For months, Joseph R. Biden Jr. campaigned in part on a simple promise: Elect him, and the chaos and confusion, hirings and firings and the unending stream of derisive tweets would end. And in the first workday of the transition, the dichotomy in style between President-elect Biden and President Trump came once again into stark relief.Just minutes after Mr. Biden held a news conference to address his plans for confronting the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Trump announced on Twitter that he had fired his defense secretary. And he continued to be active on his favorite social media platform on Monday, offering more unsubstantiated and false claims of election fraud, as news broke of additional coronavirus cases within his inner circle, including Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development.- Advertisement – Even as Mr. Biden pressed ahead with his transition plans, the Trump campaign and its allies were continuing their frenetic fight to challenge the results of the election, which Mr. Trump has lost. On Monday, the Trump campaign announced it had filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania asserting that ballots cast in person there were scrutinized more closely than those sent by mail. – Advertisement – And by the end of the evening, Attorney General William P. Barr had issued a memo authorizing federal prosecutors to investigate some allegations of voter fraud — a move that broke with the Justice Department’s longstanding policies intended to prevent law enforcement from affecting the outcome of an election. The move also prompted the Justice Department official who oversees investigations of voter fraud, Richard Pilger, to step down from his post within hours.The leadership of the Republican Party also joined Mr. Trump in refusing to concede defeat, signaling the potential for a continued struggle in the days and weeks ahead.In his first comments since Mr. Biden was declared the winner of the election, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, argued that the president was “100 percent within his rights” to challenge its outcome.- Advertisement – Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, followed Mr. McConnell on the floor and stated simply: “Joe Biden won this election fair and square.” – Advertisement – By contrast, Mr. Biden and his team continued to offer measured statements as they began to sketch out their transition plan and build their team. The president-elect unveiled a 13-person virus-task force while continuing to urge Americans to wear masks and seeking to temper expectations about a virus vaccine that has shown positive early results.“It’s clear that this vaccine, even if approved, will not be widely available for many months yet to come,” Mr. Biden said about a vaccine made by Pfizer. “The challenge before us right now is still immense and growing.”
Leaders in politics, communication and development from the United States and abroad participated in the Los Angeles Global Cities Initiative Conference to discuss the future of international cities like Los Angeles on Wednesday at the Davidson Conference Center.During the conference, USC President C. L. Max Nikias emphasized Los Angeles’ current position as an important international center.Global · Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke about the future of Los Angeles and its role as a global city at a conference on Wednesday. – Matthew Wunderlich | Daily Trojan“In the 1800s, Los Angeles was nothing but an outpost of the American West,” Nikias said in his opening remarks. “It was valued for its resources rather than cultural bravado. But now, this region is America’s new gateway to the world — physically, culturally and intellectually.”Nikias said he expects USC and other institutions will be vital for the future prosperity in the region.“Southern California promises the next gold rush — intellectually and culturally — because of the interplay between our prestigious institutions.”At the event, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said universities like USC are integral for fueling the economic growth of cities.“Our business schools can provide necessary market research, export strategies and business plans with local businesses,” he said.Dick Drobnick, director of USC’s Center for International Business Education and Research, said USC will play a role in contributions to technological and entrepreneurial capital because companies benefit from the international cultural perspective of students and graduates.“This is especially advantageous for international students’ collaboration with local companies,” Drobnick said.At the conference, Nikias cited statistical evidence for USC’s recent impact on technology.“There are currently 44 active business startups based on USC intellectual property which have brought in over $800 million of venture capital in the last decade,” he said.Alden Mitchell, a sophomore majoring in economics and electrical engineering, said USC’s potential to spur growth stems from students’ enthusiasm. Mitchell is president of USC’s National Organization for Business and Engineering.“USC has current and motivated students,” Mitchell said. “[NOBE] bridges the gap between Viterbi, Marshall and other disciplines to foster a culture and community of entrepreneurship at USC.”Paralleling USC’s role in innovation and global awareness with the globalization of Los Angeles’ economy, Nikias closed with remarks about the future of USC and Los Angeles.“My university is at the forefront of experimentation of ideas, a dynamic blend of arts and humanities. Our students are skilled world students in training,” he said. “We can offer renewal in the face of uncertainty: untold new opportunities for ourselves, our communities and our posterity.”
Carol Faull, an external consultant, has been working with USC since August to evaluate the school’s current culture. (Long Le | Daily Trojan) More than 50 attendees learned about the experiences of the Dornsife community as reflected in the poll. “I look toward the data that’s telling me what’s happening for communities that are marginalized,” Freeman said. “There’s opportunities to really understand [what] members within the gender categories are experiencing not only in their immediate environment but at USC as a whole.” Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences administrators emphasized Thursday the importance of the sessions the will hold to discuss needed changes to USC culture at the third of eight town hall. Findings of personal values, current culture values and desired culture values by faculty, staff and students were discussed following the release of results from the USC Values Poll administered last Fall. “It’s not that we have a list of 100 things to chase,” Faull said. “If we solely focused on those top five, we would have some really rich conversations and be able to shape the core unifying values that will take this university forward, as well as how we define that.” “We heard in the past that for surveys that had been conducted … people never heard the results,” Faull said. “So we were committed through the working groups to transparency.” Discussion sessions to talk about the poll and its results will be held over the coming weeks with separate sessions for students, faculty and staff. The goal of the sessions is to collectively redefine the values of the University, according to Freeman. The poll was administered to find out what the USC community wanted to improve regarding the University’s culture. With approximately 20,000 participants across staff, faculty and students, the poll garnered a 27.4% participation rate. Specifically for Dornsife, there was a 24% participation rate. Freeman said releasing the poll’s results and gaining knowledge of community values was essential to Dornsife’s mission as a liberal arts college that centers its research around values. According to the USC Values Poll, the University’s current cultural entropy, which represents the amount of energy consumed in unproductive work, is 28%. From this assessment, USC is categorized as facing “significant issues,” which means there are issues that require attention and systems that need exploration. “We have world-class research in social sciences and natural sciences and humanities and so we create a lot of the content that eventually shows up in this kind of work around values,” Freeman said. “So I see an alignment with what we fundamentally do as a liberal arts college.” Faull said results showed that five of the top 10 values that were selected for desired culture, including communication, ethical and transparency, were shared by staff, faculty and students, serving as a starting point for conversations and deciding values the University wants to build. Carol Faull, a senior consultant with 1-degree, has been working with USC since August to identify the current experience, build the aspired culture and train USC facilitators. Faull said the company wanted to increase transparency by sharing results in a town hall format, both at the University and individual college level. “It’s not intended to be a destination, it’s a journey,” Freeman said. “So I think we need to remind people that we are just beginning.” Kimberly Freeman, the associate dean and chief diversity officer at Dornsife, said the results of the poll would help identify the key areas that the school needs to improve on and help in bringing the right support to different communities on campus. The University’s Culture Journey is in partnership with 1-degree, an experienced Barrett Values Centre that created the poll and helps organizations build and sustain values-driven culture. The process consists of the poll, reportings through Town Hall meetings and discussion sessions.