Max Nikias led a group of trustees and university officials to D.C. last month, part of an annual USC trip to brief congressional and administration officials on issues important to both the educational community and the university. What differed about this year’s trip, Nikias said, was that uncertainty about the legislative agenda was far deeper than in years past. “The difference is that clearly when there is a new administration there is an uncertainty about how things will work out in the future in terms of legislation. … That level of anxiety was higher than in previous years.” Among the topics on the agenda were the impacts of the Trump administration’s travel ban, concern over a proposed budget that would affect the National Institutes of Health, and support for students in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, among other issues. Despite the uncertainty, Nikias said the group took the climate as a chance to advocate more forcefully. The reaction, he said, was on the whole positive. “Clearly, I felt there is support for higher education and the issues we care about, from both sides of the aisle,” he said, adding that he came away optimistic from the meetings. The group, which included trustees Lisa Barkett, Kathy Leventhal, Bruce Ramer, Ed Roski, and Christopher Cox, as well as USC’s Michael Quick, Karen Gallagher, and Tom Sayles, met with Washington Post Publisher and Chief Executive Fred Ryan, also a trustee, before taking to the Hill. … Spotted for sale on Craigslist’s Omaha page, a Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger bobblehead set. Asking price for the “rare” set (not sold individually!) is $150. The listing dates their provenance to Berkshire Hathaway’s 2004 shareholders meeting. … Jeff Koons was the keynote speaker at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s recent fundraising gala, and he returned the honor. The Hollywood Reporter said that in remarks, Koons gave a nod to Philippe Vergne and then to the city. “It’s very kind to put the attention on me and to honor me, but we’re really celebrating Los Angeles … and the vitality of the art world,” he said. … Todd Boehly has stepped up to help out David Beckham. The retired soccer star said last week that Boehly had joined the group backing Beckham’s bid to bring a Major League Soccer team to Miami. … Sir Lucian Grainge was named 2017 Media Person of the Year by the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the first music executive to receive the honor since the award was launched in 1999. … The Clippers’ season wasn’t a total loss. Steve Soboroff got to snap a selfie with Kendrick Lamar as the pair were sitting courtside. … Kelly Linden has taken over as chief executive of Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.
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