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  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are foundational to the Marshall School of Business’s overall mission of empowering students and business leaders to incubate transformational ideas and to translate them into world-changing impact.

You have to be able to hear every voice. In order to lead a diverse workforce and take advantage of that diversity, you need to create an inclusive culture where everyone truly belongs.

Sarah Townsend

Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Associate Professor of Management and Organization

Marshall Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Office of DEI lays the groundwork for this mission by partnering with students, staff, faculty, and alumni to ensure that we have a diverse community in which all members are valued, heard, and empowered to create positive change.

We engage in work in two overarching areas, while deliberately promoting fair practices and policies to ensure equitable treatment:

  • · Undergraduate student recruitment. In partnership with admissions and various individual faculty, the Marshall and Leventhal schools have several initiatives to build a more diverse and inclusive student body by increasing the number of high achieving undergraduate students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. These programs provide potential students with resources and information on applying to USC and prepare them for success and ultimately expands access to business and accounting professions.

    · Master’s and doctoral student recruitment. Working with other academic units across USC as well as outside organizations (including THE CONSORTIUM and THE Ph.D. PROJECT), we work to increase the visibility and position of Marshall as an inclusive academic community. Our goal is to reduce the significant underrepresentation of Black, Latinx/e, and Native Americans in graduate business education and the ranks of global management across industries.

    · The Marshall/Leventhal Scholars Program. The program, which began in 2022, provides a pathway for Marshall tenure-granting departments to hire high-potential candidates for postdoctoral or visiting professor positions. Ideal candidates add to the diversity of our faculty through their personal experiences/backgrounds or their commitment to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in business education and research.

    · Strategic faculty hiring. Following the direction of the office of USC’s Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, we are implementing new processes to increase utilization of the resources available to departments and hiring committees.

The Office of DEI is guided in this work by the values of accountability, acknowledgment, belonging, bravery, collaboration, empathy, learning and open communication. We strive to enact these values in the following ways: educating, empowering, engaging, supporting, and celebrating.


There are nearly 40 Marshall Graduate Students Organizations, which include Diversity & Affinity organizations that provide a means of support, resources, collaboration, professional development, social networking and advocacy opportunities.


Marshall Undergraduate Diversity & Affinity organizations provide opportunities to engage with one another around shared interests and identities.



“The Tenure Project conference in Seattle was a transformative experience. It was the first time I have seen business academics from multiple disciplines and institutions work together with commitment towards a common goal — enriching the academy with diverse scholars who are tenured. Witnessing Dean Garrett and Vice Dean Rindova participate in the conference and represent USC Marshall’s support of that objective made the experience all the more inspiring.”

Kalinda Ukanwa, Assistant Professor of Marketing


  • The ATHENA Summit brings together women entrepreneurs, founders, and investors for a day of collaborative action, support, and networking. Panels and keynote speakers will inspire participants, while winners of the ATHENA Pitch Competition will be announced. Check back for more information and registration.


The Marshall Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI) Fellows consist of Marshall faculty and staff who demonstrate a commitment to enhancing and expanding Marshall's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. ODEI Fellows serve as advocates and community leaders and provide vision and partnership on strategies and initiatives that highlight diverse, equitable and inclusive perspectives, practices, and policies - thereby expanding capacity and impact throughout Marshall and USC.