“The arts and humanities are our teachers, helping us discern what it is to be truly human and to live together in human society. They illumine our way.”—President C. L. Max Nikias
The central mission of the University of Southern California is the development of human beings and society as a whole through the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit. This mission is grounded in the university’s core values. USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative fulfills the university’s mission and communicates USC’s core values to students, helping our students become truly global citizens.
USC’s core values, as identified in the University Strategic Plan:
- Free inquiry, an institutional commitment to the search for truth that must be defended against any external or internal threats.
- The values of the Trojan Family, standards which have long defined USC’s interactions with its stakeholders and which will continue to guide us in the future. These standards include: caring and respect for one another as individuals; appreciation of diversity; team spirit; strong alumni networks; and a commitment to service.
- A commitment to informed risk taking within a culture of targeted experimentation that can help USC prepare for an uncertain future. By crafting experiments related to our vision and strategic capabilities, we will learn what works in a changing world. Such experiments will be most beneficial if we can learn to appreciate the fact that not all attempts at innovation will succeed, and that much can be learned from so-called useful failures.
- A commitment to ethical conduct as spelled out in USC’s Code of Ethics.
These values define our community, sustain a sense of cohesiveness, and connect us to our past and to our future. They will guide us in making difficult and sometimes risky decisions, and will help us make choices that preserve USC’s integrity, community, and quality.