The provost initiative to address the wicked problem of homelessness launched in spring 2016 to define the university’s unique contribution in relation to significant efforts from government, non-profit and business organizations across the region. Working with a steering committee of twelve university deans, USC’s programs and research for real-world impact with our community partners provide leverage in five strategic areas:

  • Policy, Service System, and Environmental Change
  • Promote Research/Technical Innovation
  • Respond to USC Student Needs
  • Pipeline Development to Build Prepared Workforce
  • Using our Big Voice to Influence Community Support


The Deans Steering Committee has approved the following goals for the USC Initiative to Eliminate Homelessness:

  • Policy, Service System, and Environmental Change
  • Promote Research/Technical Innovation
  • Respond to USC Student Needs
  • Pipeline Development to Build Prepared Workforce
  • Using our Big Voice to Influence Community Support

Research, Innovation, & Leadership Development

Activities to conduct research and provide leadership on behalf of regional homelessness.

  • USC aims to further research ideas and innovations that have potential to be implemented at the university or adopted by the community in areas of housing design, housing development policy, service collaboration, and service models. Examples include:
    • Explore and identify potential funding opportunities to support the housing design project offered through the School of Architecture Design Lab to develop affordable permanent housing
    • In collaboration with the Lusk Real Estate Center and Price Center for Social Innovation, identify boundaries that restrict increased housing supply along with new models of service, finance, and construction
    • Identify and apply metrics to measure the impact of these actions
  • USC plans to enhance students’ training regarding job placement in an effort to meet current and future workforce needs for special skills to help reduce homelessness.
    • Expanded internships, research projects, and courses related to topic, including such special projects as a collaboration between social work and law and a Street Medicine Program
    • Job Recruitment on campus to place students into open positions focused on serving the homeless
  • Our university endeavors to build connections between housed and homeless persons by utilizing resources from USC’s creative arts programs.
    • Collaborate with USC arts, music, dance, cinema, and communications faculty/students and community members to create visual and experiential programs that increase compassionate responses to homelessness
    • Identify and apply metrics to measure the impact of these action
  • USC strives to effectively respond to USC student hunger and homelessness with an innovative model that can inform higher education throughout the region.
    • Develop a university approach, that strengthens the campus community toward greater inclusion, support, and options for students with basic need challenges, and create preventive education to reduce food and housing insecurity.


Avishai Sadan, Dean Herman J. Ostrow School of Dentistry, Co-Chair

Avishai Sadan was appointed dean of the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC in August 2009. He also holds the G. Donald and Marian James Montgomery Dean’s Chair in Dentistry. Read full bio...

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry

Catherine Quinlan, Dean USC Libraries, Co-Chair

Catherine Quinlan was appointed dean of the USC Libraries on August 1, 2007, and is the inaugural holder of the Valerie and Ronald Sugar Dean’s Chair, endowed and named by USC Trustee Ronald Sugar and his wife Valerie (MS ’72), a graduate of USC’s former library science program.  Read full bio...

USC Libraries

Willow Bay, Dean Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism

Willow Bay was appointed dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and holder of the Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication in July 2017. A veteran broadcast journalist and a leader in digital communication, Bay was previously the director of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism (2014–17). Read full bio...

USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Jim Burklo, Senior Associate Dean, Office of Religious Life

Reverend Burklo received his B.S. in Social Relations from UC Riverside, his M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and his ministerial ordination from the United Church of Christ. He teaches a course in Public Policy at USC’s graduate School of Social Work, and a course in the Arts of Service at the USC Keck School of Medicine. Read full bio...

USC Office of Religious Life

John Clapp, Interim Dean, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

JOHN D. CLAPP is interim dean and a professor at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California. Clapp is known internationally for his research and translational work in the field of alcohol problem prevention. A fellow in the American Academy of Health Behavior... Read full bio...

USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Milton Curry, Dean School of Architecture

Milton S. F. Curry is Dean and Professor at the University of Southern California School of Architecture and holds the Della & Harry MacDonald Dean’s Chair in Architecture, positions he has held since July 2017. Dean Curry obtained his Master in Architecture post-professional degree with distinction from Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1992, and his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University in 1988. Read full bio...

USC School of Architecture

Karen Symms Gallagher, Dean Rossier School of Education

Under her leadership, the school has risen to #10 among all graduate schools of education in the country according to U.S.News & World Report's national rankings. USC Rossier’s highly innovative master’s and doctoral programs prepare leaders to achieve educational equity through practice, research and policy. Read full bio...

USC Rossier School of Education

Jack Knott, Dean Sol Price School of Public Policy

Dean Knott is a leading scholar in the fields of political institutions and public policy, and is a past president of NASPAA, the international association of schools of public affairs. He has published three books, including Reforming Bureaucracy: The Politics of Institutional Choice, and numerous journal articles and book chapters. In addition, he earned fellowships from the Russell Sage Foundation, the International Institute of Management in Berlin, and he served as a consultant to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Read full bio...

USC Price School of Public Policy

Amber D. Miller, Dean of USC Dornsife

Amber D. Miller is the 22nd dean of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. She holds the Anna H. Bing Dean’s Chair and a faculty appointment in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Read full bio...

USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Haven Lin-Kirk, Dean Roski School of Art and Design

Lin-Kirk has been involved in design education for more than 20 years. In addition to being the dean of USC Roski and on the faculty at the school, she frequently lectures and conducts workshops at a number of Southern California organizations including Scripps College, Loyola Marymount University, University of California, Los Angeles, Architecture + Design Museum, and Otis College of Art and Design, among others. Professionally, she is an award-winning designer with a list of clients includes the Los Angeles Times, Claim Jumpers, Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery, Pennzoil, Quark Xpress, Adobe, NASCAR, Random House E-books, and Toyota Motor Corporation. Read full bio...

USC Roski School of Art and Design

Laura Mosqueda, Dean Keck School of Medicine of USC

Laura Mosqueda, MD was appointed Interim Dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC on October 6, 2017. Prior to her appointment as Interim Dean, Dr. Mosqueda, a Professor of Family Medicine and Geriatrics and a Professor at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, served as Chair of Family Medicine and Associate Dean of Primary Care. Before coming to the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Dr. Mosqueda worked at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine for fourteen years. Starting as the director of the Program in Geriatrics, she occupied the Ronald W Reagan Endowed Chair in Geriatrics and later served as the Chair of Family Medicine and Associate Dean of Primary Care. Read full bio...

Keck School of Medicine of USC

Erica Muhl, Dean Iovine and Young Academy of Arts, Technology, and Business Innovation

In May of 2013, Erica Muhl was appointed as founding director of the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation, which welcomed its first freshman class in fall 2014. Simultaneously, she served as dean of the USC Roski School of Art and Design, a position she held from September 2012 through June 2018. Prior to joining the Roski School, Muhl served as associate dean of the USC Thornton School of Music, where she has been Professor of Composition with tenure since 1991. She currently holds a dual appointment as Professor of Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation and Professor of Composition at the University of Southern California. Read full bio...

USC Iovine and Young Academy