Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre are music industry icons. Iovine and Dre have helped shape the careers of artists like Eminem, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar. On the business side, they have co-founded Beats By Dre, which is the thriving high-performance headphone company.
The music moguls are taking a new leap forward in molding the next academic star. They are giving $70 million to the University of Southern California “to create a degree that blends business, marketing, product development, design and liberal arts.”
“If the next start-up that becomes Facebook happens to be one of our kids, that’s what we are looking for,” said Iovine in an interview with The New York Times.
Iovine and Dre won’t be creating the curriculum. Rather, Erica Muhl, dean of the university’s fine arts school, will be the director of the program. She will be in charge of putting together the curriculum, selecting professors, and reviewing applications.
The details of the four-year program are sparse, but so far the first 25 students selected will start in fall 2014. It is officially called the U.S.C. Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. One aspect of the cirrculum is called “the Garage,” which encourages students to create a business prototype.
The $70 million donation, which Dre and Iovine contributed equally, will include opportunities for scholarships.