Carnegie Mellon University

Summary of Goals and Progress: October 2019

Context and Charge

On August 22, 2018, President Farnam Jahanian announced the creation of the Task Force on Campus Climate via a campus-wide email. The task force was charged to make specific recommendations to support a climate that is more diverse, inclusive, fair and respectful across the university and to build and sustain a community that exemplifies our core values.

Year one efforts (academic year 2018-2019) 

Led by co-chairs David Danks, Jodi Forlizzi and Michelle Piekutowski the 33-member Task Force, established four subcommittees: Research and Discovery, Empowerment & Structures, Respect & Relationships, and Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity - as well as a distinct subcommittee at CMU-Qatar.  

Overall, we found that individuals in our listening tour sessions sense a genuine desire from CMU leadership to create a diverse, inclusive and respectful campus. Additionally, faculty, staff and students want to develop and contribute to a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

What was our process?

We soliticed feedback from faculty, staff and students across the university. We also collected information about best practices at other companies and institutions and synthesized this information to generate initial recommendations.


listening tours

were held for 400+ community members



were held between the Task Force and subcommittees


members of the campus community

(students, faculty, and staff) were involved in the generation of the report and findings presented to the president

University Commitments

President Jahanian has outlined the following set of eight university commitments, which are expanded upon in his email to campus. With these action items now underway, we look forward to continuing our engagement with stakeholders across campus to ensure a truly inclusive CMU community.   


Form implementation steering committee to prioritze and oversee execution of the action items. 

Create an office under the provost dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Create a Target of Opportunity fund to support recruitment and retention.

Develop five-year strategic equity, diversity and inclusion plans for academic and administrative units.

Develop and improve policies and processes for faculty, staff and leadership searches, service, awards and recognitions.

Improve awareness programming, training and communication.

Expand faculty and staff leadership development.

Increase and sustain investment in student success and experience.