Culture Network Member Profile: Rob Yabut

Rod Yabut is the Interactive Marketing Manager for University Communications, and has been a valued member of our Culture Network. We asked him a few questions about our unifying value “Open Communication”. Take a look at what he had to say. 

  • What made you want to be part of the Culture Network?

As I’m sure it does to all our colleagues in the Culture Network, USC means a lot to me, and I want to be of service to its mission and support its role in higher education. Through USC, I became the first in my family to attain a master’s degree. To an immigrant family, this means a lot – visualizing one of your family members receiving a degree from a highly regarded institution and realizing the possibilities that come with education when just two generations ago, college was virtually impossible. This is me giving back.

  • This month we are highlighting the Unifying Value “Open Communication”. What does that value mean to you?

Open communication as a value means having honest and accessible relations with our colleagues and our student community. It means being able to trust and support one another. It means having differences in perspectives while able to continue to respect each other’s opinions.

  • What are some ways you practice/promote “Open Communication” in your work at USC?

Working for USC is a unique employment experience. You get a chance to connect and interact with different people in different aspects of their lives. In my work for USC, I always try to start projects by first setting an intention of what needs to be accomplished. I find that it works regardless of hierarchy. If I can gather feedback and work towards a shared intention, our team’s communication becomes more precise. I try my best to instill this with my direct reports, as well as urge colleagues to gather around a shared intention, so dialogue is much clearer, paving the way of accomplishing our work more efficiently.

  • What are your thoughts on how we can live out the value of “Open Communication” as a Trojan community?

Open communication to me means conducting affairs with honesty and transparency across an organization. But open communication, authentic open communication, within an organization can only happen if every member of that organization gives each other the same level of respect, regardless of stature, rank, or classification. If we give each other the same high level of respect, then we can build trust. It is only through trusting each other that authentic transparency in our community can be achieved. I believe that the USC community can get to a level of openness and transparency that satisfies everyone in it. We are, after all, a community of scholars that learn from each other through open dialogue. Each of us already practices this in some form; we now have to practice it consistently without predispositions.