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Leading Carnegie Mellon University an 'absolute thrill' new president says

Aaron Aupperlee
| Thursday, March 8, 2018, 4:36 p.m.
Farnam Jahanian speaks to students and faculty during the announcement of his appointment as Carnegie Mellon University's 10th president inside the Rangos Ballroom on March 8, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Farnam Jahanian speaks to students and faculty during the announcement of his appointment as Carnegie Mellon University's 10th president inside the Rangos Ballroom on March 8, 2018.
Farnam Jahanian speaks to students and faculty during the announcement of his appointment as Carnegie Mellon University's 10th president inside the Rangos Ballroom on March 8, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Farnam Jahanian speaks to students and faculty during the announcement of his appointment as Carnegie Mellon University's 10th president inside the Rangos Ballroom on March 8, 2018.
Students and faculty listen during the announcement of Farnam Jahanian's appointment as Carnegie Mellon University's 10th president inside Rangos Ballroom on campus on March 8, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Students and faculty listen during the announcement of Farnam Jahanian's appointment as Carnegie Mellon University's 10th president inside Rangos Ballroom on campus on March 8, 2018.
James E. Rohr, Chair of the CMU Board of Trustees, speaks during the announcement of Farnam Jahanian's appointment as Carnegie Mellon University's 10th president inside Rangos Ballroom on campus on March 8, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
James E. Rohr, Chair of the CMU Board of Trustees, speaks during the announcement of Farnam Jahanian's appointment as Carnegie Mellon University's 10th president inside Rangos Ballroom on campus on March 8, 2018.
Farnam Jahanian speaks to students and faculty during the announcement of his appointment as Carnegie Mellon University's 10th president inside Rangos Ballroom on their campus on March 8, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Farnam Jahanian speaks to students and faculty during the announcement of his appointment as Carnegie Mellon University's 10th president inside Rangos Ballroom on their campus on March 8, 2018.
Farnam Jahanian speaks to students and faculty during the announcement of his appointment as Carnegie Mellon University's 10th president inside Rangos Ballroom on their campus on March 8, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Farnam Jahanian speaks to students and faculty during the announcement of his appointment as Carnegie Mellon University's 10th president inside Rangos Ballroom on their campus on March 8, 2018.
Carnegie Mellon University’s board of trustees named Farnam Jahanian as the university’s 10th president by a unanimous vote Wednesday, March 7, 2018.
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University’s board of trustees named Farnam Jahanian as the university’s 10th president by a unanimous vote Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

Carnegie Mellon University's new president is already a familiar face on campus.

Farnam Jahanian, a top administrator at CMU since 2014 and the interim president, was named the university's 10th president Thursday.

“It's a great privilege and a tremendous responsibility, but it is most of all an absolute thrill to know that I will be working side by side with so many of you,” Jahanian said during a speech on campus to faculty, students, staff, the board of trustees and Pittsburgh residents. “Together we will continue to do work that matters, work that benefits people all around the world.”

A nationally recognized computer scientist, Jahanian had spent 21 years at the University of Michigan before coming to Carnegie Mellon as vice president for research in 2014. He was named provost and chief academic officer the next year, and then became interim president after the sudden resignation of then-president Subra Suresh, who went to Singapore to head Nanyang Technological University.

CMU launched an international search to find the university's next leader. James Rohr, chair of the board, said it was clear during the search process that Jahanian has the qualities and experiences to make him “exactly the right leader for this university at the extraordinary moment in time.”

The board of trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to hire Jahanian as the next president.

“Farnam embodies the qualities that makes this institution great,” Rohr said, including working to make sure technology enhances society and its benefits are accessible to women, under represented minorities and all people. “I think this individual has the vision to take this institution to the next level.”

Jahanian, 57, is married to Teresa Jahanian, also a computer scientist. Their daughter, Sara, is a junior at CMU. Their sons, Thomas and Daniel, live in Michigan.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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