University of San Diego

Dear USD Campus Community,

We continue to make progress in our efforts to respond to the Department of Justice admissions investigation.

We are fortunate to have an outstanding group of trustees who are steadfast in their commitment to advancing USD’s values. To that end, the Board of Trustees has appointed a Special Committee to provide oversight of the university’s response. Dr. Constance Carroll, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, has agreed to chair the Special Committee. The other members of the Special Committee include Jeff Martin, Chair of the Athletics Committee; Tom Mulvaney, Chair of the University Advancement Committee; Sister Lyn Osiek; and Father Peter McGuine. The Special Committee will convene regularly between now and the next Board of Trustees meeting in early May.

To ensure that we have taken all appropriate steps to respond, we have engaged an outside law firm, which is conducting a thorough investigation. The Special Committee of the Board will be regularly updated on the status of the investigation.

USD has been subject to a confidentiality order that restricted our ability to identify the former coach referred to by the government. Earlier today, the government informed us that the order has been modified and that USD will not be viewed as interfering with the investigation if we choose to identify him. Now that we are permitted to do so, Lamont Smith, our former men’s head basketball coach, who left USD in March 2018, is the unnamed coach involved in the government’s investigation.

What I shared with you last week about the scope of the USD-related involvement in this matter has not changed. Based on our review of the information available to us to date and on what the government has told us as recently as this morning, the only USD employees, students or applicants involved in the alleged wrongdoing are the three people identified by the government: Lamont Smith and two applicants. Of the two applicants, one is a current student and one declined admission. We continue to have no reason to believe that any other employees, students or applicants were involved in or aware of any wrongdoing. Certainly, if different or new information comes to our attention, either through the results of the investigation or otherwise, we will take appropriate action to respond.

We have received questions about how we handle student misconduct. As with any students, falsifying or making misrepresentations on an application for admission can be grounds for disciplinary action under USD's Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities. Students who violate the Code can be subject to various sanctions, up to and including expulsion, depending on the nature of the misconduct.

Should any of you have information relating to these allegations, I urge you to bring them to our attention immediately. Reports can be made anonymously or otherwise through our compliance reporting hotline, which can be accessed through our Compliance Program website.

We will continue to keep you updated. In the meantime, I want to express my thanks to those of you who have reached out to us with your thoughts, care and concern. As we stated previously, we share not only our condemnation of the actions revealed by the government in this matter, but our strong commitment to our shared values of integrity and ethical conduct.


James T. Harris III, D.Ed.

University of San Diego

Office of the President
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492