Consistent with the University Statement of Assurance, Carnegie Mellon does not discriminate in admission, employment or administration of its programs or activities on the basis of a variety of demographic characteristics including sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Carnegie Mellon’s long standing practice with regard to gender-identified space usage supports individuals using the facility of their choice consistent with their gender identity. Institutionally we are also committed to identifying all-gender, single use spaces as a further extension of our understanding that gender binary options are not reflective of our community or our value of inclusion. Individuals who are uncomfortable in common use, gender identified spaces for any reason are encouraged to consult the list of all-gender facilities which highlights the single use options available.
Beginning Fall 2011, the university launched a process for use of preferred names. Guidelines and implications related to preferred name designation are available in detail from The HUB. Specific questions should be directed to the University Registrar, John Papinchak.
Has rescinding the Dear Colleague Letter changed the University's practice regarding transgender and/or gender non-conforming community members?
No, the University's practices with regard to name designation and facility usage were in place prior to the guidance provided by the previous (May 2016) "Dear Colleague" letter (DCL) from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice (DOE and DOJ respectively) and they remain in place today.
Background: In May of 2016 DOE and DOJ issued joint agency guidance related to transgender student protections in the form of a Dear Colleague letter. The DCL affirmed many of the practices already in use at Carnegie Mellon with regard to student privacy, name designation, and facility usage. This guidance also affirmed our commitment to continued evaluation and development of our practices toward creating an inclusive and welcoming community for all. The subsequent February 2017 DCL, also issued jointly by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, states the decision by these bodies “to withdraw and rescind the above-referenced guidance documents in order to further and more completely consider the legal issues involved.” The 2017 DCL acknowledges an on-going legal debate regarding the applicability of TITLE IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, to matters involving gender identity. While the rescinding of the previous guidance does not impel any changes to CMU's policies and practices, we will continue to monitor court decisions and DOE action related to this issue.
Please reference our Law and Guidance resource page to access the full text versions of the guidance letters and other related materials.