Message regarding report to the USC Office of Compliance

August 1, 2018

Dear Members of the USC Family:

I want to inform you about a disturbing and concerning situation. In July, I learned of alleged inappropriate financial transactions and agreements involving Marilyn Flynn, the former dean of the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, an elected official and an outside organization. I immediately brought this issue to the attention of the full Board of Trustees and we are working closely with senior leadership, including Acting President Michael Quick, to address it.

The transactions and agreements were reported in June by a member of University staff to the USC Office of Compliance, which immediately launched an investigation and escalated the matter to the University leadership. We are sincerely grateful that this individual chose to come forward, enabling us to take immediate and appropriate action.

The University disclosed this matter promptly to the United States Attorney’s Office and is cooperating with them. We were not able to disclose this matter to our community sooner in order to avoid jeopardizing any potential government investigation.

As a Board, we are steadfast in the determination that we will not tolerate unethical behavior at USC and people will be held accountable. While we must respect the government’s process, we will keep you updated on this matter to the extent we are able.

Meanwhile, we remain intensely focused on creating significant and sustainable changes at USC in partnership with all of you. I look forward to updating you on these actions and opportunities over the coming days and weeks.


Rick J. Caruso
USC Board of Trustees