USC announces new senior VP for administration

David Wright, who was appointed senior vice president for administration Monday, will help improve issues regarding public safety, real estate planning and development, student dining and housing and parking and transportation on campus. (Photo courtesy of Gus Ruelas)

USC administrator David Wright will fill the position of Senior Vice President for Administration, following his role as the Interim Senior VP for Administration, Interim President Wanda Austin announced in a memo to the University Monday.

According to the memo, Wright, who has worked in the interim position since last July, will work to improve areas on campus such as public safety, real estate planning and development, student dining and housing, parking and transportation. He will also oversee operations at the USC Bookstores, the USC Hotel and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Wright said his primary goal is to help President-elect Carol Folt transition into her new leadership role when she assumes the position July 1.

“We are here to support the operations of the University and support our new president, so Dr. Folt when she comes in will establish her team,” he said. “We will be there as an operational group to support her goals, support the mission and the vision for what she lays out in the coming years.”  

Austin wrote that Wright’s experience will help him to improve the University in this position.

“This is a key role in our senior leadership, and our community will benefit greatly from Mr. Wright’s sound judgment, experience and institutional knowledge,” Austin wrote.

In 2014, Wright served as the associate senior vice president for administrative operations and helped oversee programs related to security, sustainability and emergency planning. He joined USC in 2005 with USC Bookstores and soon after became the director of finance and accounting for USC Auxiliary Services.

While working in the interim position, Wright said he helped recruit a new vice president of human resources, negotiate the Coliseum renovations and support food pantry initiatives on campus, among other tasks.

“During his interim period, he continued to perform these duties and served on the President’s Culture Commission, which stands at the fore of efforts to improve campus culture and accountability,” Austin wrote. “He is already extremely familiar with our efforts to improve our campus culture and will work closely with members of our community to effect change.”

Wright steps into his role following the announcement that several key administrators are departing from their positions at the University. Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Michael Quick, Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs and Professionalism Carol Mauch Amir will retire June 30. Vice President of Student Affairs Ainsley Carry left office April 1.

Wright said he has met with students, staff and faculty and understands the campus community’s concerns as the University undergoes a number of leadership changes. He said he is excited to work with Folt in improving USC once she officially steps into her role.

“I see the dedication of the leadership and teams and the hard work going on, so the exciting part is being able to share that with Dr. Folt and to be able to partner with her on designing the organization to support the University in a better way,” he said.