Introduction


February 2018

In November 2015, Carnegie Mellon University released a 10-year strategic plan to set an aspirational course for our university’s future. As CMU leadership noted at the time, “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.”

Now, two years into a 10-year plan, the CMU community—students, faculty, staff, and alumni—have rallied around the plan as a blueprint for the individuals we want to cultivate, the community we want to live in, and the impact we want to have on society. Our community is also committed to making the plan a living document—one that does not “sit on the shelf” until a new strategy comes forward 10 years hence. To that end, the president, academic and administrative leadership, and the Board of Trustees have distilled our 10-year aspiration into a prioritized, workable agenda for decision making by identifying four guiding priorities:

Attract and Retain Outstanding and Diverse Talent. Expand resources to support faculty and student talent and to provide the environment that enables them to be successful.

Implementation Highlights can be found on the Strategic Recommendation pages for Best Practices in Diversity and Inclusion, Collaborative Culture and Climate, and Recruiting and Retaining World Class Faculty. 

Apply Innovative Approaches to Teaching and Learning. Carnegie Mellon is building upon longstanding research strengths in learning science and technology enhanced learning, so that CMU will continue to offer a truly distinctive educational experience for our students.

Implementation Highlights can be found on the Strategic Recommendation pages for Innovation in Teaching and Learning Science. 

Build Excellence across the University. Investing in all domains of CMU’s intellectual and creative life is essential to the institution’s future. The first phase of activity in this area will be to invest in interdisciplinary science across CMU, accelerating the development of new paradigms and methods for discovery and to advance work in foundational and collaborative science.

Implementation Highlights can be found on the Strategic Recommendation pages for Incubating Emerging Areas, Shaping the Research Agenda, and Grand Challenges

Enhance the CMU Experience. This has two interrelated aspects: a personal dimension that allows each member of the CMU community to live healthy, rich lives, and a community dimension, in which all students, faculty, and staff feel connected to one another by a common sense of purpose, pride, and spirit. We aspire to be a global model in addressing the student experience as a whole, and supporting each student to achieve academic success, health, and well-being, and to grow as professionals and citizens.

Implementation Highlights can be found on the Strategic Recommendation page for Holistic Health & Wellness. Additional detail is available at the Task Force on the CMU Experience web page.

These four priority areas—based on a strong foundation in Strategic Plan 2025—guide faculty and staff in aligning the plan priorities to operational decision making, resource allocation, and action at the university, the college, and the administrative level. As the university continues to grow and thrive, we will engage the campus community in refining these priorities and phasing in other important components of the strategic plan.

A plan and a set of priorities, of course, are only a beginning. Each member of the CMU community must continue to 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. We must push toward achievement, measure our progress, and like today, 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.