Culture Change Starts Here
At USC, our six unifying values support our university’s mission and guide our behaviors – the way we engage with ourselves and our community – to create our Trojan culture. When we embrace these values together as faculty, staff, and students we build a culture that instills trust, reinforces ethical decision-making, and provides a strong foundation to live out our mission to develop human beings and society as a whole through the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit.
Changing our culture is about:
- Enhancing institutional trust
- Supporting open communication and respect
- Reinforcing ethical decision-making
- Fostering positive and diverse cultural perspectives
- Anchoring our behaviors in foundational guidelines that support our mission
Our Unifying Values
We do the right thing
Definition: Our words, decisions and actions align with and are guided by our values, honesty and ethical principles.
Connection to Mission: Our mission provides direction for every member of the USC community as we shape a bold future focused on academic excellence, research, caring for our patients, and exploration of artistic and athletic excellence. The purpose of USC, articulated by our mission, empowers every member of this community to match our values to our actions. For USC to be a leading voice in what universities can and should be, we must be known not just for what we do, but how we do it.
- We stand up for what is ethical, even if it is not easy
- We stand up for what is right, regardless of status or power
- We recognize and honor ethical behavior
- We seek advice when we experience uncertainty
- We do what we say we will do
- We speak and act honestly in our communication
We do NOT:
- We do not compromise our mission and values
- We do not cover up wrong-doing
- We do not tolerate inappropriate conduct
We bring our best selves
Definition: We strive to better ourselves as a learning community, our institution and society through assessment, reflection, learning, innovation, research and collaboration.
Connection to Mission: We constantly strive for excellence in serving our students, our patients and our communities. By confronting the status quo and learning from our successes and our challenges, we are active leaders in what is taught, thought and practiced locally and globally.
- We embrace innovation in the pursuit of our vision and mission
- We share and adopt best practices
- We seek continuous feedback and learn from our mistakes
- We collaborate to accomplish our goals
- We support rigorous and relevant learning, research and service
- We promote inclusive ways to contribute
- We seek partnerships with units, schools and the community
We do NOT:
- We do not promote unproductive competition
- We do not hoard knowledge, resources or relationships
- We do not focus on the easy choice
- We do not operate in secrecy
- We do not exclude individuals impacted by a decision
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We all belong
Definition: We challenge our community to engage differences as strengths, embrace the richness of our lived experiences, and leverage diversity, equity and inclusion to drive excellence in support of a welcoming community where all can thrive, and discrimination is not tolerated.
Connection to Mission: Our commitment to the development of human beings and society requires an unwavering commitment to fostering a community in which we solicit, embrace, and share diverse viewpoints. We are leaders in our field, a global institution in a global center. Building a generation of visionaries, innovators and creators requires expanding access and opportunity – embracing diversity in every sense of the word.
- We recognize DEI is a shared responsibility
- We value different experiences, cultures, identities, and perspectives
- We foster a sense of belonging
- We seek robust and respectful engagement with one another to benefit from diverse perspectives
- We courageously engage in uncomfortable conversations
- We dedicate resources, programs, individual and institutional support to ensure DEI is a foundational principle in everything we do
We do NOT:
- We do not allow stereotypes, biases and assumptions to create barriers to inclusion
- We do not remain silent when we witness discrimination, harassment, or retaliation
- We do not engage in conduct that intentionally harms another
We honor the whole person
Definition: We create a caring culture that fosters our ability to thrive in mind, body, and spirit as essential to the sustainable pursuit of USC’s mission.
Connection to Mission: The central mission of USC is the development of human beings and society through the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit. The wellbeing of our faculty, staff, students and our communities is essential to achieving our mission. To that end, we are committed to taking the necessary steps to care for each other and create an environment where everyone can thrive.
- We show care by treating each other with respect, empathy and understanding, without judgement
- We take action when concerned about a fellow Trojan by listening, and offering support
- We seek advice and reach out for help when needed
- We prioritize individual and community well-being when creating policies and practices in the workplace
- We support fellow Trojans in the pursuit of their goals and help them live by their values with meaning and purpose
We do NOT:
- We do not presume to know the lived experiences of others and what they need to support their own well-being
- We do not set unrealistic expectations that undermine well-being
We share openly and honestly
Definition: We actively listen and communicate in a clear, honest, timely and accessible manner and provide opportunities for safe, respectful dialogue and interaction.
Connection to Mission: Sharing openly and honestly is essential to achieving the mission at USC. Open communication enables trust and engagement with our diverse community, including our faculty, staff, students, patients, and those who partner with us to help us fulfill our mission. When trust is present, every member of our community is able to learn, lead, innovate and create.
- We are honest and authentic in sharing information, whether good or bad
- We respect confidentiality
- We actively listen and solicit dialogue
- We strive for consistent and timely communications
- We communicate with respect and cultural sensitivity
- We clearly state our vision and mission
- We leverage our strengths and share our knowledge to help bring up others
We do NOT:
- We do not bully or retaliate when concerns are expressed
- We do not hoard, withhold or distort information
- We do not accept blaming, judging, ignorance, bias
- We do not contradict the vision
- We do not violate confidentiality or privacy laws
We take responsibility
Definition: At all levels of the university, we set clear expectations and take responsibility for our actions, decisions, outcomes and consequences.
Connection to Mission: We live the value of accountability every day by adhering to the principles designated in our mission. The environment we create and the actions we take promote safety and trust. Our commitment to our core academic principles, to our code of ethics, and to each other enables us to enrich the human mind and spirit and lead by example both locally and globally.
- We are accountable to ourselves, those around us and to the community
- We follow through on promised actions
- We learn from and correct mistakes
- We address concerns without fear of retaliation
- We accept consequences for our actions and decisions
- Our leaders model accountability by taking responsibility for their outcomes and how they achieve them
We do NOT:
- We do not apply different standards based on power or status
- We do not blame others for our own mistakes
- We do not retaliate
- We do not cover-up our mistakes
- We do not avoid addressing problems