The College of Fine Arts (CFA) at Carnegie Mellon University invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion (associate dean). This is an outstanding opportunity for a talented and experienced individual whose professional, educational, and lived experiences will provide a foundation for effective and collaborative leadership of the CFA’s efforts to translate the ideals and goals of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism into substantive and transformative practices across the college community. This is an in-person position, and the next associate dean is expected to start in summer 2023.

A private, global research university, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) stands among the world’s most renowned educational institutions. Nearly 16,800 undergraduate and graduate students in the university’s seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on solving real-world problems, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovation. Founded in 1905, the College of Fine Arts was one of the first comprehensive arts teaching institutions in the United States. The CFA has since soared to national and international leadership in architecture, art, design, drama, and music. The college currently enrolls 1,400 students in its five schools and the BXA intercollege degree programs.

Note: BXA is the umbrella term for the abbreviations that identify the following programs at Carnegie Mellon University—Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA), Bachelor of Engineering Studies and Arts (BESA), Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA), Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA), and the Engineering and Arts (EA) undergraduate major.

The Position


The associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion will report directly to the CFA dean and will serve as a crucial voice on the executive team (comprising the school heads and unit directors, as well as assistant and associate deans). As the college’s senior diversity officer, the associate dean will collaborate with members of the college community to envision and pave the way toward a future for the CFA that is more diverse and inclusive, actively working to eradicate racism and exploring intersections with gender, class, and other aspects of identity and positionality. The associate dean will provide intellectual and strategic leadership and serve as an advocate, catalyst, and resource for conceptualizing, implementing, and evaluating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives throughout the college.

The associate dean will lead the development and implementation of a college-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan; develop evaluation tools and establish metrics to measure progress and promote continuous assessment and improvement; convene and lead the college’s DEI council; serve as the main point of contact and central resource for students, faculty, and staff on DEI matters; and partner with student leaders to support student-led equity initiatives to enhance the climate and experience for students of the global majority. The associate dean will work closely with other leaders across campus, notably Carnegie Mellon’s vice provost for DEI and her team, to share best practices, manage bias response, coordinate efforts, and guide the college and university toward a more inclusive future. The position will supervise a full-time program coordinator and a graduate assistant.


The College of Fine Arts seeks candidates whose professional, educational, and lived experiences have prepared them to advance the college’s vision of a vibrant community characterized in all it does by a central commitment to inclusive excellence. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree (advanced degree preferred) and five years of relevant experience. Demonstrable engagement with arts communities and an understanding of their place within a university is a plus. While this is a full-time administrative position, qualified candidates may be eligible for a non-tenure-track faculty appointment.

Well-qualified candidates will demonstrate the ability to communicate and work effectively with internal and external constituencies; expertise in the areas of strategic planning, assessment, and evidence-based decision making; knowledge of best practices in diversity education and training; a deep understanding of the dynamics of difference, privilege, and power; and the vision, emotional intelligence, fortitude, and gravitas necessary to effect substantial and sustainable change.

While no single candidate will have all the ideal qualifications, the successful candidate will bring many of the following experiences, skills, and attributes:

  • A deep personal and professional commitment to DEI, anti-racism, and social justice
  • A firm grasp of the theory, practices, and resources available to address structural and cultural barriers to access and belonging in higher education
  • Ability to build strong relationships of trust and shared purpose with students, faculty, and staff on campus as well as with alumni
  • Experience leading change and achieving results through influence
  • Ability to guide the development and implementation of a college-wide strategic plan for inclusive excellence, establishing metrics, measuring progress, promoting accountability, ensuring continuous improvement, and adapting the plan as necessary
  • Strong problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills
  • Personal and professional ethics and integrity to the highest degree
  • Approachable, optimistic, and intellectually curious with personal warmth, generosity of spirit, a can-do attitude, courage, and strong resilience in the face of disagreement or criticism
  • Genuine enthusiasm for joining the CFA community and championing policies and practices that promote an inclusive and equitable environment where students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds can work together and thrive


In January 2021, Valeria J. Martinez was named the assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion within Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Fine Arts. As the CFA’s inaugural senior diversity officer, she established the DEI office as a safe space and worked with members of the campus community to offer a variety of community events, initiate a college-wide process for bias reporting and response, and provide learning opportunities focused on best practices in inclusive education. When Martinez stepped down from the position in January 2023, Kristen Letts Kovak, senior associate dean for academics, was appointed as DEI lead. Kovak will serve in this capacity while a national search for a permanent leader is conducted.

The college has retained Spelman Johnson to assist in recruiting a new senior diversity officer, who will hold the title of associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The successful candidate will be expected to take office in the summer of 2023, as negotiated with Mary Ellen Poole, dean of the College of Fine Arts.


Vision and Strategy

The associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion will:

  • Serve as a key partner with leaders across the various schools and units within the College of Fine Arts as well as the office of the vice provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion and DEI leads in other colleges.
  • Provide strategic collaboration and guidance in shaping and defining the college’s DEI values and in creating initiatives that advance those values for all members of the college community including students, staff, faculty, and administrators.
  • Serve as a leader, knowledgeable consultant, trustworthy and thoughtful advisor, advocate, catalyst for change, and institutional resource as the college seeks to instill its values of DEI in the community.
  • Track, analyze, and report progress toward the college’s DEI goals.
  • Foster cooperation, consensus-building, and collaborative decision-making in developing inclusive learning environments and cultivating a culture of belonging.

Resources and Development

The associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion will:

  • Play a pivotal role in creating fluid streams of communication among student groups, faculty, staff, and senior leadership to ensure that all the CFA stakeholders are aware of, informed about, and benefit from DEI programs.
  • Collaborate in the development, implementation, and monitoring of strategy and policy in all units of the college, supporting their efforts to recruit and retain diverse faculty, staff, and students.
  • Work with faculty leadership to create educational opportunities exploring ways to foster diverse voices and inclusive strategies in the classroom and the co-curriculum; help faculty develop a praxis that confronts the intersectionality of race, class, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, ableism, and/or gender inequalities constructively and objectively in course offerings; and develop resources and support so that students, faculty, and staff might effectively work in, manage, and cultivate inclusive and diverse teams.
  • Implement and oversee the development of programs and activities to support the culture of open inquiry, pluralism, and mutual respect throughout the CFA and Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Promote engagement with organizations and entities in the city of Pittsburgh.

Climate and Connections

The associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion will:

  • Help create and enhance a supportive college climate and experience for students of the global majority.
  • Collaborate with leaders of student organizations, students from global majority groups, students with a variety of backgrounds and affiliations, and those who are especially committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Manage the CFA bias response process as a part of the university’s comprehensive system, in collaboration with college leadership and other relevant offices across campus.
  • Convene and lead the CFA DEI council.


The associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion will work directly with Dean Mary Ellen Poole to identify specific quantitative and qualitative measures of success and their timetables soon after joining the College of Fine Arts.

In the short term, the associate dean’s success will be measured by the degree to which they have learned the workings of the college and Carnegie Mellon University, become a part of the CFA’s executive team, built relationships with key constituents, and become broadly recognized as the principal catalyst for the positive trajectory of the college’s DEI commitments and efforts. In the longer term, the associate dean’s success will be measured primarily by the adoption and implementation of a college-wide DEI strategic plan and by progress towards transparent and data-driven DEI goals.

Institution & Location


Founded in 1905, what became the College of Fine Arts was one of the first comprehensive arts education collectives within a university in the United States. Currently enrolling 1,400 students (of whom 66 percent are undergraduates and 33 percent in graduate programs) in its five schools and the BXA intercollege degrees, the college is connected to approximately 13,000 alumni worldwide. The college employs 195 faculty and 240 staff.

The paradigm-shifting creative work of BXA faculty, staff, students, and alumni prioritizes connections in an increasingly fragmented world, the creation of tools that enable the college to make more ethical decisions, projects that reflect on history in order to inform the present and future initiatives that empower those without power, and community activism that breathes life into the CFA’s values. The college actualizes those values through such concrete strategies as revising faculty and staff hiring protocols, interrogating admissions processes, addressing matters of equity and access to resources once students are on campus, implementing a bias reporting and response procedure, coordinating many community engagements around the college, and supporting the all-important work of the college-wide DEI council.


Mary Ellen Poole, Stanley and Marcia Gumberg Dean of the College of Fine Arts

Mary Ellen Poole, PhD, is the Stanley and Marcia Gumberg Dean of the College of Fine Arts. She also holds a faculty appointment as professor of music. Poole joined Carnegie Mellon University and the CFA on August 1, 2021.

Poole is a musicologist who most recently served as the director of the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music (Butler) in the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), a post she held since June 2014. While at UT Austin, she served as a professor of musicology and as the holder of the Florence Thelman Hall Centennial Chair in Music.

Under Poole’s leadership, the Butler School of Music attracted world-renowned faculty; expanded its donor base and funded facility updates; and led and facilitated community conversations promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Throughout her career at Butler, she consistently advocated for increased performance opportunities for student ensembles.

Prior to her post at Butler, Poole served as the dean of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for a decade. In that leadership role, she increased enrollment, recruited exceptional faculty, and supervised construction of an $80 million facility in the city’s arts district. As a musicologist, her research has focused on fin-de-siècle Paris: cabaret chansons and chansonniers, music as political propaganda during the Radical Republic and the ideology of teaching music to the working class.

Poole was selected as the 13th dean of the CFA in the summer of 2021 by a cross-sectional committee of CFA faculty, staff, and students.

College of Fine Arts organizational chart



The College of Fine Arts is comprised of five highly distinctive and distinguished schools:

School of Architecture

School of Art

School of Design

School of Drama

School of Music

Major academic units include: BXA intercollege degree programs, the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and the Miller Institute for Contemporary Art.


Carnegie Mellon University and the College of Fine Arts are deeply engaged with the city of Pittsburgh and the Greater Pittsburgh Region. CMU faculty, staff, and students increasingly enjoy a vital region with a national reputation. CMU has contributed to Pittsburgh’s identity as a technology hub as well as a thriving creative artistic center. Pittsburgh has been rated as one of the top five best cities for creative production and a top-ten tech city in America. A low cost of living, abundant networking opportunities, the presence of small business accelerators, and an ethos of postindustrial innovation make the city appealing to entrepreneurs and recent graduates.


Carnegie Mellon University, a member of the Association of American Universities, is a global, research-intensive university with nearly 16,800 students, 125,000 living alumni, and approximately 6,300 faculty and staff. In 2022, US News & World Report listed CMU #22 among national universities, and many of its programs are among the top-ranked in the world. The university brings together transformative innovation in AI, robotics, data science, and engineering with a powerful and insistent presence in the arts. This creative tension is unique among research universities and gives the CMU experience its distinctive flavor.

CMU is a dynamic institution that has exceptional impact in the world relative to its size and endowment. The success of the university emanates from its deeply held core values. It is a place of creativity, pragmatism, and ambition, with a tradition of strategically focusing its efforts and resources in areas where it can lead, then pursuing those areas with startling intensity. CMU leaders have strongly affirmed their commitment to take bold and concrete action to confront racism and promote equity and inclusion. In July 2020, President Farnam Jahanian outlined more than 34 actionable commitments and since then CMU has made considerable progress. All academic and administrative units have launched five-year strategic DEI plans and all schools and colleges have invested in related programs including appointing senior leaders specifically focused on advancing DEI.


Carnegie Mellon University will have a transformative impact on society through continual innovation in education, research, creativity, and entrepreneurship.


To create a transformative educational experience for students focused on deep disciplinary knowledge; problem-solving; leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills; and personal health and well-being.

To cultivate a transformative university community committed to (a) attracting and retaining diverse, world-class talent; (b) creating a collaborative environment open to the free exchange of ideas where research, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship can flourish; and (c) ensuring individuals can achieve their full potential.

To impact society in a transformative way—regionally, nationally, and globally—by engaging with partners outside the traditional borders of the university campus.

Strategic Plan

Carnegie Mellon University is positioned as never before to meet the challenges of the 21st century. In the coming years, the university will see the largest expansion to the Pittsburgh campus since 1900. CMU’s research, innovation, and creativity will continue to guide its future as a world-class university at the intersection of technology and humanity.

As outlined in the Strategic Plan 2025, the university will focus on advancing the individual student experience, the broader Carnegie Mellon community experience, and the social impact of Carnegie Mellon throughout the world.

For more information:


Farnam Jahanian, President

Farnam Jahanian was appointed the tenth president of Carnegie Mellon University by its board of trustees in March 2018. He was previously the university’s provost and later served as interim president from July 2017 to February 2018. A nationally recognized computer scientist, entrepreneur, public servant, and higher education leader, Jahanian brings to CMU extensive leadership and administrative expertise in advancing research and education within and across disciplines and translating research into technologies and practices that benefit society.

He first joined CMU as vice president for research in 2014, where he was responsible for nurturing excellence in research, scholarship, and creative activities. In his role as provost and chief academic officer from May 2015 to June 2017, Jahanian had broad responsibility for leading CMU’s schools, colleges, institutes, and campuses and was instrumental in long-range institutional and academic planning and implementation.

Prior to coming to CMU, Jahanian led the National Science Foundation Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) from 2011 to 2014. He guided CISE, with a budget of almost $900 million, in its mission to advance scientific discovery and engineering innovation through its support of fundamental research. Previously, Jahanian was the Edward S. Davidson Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan, where he served as chair for computer science and engineering from 2007 to 2011 and as director of the software systems laboratory from 1997 to 2000.

Jahanian has actively advocated for how basic research can be uniquely central to an innovation ecosystem that drives global competitiveness and addresses national priorities. His highly influential research on internet infrastructure security formed the basis for the internet security company Arbor Networks, which he co-founded in 2001 and where he served as chairman until its acquisition in 2010. Jahanian serves as chair of the National Research Council’s Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB), sits on the executive committee of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, and is a board member of the National Center for Women and Information Technology. He is also active with the World Economic Forum, co-chairing the Global University Leaders Forum, and is as a member of the Internet of Things Council through WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Jahanian holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


James H. Garrett, Jr., Provost and Chief Academic Officer; Thomas Lord Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

James H. Garrett, Jr. was named provost and chief academic officer of Carnegie Mellon University in January 2019. As the university’s chief academic officer, Garrett is responsible for leading CMU’s schools, colleges, institutes, and campuses and is instrumental in institutional and academic planning and implementation.

A faculty member since 1990, Garrett became dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering in 2013. Immediately prior to that, he spent six years as head of the department of civil and environmental engineering.

Garrett is Carnegie Mellon plaid through and through, having received his BS (‘82), MS (‘83), and PhD (‘86) degrees in civil and environmental engineering from the institution. He joined the faculty of the college as an assistant professor in 1990 and was promoted to full professor in 1996. Garrett has served in other administrative roles, including associate dean for graduate and faculty affairs (2000-2006), acting dean (2004), and faculty co-director of the Smart Infrastructure Institute, a research center aimed at developing sensing technology for construction and infrastructure systems.

Throughout his research career, Garrett focused on how sensors and data analytics can make our cities more adaptive and efficient. This approach aims to give built infrastructures the ability to detect and report on problems directly to the humans charged with maintaining those structures, allowing for more proactive and cost-effective infrastructure management.

Among his many recognitions and awards, in 2018, Garrett was awarded the title of Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the highest honor available to civil engineers.

Wanda Heading-Grant, Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer; Distinguished Service Professor, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy

Wanda Heading-Grant was selected as Carnegie Mellon University’s inaugural vice provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion and chief diversity officer in January 2021. She holds a faculty appointment as a distinguished service professor in the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. Heading-Grant previously served as vice president for DEI at the University of Vermont (UVM).

Throughout Heading-Grant’s 30-year career in higher education, she has established programs, policies, and practices fundamental to the advancement of inclusive excellence. Her three decades of career service span a broad range of academic and administrative roles at UVM including vice president for human resources, diversity, and multicultural affairs, chief diversity officer, associate provost, associate dean, and director. Her wealth of professional experience and volunteer involvement on the boards of non-profit organizations and civil rights committees have earned her a reputation as a cultural architect able to build and sustain real and lasting change.

In 2020, the Vermont Women in Higher Education Association created a new justice award named for Heading-Grant and her years of dedicated leadership and service in fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. She is also the recipient of numerous awards including the 2020 Eastern Region Human Resources Excellence Award from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), the 2019 Women Worth Watching Award from Profiles in Diversity Journal, the 2018 University of Vermont Alumni Achievement Award, and the 2018 National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) Individual Leadership Award. Heading-Grant was also a clinical associate professor in the social work department of the College of Education and Social Services and a member of the graduate faculty at UVM.

Carnegie Mellon University leadership organizational chart


The College of Engineering, consistently ranked among the top ten engineering schools in the United States, is a world-class engineering college recognized for excellence, innovation, and the societal relevance and impact of its pursuits. It produces creative and technically strong engineers and pioneering research solutions to global challenges, with an unprecedented commitment to integrating across engineering, sciences, arts, business, and other disciplines to yield transformative results.

The School of Computer Science (SCS) is widely recognized as one of the world’s first and best computer science programs. Its programs train the next generation of innovators to solve real-world problems and improve how people live and work. Since its founding over 25 years ago, SCS has been a world leader in computing research and education. Its graduate programs consistently rank among the top in the nation and are highly rated in specialty areas such as programming languages, artificial intelligence, systems, and theory.

The Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences is home to nine departments and programs and research centers that often cross disciplines. The college embodies one of the most varied groups of students, faculty, staff, and alumni in the Carnegie Mellon University community, all united by a common goal: confronting and solving society’s most complex problems.

The Mellon College of Science (MCS) is home to four departments: biological sciences, chemistry, mathematical sciences, and physics, and many programs and research centers that cross disciplines. Faculty and students approach scientific problems from fresh angles using innovative interdisciplinary approaches while drawing on departmental strengths in the core sciences. MCS faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized for their research in various fields, including polymer science, cosmology, mathematical finance, and neuroscience.

The College of Fine Arts cultivates a community of nationally and internationally recognized artists and professionals within five schools (architecture, art, design, drama, and music), associated programs (BXA intercollege degree programs and arts & entertainment management), the Miller Institute for Contemporary Art, and the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. It is internationally renowned for its unique multidisciplinary capabilities and distinctive pedagogical approaches, the success and influence of students and alumni, visionary leadership in developing and transforming the professions, and its vital role in melding the exceptional capabilities of a great university with society and culture.

The Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy (Heinz College) consists of one of the nation’s top-ranked public policy schools—the School of Public Policy & Management—and  the School of Information Systems & Management. The Heinz College educational process integrates policy analysis, management, and information technology.

The Tepper School of Business offers a future-focused business school experience tailored to today’s marketplace’s complexity. The Tepper School is home to several award-winning and nationally ranked programs, including undergraduate business and economics programs, graduate programs in business administration and computational finance, and doctoral-level programs which span numerous areas of study. The Tepper School has more than 200 full-time faculty and staff members and numerous teaching and research centers dedicated to helping students achieve academic excellence in all arenas.


Working at the nexus of technology and humanity, Carnegie Mellon enriches the everyday human experience through interdisciplinarity, innovation, and ingenuity collaboration. Home to more than 100 centers and institutes, CMU researchers look across disciplines and reach beyond the boundaries of education for partnerships to create work that matters.

Among the centers is the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute, which was recently awarded more than $250 million. The institute integrates industry practices and institutional knowledge across disciplines to realize the promises of a robust manufacturing innovation ecosystem.

As a global model for smarter city solutions, Carnegie Mellon partners with the city of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and other government agencies to incubate a range of technological systems that will improve safety, enhance mobility, promote efficiency, and address pollution in the environment. Work-related to traffic lights has decreased travel times and lowered emissions by over 20 percent in test areas, resulting in international recognition.

Global institutions with Pittsburgh presences, like K&L Gates and PwC, also leverage their client engagement experience with CMU’s world-class research, faculty, and students to partner with the university to invest in the future.


The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not require public salary disclosure. For salary information, please contact Jim Norfleet at

This position is eligible for full-time benefits as afforded to all full-time Carnegie Mellon University employees, including, but not limited to, comprehensive medical, prescription, dental, and vision insurance; retirement savings programs; tuition benefits; paid time off and holidays; and life and accidental death and disability insurance. Additional information regarding the full range of benefits afforded can be found at

Application & Nomination

Carnegie Mellon University has retained the services of Spelman Johnson, a leading national executive search firm, to assist with this search. Review of applications will begin April 3, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position, please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter.

Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to Jim Norfleet at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

As a condition of employment, Carnegie Mellon University requires all staff and faculty working in the United States to provide proof of their vaccination against COVID-19, including a booster when eligible, or have an approved exemption.

Visit the Carnegie Mellon University website at

Carnegie Mellon University is committed to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action (EEO/AA).

The university bases its employment decisions on the principle of equal employment opportunity. All personnel actions, including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, transfer, layoff, return from layoff, education tuition assistance, and social and recreational programs are administered in accordance with the university’s commitment to non-discrimination.

Further, the university takes affirmative action to attract qualified candidates for employment who are minority, female, individuals with disabilities, disabled veterans, and veterans of the Vietnam era; ensures that bona fide job-related and valid requirements are used to evaluate employees for promotion and applicants for employment; and complies with applicable federal, state and local laws, statutes, orders and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national or ethnic origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, or non-job-related disability.