Data Privacy Policy

This policy represents USC’s commitment to respecting and protecting the privacy of its students, patients, faculty, staff, research subjects, and anyone from whom USC Personnel collect or receive Personal Information. The University is also committed to protecting the privacy of Personal Information within its direct and indirect control in a manner consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and University policies, procedures, and principles.

Gifts and Hospitality Policy

As USC Employees, we are accountable for evaluating the G&H that are given and received in accordance with this policy. USC employees must ensure that giving or receiving G&H does not improperly influence or appear to improperly influence an individual’s decision-making abilities.

Asset Management

Please view policy to access additional details.

Third-Party Security Risk Management

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Scholarship and Grant Awards

This policy governs the administration of scholarships and grants at the University of Southern California (USC). USC provides scholarships and grants to students consistent with donor specifications on the basis of financial need, merit, or both.

Student Travel Abroad – Destination Restrictions and Crisis Management

As a global university, USC encourages students to gain international experience through a variety of programs, including study abroad, internships abroad, and international service trips.

Research and Scholarship Misconduct

This policy applies to research and scholarship carried out at USC involving any faculty (including part-time, adjunct and visiting), staff, trainee or students regardless of funding source, if any.

Research Personnel Protection

Safety is a core value at USC. The university is committed to advancement of an institutional safety culture, with strong programs of personal safety, accident and injury prevention, wellness promotion, and compliance with applicable environmental and health and safety laws and regulations.

Minors in Laboratories and Shops

USC encourages and actively promotes creative education, hands-on workshops, and the mentoring of minors (children under 18) who attend educational events on USC campuses.


University community members incur various types of expenses as they perform tasks and duties that support the operations of the university and further its mission.

Indirect Cost Rate

When conducting sponsored projects, USC is required to apply the appropriate Facilities and Administrative (“F&A”) rate (also referred to as the “Indirect Cost Rate”) to the appropriate direct cost base for each project.

Data Protection

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Cloud Security

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Expense Business Purpose and Approvals

All university expenses must be necessary and reasonable in terms of price and purpose. Therefore, each university reimbursement and payment request must be supported by a written business purpose, regardless of the item, type of service, amount or form of payment.

Endpoint Security

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Acceptable Use

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Travel Expenditures

The purpose of the policy is to ensure travel expenditures are reasonable, customary, and necessary to conduct official university business.

Travel Cards

USC staff and faculty are eligible for a Travel Card provided they meet the following criteria: Have active employment status, in good standing.

Procurement Cards

The Procurement Card (P-Card) is a corporate card issued on behalf of USC by a bank (Issuing Bank). The P-Card is used for buying goods and services for the university.

International Collaborations and Export Controls

USC engages in a variety of activities related to research, instruction, healthcare, student outreach, and other strategic partnerships and affiliations that may create obligations under United States export control regulations, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and economic and trade sanctions regulations.

Protection of Social Security Numbers and Other Restricted Information

USC receives and collects Restricted Information, as defined below, from and about students, faculty and staff employees, patients, and business partners, among others, in order to provide academic and clinical services and/or to conduct business operations. USC will use, store and transmit “Restricted Information” responsibly and in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.

HIPAA PAT-608 Breach Notification

USC shall comply with breach notification requirements under federal and state laws, including the HIPAA privacy and security regulations and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”) Regulations.

HIPAA PAT-601 Access to Protected Health Information

This policy describes when it is appropriate to permit a patient to access his or her Protected Health Information and the procedures to follow when approving or denying a patient request to access his or her Protected Health Information.

Cooperation with Compliance Investigations

Every USC employee shares the university’s responsibility to comply with laws and regulations governing a variety of activities, including but not limited to research, healthcare, privacy and security, employment practices, environmental health and safety, financial aid, athletics and conflict of interest.

HIPAA CLIN-207 Security Risk Analysis and Management

In accordance with the HIPAA Security Rule, USC maintains a HIPAA security risk analysis and management program to assess and prioritize risks to the confidentiality,
integrity and availability of Protected Health Information (PHI) and to respond, accept or remediate as appropriate.

Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones)

Due to potential risks to safety, security and privacy, USC generally prohibits operations of an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS; commonly known as a drone) on or above USC property or in connection with a USC-sanctioned or affiliated event or activity, including commercial, recreational, hobbyist, or other uses.

Sponsored Project Funded Expense Provisions (Expenditures)

The purpose of this policy is to ensure controls for sponsored project funded expense provisions. When expenses are to be charged to a sponsored project account, the terms of the applicable contract or grant will take precedence over university expenditure policies.

Membership Expense and Restrictions (Expenditures)

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for payments and reimbursements for memberships.

Equipment Policy

To establish procedures for the management and control of equipment owned by or in the possession and custody of USC. This includes the acquisition, identification, recording, use, care,
maintenance, disposition, and reporting of U.S. government and contractor-owned equipment
held by the university. These procedures are established to comply with federal regulations with respect to government equipment for which the university is responsible and accountable.

Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy

All employees are expected to adhere to the highest ethical standards in their professional and business practices. In order to meet these obligations, all faculty and staff should avoid conflicts of interest that may exist between outside activities and obligations to the university.

Postdoctoral Scholars

USC recognizes the importance of assisting postdoctoral scholars as they develop into independent investigators.

Human Anatomic Materials Procurement

USC is committed to ensuring that human anatomical materials used for academic purposes meet all applicable regulatory and safety requirements.