Out of the frying pan into the fire: Carol Folt takes over at USC

You have to admire her stamina:

In the wake of a series of scandals that rocked it to its foundations, the University of Southern California on Wednesday announced the appointment of a new president: Carol L. Folt, the former chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Folt will be the first female president in USC’s 139-year history. Before serving six years as head of UNC, she amassed a lengthy academic record as a professor of biological sciences, a dean, a provost and interim president at Dartmouth College. But perhaps most important for the USC job are her battle scars: in North Carolina, Folt managed to overcome a series of partisan political fights and academic scandals (though not without criticism that she didn't go far enough with reforms). Ultimately, she was pushed out of the job after bravely making the call to remove remnants of a Confederate statue at the heart of the campus.

I'm sure she'll be well-compensated by USC, but she sure has her hands full:

Folt’s appointment comes just as the university is reeling from its latest controversy: a national investigation into fraudulent college admissions that resulted in criminal charges against members of the USC community — more, in fact, than at any other institution.

This follows on the heels of a devastating scandal involving a campus gynecologist accused of decades of sexual assaults and improprieties, and another involving a medical school dean who partied with criminals and did illegal drugs. And there was the former assistant basketball coach who pleaded guilty in January to accepting bribes from a sports management firm.

Yikes. I hope she learned a thing or two at UNC about just how damaging a bent sports program can be, and how it can spread to other departments. Because she'll definitely need that knowledge.



Is that a "V" for victory, or a peace sign?

I was going to add "verisimilitude," but I'll give her some time before making that totally unqualified judgment...