Carnegie Mellon University

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) must be intentional.
It has to be embedded in everything that we do as a college.

An important step to reach this goal is to understand the current climate to help inform future and current decisions to build a vibrant community. We understand that in partnership with the university, it will be fundamental to collect data to assess faculty, student and staff perspectives. While the university is leading the charge to institute a campus-wide survey to collect data, we felt it was important for the Dietrich College DEI Implementation Committee to undertake several initiatives to redress and further progress our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The DEI Implementation Committee consists of departmental liaisons who focus their efforts on the strategic plan and alignment to departmental efforts. Overcoming barriers in diversity, equity and inclusion is not easy and achieving results takes time. Individuals and groups across campus have made real change, but this change has occurred mainly in pockets and has failed to reach the transformative level we seek as a college. The reasons for this are complex, and we hope you will see the Dietrich College Strategic Plan as the college’s map to take action and increase accountability and consistency. We thank you for your constructive feedback, your efforts and your energy.

Diversity Equity Inclusion Strategic Plan_March03_2021

Learn more about our progress


Faculty diversity, equity and inclusion are central to the mission of the Dietrich College. As scholars, it is central to our understanding of the world to include diverse perspectives in our work and to study the different experiences of people in our society and world. As educators, a central piece of our mission is to educate our students for a diverse and global world. As community members, we thrive when we feel included and valued and when there are equal opportunities for success. It is imperative for our excellence as scholars, educators and community members to increase expand faculty diversity, promote inclusion and retain the talent in our community.

Dietrich College is committed to expanding faculty diversity, promoting inclusion and retaining the talent in our community.

Highlights from the strategic plan include:

  1. Improve access and equity for historically underrepresented minorities and women faculty. Dietrich College is creating and using hiring practices that enhance the diversity of hiring (e.g., hiring procedure checklists, search approvals, training and process accountability) and leveraging resources to improve the effectiveness of hiring. Training and workshops will be developed to improve the transparency and equity of reappointment, promotion and tenure processes. Dietrich College will also collaborate with departments to retain and develop faculty through mentorship programs, sponsorship, resource allocation, equity in service and maintain salary equity.
  2. Ensure a multicultural and inclusive faculty climate. Dietrich College will communicate and recognize the value of diversity and inclusion in order to establish a campus climate of inclusion in which every faculty member of the institution feels a sense of belonging, is able to participate fully in the life of the institution and thrive. Actions will focus on standardized messaging, reporting mechanisms and ensuring diversity is visible at college events, speaker series and with DEI awards. Transparent procedures were developed and are being used for appointing Dietrich leadership positions and faculty chairs. There will also be increased opportunities for learning about and valuing diversity and inclusion through events and training.
  3. Provide support for conducting diversity, equity and inclusion research. As research is a central piece of our mission, it is important to undertake steps to advance scholarship and research around domestic, international and intersectional issues of diversity and equity. Dietrich College will prioritize, promote, fund and report on such research initiatives.
  4. Enhance teaching and diversity. Dietrich College will provide training for faculty. The college will encourage faculty to include diverse perspectives in their course materials and increase the use of inclusive classroom practices. These approaches ensure that students are educated for a diverse and global world.


Over the years, the university has implemented several innovative programs, policies and initiatives to improve staff diversity, inclusion and equity. These initiatives include programming to support individuals, exit surveys to understand retention challenges and policies for consistent onboarding of new staff. Many of these efforts directly align with the goals of Dietrich College. This plan demonstrates college-level structural mechanisms to increase our human capacity to facilitate diversity, equity and inclusion ecosystems that maximize resources, avoid redundancies and communicate effectively. 

Highlights from the strategic plan include:

  1. Build and foster a positive work environment for staff in Dietrich College. Dietrich College strives to be a place where all members of the community feel valued and appreciated. Unfortunately, there is no information available on the experiences of staff in the Dietrich College. While we can make some general recommendations based on the information presented, we feel it is critical to develop a survey to ascertain the climate within Dietrich College. Dietrich College will partner with the university on this initiative. In tandem, staff will be identified to aid in our college’s ability to seek ways to improve its climate.
  2. Identify gaps and opportunities to partner with CMU Human Resources to recruitment and retention of staff. CMU Human Resources has developed a program to onboard new employees to make the transition to the university seamless, easy and helpful. HR has also established a working group to develop training programs to expand new hires’ understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion as well as racism and bias. In addition, their Diversity Recruitment Liaisons Program will help HR recruiters, hiring managers and/or search committees/interview teams prepare recruitment plans to support fair and equitable searches and encourage best practices for inclusive recruitment in compliance with applicable laws. Locally, Dietrich College will expand on the opportunities shared by HR to provide training, recognition and a platform to continuously examine the equity of staff.

Graduate Students

At the heart of equity and inclusion at Dietrich College, we believe that acting upon opportunities and empowering our community is the way to achieve long-term and effective change. That commitment to community is demonstrated by a variety of programs and initiatives. 

 Highlights from the strategic plan include:

  1. Provide equitable financial support to expand PhD fellowships to support one program participant per year per department. Dietrich College approved the establishment of the Dietrich College Scholars Program at the Ph.D. level. This initiative is consistent with CMU’s commitment to: “…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.” Dietrich College has worked hard to build a sustainable financial model in which all Ph.D.-granting units within the college participate, building a core cohort of fellows.
  2. Develop an inventory of master's programs to evaluate the indicators used by departments to admit prospective students. Master’s programs within Dietrich College are decentralized. Departments will decide how to admit prospective students to their programs. We plan to determine whether the current practice led by departments for admission requirements and evaluation increase equity. We will create standards and guidance for the admission committees to consider during their review process.
  3. Centralize certain aspects of existing pathway programs for the college to build support, expand outreach and strengthen their capacity to reach their specific programmatic outcomes. These programs offer the college an opportunity to reduce the hurdles to mounting these initiatives and leverage economies of scale by centralizing some of the common, logistical aspects related to housing, meals and opportunities for social interaction and community-building. Centralized logistical support also facilitates the coordination of different programs so that students attending programs from different departments might have the opportunity to meet and build relationships across disciplinary boundaries.

Undergraduate Students

At Dietrich College, the best way for our students to understand the world is to embrace the full spectrum of perspectives and life experiences. To that end, the college welcomes students, staff and faculty of every gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and gender identity. All community members are encouraged to think critically about disparities in social structures and take action toward positive change. 

 Highlights from the strategic plan include:

  1. Support a climate of inclusion. To transform the student experience, it is critical to be thoughtful in how we teach, learn from and celebrate. The college provides an introduction to the basic concepts of DEI through the university’s commission of Everfi. Dietrich College also strives to provide consistent learning opportunities available during the student’s academic journey through programs, presentations, seminars and curriculum.
  2. Recruit and inspire future learners in the Pittsburgh community. Dietrich College, in partnership with the College of Fine Arts, is developing a high-quality, intensive summer program for low-income, first-generation and other students who contribute to diversity from the Pittsburgh region. The college will connect students interested in the humanities, social sciences and the arts with preparation for college, scholarships for those admitted and general support throughout their experience.

DEI courses available through Dietrich College include:

85350 Psychology of Prejudice: The class provides an overview of the cognitive and emotional underpinnings of prejudice and discrimination as it pertains to many forms of inequality. The goal of the course is to examine a number of social differences and understand how prejudice can impact many areas of society.

82-283 Language Diversity & Cultural Identity: This course will explore a variety of questions, advantages and challenges related to language diversity and cultural identity across the globe. The goal of the course is to focus on contexts of multilingualism.

79-226 African History: Earliest Times to 1780: A beginning point for this course will be the question: how do historians reconstruct history when few written sources are available? Breaking disciplinary boundaries, the course will draw on linguistics, climatology, archaeology and anthropology to reconstruct dynamic social, cultural, political and economic processes in Africa before the arrival of Europeans and before the availability of written source materials.

85-357 Navigating Race and Identity in America: The Role of Psychology in Racial Interactions: This course will serve as an introduction to how people’s psychology — how they think, feel and act — shapes their experience of race and identity in America. After a brief discussion about the structural and systemic origins of the racial status quo, students will examine the way that individuals navigate the social and racial landscape of modern-day America. 

76-384 Race, Nation and the Enemy: This course explores the discursive practices through which racial and national identities are formed and the frequent conflicts between them, particularly by focusing on the role of enemies, threats to the nation and sacrifices made on behalf of the nation in American public discourse.

79-360 Crime, Policing, and the Law: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives: This seminar will explore the development of the American criminal justice system from the colonial era to the present. Topics covered will include, but not limited to, slave patrols in the antebellum South, efforts to control labor unrest in the northeast, the emergence of urban police departments, campus police forces, surveillance and police oversight.

88-366 Behavioral Economics of Poverty and Development: This course will introduce students to the study of economic development and poverty alleviation, with a special focus on recent insights from the intersection of psychology and economics. Students will focus on the health, microfinance, agriculture and education sectors in developing countries.

82-284 Multicultural Pittsburgh: A Creative Media Exploration of Community, Language & Identity: This course will explore the cultures, identities, languages and groups that have historically shaped and continue to shape Pittsburgh. Through active learning, students will employ different approaches, including testimony, psycho-geography, map-making and topographical tools, to explore data visualization and 3-D imaging.

79-313 "Unwanted": Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Patterns of Global Migration: This course will examine the modern patterns of migration, mobility and displacement, with a particular focus on the U.S. and Europe in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will engage with anthropological and historical analyses of global migrations of people, capital and ideas, as well as social inequalities and new forms of political control.

80-447 Global Justice: This course aims to introduce students to the problem of global distributive justice in the context of a globalized world, with emphases on both theoretical accounts of justice and the practical implications of those accounts for important current issues.