Having Led a Huge Boost in Both Endowment and Prestige, USC's President Set to Retire

<p>USC</a> President Steven B. Sample to step down in August -- latimes.com</p>


<p>"USC President Steven B. Sample, who dramatically boosted the university's academic prestige, financial resources and civic engagement during nearly 19 years as its leader, says he will step down from the post next summer.</p>

<p>Sample, who turns 69 this month, said he will end his presidency in August, allowing university trustees ample time to choose a new president for the 34,000-student campus near downtown Los Angeles."</p>

<p>"Numbers tell part of the story:</p>

<p>Since 1991, USC has climbed from 51st to 26th in U.S. News & World Report's rankings of U.S. research universities.</p>

<p>Its number of freshman applicants more than tripled, while the portion accepted dropped from 70% to an exclusive 24%. And the average SAT score of incoming freshmen rose 28%, to 2,068 this year out of a possible 2,400.</p>

<p>USC's endowment grew from $450 million to nearly $4 billion before the recession, then fell to about $3 billion. (The figure is still relatively low for a top-ranked research university with such a large student body.) On Sample's watch, USC received five gifts of at least $100 million; the largest, $175 million to the cinema school, was from the foundation of "Star Wars" director and USC alumnus George Lucas.</p>

<p>USC's international presence -- particularly in Asia -- grew as Sample helped start a consortium of Pacific Rim universities. USC became the U.S. campus with the most foreign students, a position it has retained in recent years, with about 7,000 in attendance last year."</p>

<p>And here's a little tidbit from the article that I was unaware of:</p>

<p>"A less public debate came during the period after the riots, he said, when Orange County partisans urged him to move the entire campus to the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.</p>

<p>"Any time anyone makes an offer, you have to think about it," he said. But the idea died because of Orange County's 1994 bankruptcy and the many advantages of Los Angeles. "It was a very right decision for us to stay in L.A," he said."</p>

<p>USC in Orange County - that would have been something.</p>