Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition
In This Issue

Friend of Court Brief Supports Affirmative Action

HR Morale Survey Measures Employee Satisfaction

Bryant Elected to National Academy

Award-Winning Lecturer Leads New Interdisciplinary Humanities Scholars Program

University Explores Educational Opportunity in Qatar

Professor's Study Focused on Space Shuttle Tiles

Interdisciplinary Labs Designed for 21st Century Scientists

Scientist Earns NASA Award to Develop Life-Detecting Technology

Anne Green's Web Work Has Teaching Impact Worldwide

$8 Million GM Grant Supports "Smart Car" Development

World-Renowned Linguist Earns Paul Mellon Professorship

More Faculty Accolades

Staff Members Honored for Outstanding Service

Students Earn Scholarships to Study Overseas

University Distributes Emergency Response Plan

News Briefs
Collaborative Innovation Center Gets Under Way

Biomedical Engineer Wins Prestigious Dickson Prize

Physics Honors Local Students

Panel Debates Computer Surveillance, Privacy Issues

Bioforum 2003 Highlights Business Behind Biotech

New Tuition, Board Costs for Students

Heinz School Announces Regional Scholarships

STUDIO Awarded Grant from Warhol Foundation

Heinz Offers Fast Track Public Policy Degree

University Praised for Recycling Efforts

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RoboCup American Style
More than 150 researchers from North and South America—and their soccer playing robots—will converge on campus April 30-May 4 to compete in the first-ever RoboCup American Open, chaired by Computer Science Professor and Carnegie Mellon RoboCup team leader Manuela Veloso (above). About 1,000 school children from across Western Pennsylvania will visit the university to see the matches and attend demonstrations by a variety of robots, including Carnegie Mellon's GRACE and Honda's ASIMO, the world's most advanced humanoid robot. For more, visit the Web at and

Friend of Court Brief Supports Affirmative Action
Carnegie Mellon has filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief to the United States Supreme Court in support of the University of Michigan, the defendant in two cases involving challenges to its use of affirmative action in the admission process.

At least 38 colleges and universities from across the United States joined in the filing on Feb. 18.

"Affirmative action is essential to making Carnegie Mellon a diverse university, which is crucial for making it the best university it can be," said Cohon in a speech kicking off the university's Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

"I have decided that the stakes in the University of Michigan case are so high and diversity is so important to our university that Carnegie Mellon will actively support the University of Michigan by filing a friend of the court brief in favor of their position," Cohon said.

HR Morale Survey Measures Employee Satisfaction
63% Plan on Staying at Carnegie Mellon Indefinitely
Although it's human nature to complain, Carnegie Mellon employees are generally satisfied with their work environment. So say the results of last summer's university-wide survey measuring staff morale.

Thirty-one percent (771) of the university's 2,485 staff members completed the 150-question, online survey produced by Human Resources and Consulting Psychologist Press, Inc. (CPP). The respondents included a fair representation of all colleges and administrative divisions on campus. Only two areas were below the 20 percent participation rate.

Employees were asked to rate their satisfaction with direct supervisors, the quality of relationships with coworkers, opportunities for recognition, career development opportunities, communication from upper management, their ability to balance work and life, their perception of upper management competence, trust in upper management, treatment by upper management, their commitment to the organization and job satisfaction.

While staff said there's room for improvement in several of these areas, none were found to be glaring weaknesses or problems requiring immediate attention. One of the most notable results came from questions that asked staff members about their intent to stay or leave the university. More than 75 percent of survey respondents said they intend to remain with Carnegie Mellon for at least three years. Sixty-three percent plan on staying indefinitely.

That number might seem high, but Barbara Smith, assistant vice president for human resources, said that it's not an unexpected result for a university environment.

"Many, if not most, staff choose to be in a university environment," Smith said. "I think for that reason you see a larger positive response rate in terms of commitment. They value the business we're in. The university work environment is very attractive to many people."


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