From October 2014 through October 2015, Carnegie Mellon University undertook a comprehensive and rigorous effort to plan for its future. It is always important for an institution to engage in strategic planning. But the need is especially acute at a time when competitive pressures, public expectations, and rapidly changing technology call into question almost every aspect of higher education.

CMU meets these challenges with unshakeable core values, an eminent set of intellectual strengths, and a distinctive culture that aims to put those strengths to practical use for the improvement of the human condition — a culture that is nimble, confident, creative, and collaborative. These traits help remake our challenges as opportunities, and position us for a future of growing excellence and global significance.

The university has also met these challenges with a robust and serious discussion touching almost every part of our Pittsburgh campus, our global locations and our larger community around the world.  Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and university leaders have joined together in town hall meetings, strategy retreats, and planning sessions that were at once meticulous and fiercely principled. I want to thank all of you for these intensely committed efforts.

The result is a plan that you would expect of Carnegie Mellon; it does not look like any other university’s plan, but it does look like CMU — creative, thoughtful, pragmatic, and ambitious. Even its presentation is distinctive. Rather than trying to fit the complexity of the university into a linear narrative, the web-based plan acknowledges the interwoven and interconnected threads of initiatives that make up the university. It also allows you to follow these goals and strategies in the way that best allows you to consider your place in this future of great promise. You can begin your search here:

A plan, of course, is only a beginning. Each of us must now work to make these aspirations real, to hold ourselves accountable for our part of the plan, and for the future of the university as a whole. As we develop metrics for implementing the plan, we must push toward achievement, measure our progress, and, when necessary, make course corrections. That is not an additional task or extraneous duty; it is a more intentional approach to the way we conduct our work and life every day, one that will help us individually and collectively reach the goals that have brought us together at Carnegie Mellon University.

 November 2, 2015