Campus Climate Committee


The Campus Climate Committee identifies, and shares with the Senate, effective approaches to cultivating a culture of equity, inclusivity, and respect that enhance the success of all faculty 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 and the Provost’s Diversity Committee. This committee will work with the Senate Executive Board 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; how to achieve more gender equity in STEM fields; or how to help faculty to have difficult dialogues about culture in the classroom.

Meetings: Contact committee chair for the date/locations of the committee meetings.

Specific Charge for 2019-2020 Academic Year

The Campus Climate Committee was charged with identifying and recommending best practices around the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty. In order to approach this in a more systematic way, we began by conducting a broad review of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts selected from top 25 universities as identified by US News and World Report rankings as well as other institutions recommended by committee members for their work around DEI.

In our initial review, we identified a priori themes (codes) that guided our document analysis. They included: Data transparency, strategic plan around DEI, initiatives around hiring and retaining diverse faculty, existence of a chief diversity officer, curriculum, terminology.

Our preliminary review of selected institutions was helpful and eye-opening in discovering what our peer institutions are doing around DEI work and how we might learn from them.  In our year-end report we plan to synthesize this information into formal observations and recommendations for how we might enhance our own efforts around DEI at USC.


Artineh Samkian (C0-Chair) –

Helen Choi (Co-Chair) –

Committee members

  • Helen Choi (Co-Chair),, Viterbi
  • Chantelle Collins,, Occupational Therapy/Ostrow School of Dentistry
  • Charles Davis,, Rossier School
  • Carlos Delgado,, Dornsife College/Writing Program
  • Jesus Dominguez,, Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy, Ostrow School of Dentistry
  • Cindy Herrington,, Keck School
  • Elahe Nezami,, Keck School
  • Dan Pecchenino,, Dornsife College/Writing Program
  • Artineh Samkian (Co-Chair),, Rossier School
  • Holly Willis,, Cinematic Arts


Spring 2019 Campus Climate Presentation and Lunch

Photos by Artineh Samkian