Experienced administrator David Wright has been selected as USC’s senior vice president for administration, USC interim President Wanda M. Austin and President-elect Carol L. Folt announced April 29.
Having served in the position on an interim basis since July, he will continue providing strategic oversight of administrative departments and services in support of the university’s academic mission. He reports directly to the office of the president.
“This is a key role on our senior leadership team, and our community will benefit greatly from Mr. Wright’s sound judgment, experience and institutional knowledge,” Austin said. “He has proven invaluable in keeping the everyday functions of the university running smoothly for our students, faculty, and staff, as well as our many guests. He leads with great integrity and intelligence.”
Wright’s responsibilities include management of public safety and emergency planning, real estate, student housing and dining, and parking and transportation, among other critical services. He also oversees operations at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, USC Bookstores and the USC Hotel.
“This job is really about serving and supporting our campus community,” he said. “I’m learning new things every day, and one of the most exciting things is I get to know people really well. I’ve made really great relationships over the past nine months, and that’s very rewarding.”
In addition to his administrative duties, Wright has served on the President’s Culture Commission, a group of senior leaders, staff and faculty members, and students tasked with strengthening campus culture and accountability.
Prior to his promotion, he served as associate senior vice president for administrative operations since 2014. In that role, he managed vital programs like campus security, environmental health and sustainability, fire safety and emergency planning.
Administrative leader has deep ties to USC
Wright joined USC in 2005 as controller of USC Bookstores. In 2007, he became director of finance and accounting for USC Auxiliary Services, which oversees hospitality, housing, transportation and other important functions.
He has additional experience as a budget administrator for Biola University, controller for WEA Manufacturing, planning manager for Disneyland Resort and senior consultant for Deloitte and Touche Consulting Group. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from USC and his MBA from UCLA.
Wright said his primary goals for the coming year include continuing to provide a high level of service to the university community and ensuring a smooth transition for Folt, who becomes USC’s 12th president on July 1.
“It’s pretty humbling to know that the university’s leaders have trusted me to take on this important position,” he said. “We’re all gearing up to support Dr. Folt and her goals as she comes on board.”
— Eric Lindberg