Carnegie Mellon is a private university incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Its first purpose, as stated in its Articles of Incorporation, is:
"...the establishment and maintenance in the City of Pittsburgh of a coeducational university of higher education, including an institute of technology, emphasizing liberal-professional education and specializing in teaching and research programs in selected areas of importance to the community and to the nation."
More specifically, Carnegie Mellon seeks to provide education of the highest quality so that all students will be prepared to achieve their potential as professional persons and as thoughtful, well-informed individuals. In addition, the university encourages and supports scholarship, research and artistic production, both as essential components of its educational program and in fulfillment of the special role of an academic institution as a source of new knowledge and understanding. Through scholarship, research and the men and women it educates, the university contributes to social progress.
As a private university, Carnegie Mellon is free to set its own measures of excellence and to determine its own educational objectives. By carefully exercising the freedom to select limited areas for university effort, it can preserve its ability to be innovative and creative in response to the changing needs of society. In order to maintain this independence and flexibility, Carnegie Mellon depends upon the voluntary support of the society which it serves. It depends especially for its funds upon students and their families, alumni, trustees, foundations, corporations, government and friends. Thus, it is of the utmost importance that the goals of the university be clear and that the standards and procedures for the conduct of its affairs be well understood by all of its constituents, both on and off campus. These appear in detail in the duly promulgated regulations of the university, particularly in the catalogs, the Student Handbook and the Faculty Handbook.