Carnegie Mellon University

President's Committee on International Engagements

Excerpt from President Jahanian's March 2019 charge to the Committee on International Engagements:

"Carnegie Mellon’s leadership in research has placed this institution at the forefront of disciplines that are changing the world in fundamental ways. The pursuit of new knowledge informs our teaching and contributes to national and global economic growth, while providing service to our public and private sponsors.

The university has reached this position by, almost exclusively, the performance of fundamental research on an open campus, the results of which are freely publishable by researchers who have the academic freedom to pursue lines of inquiry of their choosing...

The Committee is chartered to:

1. Develop high level principles to be used to guide the establishment of new engagements with foreign sponsors.

2. Formulate specific criteria for evaluating and approving engagements.

3. Examine our processes for review and approval of foreign sponsored research, educational activities and philanthropy and make recommendations on any process changes we need to implement, all while ensuring transparency and efficiency in those processes.

4. Examine our visitor policies for international visitors of all kinds, including but not limited to faculty and students from foreign universities, employees of foreign sponsors, and make recommendations for any changes needed.

5. Recommend any modifications or additions needed to both optional and mandatory training programs to ensure compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations."

Carnegie Mellon University has welcomed faculty, students, and staff from around the world since our very founding.  We believe that being part of the global community enriches all of us, including our vibrant network of more than 113,000 alumni worldwide.  We are committed to sustaining this community.

As a member of the global community—with commensurate impact and reach—Carnegie Mellon University is committed to improving the human condition through our research and educational missions. The university’s many successes situate us as leaders in disciplines that are changing the world in fundamental ways.  Through the intellectual contributions of our faculty, researchers, students, alumni, and staff from many countries and from diverse cultures and backgrounds, our pursuit of new knowledge informs our teaching and research foci and contributes to national and global economic growth.   The following core principles guide the university’s engagement with global educational partners and research partnerships with public and private sponsors:  

Celebrate Global Opportunities and Relationships.  CMU engages with institutions, individuals, communities, and industries across the globe to impact people, systems, and societies, acknowledging that valuable new research and educational opportunities benefit our faculty and students.  Such active engagement within and across boundaries enriches the fabric of CMU. This global reach and impact serve to maintain and further CMU’s competitive stature. When considering global opportunities, CMU will continue to abide by the Pollock Principles, adopted by the university’s Board of Trustees at their Annual Meeting on May 21, 2007.

Sustain Academic Freedom. As a premier US research university committed to academic freedoms inherent within US higher education, CMU supports the freedom of its faculty to choose the object of their research as well as the free generation and flow of their ideas into and out of the university.  CMU strives to maintain an environment in which each individual researcher, subject to the boundaries set by policies and regulations and other relevant governing principles, is free to engage with sponsors and collaborators of their choosing, independent of the choices of their peers.

Mitigate Risk.  The University is committed to the responsible, considered management of all forms of risk associated with global engagements and relationships.  This includes, but is not limited to, compliance risks in domains such as export control and security risks associated with potential theft of intellectual property (IP) and sensitive or controlled information that may also extend into risks to national security as well as reputational and opportunity risks associated with the decision to approve or not approve certain engagements, partnerships, or philanthropy.  The University will continually evaluate and balance these risks in the interest of maximizing the ability of the entire community to fulfill its overall education and research missions.  In doing so, we acknowledge that additional scrutiny of certain prospective international engagements may be needed.  The University is committed to expeditiously completing such reviews.

Compliance with Law. CMU respects and obeys U.S. law and regulation wherever it is applicable. When we approve a global engagement, CMU will respect and obey the laws and regulations of other entities, countries, or governing bodies.  In considering prospective global engagements, CMU will consider how compliance with the laws of other entities, countries, or governing bodies is or is not compatible with other principles of the University and its mission as a not-for-profit institution of higher learning.

Transparent Administrative Process. CMU promotes a transparent and efficient process for vetting, determining suitability, decision-making, and execution of agreements with global sponsors, donors, and partner institutions.

Whereas, Carnegie Mellon University has a tradition and history of advancing knowledge through research and teaching; and

Whereas, Carnegie Mellon University has operated since its founding to reach out to otherwise underserved individuals whose educational opportunities have been limited; and

Whereas, Carnegie Mellon University has grown in capabilities to become one of a select number of premier American universities respecting both its research competence and its intentional approach to student learning through open inquiry and development of critical thinking skills with, both research and teaching, emphasizing interdisciplinary entrepreneurism; and

Whereas, Carnegie Mellon University has long attracted students, researchers and teachers from diverse cultures, countries and socio-economic backgrounds; and

Whereas, Carnegie Mellon has a comparative advantage relative to many of its peers in the form of distinctive strengths in education and research which are of special interest to governments, corporations, and other organizations involving global delivery of services; and

Whereas, Carnegie Mellon has a comparative advantage relative to many of its peers in its extensive experience in a range of modes of delivery, pedagogical approaches, and the creative use of information technologies to expand educational and research interactions into global presence and global interactions.

Now, therefore, be it resolved, that as Carnegie Mellon University extends its international presence for the purpose of advancing human knowledge and understanding, it shall be guided and governed by the following Principles:

1.Carnegie Mellon University shall control admissions, curriculum and faculty appointments consistent with existing policies in the Faculty Handbook.

2. Carnegie Mellon University standards shall be maintained for all programs and activities.

3. Programs and activities shall not compromise the operational or financial integrity of associated academic units or that of the university.

4. Undergraduate programs shall emphasize development of critical thinking skills in addition to acquisition of competence in selected arts and sciences.

5. Interaction among and between research and learning locations shall be encouraged.

6. Carnegie Mellon University policies of academic freedom of inquiry and freedom of expression shall be assured.

7. Professional masters programs may be tailored to meet local requirements consistent with the overall mission and policies of Carnegie Mellon University.

From May 21, 2007 Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees