USC names Carol Folt, ex-UNC chancellor, as its next president

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- USC on Wednesday announced its new president will be Carol L. Folt, a former chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Folt, who is scheduled to take office on July 1, will be USC's 12th president and the first woman to lead the university. She will take over from Wanda Austin, who has served as interim president since August, when President C.L. Max Nikias stepped down.

"The lifeblood of every great university is its students, faculty, staff and students, and I am so looking forward to meeting with you and learning more about you,'' Folt said in a statement. "The opportunities and potential I see ahead for USC are extraordinary."

Folt's appointment as president comes as USC contends with the fallout from sexual misconduct allegations against a former campus gynecologist, as well as a massive college bribery scheme. The school is one of several that are trying to decide what to do about students who may have been admitted through fraud.

"Of course, I also am aware that our community is deeply troubled by a number of immediate challenges," Folt said. "I assure you that we will meet these challenges together, directly, decisively and with honesty and candor. This is a moment of responsibility and opportunity, and we will seize them both."

USC announced Monday it had placed holds on an undisclosed number of students, meaning they can't register for classes or obtain transcripts until their cases are reviewed. After a review, USC officials said they would take appropriate action, "up to revoking admission or expulsion."

"As I have come to know Dr. Folt and how she thinks, it is clear that USC has chosen a brilliant, principled leader with clarity of purpose and integrity to lead the university forward and upward," said Rick Caruso, chair of the USC Board of Trustees, which unanimously approved the selection of Folt on Wednesday morning.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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