Jeffrey de Caen, Associate Dean of Operations, USC Thornton School of Music

Jeff de Caen

Jeffrey de Caen

Associate Dean of Operations

USC Thornton School of Music 

Jeffery de Caen has been diligently supporting USC’s Culture Journey since 2017, and has served as both the Co-Chair of the Working Group on University Culture, and as a Culture Council Member supporting our University President. We took a moment to ask him a few questions about our Unifying Values and the Culture Journey: 

What is your favorite part about the culture of USC?

My exposure to the gallery of amazing individuals that make up the USC community. I relish the opportunity and ability to dig past our daily transactional communications and understandings of each other and reach a more universal humanity, inquisitiveness, and caring that exists in each of us. 

What do the Unifying Values mean for USC in your opinion?

The Unifying Values make me hopeful. There is no single answer or quick fix, but there is a momentum towards awareness and willingness to change our culture. 40 percent participation in the values poll was the beginning of a gradual, positive snowball.

Why do you think it is important for members of the USC community to get involved in the Culture Journey?

I think we are starting a journey that’s reflective of the challenges facing society and higher education as a whole. I’m encouraged by the dedication of passionate people I interact with every day. Our Unifying Values, and the Culture Journey are creating and fostering opportunities for our community to speak, present concerns and solutions, and lead by example. 

What are you most looking forward to next on the Culture Journey?My hope is that USC’s pursuits can define what it means to be a university of the 21st century shaping lives, communities, and self. I envision the university —collectively as a community – appreciating the value and need to continue its culture journey. Understanding who we are as a university, how we operate, how we hold ourselves accountable, and how we lead the world in accepting and excelling at navigating the complexities of modern society is not a journey completed in a day.