Dean Search for the USC Rossier School of Education

On behalf of President Folt, I am writing to announce the appointment of a search committee to identify and recruit outstanding candidates for the next dean of the USC Rossier School of Education. As you know, Karen Gallagher has elected to step down as dean at the end of the academic year, having led the school through a number of notable achievements, including transforming degree programs and forming strong education partnerships with the community. John Matsusaka, Interim Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, and Willow Bay, Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, will co-chair the advisory search committee. The committee will also include eminent professors; a roster accompanies this memorandum. Supporting the committee and their work will be Robin Romans, Associate Vice Provost.

The USC Rossier School of Education has long been one of the university’s flagships. Celebrating its centennial this fall, the school has a proud history of growth and innovation. USC Rossier has established a unique reputation as an influential leader in both policy and practice. Its standing among its peers is a testament to the school’s nationally recognized faculty and its commitment to preparing students to face contemporary challenges in the field. Over the years USC Rossier has continually adapted to the changing landscape of education, establishing interdisciplinary research centers, offering pioneering programs such as the online Master of Arts in Teaching degree in 2009—the first of its kind at a major research university—and groundbreaking projects including the immensely successful Hybrid High School and Ednovate. Since its historic naming gift from Barbara J. and Roger W. Rossier in 1998, USC Rossier has further distinguished itself both locally and nationally, and has dedicated itself to expanding access and opportunity to underserved and underrepresented students, particularly in urban settings.

Given USC Rossier’s many accomplishments, we view the appointment of our next dean as critical for the university. This search has my full attention and its successful, timely completion is a high priority for me, as it is for the university. I am also pleased to announce that I have a created a special group of advisors who represent important Rossier constituencies that I will consult throughout the search. These advisors include Reveta Bowers, retired head of School, Center for Early Education in Los Angeles and chair of the Rossier Board of Councilors; Ira Krinsky, consultant at Korn/Ferry International and member of the Board of Councilors; Teri Adams, Associate Dean of Administration and Finance; and Jessica Gibson, Assistant Dean of Student Services. I want to thank them in advance for their guidance during the process. We have engaged WittKieffer, the executive search firm, to assist us; Robin Mamlet is our primary consultant from the firm.

As the search committee moves forward, the same five rules of engagement will guide its work as have been observed in other dean searches: (1) The final choice of the dean is made by the president. (2) During the entire process, there will be no votes by any group or constituency. (3) Those who are asked to interview the final candidates will be invited to send their comments regarding the strengths and possible weaknesses of the final candidates to me directly and confidentially. (4) There will be no final vote within the advisory search committee. (5) All nominations will come before the advisory search committee without filtering.

On behalf of the search committee, I want to encourage your participation in identifying and recruiting the next dean of the USC Rossier School of Education. In the near future, we will provide information about the ways you can provide your nominations and input, and you can view the dean search website here: We will keep you informed of our progress.

Elizabeth A. Graddy
Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs