Carol Folt Named President of USC
Carol Folt, the recently departed chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the past interim president of Dartmouth College, has been named the University of Southern California’s next president. Folt will assume office July 1st. She will be the first female president in the 139 year history of USC. Unsurprisingly to us, Folt was the unanimous selection of the USC search committee, which interviewed over 100 candidates for the position. As USC’s board chairman, Rick Caruso said, Folt is “the right leader at the right time.” Folt of course will assume office in the wake of several scandals the university has faced in recent years, including the recent college admissions scandal. But as our regular readers may remember, Folt assumed the chancellorship at UNC in the wake of a major academic scandal involving athletes.
“The Right Leader at the Right Time”
As reports Harriet Ryan, Matt Hamilton, and Hailey Branson-Potts for “The Los Angeles Times” in a piece aptly entitled “USC selects Carol Folt as new president as university tries to move past scandals,” “The USC job is a return to California for Folt. An environmental scientist raised in Ohio, she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UC Santa Barbara and a doctorate from UC Davis. She joined the Dartmouth faculty in 1983 and rose to become provost and interim president before leaving for North Carolina. In USC, Folt is returning to a private institution, governed not by political appointees but by some of the Pacific Rim’s most wealthy and powerful people…With its 47,000 students, USC is significantly larger than the University of North Carolina, which has an enrollment of about 30,000 students, according to U.S. News & World Report. Folt’s appointment comes as USC is grappling with the federal charges of college admissions cheating in which the university played a central role. Of the 32 parents named in the FBI affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, more than half stand accused of conspiring to bribe their way into USC.”
We have no doubt that Carol Folt, who worked at Dartmouth College for three decades and was deserving of being named the school’s president after her tenure as its interim leader, is the right leader to usher the University of Southern California into a scandal-less age. Her final act as UNC’s chancellor — to remove a confederate statue — was a defining moment in her long career in academia. But we suspect it will be one of many by the end of her tenure at USC. Congratulations to Carol Folt — and to the University of Southern California — on this appointment.
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