Carnegie Mellon University

August 31, 2015

Dear Members of the University Community:

I am excited to welcome everyone back to Carnegie Mellon University for another year of teaching and learning, research and impact, all infused with a spirit of scholarly exploration. At Carnegie Mellon, we also carry out those core missions with a distinctive belief that the work in and across our varied disciplines can lead to the betterment of the human condition.

Returning members of the Carnegie Mellon family have already experienced our unique community of vibrant, talented and engaged people from around the world. And now, our newest group of 1,590 undergraduate and 2,786 graduate students has earned the privilege of joining the Carnegie Mellon family. We also are welcoming this semester the inaugural cohort of currently 90 Presidential Scholars among undergraduate students and 55 Presidential Fellows among graduate students.  

This is a year of unprecedented promise and growth for CMU. Our curricula, our research, our programming and our partnerships continue to break new ground. At the same time, the university is poised to benefit significantly from the largest infrastructure development efforts in our 115-year history, catalyzed by record fundraising outcomes in the past two years. These activities will benefit current and future students, faculty and staff, and also will transform our education, research, campus life and global impact. We are in the final stages of our new strategic plan, which will guide the university’s trajectory over the next decade. Your input, received through unprecedented campus and CMU community involvement since last October, has been vital to the strategic planning process.

As we move forward, I am committed to continuing an open dialogue that began with the listening tour in my first year, the April community forum and numerous gatherings last year. The first of our annual fall conversations – the President’s Town Hall – is scheduled for Sept. 30 in McConomy Auditorium in Pittsburgh, and will be webcast live. I encourage everyone in the global CMU family to participate so that we can engage in a conversation on issues of interest and importance to Carnegie Mellon. I also will be organizing a number of periodic and informal gatherings with small groups of faculty, staff, students and alumni throughout the year – on campus, at the residence, in various CMU facilities and other venues around the globe – to engage in a substantive conversation that seeks your perspectives and thoughts for the university.

Carnegie Mellon is proud to be a community that encourages rigorous discourse, health and wellness, and embraces people of varied and diverse talents, characteristics and interests. To do so, we all share the responsibility for upholding our ethos of respecting all people at all times. Just as critical is our culture of engagement, in which we step out of our comfort zones to celebrate common bonds and rich differences. This invariably creates constructive opportunities to address hidden biases and assumptions. These acts of learning and growth are reinforced and facilitated throughout the year by our many programs and student organizations. I encourage everyone to explore and engage in these opportunities.

We each take responsibility for maintaining the highest standards of personal and professional conduct. Our campus must be free from harassment or discrimination of any kind, free from sexual violence and free from ill-treatment of any individual. Be sure to review the university expectations and the resources available regarding gender equality and sexual misconduct. Adherence to these standards and all university policies is imperative for maintaining a climate of integrity and mutual respect. Each of us plays a pivotal role in reinforcing these values at all times, and in the rare instances when we see others abuse this climate of trust, we must be willing to act and hold each other accountable.

I am confident you will be mindful of our cherished culture of inclusion. And whether you’re a student starting, continuing or concluding your CMU adventure, a faculty member striving to inspire in the classroom, a researcher pursuing a game-changing breakthrough, or a staff member working diligently to keep the university running smoothly, I hope that you will find 2015-16 fruitful and rewarding at Carnegie Mellon.


Subra Suresh