Carnegie Mellon University

Commitments and Action Items

Our commitments span three broad areas of impact.

  1. Commitments to the CMU Community
    1. We commit to engage every member of the CMU community in working together to build and sustain an inclusive culture that promotes equity for all and is intolerant of racism, discrimination and bias.
    2. We commit to recruit and develop a student body that truly represents the vibrant diversity of our nation and the world, where all Black and marginalized students feel supported throughout their education and experience.
    3. We commit to recruit, retain and develop Black and underrepresented faculty and staff and to provide all of our employees with an environment that fosters their collective success.
    4. We commit to build greater trust, understanding and transparency between the CMU community and the CMU Police.
  2. Commitment to the Expansion of Knowledge and Expertise at CMU

    CMU commits to growing its leadership in the study of racism and systemic injustice for the purpose of influencing public policy and developing meaningful interventions.
  3. Commitments to Engagement and Economic Empowerment for Our Broader Community

    We commit to partnering with our community to collaboratively develop positive social innovations that expand access, opportunity and economic empowerment in the Pittsburgh region and reverse the undeniable trends of racial injustice and inequality.

In pursuit of these commitments, we propose concrete actions with short-, medium-, long-term and ongoing horizons.

Recently Updated Action Items

The following action items contain April 2021 updates.

All Action Items

Short-Term Action Items

check-gray.pngBroaden the Tartan Scholars Program by Doubling Its Capacity
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We will double the capacity of the Tartan Scholars program for first-year undergraduate students who are academically high-achieving and come from low-income backgrounds.

Create Community Fellows Program
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

The university will create a Community Fellows program whereby individuals with expertise in anti-racism will spend up to a year in residence at CMU.

check-gray.pngCreate Transparency with Community Engagement Website
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We commit to greater transparency in the community-driven education, research and service efforts that are taking place across the institution through the creation of a new Community Engagement website.

Develop Social Capital Through Community Connections and Networks
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We have partnered with Vibrant Pittsburgh to provide resources to our faculty and staff, including empowering employee affinity groups.

check-gray.pngEquip All CMUPD Officers with Body Cameras
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We will equip all CMUPD officers with body cameras, at the request of our chief of police, and will develop protocols on their use and policies to ensure their efficacy.

Examine Admission and Financial Aid Policies and Practices
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We are charging Provost James H. Garrett Jr. and Dean of Admission Mike Steidel to undertake a comprehensive examination of our admission and financial aid policies and practices.

Fund a New CAUSE Initiative
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We will fund a new CAUSE (Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy) initiative aimed at partnerships with academic units across CMU, especially the deep expertise within the Heinz College.

check-gray.pngInclude DEI Statement in Course Syllabi
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

The University Education Council is advancing a faculty-initiated proposal for inclusion of a DEI statement in course syllabi, including information on how to report bias, as a visible and pervasive message to all.

Launch Seed Funding Program to Support Community-Driven Social Innovation Projects
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We will launch a seed funding program to support the expansion of community-driven social innovation projects, especially those that are aimed at dismantling structural barriers to opportunity, promoting shared prosperity and supporting cultural expression by diverse artists.

check-gray.pngMake Police Department Policies Public
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We will make publicly available information on existing departmental policies, such as impartial policing and the use of force, officer training, including training on implicit bias, cultural sensitivity, communication, negotiation and de-escalation, as well as our efforts to continually assess, refine and expand these efforts.

check-gray.pngNew Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Student Orientation Training Module
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

This fall we will pilot a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Students orientation training module with all incoming undergraduate and graduate students.

check-gray.pngNew Orientation Sessions Addressing Civility, Bias, Inclusion and Anti-Racism
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

Student Affairs is partnering with campus experts to develop brand new orientation sessions addressing civility, bias, inclusion and anti-racism.

Medium-Term Action Items

Community Engagement in Research
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

To ensure transparency and appropriate involvement in future projects that involve local communities, we are charging Michael McQuade, vice president for research, to lead a review of CMU’s processes for community engagement in community-based research.

Develop Courses in Cultural Competencies
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We are charging the academic leadership to develop a modular set of courses in cultural competencies, including topics related to bias, discrimination, anti-racism, anti-sexism and cultural sensitivity.

check-gray.pngDiversify Speakers
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We commit to further diversify the speakers we bring to challenge, engage and educate the campus community on topics related to racism, equity and social justice.

Expand Access for Underrepresented Entrepreneurs
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

The Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship will develop educational seminars and networking events to help women- and minority-owned businesses launch and thrive, especially those in underserved communities in the Pittsburgh region.

Expand Course and Degree Offerings
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We commit to expand our existing resources and to fund the development of new courses and degree programs that will further enhance our academic offerings in Black history, art and culture, and issues related to race and social justice.

check-gray.pngExpand Fellowship Programs for Master's and Doctoral Students
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We will expand fellowship programs that meet the unique needs of underrepresented professional master's and doctoral students, including the PPIA Junior Summer Institute in the Heinz College, the GEM Fellowship programs in the College of Engineering and the School of Computer Science and the CGSM Fellowship program in the Tepper School of Business.

Expand Peer Education and Leadership Opportunities at Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

The Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion (the Center) will expand peer education and leadership development opportunities aimed at fostering intergroup dialogue and building student capacity as agents of social change.

Explore Responsible Conduct of Research Expansion
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We are charging Michael McQuade, vice president for research, to examine the current Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) curricula to explore ways that it can be expanded to include training on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) topics for graduate student researchers and faculty.

Form Committee to Create Cross-College Research Center
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We will form a university-wide committee of faculty and other stakeholders to study and recommend the creation of a cross-college research center or institute that is focused on issues germane to racism and social justice.

Fund Cross-College Cluster Hires to Build Scholarly Capacity
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We will be funding cross-college cluster hires to build greater scholarly capacity and expertise in DEI areas.

check-gray.pngProfessional Development for Faculty and Staff on DEI Topics
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We are launching professional development for faculty and staff on cultural sensitivity, civil discourse and a broad range of DEI topics.

Require DEI Commitments in Writing from Vendors and Contractors
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

When entering into new contracts with vendors and contractors, the university will require that they describe their commitments to diversity and equitable and inclusive practices in writing.

Long-Term Action Items

Convene Presidential Review Board to Review CMUPD Policies and Operations
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We will convene a Presidential Review Board to review the CMU Police Department and assess its policies and operations, including how it engages with our community.

Create Faculty Opportunity Fund
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We are piloting a Faculty Opportunity Fund that will support recruitment, retention and development of outstanding scholars in all fields who will contribute to diversity and equity at CMU and enhance our reputation as a leading university.

Expand Engagement with Pittsburgh Schools and Counselors
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

The Office of Admission will also expand its engagement with Pittsburgh area schools and deepen our relationships with their college counselors.

Publish Annual Report on Faculty and Staff Composition and Recruiting Progress
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We will publish an annual report on the composition of our faculty and staff, and progress in recruiting.

Publish New Annual Report on Police Activities
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We will publish a new annual report on police activities. This report will consolidate much already-collected data, such as the information we are required to disclose by the Clery Act.

Ongoing Action Items

Convene Committee to Promote Greater Equity in Our Recruitment, Retention, Development, Promotion and Tenure Efforts
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We will convene a representative committee of faculty and staff to look at our policies, structures and systemic issues in order to promote greater equity in our recruitment, retention, development, promotion and tenure efforts.

Evaluate and Refine Academic and Administrative Five-Year DEI Plans
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

The vice provost will also partner with the deans and vice presidents on the continuous evaluation and refinement of their DEI plans.

Expand Opportunities for Local Executive Talent
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We are charging the Tepper School of Business with creating new and expanded opportunities for local executive talent development in marginalized regions of our city, building on the success of the Executive Leadership Academy, a collaboration with the Advanced Leadership Initiative.

Expand Supplier Diversity Program to Focus on Local Businesses
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We are charging Angela Blanton, vice president for finance and chief financial officer, to expand our Supplier Diversity Program to include a greater focus on procurement from locally owned businesses.

check-gray.pngExpand the Provost's Inclusive Teaching Fellows Program
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We commit to expand the Provost's Inclusive Teaching Fellows program so that we can continue to advance inclusive teaching practices among our faculty, with a special focus on incorporating more diverse voices in course materials.

Expand Website Dedicated to DEI
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

We will launch an expanded website dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion. This site will centralize statements and resources; share progress on our commitments and action steps; include resources on how to report incidents of bias and racism; and publicize relevant organizations and events.

Fund Collection and Processing of Library Archives that Represent Underrepresented Groups
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

The libraries commit to the creation of a fund to support the collection and processing of archives that represent underrepresented groups.

check-gray.pngLaunch Search for Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Committed ▸ In Progress ▸ Implemented

After a comprehensive national search, Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant has been selected as Carnegie Mellon University’s inaugural Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Chief Diversity Officer.