Carnegie Mellon University

September 26, 2018

Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon University Community: 

In my August 22 email to the university community, I announced the creation of a presidential task force to advise on the steps Carnegie Mellon can take to support a climate that is more diverse, inclusive, equitable, respectful and understanding for all faculty, students and staff. 

My full charge to the President’s Task Force on Campus Climate is now available. As you will read, I have asked the task force to make recommendations that are actionable in the short term, as well as to develop recommendations that are more aspirational in nature for the longer term. The task force will submit a report at the end of this academic year. 

I am pleased to share that several members of our community have agreed to serve on this task force, joining the three co-chairs: David Danks, Professor of Philosophy and Psychology and Department Head in Philosophy; Jodi Forlizzi, Professor and Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute; and Michelle Piekutowski, associate vice president and chief human resources officer. 

Please join me in thanking the 2018-19 members of the Task Force on Campus Climate, which includes representation from faculty, students and staff across campus:

Jeff Bigham, Associate Professor, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, School of Computer Science;
Romayne Botti,CFO/COO and Associate Dean, College of Engineering;
Angela Campbell, Director, The Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion;
Tomé Cousin, Associate Professor of Dance, College of Fine Arts; 
Lorrie Cranor, FORE Systems Professor of Computer Science, Institute for Software Research, School of Computer Science; and Associate Department Head, Engineering & Public Policy, College of Engineering;
Mark Delos Reyes Davis, Associate Vice President and Campaign Director, University Advancement;
Shreya Desikan, Undergraduate Student, Mellon College of Science;
Scott Dodelson, Department Head and Professor of Physics, Mellon College of Science;
Veronica Hinman, Professor of Biological Sciences, Mellon College of Science;
Holly Hippensteel, Associate Vice President for Community Standards and Diversity Initiatives, Division of Student Affairs;
Elizabeth Holm, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering;
Ken Hovis, Associate Teaching Professor and Assistant Dean for Educational Initiatives, Mellon College of Science;
Rishav Khemka, Masters Student, Tepper School of Business;
Roberta Klatzky, Charles J. Queenan Jr. University Professor of Psychology, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences;
Kristen Kurland, Teaching Professor of Architecture, Information Systems, and Public Policy, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy and College of Fine Arts;
Jennifer McDowell, Director of Design & Construction, Campus Design and Facilities Development;
Colleen McMullen, Executive Director, Community and InclusionTepper School of Business;
Nichole Merritt, Executive Administrator, Dean’s Office, School of Computer Science;
Octavio Mesner, Doctoral Student, College of Engineering and School of Computer Science;
Catherine Mondoa, Undergraduate Student, College of Engineering;
Jon Nehlson,Associate Dean of  Partnerships and Communication Strategy, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy;
Carrie Nelson, Associate Vice President for Finance & Controller, Division of Finance;
Shannon Riffe,Director of Marketing & Communications, University Libraries;
Andreea Ritivoi, Department Head and Professor of English, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences;
Stacie Rohrbach,  Associate Professor of Design,College of Fine Arts;
Denise Rousseau, H.J. Heinz II University Professor of Organizational Behavior and Public Policy, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy;
Willem-Jan van Hoeve, Carnegie Bosch Associate Professor of Operations Research, Tepper School of Business;
Anita Woolley, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory, Tepper School of Business; and
Cathy Light, Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Corporation, Office of the President (ex officio).

This committee represents many perspectives and voices across CMU, but our goal is to engage the community more broadly through various mechanisms. In particular, we have many subject matter experts from across campus who can bring their knowledge and experience to bear on these issues and the task force is actively engaging their expertise. I invite you to explore the task force website, which will serve to update the CMU community and allow you to provide feedback. The co-chairs also may communicate directly with the campus community to share progress as well as opportunities to get involved.  

I am grateful to all of the members of the community who have reached out to express their support for this effort and to all those who have graciously agreed to serve on the task force. I look forward to seeing how their work will contribute to making the environment at CMU more respectful, inclusive and supportive.


Farnam Jahanian
Henry L. Hillman Chair