We bring our best selves

USC Office of Culture, Ethics and Compliance


USC will have an outstanding ethics and compliance program that acts to support a culture where making decisions consistent with unifying values, doing the right thing, and complying with policies, laws and regulations are the expected and everyday courses of action.

Elements of an Effective Compliance Program

The following principles have been recognized as important elements for an effective compliance program:

  • Effective compliance oversight, including the designation of a compliance officer to oversee compliance efforts;
  • Periodic risk assessments;
  • Policies and procedures;
  • training and education;
  • Internal monitoring and auditing;
  • Internal disclosure mechanism (e.g., Report & Response);
  • Prompt investigation and appropriate enforcement and corrective action.

Compliance at USC

We each have an obligation to be aware of and comply with the rules and regulations that impact our job responsibilities.  At an institutional level, our office assists our faculty and staff with this responsibility by:

  1. Building/maintaining an effective compliance program in high risk compliance areas that impact multiple units/functions on campus but that do not otherwise fall within the responsibilities of a specific office or function.  For example, the compliance office directly manages the implementation of a compliance program for: healthcare, research, data privacy, conflict of interest, ACA employer mandate, and regulations related to export controls and international collaborations.
  2. Coordinating with/assisting units that have or are responsible for a specific compliance function to ensure that they have the resources and expertise to meet their compliance obligations.  These offices include: Financial Aid, Department of Public Safety, Office for the Protection of Research Subjects, Environmental Health & Safety, Transportation Services, Student Disabilities, Office for International Services, among others.


USC’s culture is guided by our Six Unifying Values: Integrity; Excellence; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Well-Being; Open Communication; and Accountability.

Group of USC Students throwing "fight on" sign
Woman shoveling dirt


Every member of the USC community has a responsibility to exhibit ethical behavior that brings the Six Unifying Values to life. Our faculty and staff are guided by USC’s Ethics and Accountability Code, and our graduate and undergraduate students by a Student Pledge.


As part of our commitment to ethical behavior, USC is accountable for ensuring that we comply with all applicable rules, policies, regulations and laws. That’s where our compliance programs come in.

Person filling out a survey
Icon for Culture Journey

Culture Journey

The Culture Journey at USC is our ongoing initiative to support all Trojans in embracing our Unifying Values, aligning behaviors to bring those values to life, and improving our systems and processes to support an inclusive, positive culture.  

Icon for Clery Compliance

Clery Compliance

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or Clery Act, is a federal law requiring institutions of higher education to provide timely, accurate, and complete information about safety policies and crimes reported on campus.

Youth Protection

Youth Protection

Our Youth Protection program mandates youth protection protocols and reporting responsibilities to help safeguard individuals under the age of eighteen who are participating in USC-sponsored or covered activities.

Icon for ADA Compliance

ADA Compliance

We are committed to providing equitable access and full participation for individuals with disabilities in all USC programs and services.  Learn more about our work to support USC’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related federal and state laws. 

Icon for Policy Compliance

Policy Compliance

The Office of Culture, Ethics and Compliance is focused on ensuring that all policies and related resources are communicated and managed in a manner that is compliant and consistent with legal and regulatory requirements, higher education leading practices, and USC’s culture and values.

Icon for Research Compliance

Research Compliance

Sponsored research plays a significant role in the life of the USC community, and gives us the opportunity to contribute to global knowledge and discovery across every realm of human endeavor. Our robust Research Compliance program helps USC staff, faculty and students act as responsible stewards of federal and private research support.

How can we help?

The Report & Response website is an easy-to-use online location where USC community members can report concerns and get the support they need.

In addition to the Report & Response website, you may also report concerns by calling.

Call (213) 740-2500 or (800) 348-7454. This number is staffed by live operators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Core Elements of Our Work

Core elements of our work are culture, values, governance and compliance oversight. Education, training and outreach. Investigations, corrective action, and root cause analysis. Compliance risk identification and assessment. Policies, Standards, and systems. Monitor, auditing program evaluations, and continuous improvement.


HIPAA Privacy Education Program

This program will familiarize our workforce with federal and state privacy requirements, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Grants Management Education Program

This program helps researchers and staff navigate the complexities associated with sponsored research.

Healthcare Compliance Education Program

This program provides our healthcare professionals with an overview of the healthcare compliance regulations that relate to their job responsibilities.

Information Security Education Program

This is a quick refresher on how faculty, staff and students can protect sensitive information they send, receive and store as part of their job functions.

Understanding International Engagement Disclosure Requirements

This session is designed for researchers and research administrators to gain a better understanding of international relationships and disclosure expectations.

Export Controls at USC: An Introduction

(login required)
This introductory course is designed to enable researchers and other employees to understand the kinds of activities that may raise export control considerations.


Do you have questions or need more information? Explore these helpful resources or reach out to the Office of Culture, Ethics and Compliance.