April 6, 2022


As many of you know, the university has embarked on a nationwide search for its next Department of Public Safety (DPS) Chief. In February, the search committee hosted a series of eight Community Input Sessions to gather views and opinions about the qualities and characteristics that should be prioritized when interviewing candidates. The sessions were attended by more than 200 staff, faculty, students, parents, and neighbors. Based on the input received, the search committee drafted a list of competencies and themes, which are now posted on the DPS Search page.

Since the Community Input Sessions concluded in February, the committee has been hard at work, screening and interviewing candidates based on the criteria it received. I’m very pleased to announce that from a pool of 36 talented and experienced leaders, two candidates clearly rose to the top of the field. The committee voted unanimously to advance both of them to the final stage of the search process.

Next steps

On April 15, the search committee will host its Finalist Community Input Sessions. The sessions will be held in person in the Annenberg Auditorium at Wallis Annenberg Hall. Each session will feature one of the two finalists, and participants will have the opportunity to interact with the finalists and ask questions. Your voices will play an integral part in helping us select USC’s next Department of Public Safety Chief and ensuring we achieve the ONE USC Safety Vision.

You can register for these sessions, and submit questions in advance, on our DPS Chief Search website:

  • Finalist #1: Friday, April 15, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Finalist #2: Friday, April 15, 4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

One USC Safety Vision

At the heart of our search is the ONE USC Safety Vision described in last year’s DPS Community Advisory Board reportThe ONE USC Safety Vision imagines a USC where everyone feels safe, respected, and protected from being a crime victim, while recognizing that we can only achieve that goal by addressing the diverse experiences and needs of all USC students, faculty, staff, and neighbors throughout USC’s spheres of influence.

USC’s new Chief of DPS will be expected not only to implement the One USC Safety Vision within the Department of Public Safety, but embrace a host of other key reforms detailed in the DPS Community Advisory Board report, including re-envisioning public safety, community care, alternatives to armed response, transparency, and accountability.

Thank you ahead of time for your consideration and valuable input.


Dr. Erroll G. Southers

Associate Senior Vice President, Safety & Risk Assurance

University of Southern California