Carnegie Mellon University

Dear Colleagues:

Today, as I officially step into the role of Provost, I want to share with you my gratitude for your warm welcome, and my excitement for the work we share going forward.

I first came to know Carnegie Mellon University as an outsider, from the vantage point of another university, and then through my work at the National Science Foundation. The eminence and depth of scholarship here was clear to me, and was a powerful attraction for me when a role at CMU presented itself. In my short time as Vice President for Research, I came to know many of you through another lens, and developed a better sense of what makes research and education here truly distinctive.

Most recently, I have spent many hours meeting with groups of you informally, hearing about your work, your hopes and your concerns, and getting to know you personally. I am grateful for your frank and collegial approach. You have helped accelerate my transition, and provided the basis for an excellent, collaborative relationship going forward. I share your admiration for the quality of our students, and your dedication to providing an environment that encourages them to imagine broadly, think critically and take risks in advancing knowledge and improving the human condition.

I particularly want to thank Nathan Urban for his work as Interim Provost this past academic year. I am grateful for the momentum he has helped create and for his thoughtful support during my transition. I also want to thank Mark Kamlet for his consummate dedication and stewardship during his tenure as Provost. I am very fortunate that he is a resource to me on campus as I continue to benefit from his wisdom and insight.

This is not the time for a manifesto; I still have much more to hear and learn before I outline steps I hope we can take together to tackle a variety of issues, from aligning the university’s budget with our long-term needs to maintaining excellence in individual academic programs and streamlining policies that help support you in your work. I look forward to working closely with the faculty, staff and broader community throughout my time as Provost, and appreciate your contributions and your dedication to Carnegie Mellon.

With warm regards,

Farnam Jahanian