Andrew T. Guzman named USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs

Andrew T. Guzman has served as dean of the USC Gould School of Law since 2015. (Photo/Larissa Puro)


Andrew T. Guzman named USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs

The international law and economics expert and dean of the USC Gould School of Law will assume his new duties on July 1.

April 04, 2023 By Ted B. Kissell

Andrew T. Guzman, noted scholar of international law and economics and current dean of the USC Gould School of Law, has been named USC’s next provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, USC President Carol L. Folt announced Tuesday.

As provost, Guzman will become USC’s second highest-ranking official and the chief academic officer, responsible for ensuring the university’s excellence in teaching, research and scholarship. He will hold the Shelly and Ofer Nemirovsky Provost’s Chair.

“Andrew will be a terrific partner in supporting our outstanding faculty, staff and students,” Folt said. “He brings a spirit of compassion, a love of innovation and a depth of experience to his new role. He and I are looking forward to working together to achieve our grandest goals.”

Andrew will be a terrific partner in supporting our outstanding faculty, staff and students.

Carol L. Folt, USC president

Guzman will assume his new duties on July 1, succeeding interim Provost Elizabeth Graddy, who has served in that position since Jan. 1. He replaces Charles Zukoski, who stepped down in December.

“Carol has articulated a clear vision for USC through her moonshots — the health enterprise, advanced computing, academic excellence and athletic excellence,” Guzman said. “Academic excellence is at the center of the provost’s job, and Carol’s vision of putting both students and faculty at the center of our academic efforts resonates with me — as well as her emphasis on sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion. This is the right portfolio for the best universities in the country to be focused on.”

New USC provost: Dean at USC Gould since 2015

Guzman joined USC Gould in 2015 as dean, professor of law and political science, and Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law. Previously, he was a law professor at the UC Berkeley School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, starting in 1998 and served as associate dean for international and advanced programs from 2008 to 2015.

A noted expert in international law and economics, Guzman has written extensively on international trade, international regulatory matters, foreign direct investment and public international law. A prolific writer, Guzman has authored countless articles and several books, with his sixth book, Goldilocks Governance: Understanding International Soft Law, soon to be published by Oxford University Press.

The Canadian-born Guzman says that his interest in international systems began with his multicultural upbringing. “My father was Dominican, and when I would visit family in the Dominican Republic, I would see poverty that I didn’t see in Canada,” he said. “So, I became very interested in international issues and global poverty, and that’s been a thread that has continued throughout my career.”

After graduating from the University of Toronto, he went on to earn his doctorate in economics from Harvard University and his law degree from Harvard Law School. His fascination with the complexities of global law drew him to academia rather than private practice shortly after he completed law school: He held visiting faculty positions at several institutions in the United States, Canada and Europe before joining UC Berkeley.

Dynamic changes at law school under new USC provost

Guzman’s stint as dean of USC Gould has seen dynamic change at the school. He introduced a new bachelor’s degree in legal studies, one of only a handful of degrees of its kind nationwide. He expanded clinical learning, including the new Housing Law and Policy Clinic, and oversaw the establishment of the Center for Transnational Law and Business.

In support of students from all backgrounds, he launched the C. David Molina First Generation Professionals Program, one of the nation’s first administratively run support programs of its kind. He also appointed the law school’s first assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion.

There are lot of reasons DEI is important. … There’s very strong evidence that groups make better decisions when those groups are diverse.

Andrew T. Guzman, new USC provost

“There are lot of reasons DEI is important,” he said. “The one that energizes me is: There’s very strong evidence that groups make better decisions when those groups are diverse. So, I’ve always tried to build diverse teams and diverse student populations. In our role of producing the leaders of tomorrow, we’d better be graduating a class that is deeply diverse, deeply other-regarding and deeply able to navigate the multicultural reality of our country.”

Guzman has also served as interim dean of USC Libraries since July 2022; in Folt’s announcement of Guzman’s appointment as provost, the president also noted that Marje Schuetze-Coburn, an associate dean at USC Libraries, will be taking on the duties of interim dean there. Professor Franita Tolson will become interim dean of USC Gould.

As he prepares to move into his new position, Guzman says that he’s looking forward to working with Folt, the deans and the rest of the USC community to build projects that will have enduring value to the university.

“I believe higher education is the real engine of success in our society,” Guzman said. “The opportunity to have this leadership position at an institution that has the scale, scope and excellence of USC is incredibly exciting.”

More than 73 individuals were evaluated as part of the provost search process. The search committee, which was made up of trustees, faculty, staff and students and chaired by University Professor Gaurav Sukhatme of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, showed “great dedication and care throughout the process,” Folt said in her letter.