USC dean headed east

Joseph Aoun, a linguist and dean of USC's College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, will be announced later this week as the new president of Northeastern University, the Boston Globe reports citing unnamed sources. The college is USC's largest school.

Professors and community leaders in the Los Angeles area describe the 53-year-old Aoun as a savvy and dynamic leader of the university's largest school. They say that during the last dozen years he had a hand in helping USC, a private, urban campus in Los Angeles, rise from a football powerhouse derided as the University of Second Choice to a respected research university ranked 30th in the US News & World Report survey.

As dean the last six years, Aoun has been a successful fund-raiser, who simultaneously courted wealthy donors while prodding faculty to apply for grants, said William G. Tierney , director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis at USC. Last year, for example, he snagged a $10 million donation from a Los Angeles businesswoman.

Aoun last month received a knighthood from the French Ministry of Education.

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