members from the past two years.
  • University Committee on RTPC Faculty Promotions
    For RTPC promotions, the University Committee on RTPC Faculty Promotions advises the President on appeals when deans have not agreed with the advice of faculty committees.The committee appoints ad hoc panels that include both tenured and RTPC faculty.
  • Academic Senate Committee on Mentoring*
    This committee shall initially work as a task force to design and implement a revised multi-layered, multi-pronged strategic plan for mentoring to be adopted across the university, building on the work of the Mellon Mentoring Forum, etc. The plan will be adaptable to the mentoring needs of each department or school. A mentoring philosophy based on the university’s strategic plan should be developed, so that all mentoring activities at USC align with that philosophy. The committee will develop an overall framework, based on mentoring research, reflecting 1) The different mentee populations to be targeted, 2) The relevant touch points at which mentoring should be implemented for each population, 3) The forms of mentoring that should occur, and 4) The various contexts in which mentoring should take place. The task force should also determine how mentoring will be embedded within institutional structures, how it will be incentivized, and how it will funded and supported. The plan should include mentor training, and a communications plan to create a culture of mentoring. The plan should make use of all existing successful mentoring programs on campus, as both inspiration for effective models, as well as resources to be better utilized across campus.  The committee shall then serve to oversee and make recommendations for continued enhancement of mentoring on campus.

*Information about these committees and their membership rosters is maintained by the Academic Senate, which is currently updating their website. A link to the most current information will be made available once provided by the Academic Senate.

Revised April 7, 2016