Carnegie Mellon University

April 16, 2019

Dear Faculty,

Carnegie Mellon University is widely recognized for its excellence, its innovation, and the societal relevance and impact of its educational and research pursuits. By its cutting-edge science, ground-breaking technological creations, path-breaking performances, innovative start-ups, award winning faculty, staff, and students and hands on learning, Carnegie Mellon doesn't imagine the future, we create it. And, we do this with an unprecedented commitment to integrating engineering, sciences, arts, business, and other disciplines to yield transformative results.

Carnegie Mellon is equally committed to the principle of equity which, as a partner to excellence, is the foundation for ensuring that faculty, staff, and students have the opportunity to succeed and to thrive at the University. To nurture and sustain such a commitment, it is imperative that Carnegie Mellon be a diverse community that reflects the gender, racial, ethnic, and other demographic profiles of our regional, our national, and our global constituencies. This includes the recruitment and retention of members of groups that have historically been underrepresented in American higher education and in certain disciplines. It is also imperative that Carnegie Mellon be a welcoming and inclusive community that supports the success of all individuals without sacrificing the well-being of any particular group.

The diversity of its faculty, staff, and students is a major focus in Carnegie Mellon's Strategic Plan 2025, which identifies as a part of the core mission of the University attracting and retaining diverse, world-class talent. While progress has been made since the Strategic Plan's inception in the fall 2015, Carnegie Mellon's percentage of women faculty and underrepresented minority faculty and their engagement in high-level opportunities on campus lags that of our peer institutions. We can do better and we must.

Building on the work of my predecessors, and the success of the College of Engineering's Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, I have charged each Academic Dean to develop a 5‑Year Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, with implementation to begin in AY 20‑21.

These College/School-based Strategic Plans will articulate a clear value statement on diversity and inclusion, will include measurable goals, and will be designed to capture opportunities and increase diversity in each constituent community, at each rank and track, including administrative appointments, at the College/School.

I have also encouraged the Deans to utilize their faculty expertise and consultant resources appropriate to their College/School’s disciplinary areas to help in the Plan’s development. Together, we can affirm our collective commitment to this critical University-wide mission.

The achievement of this initiative will assist the University in fulfilling the Strategic Plan 2025 and to being recognized as an equitable, diverse, and inclusive community. Thank you in advance for your support of this vision for Carnegie Mellon, and for the contributions that you might make regarding this invaluable initiative.


James H. Garrett, Jr.
Thomas Lord Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering