Diversity & Inclusion

Provost’s Initiative on Fostering Our Diverse Community

A key priority of USC’s strategic plan is a commitment to “embracing the inclusive spirit,” cultivating an academic community enriched by diverse viewpoints.

Our office allocated a total of $50 million in new funds to match, dollar-for-dollar, funding that the schools employ towards the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As we have worked closely together, devoting significant resources, in our steadfast commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion across our university, it is heartening to see this initiative effect a meaningful impact. 

By 2022, the initial funds were fully committed. The fund was renewed by Dr. Folt with an additional $50 million allocation in summer 2022.


In his November 1, 2018 memo, Provost Quick outlined important new steps in USC’s ongoing efforts to foster diversity in our academic community. The first of these new initiatives is an ambitious joint program in which the Office of the Provost, working with the schools, will allocate a total of $50 million in new funds to match funding that schools employ towards the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • How will the $50 million incentive fund be spent?
    This program aims to proactively contend with the challenges facing us at the different stages of faculty recruitment – hiring and retaining faculty, both tenure-track and RTPC, as well as supporting postdoctoral fellows, our future faculty members.
  • How is the determination made for the diversity composition of faculty?
    Each school may have different goals based on the respective demographic compositions of the available labor market and incumbent faculty. A general aspirational guideline for most schools would be to align their faculty demographics with their graduate student populations, with the ultimate goal of having our faculty better reflect the populations they serve in their classrooms and clinics.
  • Who requests the funding from the new $50 million initiative to recruit and retain diverse tenured, tenure-track, and RTPC faculty? Can the faculty search committee make the request?
    The request should come directly through a school’s Dean or Dean of Faculty to the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs, Suzanne L. Wenzel.
  • What specifically should the request for hiring or retention funding include?
    In each proposal, the school must describe how the individual would contribute to/promote diversity in their field. For faculty hiring and retention, the school must make the case for designating the individual as extraordinary faculty. Schools may propose to request funds towards salary and/or start-up costs. The school should lay out the duration of the requested support, which may be up to five years. The proposal should include a memo that makes the case for Provost support under this initiative, a spreadsheet detailing the allocation of proposed funding over time, and the CV(s) of the candidate(s). Priority will be granted to those schools who have demonstrated progress in improving diversity and inclusion in the composition of their faculty.

For any questions, please contact Jonathan Wang at wangjona@usc.edu.


The University of Southern California has a strong history in promoting diversity among its outstanding faculty. To this end, the Provost has asked each school to appoint a faculty diversity recruitment liaison who will be included in the search committees of their respective schools and has special responsibility to ensure that qualified candidates from underrepresented groups are identified.


Last updated on April 2024