University of Southern California

About USC

Elizabeth Garrett


Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Office of the Provost

Elizabeth Garrett was appointed provost and senior vice president for academic affairs on October 28, 2010. As the university’s second-ranking officer, she oversees the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences as well as the Keck School of Medicine of USC and 16 other professional schools, in addition to the divisions of student affairs, libraries, information technology services, research, student religious life and enrollment services. She also sits on the USC Health System Board. Garrett previously served as USC’s vice president for academic planning and budget.

As Provost, Garrett has directed substantial new efforts to hire transformative faculty members, including initiatives to recruit faculty in neuroscience, the humanities, and the social sciences, with the goal of catalyzing targeted fields of scholarship and invigorating USC’s research environment. She has also accelerated the recruitment of Provost Professors and created the Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars Program in the Humanities.  Under Garrett’s guidance, the USC Strategic Vision: Matching Deeds to Ambitions was developed over two years and adopted by the USC Board of Trustees in December 2011.  She was instrumental in the integration of the new Keck Hospitals of USC and the faculty practice plans into the university, which created an academic medical center on the Health Sciences Campus. Garrett is the Frances R. and John J. Duggan Professor in the USC Gould School of Law. In addition to this primary faculty appointment, she has joint appointments in USC Dornsife College, the USC Price School of Public Policy, and the USC Marshall School of Business, as well as a courtesy appointment in the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

In 2005 President George W. Bush appointed her to serve on the nine-member bipartisan Tax Reform Panel. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Initiative and Referendum Institute at USC, and the Internet2 Board, which aims to accelerate research, advance education, and improve the delivery of public services through innovative technologies.  From 2009-2013 Garrett served as one of five commissioners on the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the state’s independent political oversight agency.  She previously served as director of the USC-Caltech Center for the Study of Law and Politics.

Garrett’s primary scholarly interests are legislative process, direct democracy, the federal budget process, democratic institutions, statutory interpretation, administrative law and tax policy. The author of more than 50 articles, book chapters and essays, she is co-author of the nation’s most influential casebook on legislation and statutory interpretation, Cases and Materials on Legislation: Statutes and the Creation of Public Policy, now in its fifth edition, and co-editor of Statutory Interpretation Stories and Fiscal Challenges: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Budget Policy.

Before joining the faculty of USC, she was a professor of law at the University of Chicago, where she also served as deputy dean for academic affairs, and she has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the University of Virginia Law School, Central European University in Budapest, and the Interdisciplinary Center Law School in Israel. Before entering academics, she clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall on the U.S. Supreme Court, and she served as legal counsel and legislative director for Senator David L. Boren (D-Okla.).  She received her B.A. in History with special distinction from the University of Oklahoma and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Garrett is a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Harold Lasswell Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, having been elected to membership in 2008.

On September 30, 2014, Cornell University announced that Elizabeth Garrett has been named as the 13th president of Cornell, set to assume those responsibilities as of July 1, 2015. She is on sabbatical leave from USC through June 30 as she prepares to transition to her new role.

Senior Staff

Michael Quick
Interim Provost as of December 1, 2014

Nelson Eugene Bickers
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs

Ainsley Carry
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Robert A. Cooper
Vice Provost for Academic Operations and Strategy

Randolph Hall
Vice President of Research

Katharine Harrington
Vice President of Admissions and Planning

Martin Levine
Vice Provost and Senior Advisor to the Provost

Anthony Bailey
Vice Provost for Global Initiatives

Beth Meyerowitz
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Sally (Sarah) Pratt
Vice Provost for Graduate Programs

Peter M. Siegel
Vice Provost for Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer

Varun Soni
Dean of Religious Life

Hortensia Amaro
Associate Vice Provost for Community Research Initiatives

Last updated: 12/1/2014