Marilyn L. Flynn

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Marilyn Louise Flynn is the former dean of the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.[1]


From the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Flynn earned a PhD in 1976 and MSW in 1964. In 1960, she earned an AB in history and sociology from Roosevelt University?[2]


Between 1992 and 1997, Flynn was Director of the Institute of Public Policy and Social Research as well as Michigan State University’s School of Social Work. She was an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work between 1985 and 1991.[2]

Flynn was appointed USC Dean in 1997 and was only the second woman to hold that position. She established new graduate academic centers in West Los Angeles and San Diego, began a web based Master of Social Work program in 2010, began the first military social work specialization and created the first career services program for social workers.[3]

Awards and honors[edit]

Flynn has received the international Sarnat Prize for Advancement of Social Work and in 2015, the USC Provost’s Inaugural Prize for Innovation in Educational practice.[4]

Bribery case[edit]

Between 1997 and 2018, Flynn was a USC dean and tenured professor. In 2018, Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, through his political campaign fund, gave $100,000 to Flynn’s school. The school then passed the money on to a think tank connected to the councilman’s son, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas. In June 2018, the school reported their concerns over possible inappropriate financial transactions to legal authorities.[5]

In 2022, Flynn agreed to plead guilty to federal bribery charges[1] and is expected to be sentenced on March 20, 2023. The maximum sentence is ten years in prison but while prosecutors are seeking to have Ridley-Thomas spend those ten years in prison proper, prosecutors are expected in Flynn's case to ask instead for one year house arrest and at least $100,000 in fines.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Former Dean of USC's Social Work School Agrees to Plead Guilty to Bribery for Funneling $100,000 Payment to Secure County Contract". United States Department of Justice. 15 September 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Marilyn Flynn". NASW Foundation. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  3. ^ "Marilyn L. Flynn". California Social Work Hall of Distinction. Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  4. ^ "Marylyn Flynn Inducted as Honorary Fellow". American Academy of Social Work & Welfare. 10 November 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  5. ^ Ryan, Matt; Hamilton, Harriet (August 2, 2018). "Donation from prominent L.A. politician roils USC, which referred case to federal prosecutors". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Former dean of USC School of Social Work pleads guilty to federal bribery". CBS Los Angeles. September 19, 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.