Carnegie Mellon University’s Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to name Farnam Jahanian as the school's 10th president.
Jahanian, a nationally recognized computer scientist, was named interim president in June after the sudden resignation of former president Subra Suresh. Suresh led CMU for four years and is now the new president of Nanyang Technological University Singapore.
His successor, Jahanian, came to CMU in 2014 as vice president for research after a 21-year stint at the University of Michigan. In 2015 he was named CMU’s provost and chief academic officer.
At a special ceremony Thursday, Jahanian expressed his gratitude for the, “great privilege and tremendous responsibility” of leading the University of more than 14,500 students and nearly 6,100 employees.
He acknowledged the challenges higher education faces including access and affordability, constrained federal investment in research and the intense competition for attracting and retaining top talent. He noted the societal issues that weigh heavily on young people including issues of equity, mental health and sexual harassment on campus.
“But I firmly believe that as part of a profound social contract, higher education has been provided a degree of autonomy and influence in exchange for performing two core missions: increasing the base of knowledge for society, and educating the next generation of leaders in science, engineering, business, the humanities, the performing arts and more,” he said.
James Rohr, chair of the CMU Board of Trustees, said in a message to the CMU community Thursday that the appointment came after an international search.
"Dr. Jahanian embodies a bold, boundary-crossing, creative approach to the most important issues of our time — the very qualities that define and differentiate Carnegie Mellon, positioning this university to shape our world at the nexus of technology and human life," he said in the statement.
Jahanian immigrated to the United States from Iran when he was 16 years old in 1977.
“In talking with our students from our international campuses over the past few years, I’ve noticed how young adults look at the world with the same optimism, the same bold aspirations and the same desire to make an impact. No matter where they come from, students know that the education they receive at CMU will provide them the opportunity to pursue their dreams,” Jahanian said Thursday.
Suresh made $1,205,311 with a $775,507 base pay, according to a report by the Chronicle of Higher Education using the most recent data from 2015.
Jahanian’s appointment is effective immediately. A formal inauguration is scheduled for the fall.