To acknowledge that these are challenging times for higher education is to radically understate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the concurrent social and economic crises. Like all residential colleges and universities, USC has been subject to tremendous change. At Leventhal, we face these challenges from a position of strength, and we invite you to partner with us to positively impact more students, faculty, and the future of the school and our community.
Leventhal is an innovator in online learning with a track record of excellence. Marshall’s first foray into online learning was our now top- ranked Master of Business Taxation for Working Professionals in fall 2013. Our faculty created an online program that offers the same rigorous curriculum of the campus-based version, along with opportunities for interactivity and engagement. It was a great success and fueled further work that led to Marshall’s Online MBA, which achieved a top-five ranking within only a few years of its launch. Our online learning team is experienced, effective and passionate about the high-quality education that is currently being delivered and can be delivered widely across our programs this fall and beyond.
Leventhal students now have access to unique experiences and networks that otherwise would not have been possible. We continue to drive innovation as we work to leverage even more technology and resources to enrich the learning experience for our students. Students have been able to substantially receive an exceptional quality educational experience because students, staff and faculty at the Leventhal School have adjusted with speed, skill and dexterity. And we continue to persevere and grow exponentially. Some faculty have created new opportunities for small groups to resolve micro case studies. Many of our faculty have facilitated “virtual” presentations and individual engagement by senior executives and practitioners without geographical limitation. For example, students in Professor Rose Layton’s “Introduction to Audit and Assurance” course will learn about leadership experiences from Tim Stone, USC Leventhal graduate, as former CFO of Ford Motor Company during these extraordinary times as well as his prior experiences at Snap, Amazon, and other companies. They will understand more about the dynamics of an audit from both the auditor and auditee perspective.
Students are also benefiting from Marshall’s two brand-new courses: “If Not You, Who? The Future of Leadership” and “If Not Now, When? The Future of Capitalism”—both of these bring the very best of the School to help students not only understand the complex and rapidly changing world around us but also to develop their own strategies for contributing to a better future for us all. In these courses, students have the opportunity to hear from special guests including USC President Carol Folt and Executive Chairman of United Airlines, Marshall alumnus and USC trustee, Oscar Munoz, who was featured in conversation with Marshall’s Dean Geoff Garrett and the course leaders. These courses were made available to undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of major at USC.
At the same time that we face challenges from the pandemic and economic downturn, we are experiencing a historic movement against systemic racism.
Social justice is of central importance to USC and the Leventhal School. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive teaching, learning and working environment for all our students, faculty and staff that treats everyone with dignity and respect. We recognize our abiding need to do more to attract underrepresented groups to the ranks of our faculty and student body, and we are committed to expanding our efforts toward diversity, equity and inclusion.
Through one of our initiatives, the Leventhal Leadership Program, community college students who are excelling in their accounting courses are invited to USC to learn about professional opportunities available to those with an accounting education. We provide them with information on attending four-year schools with accounting curricula, with a special emphasis on attending the Leventhal School.
We are currently working to adapt this program and others to continue and enhance their effectiveness in attracting individuals to USC and the accounting profession.
Making a Financial Statement with Maximum Impact
Leventhal is determined to help our students weather the financial downturn. Many of our students have been adversely affected by the pandemic and need our financial help to continue their studies. We are grateful to see how the Leventhal family has answered the call by contributing generous support for our students and other community members via the USC Leventhal Fund.
Although we face a number of significant challenges at this time, everyone at Leventhal and Marshall are working hard to turn them into opportunities for great advances. We appreciate your help and support to take advantage of these opportunities.
Your gift, no matter the amount, will help the Leventhal School to provide the highest quality accounting education and research; promote diversity, equity and inclusion; and keep our students in the “classroom” during one of the most challenging years we have collectively faced in our lifetime. Out of adversity, we are creating advancement.
Thank you for maximizing the value of today’s Leventhal experience and creating a better tomorrow. Together, we will Fight On!