This USC-specific internet meme was described by a friend after class. It refers to USC President C.L. Max Nikias.
“So, uh, there is this whole thing at USC, that like, uh, Nikias is kind of like the father figure, but also in kind of a kinky way? Uh, so people like to say he is, uh, ‘Daddy Nikias,’ um, which is of course a play on a very sexual way of uh, of uh, talking to someone. Um, you know? So, yeah, of course people are going to take this sort of older authoritarian figure and sort of bring him down to our level as college students and say, ‘Yes, let’s make him very kinky.’ So that’s ‘Daddy Nikias.’”
I thought his observation that the students were attempting to “bring him down to our level” was astute, as jokes like this can help to poke fun at authority figures. This joke originated, as far as either of us know, on the Facebook page “USC Memes for Spoiled Pre-Teens.”