C. L. Max Nikias
C. L. Max Nikias is the eleventh president of the University of Southern California. He holds the Robert C. Packard President’s Chair and the Malcolm R. Currie Chair in Technology and the Humanities, and chairs the USC Hospitals Governing Board. He has been at USC since 1991, as a professor, director of national research centers, dean, provost, and now president. He holds faculty appointments in both electrical engineering and the classics. Additionally, he leads freshman micro-seminars each fall on ancient Athenian democracy and drama.
Nikias is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among numerous other honors, he has received the IEEE Simon Ramo Medal, the State University of New York at Buffalo’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.
Nikias has articulated a vision and set a strategy for USC to attain undisputed, elite status as a global research university. The Chronicle of Higher Education has called him a “prodigious fundraiser.” His first two years as president were highlighted by eight transformative gifts that allowed USC to raise an unprecedented total of $2 billion.
In recognition of his efforts to renew USC’s athletics heritage, The New York Times selected Nikias as one of a small number of national figures “who make sports’ little corner of the world a better place.”