Carnegie Mellon University

April 25, 2018

Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon University Community,

I am pleased to announce the launch of a global search for Provost and Chief Academic Officer. As you know, this role is profoundly important, with primary responsibility for ensuring academic excellence across the university, in keeping with our strategic plan and priorities. The provost coordinates the allocation of resources that support our education and research missions and oversees academic activities across our campuses and programs around the world. As the university’s chief academic officer, the provost is instrumental in long-range institutional and academic planning and implementation. This position involves responsibility for the quality of our students and the quality of their experience at CMU.It also includes oversight responsibility for recruiting, hiring and advancement of faculty and academic administrators and for the university’s promotion and tenure of the 1,500 members of CMU’s faculty.The provost plays an especially critical role in fostering collaboration across colleges and departments, promoting the interdisciplinary approach that is at the heart of Carnegie Mellon’s culture, and drives so much of our momentum as a university. 

In order to help identify the best candidates for this critical position, I have appointed an advisory search committee, to be chaired by Richard Scheines, dean of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of Philosophy. Mary Jo Dively, vice president and general counsel, will serve as vice chair. Search committee members are:

  • Martin Aurand, Principal Librarian/Architecture Archivist
  • Martial Hebert, Director of the Robotics Institute 
  • Roberta Klatzky, Charles J. Queenan Jr. Professor of Psychology
  • Kristen Kurland, Teaching Professor of Architecture, Information Systems & Public Policy
  • Diana Marculescu, David Edward Schramm Professor and Associate Department Head for Academic Affairs, Electrical & Computer Engineering; and Director of the College of Engineering Center for Faculty Success
  • Curtis Meyer, Professor of Physics and MCS Associate Dean for Research
  • Scott Mory, Vice President for University Advancement
  • Michael Murphy, Distinguished Service Professor, Integrated Innovation Institute, College of Engineering
  • Michael D. Smith, Professor of Information Technology & Marketing
  • Everett Tademy, Assistant Vice President, Equal Opportunity Services and University Ombudsman
  • Charlie White, Head of the School of Art
  • Sevin Yeltekin, Professor of Economics and Senior Associate Dean of Education 

The committee will be assisted by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller. 

While we intend to move quickly, so we can continue to build on the university’s momentum, I’ve asked the committee to look broadly for outstanding candidates, both within our community and among proven leaders outside the university who know CMU and understand the distinct opportunities open to us right now. The committee will solicit input from the university community initially through two town hall meetings:

  • May 2, noon - 1:30 p.m., Connan Room, Cohon University Center
  • May 9, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., Posner Center

The committee also will meet with various constituent groups. Nominations from the community are encouraged and may be submitted to now and Commencement. The search committee will interview candidates through the summer with the expectation of finalist interviews in the early fall. Although the process must promise confidentiality in order to attract the best candidates, we intend there will be representation from faculty, students, staff and alumni in the finalist interviews.To submit comments and read more about the position, please visit, which will be updated throughout the search.

Once the provost search is complete, we plan to re-create the position of vice president for research, reporting directly to me and working closely with the provost. I will share more details about this office and the vice president’s role at that time.


Farnam Jahanian
Henry L. Hillman President’s Chair
Carnegie Mellon University