University of Southern California

Industry Leader Harman Named first Widney Business Professor
Provost Notes Achievements in Storied Career
February 25, 2008 • by News at Marshall

LOS ANGELES -- February 25, 2008 - Dr. Sidney Harman, founder and chairman of audio-equipment giant Harman International Industries, has been named the first Judge Widney Professor of Business at the University of Southern California by school President Steven Sample.

"Sidney Harman has been an innovative and groundbreaking leader in business, technology and the arts throughout his distinguished career," said USC Provost C. L. Max Nikias. "The Widney professorship recognizes his extraordinary talents and contributions, while providing a new role for him to influence young scholars as they prepare to create the next great achievements in their fields."

The position is one of USC's most prestigious, named after university founder Judge Robert Maclay Widney, who organized the original board of trustees and secured land donations that became the campus. The appointment is university-wide, and Dr. Harman will lecture at a number of USC schools. Dr. Harman is chairman and founder of Harman International Industries, whose many electronics and audio-equipment brands include Harman Kardon, JBL, AKG Acoustics, Mark Levinson and Infinity.

He co-founded Harman Kardon, a pioneering company in the high-fidelity audio business, in 1952. "We're delighted to add Sidney Harman's experience, relationships and talents to the USC faculty in a more permanent fashion," said James G. Ellis, dean of USC Marshall. "He already has had a terrific impact on USC Marshall's students and faculty in many ways."

"We're delighted to add Sidney Harman's experience, relationships and talents to the USC faculty in a more permanent fashion," said James G. Ellis, dean of USC Marshall. "He already has had a terrific impact on USC Marshall's students and faculty in many ways."

In May 2005, Dr. Harman delivered the commencement address at the University's Annenberg School for Communication. Last spring, Dr. Harman was speaker at USC Marshall's MBA commencement ceremonies. Last fall, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by USC Marshall's Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and served as visiting professor and entrepreneur in residence with USC Marshall. He is a board member of USC's Leadership Institute, whose founding chairman is USC Marshall's University Professor of Business Warren Bennis, the noted writer and thinker on leadership.

As a business leader, Dr. Harman is particularly known for his company's Quality of Working Life programs, which have been the subject of numerous case studies at business schools. He is the co-author, with prominent pollster Daniel Yankelovich, of Starting With The People, published by Houghton Mifflin in June 1988, and the author of Mind Your Own Business, published by Currency/Doubleday in October 2003.

For three years, Dr. Harman was President of Friends World College, a worldwide experimental Quaker college. He is the founder and an active member of the Program on Technology, Public Policy and Human Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Dr. Harman serves on the Boards of Freedom House, The Aspen Institute, BENS (Business Executives for National Security) and The Harman Family Foundation. He is a member of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was the principal donor and sponsor of Washington DC's Harman Center for the Arts and its new Sidney Harman Hall.

A graduate of Baruch College of the City University of New York, Dr. Harman endowed that college's Writer-in-Residence program. He endowed a similar program in the arts at the Aspen Institute. Dr. Harman has been a trustee of the Martin Luther King Center for Social Change, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Public Agenda Foundation and Emory University's Carter Center.

Dr. Harman is married to U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, (D-California), chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.


About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.