Campus news in brief

President Suresh announces leadership searches

President Subra Suresh announced to the campus community via email on Friday that the university is launching a search for provost and a marketing and communications vice president.

Currently, Nathan Urban, Dr. Frederick A. Schwertz distinguished professor of life sciences, holds the position of interim provost.

The provost is the university’s chief academic officer that reports directly to the president.

The provost plays an important role in developing cross-departmental collaboration, linking the university’s campuses, and interfacing with global partners, according to the email.

A search advisory committee was created — led by Farnam Jahanian, vice president for research, and Michael Murphy, vice president for campus affairs — with a goal of making the final appointment in the spring and a start date for the new provost of July 1, 2015.

President Suresh also said that Thomas Mattia, a senior executive at public relations firm Edelman, will serve as interim marketing and communications vice president until the search is complete. Based upon recommendations during President Suresh’s listening tours, Carnegie Mellon worked with Edelman for the company to provide recommendations to the university for strengthening its brand and communications, according to the email. Edelman recommended that the university create this new position, which many other research universities already have.

The vice president will oversee all marketing and communications at Carnegie Mellon, a function that is currently run by the university’s Advancement division, according to the email.

President Suresh said moving the function will allow the Advancement division to focus more on “fundraising and global alumni engagement.”

Global learning conference meets at CMU

The Global Learning Council met face-to-face for the first time on Sept. 4–5 at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh.

The Global Learning Council, which is chaired by Carnegie Mellon President Subra Suresh, was announced in tandem with the Simon Initiative in November 2013 to coordinate stakeholders across various areas such as education and business to promote learning through technology, according to Carnegie Mellon’s homepage.

During its first meeting, the council identified two areas of action for the council to improve technology-based learning, posted to the council’s website.

The first action item includes creating criteria and evidence for best learning practices in the “design of learning environments,” “continuous improvement,” and “adoption of new methods and technologies,” according to the post. The action item responds to a problem identified by the council: Educators do not have trusted sources to promote learning through technology.

For its second action item, the council aims to create a way to share “learning data” to combat the fact that organizations gather large amounts of data for sharing purposes, but do not have a standard way for sharing it.

The council plans to present a draft of a document detailing these action items in the spring to the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, according to the council’s website.