Vision, Mission and Values
Goals, Rights and Responsibilities at Carnegie Mellon University
Organization of Administration and Faculty
Statement on Academic Integrity
Carnegie Mellon will be a leader among educational institutions by building on its traditions of innovation, problem solving and interdisciplinary collaboration to meet the changing needs of society.
We lead through innovation and excellence; we establish new directions by talent and example, influencing the behavior of other institutions.
We identify challenges and opportunities presented by evolving human needs, new research methods and technologies, and promptly assemble the talent and resources needed to exploit them. Our innovative capability is one of the foundations upon which our leadership capacity is built.
Transcending Disciplinary Boundaries
We function seamlessly and transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries to our comparative advantage.
Responsibility to Society
We serve society through transfer of technology, continuing education programs, public service and enrichment of the community through the arts.
We build on our heritage of the Carnegie Plan to become a leading institution that combines first-rate research with outstanding undergraduate education through our focus on learning and problem-solving.
Dedication to Our Work
Our students, staff and faculty are committed to our heritage emblazoned on our seal: "My Heart Is In The Work."
Commitment to Quality
We focus our energies on understanding the needs of the communities we serve while applying principles of self-evaluation, benchmarking and continuous improvement to fulfill these needs.
Adopted February 15, 1971, by the Board of Trustees (with the exception of the section on the Advisory Boards)
Carnegie Mellon University is a private university incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Its first purpose, as stated in its Articles of Incorporation, is:
". . .the establishment and maintenance in the City of Pittsburgh of a coeducational university of higher education, including an institute of technology, emphasizing liberal-professional education and specialization in teaching and research programs in selected areas of importance to the community and the nation."
More specifically, Carnegie Mellon University seeks to provide education of the highest quality so that each student will be prepared to achieve his or her potential as a professional person and as a thoughtful, well-informed individual. In addition, the university encourages and supports scholarship, research, and artistic production, both as essential components of its educational program and in fulfillment of the special role of an academic institution as a source of new knowledge and understanding. Through scholarship, research, and the men and women it educates, the university contributes to social progress.
As a private university, Carnegie Mellon is free to set its own measures of excellence and to determine its own educational objectives. By carefully exercising the freedom to select limited areas for university effort, it can preserve its ability to be innovative and creative in response to the changing needs of society. In order to maintain this independence and flexibility, Carnegie Mellon University depends upon the voluntary support of the society which it serves. It depends especially for its funds upon students and their families, alumni, trustees, foundations, corporations, government and friends. Thus, it is of the utmost importance that the goals of the university be clear, and that the standards and procedures for the conduct of its affairs be well understood by all of its constituents, both on and off campus. These appear in detail in the duly promulgated regulations of the university, particularly in the catalogs, the Student Handbook and the Faculty Handbook.
Within the academic community, trustees, administrators, faculty, students and staff share the responsibility for achievement of the goals of the university. Responsibilities specific to various groups are discussed in the sections that follow. Especially important, however, are the responsibilities pertaining to academic and individual freedom. An academic community is uniquely suited to its education and scholarly purposes primarily because of its firm commitment to intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and expression, respect for the dignity of each individual and because of its receptiveness to constructive change.
The commitment to academic and individual freedom carries with it major responsibilities for each member of the university. In exercising his or her own freedoms, each person must respect the rights of others. In seeking innovation, he or she must recognize that constructive change can be effected at a university only through orderly and rational processes. Intentional acts threatening personal safety, malicious destruction of property, or willful and substantial disruption of university functions have no place in an academic community and will not be tolerated. It is the responsibility of all members of the academic community to maintain an atmosphere in which such violations of rights are unlikely to occur and to develop processes that assure the protection of these rights for all persons.
The trustees bear ultimate responsibility for the university, its policies, organization, financing and governance. Two direct responsibilities are the supervision of the university's finances and the appointment of the president as chief executive officer. Ordinarily, the trustees do not involve themselves in the everyday affairs of the university. Rather, operating responsibilities and the authority to act are delegated to the president; and it is primarily through him that the trustees monitor the university activities.
The trustees have a particular responsibility to mediate between the university community and the larger society the university serves. Thus, the trustees must be alert to the needs of the university, and must be willing and able to explain and defend the university's values, goals and procedures.
It is the duty of the trustees to maintain the effectiveness and continuity of the board. In selecting new members, the trustees choose those who have a sincere interest in the university and whose talents and background contribute to it.
The administrative officers are formally responsible for supervising the programs and enforcing the policies of the university, for assessing the effects of policy, and for recommending improvements or changes where appropriate. The president is the chief executive officer of the university. In the operation of the university, the president delegates responsibility to provost, vice presidents, deans, directors and department heads, and to various councils and committees which may include faculty, students and staff. This delegation may be on a continuing basis or for specified periods, and may be withdrawn or reassigned.
It is the duty of the administrative officers of the university to maintain a campus climate that enhances the freedom of the faculty to teach, to engage in research, and to take part in other scholarly and artistic activities, and the freedom of the students to learn and grow both inside and outside of the classroom. This means that all policies of the university must be administered effectively and in accord with the purposes and standards of the university and with due regard to the rights and privileges of all members of the university community. In setting and carrying out the university policies, it is important for administrative officers to maintain a close exchange of views with faculty and students, both individually and through the formally constituted committees and councils of the university.
Administrative officers share with the trustees the major responsibility for interpreting university policies and actions to the community at large. This responsibility requires that administrative officers interact with representatives of local, state and federal governments, of industry, foundations, and many other community groups in both formal and informal ways on the many matters of interest to the university's well-being.
The faculty has the primary responsibility for carrying out the educational and scholarly programs of the university.
Each member of the faculty has the duty to conduct his courses in a manner consistent with the highest standards of his profession. Through his or her presentation of material in the classroom, he or she should strive to advance the art of teaching. One of the primary goals should be to instill in students a desire to learn and an enthusiasm for the subject matter at hand. The faculty as a whole also has the major responsibility for establishing and maintaining curricula which meet the standards and fulfill the educational goals of the university.
A member of the faculty may express in the classroom his or her own opinions on matters relevant to his or her courses. In doing this, he or she must always respect the freedom of belief of the student. When dealing with controversial matters, he or she must take reasonable care in the selection and balanced presentation of material, and must try to make clear distinctions between statements of fact and opinion.
An important responsibility of each faculty member is to engage in research, scholarship, or artistic production, or otherwise to further his or her professional development. While the particular areas of university or personal commitment may change, continuing professional development should always remain as a distinguishing characteristic of the university and its faculty.
The faculty also has an important role to play in the interaction between the university and the community which it serves. In addition to conducting research and other professional activities, faculty members may participate like other citizens in community affairs. When they engage in non-university activities, faculty members are expected to make clear that they act as individuals and not as spokesmen for the university.
The Faculty Senate is responsible for conducting the affairs of the faculty as a body and for exercising those powers delegated to it by the president. It is the duty of the Senate to be alert and informed concerning matters involving instruction, scholarly or cultural activities, or any other matters pertaining to the general welfare of the faculty or of the academic community as a whole. By making known its views and recommendations concerning such matters, the Senate plays an important consultative role in the governance of the university.
Carnegie Mellon, as a private university, selects from among its applicants those students who have demonstrated the qualifications for achieving professional competence in one of the fields in which the university offers instruction. Any person who meets its standards is welcome to apply for admission and, if admitted, to remain at the university so long as he or she abides by its rules.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of the resources provided by the university to further their academic and personal development. Each student is expected to meet the academic requirements of the university, and of the college and departments in which he or she studies and seeks to receive a degree. In turn, each student has the right to expect that the educational resources made available to him or her are of high quality. He or she is encouraged to participate constructively with the faculty and administration in many of those processes by which the university community maintains the excellence of its curricula and methods of instruction, and the viability of its total educational program.
The university sponsors certain extracurricular programs and makes provisions for various student governing bodies and other groups to sponsor a wide variety of lectures, social events and other activities. A student is encouraged to participate in such activities and has the right to engage in other activities in the community outside the university. Both kinds of activities may complement his or her academic program and promote his or her own personal development. In participating in non-university activities, students are expected to make clear that they act as individuals and not as spokesmen for the university.
The Student Government is responsible for conducting the affairs of the student body and for exercising those powers which are delegated to it by the president of the university. It is the duty of Student Government to represent the positions and attitudes of the student body, to bring these student opinions to the attention of the faculty and administration, and to seek additional areas of useful interaction.
On November 12, 1990, the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Mellon University adopted a plan for the formation of advisory boards, designed with a regularly established meeting cycle, to assist both academic and nonacademic university departments in carrying out the university's mission. As a result, each academic department and school at Carnegie Mellon, as well as some non-academic units, has an advisory board. An advisory board may use any appropriate means to achieve this purpose, important among which are evaluating the department's goals and directions and providing information and advice to the president, provost, deans and department heads.
Each advisory board typically will consist of two trustees, several alumni and a number of other distinguished experts from outside the university in fields important to the department.
Advisory boards normally will meet on campus one-and-a-half to two days every two-and-a-half years. After meeting with faculty, students, administration and others as necessary, they report their findings and recommendations to the Board of Trustees and to the president, who shares them with all concerned. Responsiveness of the department and the university is vitally important; action on recommendations will be as timely and thorough as circumstances permit.
Carnegie Mellon University comprises seven colleges: the College of Fine Arts, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Carnegie Institute of Technology, the Mellon College of Science, the Graduate School of Industrial Administration, the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy & Management and the School of Computer Science.
Board of Trustees: The charter of the university gives to the Board of Trustees legal authority over its policies. This authority is exercised by the trustees primarily through control of finances and of major appointments.
President: The trustees have vested in the president, subject to their control, full responsibility for administering the activities of Carnegie Mellon University. With the approval of the board, he has the power to appoint, retire and determine the rank, tenure and other compensation of all members of the faculty.
Provost, Vice Presidents, Deans and Other Officers: The president may delegate authority to the provost, vice presidents, the deans, directors or other officers. At present all academic units report to the provost.
Faculty Organization: The Faculty Organization comprises the faculty of the university, and its purpose is to conduct those academic affairs of Carnegie Mellon University that are delegated to it by the president of the university: it in turn delegates responsibility for conducting the business of the faculty to the Faculty Senate.
Department Heads: The Colleges are subdivided into departments, each of which is administered by a department head. He or she calls together his or her department for cooperative development of departmental educational practices and the mutual consideration of faculty and educational problems.
Academic Faculties: The academic faculty of each college or school consists of all its full-time staff members of the rank of instructor or higher whose duties include teaching, and affiliate members from the professional staff of the Library and the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation. The chief officers of each faculty are a chair, a chair-elect and a secretary elected from the membership. (The faculties of the Graduate School of Industrial Administration, the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy & Management and the School of Computer Science are organized less formally.) The chairs of the academic faculties are members of the Faculty Senate ex officio and serve as liaison between the faculties and councils of the colleges and the Faculty Senate.
College Councils: The council of each college consists of the officers of its faculty, the heads of its departments, and the associate and assistant deans of the college. The dean of the college acts as chair of each council. Other members who may sit on one or more of the councils include the dean of student affairs, the president of the university, the provost, the vice presidents and members of the Library staff, in addition to other appropriate members. Any faculty body or any member of a faculty may initiate a recommendation as to educational policy to his appropriate council. The secretary of each college faculty receives the minutes of all council meetings; he is responsible for bringing before his faculty for consideration of any matter he considers appropriate.
The statement on academic integrity, found in the faculty, student and staff handbooks, is the first step in Carnegie Mellon University's ongoing effort to identify and implement the kind of society its members wish to enjoy. This statement will be followed by implementation strategies as the task force on academic integrity continues its work.
Carnegie Mellon is a self governing institution that requires ethical behavior of its administration, faculty, staff and students that goes beyond simple compliance with the law. Respect for these requirements creates a moral authority for the university to insist upon appropriate behavior. This authority is essential to the accomplishment of the university's mission. Integrity as described in this statement is a defining feature of the university community's high expectations for the conduct of its members.
Carnegie Mellon University educates its students to become professionals who will serve society with integrity. The University also creates and disseminates new knowledge and expressions of knowledge in ways that benefit society. Carnegie Mellon strives to serve the changing needs of society through the three primary goals outlined in its mission statement:
to create and disseminate knowledge and art through research and artistic expression, teaching and learning and transfer to society.
to serve students by teaching them leadership and problem-solving skills, and the values of quality, ethical behavior, responsibility to society and commitments to work.
to pursue the advantages provided by a diverse community, open to the exchange of ideas, where discovery and artistic creativity can flourish.
These statements provide a groundwork for academic integrity that includes everyone in the Carnegie Mellon community. Our common objective is to make sure that we teach and learn with commitment, consistency, honesty and fidelity. This process involves at its core interaction between young and old, novice and expert, apprentice and master. Integrity requires that we examine the context in which we do our work.
In the university community, young people grow and develop their identities, which mandates that all our dealings follow and foster principles of respect for autonomy, beneficence, justice, and fidelity to the mission of the university. The university population is increasingly diverse and faces rapid changes in knowledge and technology that have historically produced uncertainty about the appropriate roles of individuals and professions in the larger society. Each of these facts can and do create issues that we need to be aware of and deal with if we are to successfully achieve our primary missions. When these circumstances are not fully communicated to and understood by all persons in the community, unnecessary suspicions concerning integrity may distract from our teaching and learning and taint the atmosphere on campus. When they are openly discussed and conflicts concerning them openly aired, we all proceed with greater confidence and trust.
All members of the university community have the obligation to serve as models of personal and professional integrity, as well as models for creating, expressing and transferring knowledge. This implies that the faculty not only provide the knowledge and training that prepare students to find their productive roles in society, but also help them discover and maintain integrity in the practice of that role. Staff and administrators are charged with representing the university accurately and forthrightly. Students are responsible for conducting their learning in a similarly honest and committed fashion--by avoiding plagiarism, cheating, or taking credit for work not their own--and thus contributing to a campus atmosphere which expects and supports academic integrity.
Academic integrity refers to the implicit commitment that every member makes to all others in the community to practice those principles that underlie the mission of the university and define academic integrity. These are:
honesty and good faith;
clarity in the communication of core values;
professional conduct of work;
mutual trust and respect; and
fairness and exemplary behavior.
Underlying all the interactions and transactions of the University is the assumption that all of its members act in good faith and are open with each other. For example, students must be able to assume that they can take faculty, staff and administration at their word and vice versa. If questions about honest communications and good faith arise within the community or among some of its members, the general issue must be aired in a frank and open way. Individual cases involving alleged infractions, on the other hand, are properly handled under conditions that respect confidentiality. Penalties for proven infractions of the university's standards must be dealt with promptly and fairly. The more fully we can come to understand and concur with one another on guiding principles, the fewer such cases will turn up, and the more rewarding the university experience will be for all of us.
Clarity in the communication of the core values and standards of Carnegie Mellon requires explicit understanding of the mission and core values among members of faculty, staff, administration and students; reflection upon and open discussion of standards of practice; identification and resolution of conflicts posed by our mission objectives; and a clear and open communication of our mission to the community. This means we recognize our commitment to the distinct objectives of our vision and mission with all the assessment, certification, evaluation and reorientation that these imply. In direct face-to-face situations students should be dealt with immediately, openly, and honestly. Students also need opportunities to learn about and discuss standards, expectations and norms when no immediate "case" is at hand.
Professionalism for the faculty involves designing syllabi which accurately indicate the subject matter and practices of each course and meeting all scheduled classes fully prepared for the assigned work. It also involves the certification of students in their areas of expertise. The university is obligated to provide measures of student progress in the form of grades, degrees, and honors. These attest to society that both faculty and students have fulfilled their commitments. Degrees and honors certify that a level of performance has been met in a student's demonstration of acquisition and use of knowledge, so it is imperative that grading be a fair, accurate and honest measure of a student's work. At the same time, faculty need to be cognizant of the pressure on students to view grades, which they see as determining their job prospects, as "the be all and end all" of their university experiences and to devise strategies in the classroom to make learning rather than receiving grades the central focus.
The ethics governing research must be understood, practiced and communicated to students. This involves being clear and truthful about the ownership of research results and data, avoiding conflicts of interest (or disclosing them when they cannot be avoided), and making only honest and accurate claims in reporting research. In the context of the University, the professional conduct of work has two distinct dimensions: professionalism in one's discipline or area of expertise and professionalism as a member of the University. The distinction between these aspects of professionalism in the academy must be clearly understood and communicated. In addition, each of the various academic disciplines and fields of endeavor represented at Carnegie Mellon has its own implicit and explicit standards for professional work. These are binding on faculty, administration, and staff, and must be communicated to students as part of their preparation to become professionals. Research ethics also entails the open discussion of the propriety of the university's involvement in work that seems to some detrimental to society given the values of our mission.
Professional research in the academy is involved with several of its unique institutional goals, including the education of undergraduates, graduate education and certification for professional roles, and faculty tenure. These features pose issues specific to the academy, issues which must be acknowledged and treated explicitly if we are to be clear, open, and consistent. The practices of other organizations may therefore not be entirely relevant to those in the university. Recognizing that students are learners demands that they be involved in ongoing research in ways which benefit their education, rather than merely as assistants in faculty projects. Students need also to be clearly informed about standards of behavior and performance that are accepted practices in the discipline and held responsible to them. This should be done pro-actively as a learning experience rather than retroactively as a punitive experience.
An environment of mutual trust and respect is necessary if the institution is to promote integrity. Mutual trust and respect are prerequisites for open communication and honest dialogue about values, goals, and expectations. They require freedom of expression without fear of retribution, institutional or otherwise, and value the diversity of persons, ideas, and choices differing from one's own. They recognize that being in a diverse community is an advantage to encouraging discovery and creativity. Both respect for individuals and respect for institutional values involves balancing the claims of personal autonomy with the goals and mission of the institution. All of us need to be alert to prevent the power structure of the classroom and the University as a whole from suppressing legitimate beliefs and practices. If trust should break down, we need to explore the reasons for the breakdown and identify ways for the community to rebuild trust among its members.
A basis for promoting trust and respect is provided by ensuring that the faculty treat the student's education and the student as ends rather than as a means to some end. For example, the graduate student's development as a researcher and professional, his or her learning and well-being, have to be honored as ends in themselves, rather than treating graduate student work merely as a means to the end of the production of knowledge (from which the professor may benefit more than the student). Students at all levels must be encouraged to value their university experience as learning and personal growth, rather than solely as the means to a career goal. They are responsible for rendering an atmosphere of mistrust by their teachers and among themselves unnecessary by consistently living up to the university's standards.
The preservation of academic integrity means not only commitment to ideals but also justice in carrying out these ideals. Faculty, staff, and administration must deal fairly in all of the various decisions they make which have consequences for students and all the other the stakeholders of the University. When questions arise as to whether such decisions distribute benefits and burdens fairly, significant dialogue and open communications about such decisions should be conducted. The power that teachers wield in the classroom must be exercised with the greatest possible care for maintaining fairness, which means examining classroom practice for any hidden assumptions which might produce confusion or partiality. It also means that we describe to students what the expected commitment for a learning environment is and how to deal with conflicts of commitment, for example time management problems, as they arise. Students must strive to be fair to each other, for example in not claiming unjustified credit in carrying out joint projects and in the appropriate sharing of facilities. Staff must demonstrate impartiality in offering students information, opportunities, and perquisites.
Integrity in the campus community is more than just swift punishment of plagiarism or cheating. It is an on-going process which asks everyone to both consider carefully and practice consistently the honesty, clear thinking, professionalism, fairness, and trust that make learning, teaching, and living here rewarding. When misunderstandings or conflicts over what constitutes integrity arise, as they may in a changing society, the campus must use the opportunity to exercise impartiality and wisdom to adjudicate between ideas and parties. Rightly settled, such issues will become the basis for shared understandings in the future. The university expects its members to be leaders in matters concerning integrity, not only here, but in the larger society we serve.
Back to the Table of Contents