Carnegie Mellon University

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Type: Private

Speech Code Rating

Carnegie Mellon University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more

Due Process Rating

Non-Sexual Misconduct

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D

Sexual Misconduct

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D

Title IX

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C

Campus Climate

Overall Ranking

out of 154 colleges surveyed Read more
49
  • Sexual Misconduct Policy (Interim): Definitions- Sexual Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 1, 2021

    Sexual Harassment means any unwelcome conduct or cues of a sexual nature, whether verbal/aural (sounds), visual/graphic (e.g. pictures and videos), physical, or otherwise, when: … Such conduct creates a hostile environment. A hostile environment exists when the unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is sufficien... Read More
  • Carnegie Mellon University Policy on Disorderly Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: October 1, 2021

    Disorderly conduct is ordinarily defined as the use of abusive or obscene language or gestures to/by a member of the campus community, publicly intoxicated behavior or persistence, after a request to desist, in behavior which inconveniences or impedes other members of the campus community in their proper use of o... Read More
  • Sexual Misconduct Policy (Interim): Definitions- Federal Rule Sexual Misconduct

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 1, 2021

    FEDERAL RULE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT is a subset of Prohibited Conduct which meets the definition of Sexual Harassment in the Title IX Regulations at 34 CFR Part 106.30. Something which meets the definition of category of Prohibited Conduct (defined above) rises to the level of Federal Rule Sexual Misconduct when it meets... Read More
  • Carnegie Mellon University Computing Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: October 1, 2021

    The following activities are expressly prohibited at Carnegie Mellon: … Using mail messages to harass or intimidate another person (such as by repeatedly sending unwanted mail or broadcasting unsolicited mail). Read More
  • Student Handbook: Community Policies- Discriminatory Harassment

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: October 1, 2021

    Acts of discriminatory harassment or intimidation by a student directed toward any member of the community are inconsistent with this commitment and will not be tolerated. Consistent with the University’s Statement of Assurance, prohibited acts include harassment and intimidation motivated by discriminatory in... Read More
  • Carnegie Mellon University Policy on Freedom of Expression

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: October 1, 2021

    Carnegie Mellon University values the freedoms of speech, thought, expression and assembly – in themselves and as part of our core educational and intellectual mission. If individuals are to cherish freedom, they must experience it. The very concept of freedom assumes that people usually choose wisely from a r... Read More

Policies are rated on their inclusion of 10 due process safeguards. Each policy may receive 2 points for fully including that safeguard, 1 point for partial inclusion, and 0 points for no meaningful inclusion. Most, but not all, institutions have separate policies for sexual misconduct and all other misconduct. See FIRE’s Spotlight on Due Process report for more information.

Grades

Non-Sexual Misconduct

D
6/20
  • Meaningful presumption of innocence
  • Timely and adequate written notice
  • Time to prepare with evidence
  • Impartial fact-finders
  • Meaningful hearing process
  • Right to present to fact-finder
  • Right to meaningful cross-ex
  • Active participation of advisor
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Unanimity or clear and convincing evidence

Sexual Misconduct

D
6/20
  • Meaningful presumption of innocence
  • Timely and adequate written notice
  • Time to prepare with evidence
  • Impartial fact-finders
  • Meaningful hearing process
  • Right to present to fact-finder
  • Right to meaningful cross-ex
  • Active participation of advisor
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Unanimity or clear and convincing evidence

Title IX

C
12/20
  • Meaningful presumption of innocence
  • Timely and adequate written notice
  • Time to prepare with evidence
  • Impartial fact-finders
  • Meaningful hearing process
  • Right to present to fact-finder
  • Right to meaningful cross-ex
  • Active participation of advisor
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Unanimity or clear and convincing evidence

FIRE surveyed roughly 37,000 students at 154 colleges and universities about the climate for free speech at their institutions. In 2021, FIRE released rankings of those schools, based on a number of factors, including openness, tolerance, self-expression, administrative support for free speech, and campus policies, scoring overall speech climate on a scale from 0-100. See the full report on FIRE’s 2021 College Free Speech Rankings for more information.

 

Rankings / out of 154 colleges surveyed

Overall Ranking 49
Ideological Diversity 118

Overall / out of a top score of 100

Overall Score 60.24
Openness 9.75
Tolerance (Liberals) 11.06
Tolerance (Conservatives) 8.4
Administrative Support 6.39
Comfort 14.83
Disruptive Conduct 9.81
Speech Code YELLOW
At present, FIRE has not been publicly involved in any cases at this school.
  • Apology for anti-Asian bigotry statement at Carnegie Mellon highlights difficulty of discussing China on campus

    March 30, 2021

    Troubled by the “hate targeted toward those of Asian descent,” Carnegie Mellon University’s Graduate Student Assembly Executive Committee released a statement to their fellow graduate students on March 8 offering solidarity to members of the campus’ Asian community and a list of resources to support them.  But two weeks later, in consultation with CMU’s administration,… Read more

  • Speech Code Countdown: Most of America’s ‘Best Colleges’ Restrict Speech

    October 5, 2016

    U.S. News & World Report recently released its annual rankings of the “Best Colleges” for 2017. The rankings are based on a multitude of “indicators of academic excellence” that prospective students use to narrow down their college application lists, including graduation and retention rate, financial resources, the institution’s reputation, and student selectivity. But U.S. News’… Read more

  • What Makes a ‘Green Light’ Computer Use Policy?

    January 10, 2014

    FIRE has recently been examining some of the best “green light” university policies here on The Torch, including policies regarding harassment and civility. The policies discussed in those entries, maintained by Mississippi State University and North Carolina State University, respectively, are ideal examples for other schools to follow in crafting their own policy. Today, we examine computer and Internet usage… Read more

  • FIRE Names Seven Best Schools for Free Speech on ‘Huffington Post’

    May 24, 2011

    PHILADELPHIA, May 24, 2011—Today the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) commends the nation’s seven best colleges and universities for freedom of speech in an article by FIRE President Greg Lukianoff on The Huffington Post. The colleges listed are Arizona State University, Dartmouth College, The College of William & Mary, the University of Pennsylvania,… Read more

  • The State of Free Speech on Campus: Carnegie Mellon University

    February 3, 2009

    Throughout the spring semester, FIRE is drawing special attention to the state of free speech at America’s top 25 national universities (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report). Thus far, we have told you about the restrictive policies in place at UCLA, the University of Virginia, and Georgetown University. Today we review policies at… Read more