What We Are Doing
When the Lehigh community came together to create “Advancing our Intellectual Footprint” in 2009, we did more than simply renew our commitment to the ideals of diversity and inclusion. We recognized then, as we do now, that our academic community thrives on a diversity of thought and the enthusiastic embrace of our differences. Our strategic plan is built on these core beliefs:
“It is our opportunity today to further enhance this distinguishing quality of a Lehigh education while preparing for changes in the student body and the world in which they will live and work. Programs and curricula must evolve at pace with student needs and societal changes and we must continually monitor our campus climate for its qualities of equity and community.”
President Alice Gast and Provost Pat Farrell reiterated these core beliefs. “Lehigh is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive community which values, affirms and advances the diverse aspirations, experiences and interest of all its members,” they explain.“Offering a diverse and inclusive community contributes to academic excellence and leadership development for all of our students and the larger campus community.”
It is our number one priority to create an academic and residential culture that doesn’t just tolerate differences, but treasures them and provides for camaraderie between all faculty, staff and students. This is essential to our long-term success as a community of learners.
It’s one of the reasons why Lehigh University recently joined with the Pennsylvania Diversity Network to support a proposed Human Relations Ordinance for the City of Bethlehem. It’s also why we are working hard to build a Faculty Scholars Group, a team of scholars who are spurring innovation and ingenuity. By collaborating on research, they work together to enhance social equality in subjects as diverse as healthcare and technology.
Ultimately, our goal is to broaden the scope of diversity and inclusiveness so that it becomes a routine exercise in the exchange of ideas, both in and out of the classrooms and across our labs.
That strategic emphasis has served as a catalyst, helping to bring into focus some opportunities to make Lehigh a more inclusive campus. Here are a few recent developments you may be interested in learning more about:
While we are excited about these efforts, we recognize that building a diverse community takes time, effort and a lot of energy. We’ll share updates across Lehigh often and will continue to work in partner with our faculty, staff and student body on this priority. Our alumni and Board of Trustees will also work with us on these ongoing initiatives.
“Lehigh is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive community which values, affirms, and advances the diverse aspirations, experiences and interests of all its members. Offering a diverse and inclusive community contributes to academic excellence and leadership development for all of our students and the larger campus community.”