Strategic plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion

The College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University is widely recognized for its excellence, its innovation, and the societal relevance and impact of its pursuits. We produce creative and technically strong engineers and research pioneering solutions to global challenges. And, we do this with an unprecedented commitment to integrating engineering, sciences, arts, business, and other disciplines to yield transformative results.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan

Download the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan.

The College of Engineering 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 College. To nurture and sustain such a commitment, it is imperative that the College 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 or in certain engineering disciplines. It is also imperative that the College be a welcoming and inclusive community that supports the success of all individuals without sacrificing the well-being of any particular group.

To these ends, the College of Engineering has established this Strategic Plan for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The Strategic Plan will serve as the measuring stick against which we in the College will evaluate our efforts over the next five years and will define the route for our journey.

ECE Professor Shawn Blanton with students

Source: College of Engineering

The Strategic Plan is rooted in Carnegie Mellon’s longstanding commitment to equal opportunity, diversity, and affirmative action. As an institution, Carnegie Mellon has long been committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity that is free of unlawful discrimination and where employment decisions are made in an unbiased manner. As an institution, Carnegie Mellon has been equally committed to, and has embraced, diversity as a core value and one of utmost importance to it, and to its continued growth and vitality. 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.”

Core principles

The strategic plan is also rooted in six core principles:

  • Diversity recognizes, respects, and values individual differences
  • Diversity embraces the realities and opportunities of society
  • Diversity is educating all people to be open to those different from themselves
  • Diversity is not “us versus them” but “we”
  • Diversity is important for doing engineering well
  • Student diversity requires faculty diversity

Strategic objectives

The College of Engineering has the following strategic objectives with respect to equity, diversity, and inclusion:

  • To develop and follow best practices for the recruitment and retention of faculty, students, and staff who contribute to the diversity goals of the College.
  • To meet or exceed the representation of faculty at the College’s peer institutions from groups who have been historically underrepresented in academia.
Engineering students

Source: College of Engineering

  • To create and maintain a “critical mass” of graduate students from historically underrepresented groups so as to obtain the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body and so as to develop a pipeline of diverse scholars for future opportunities in the Academy, including our College of Engineering.
  • To meet or exceed any placement goals as to faculty and staff for job groups specific to the College of Engineering identified in the University’s affirmative action program under Executive Order 11246.
  • To meet or exceed the University’s established benchmark for the hiring of veterans.

Nothing in this strategic plan should be construed as a preference, quota, set-aside, or as a floor or ceiling for any group, and nothing in this plan supersedes Carnegie Mellon’s commitment to equal opportunity employment and merit principles.

Implementation of the strategic objectives

Implementation of this strategic plan will be a partnership between the College and its departments, and the University.

To ensure full engagement from all faculty and staff, the College will dedicate resources to educate the College population on the benefits of a diverse and inclusive community, as well as on the laws governing affirmative action and non-discrimination. The education will also include a framework to enable faculty and sta to understand their responsibilities and how they can help the College achieve the strategic objectives in this plan.

To monitor and manage these efforts, the College will engage faculty and staff who will be responsible for overall execution of the strategic plan and who will work with the College and department leadership, interact with appropriate staff, and supervise equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.

Engineering student

Source: College of Engineering

College leaders will partner with the University’s EEO Office and will participate in annual sessions to review the University’s affirmative action program and any placement goals identified for the College or particular departments. The College will then develop action-oriented steps to meet these goals, when opportunities arise.

In the first phase of the action plan to address our strategic objectives, the College will dedicate resources annually for the recruitment and retention of faculty and graduate students from groups historically underrepresented in academia, and the College will identify additional resources (both internal and external) to support the related initiatives.

The College will establish a College equity, diversity, and inclusion committee to advise and give further oversight to the implementation of the Strategic Plan and to the assessment of its progress. In addition, the College will seek input and advice from sources, both local and national, on strategies for effective implementation of the plan.

Particularly for faculty, students, and staff


Our strategy for recruitment and retention of faculty who can assist the College in meeting applicable placement goals and who contribute to the College’s diversity goals is non-conventional and multi-pronged, and will include engaging other institutions, postdoctoral programs, and a broader local, national, and global network. The College and the applicable departments will work to ensure that the applicant pool includes a diverse range of candidates. Retention efforts are equally important to the success of the strategic plan, supported through mentorship, development opportunities, and social interactions.

Graduate students

Graduate student recruitment occurs under the auspices of the College and the departments/programs. However, the College intends to put into place initiatives to increase the number of qualified applicants from historically underrepresented groups for departments/programs to consider in the admissions process. This will leverage undergraduate advising and recruitment, creating a pipeline of potentially diverse student groups. Similar to faculty, purposeful initiatives to create an inclusive environment that is conducive to the success and wellbeing of the College’s graduate students will be undertaken.

Engineering students

Source: College of Engineering


For staff, the College will strive to ensure diverse candidate pools and will identify and encourage applications from candidates who would contribute to the College’s diversity goals. A diverse staff will enable diverse sets of ideas and the ability to broadly support faculty, students, and the University’s initiatives.

Undergraduate students

A diverse undergraduate population and their success is important as well to the College. However, the admissions of undergraduate students, and a broader support network that focuses on equity and inclusion of undergraduates, is supported at the University level. The College commits to work within and support these University initiatives.

Review and periodic audit of results

In order to convey the importance that the College places on equity, diversity, and inclusion, there will be regular review of, and reporting on, efforts towards meeting the strategic objectives by academic and administrative heads. Information for review and reporting will be collected from: department strategic plans and annual reports, faculty annual reports, external feedback from department and college review and advisory boards, and other sources.