Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition: February 5, 2002
Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition
In This Issue

SCS Gets $23 Million From NASA

Joel Smith Named Vice Provost for Computing Services

Stephen Cross Reappointed at SEI

Matt Cline, Victoria Massimino Earn CIT Staff Honors; Rhonda Moyer Garners Burritt Education Award

Economic Development Expert to Coordinate Efforts for Both Carnegie Mellon and Pitt

Mechanical Engineer Gets Federal Grant; His Snake Robot Will Assess Waste Sites

University Implements Measures to Increase Diversity

Carnegie Mellon Faculty and Researchers in the News

Senior Writing Major Earns Spot on "The Weakest Link"

Drama's Peter Frisch Joins CBS' "The Young and the Restless"

News Briefs
Cheering the Faculty Chairs

Christiano's Locker Retired
This Issue's Front Page
Carnegie Mellon News Home
Carnegie Mellon News Services Home Page

Voices United Gospel Choir

University Implements Measures to Increase Diversity

Departmental strategic plans, mentoring and sensitivity training programs for faculty and staff, reporting procedures to ensure accountability and a centralized graduate student recruiter are a few of the Diversity Advisory Council recommendations now being developed and implemented. These efforts are aimed squarely at Carnegie Mellon's strategic goal of increasing diversity across campus.

President Jared Cohon outlined these action items in his annual "State of Diversity" address that kicked off an afternoon and evening of activities celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 21.

Esther Bush "Our vision is not about numbers, it's about being the kind of community we want to be," said Cohon, chairman of the 34-member Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) he established in 1999. "Diversity is about being a welcoming and supportive university community."

The DAC, whose membership includes faculty, staff, undergraduate students, graduate students, members of the Board of Trustees and Pittsburgh civic leaders, was created to build awareness of diversity issues, spearhead new initiatives and monitor progress. The DAC is split into five workgroups focusing on issues relating to faculty, staff, undergraduate students, graduate students and the climate and culture at Carnegie Mellon.

Perhaps the most influential action item stems from the DAC faculty committee, which proposed that diversity be included in each department's strategic plan that is annually submitted to their college dean or school head. The dean or school head will in turn report to the president. Departments in the Carnegie Institute of Technology will be the first to submit diversity plans this June. Other schools will follow beginning in the 2002-03 academic year.

Everett Tademy "The diversity plan would set short-term and long-term targets, address strategies to achieve these goals related to both faculty hiring and retention, and implement metrics to assess progress toward reaching these goals," the faculty group report stated. "Hiring decisions and promotions at Carnegie Mellon are made at a departmental level, and therefore the top priority recommendation is directed to the departments that will implement them."

"The key is to develop accountability," Cohon said.

A mentoring program to help ease the transition for new faculty and foster their career development will be implemented as will a mentor training program for senior faculty and department heads. Carnegie Mellon's Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence will facilitate the training programs. The Eberly Center will develop a "best practices" manual and benchmark faculty training programs at other universities.

A spousal/partner hiring program, recommended by the faculty work group chaired by professors Cristina Amon and Sara Majetich, will also be implemented. Called "Transfer-mate-tion," the university will work with the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and other local corporations to help the partners of new and sought after faculty gain employment in the area.

Prof. Manning Marable Recommendations by the Staff Committee are also being put into action. A senior level administrator will be hired in Human Resources to facilitate the cultivation of diverse applicant pools for job openings and to oversee issues regarding staff diversity. This person will report directly to Everett Tademy, Carnegie Mellon's director of Equal Opportunity Services. Tademy, also known as the university's director of diversity, will report directly to President Cohon.

Diversity training programs for managers, such as the Interactive Theater, will be developed and further deployed to make managers more sensitive to diversity issues. Career development programs will be utilized to help increase the retention and promotion rate among staff and specific reporting procedures will be employed to make managers accountable for their hiring practices.

Managers will be encouraged to take training in the Performance Management Process, a staff evaluation and development system in which employees and managers dialogue to facilitate exceptional job performance. The process will be used to foster career development.

"Staff diversity needs to be addressed more effectively," said Staff Committee member Brenda Graham. "I think there's a commitment from President Cohon to see a change.

"Our recommendations are first steps," she said. "There's an enormous amount of work that can make a difference."

Graham said the lower level jobs at Carnegie Mellon are statistically quite diverse and that creates a great opportunity to diversify from within.

"If we promote from our own diverse pool we will help diversify the higher job levels with employees who bring invaluable experience and real loyalty to the university," she said.The Undergraduate Committee, chaired by Vice President for Enrollment William Elliott, is aggressively working to develop new ways to recruit minority students. This past summer the committee helped institute the Summer Academy for Minority Scholars (SAMS), a six-week academic program aimed at helping good minority high school students become excellent, thus increasing the pool of talented minority students. Ninety-four minority students from across the country attended the inaugural program.

"We've not only grown the pool nationally, but we've hopefully attracted more minority students to Carnegie Mellon," Elliott said. "We enrolled 60 African Americans this fall. I'd love to enroll about 80 African Americans in the fall of 2002."

Vice Provost for Education Indira Nair, who heads the graduate student work group, said efforts are also being made to be more proactive in recruiting minority students on the graduate level. A centralized graduate student recruiter in the Provost's Office has been approved to support various academic departments and programs across the university.

Nair said the university is attempting to build "networks" with institutions that offer McNair Scholarships, financial aid from the federal government for low-income and socio-economically disadvantaged undergraduate students.

"The focus is trying to build networks with institutions that have or serve minority students seeking graduate degrees," she said. "We have to adopt a different strategy and attitude to find the students who have the potential to succeed at Carnegie Mellon and then address them with what we have to offer that is different or distinct."

Results of the diversity survey that was distributed to 4,000 members of the university community by the Climate/Culture work group this past fall will be tabulated over the next several weeks.

"There is good news, but there are lots of challenges ahead," Cohon said in summarizing the state of diversity at Carnegie Mellon. "Challenges remain nationally, locally and at this institution. We're not the community we want to be. We'll only become that community by working together."
Candlelight Vigil

Return to top

Bruce Gerson

This Issue's Headlines || Carnegie Mellon News Home || Carnegie Mellon Home