Stressing the importance of delivering quality education to the next generation of students and the important role of the nation’s top research institutions, USC  President C.L. Max Nikias delivered his 5th annual address to health sciences faculty members on Feb. 17 in Aresty Auditorium at USC Norris.

“Faculty and students determine our success,” Nikias said during the 30-minute speech delivered in front of about 250 faculty members. “Your accomplishments define us and will continue to distinguish us.”

Nikias was introduced by John Silvester, president of the USC Academic Senate. He  spoke about the increased competition among elite research universities, the importance of delivering high-quality education and the impact of the Campaign for the University of Southern California — an unprecedented $6 billion fundraising effort. The campaign recently topped the $4 billion mark.

Nikias also encouraged faculty to never be complacent in their work by stressing the importance of self-evaluation as USC continues to evolve and grow.

“We owe it to ourselves and our nation to evaluate ourselves honestly. We must strive for greater efficiency. We must never be complacent,” Nikias said.

“A university should be nothing short of the great crucible in which our freedom to think — and therefore our ability to change the world — are forged,” he said. “It should be nothing less than a life-giving and light-giving form of community for our students.”

— Douglas Morino