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Diversity & Inclusion  >  Our Guiding Principles  

Our Guiding Principles

Inclusion is the tie that binds Lehigh.

Our faculty, staff and students hail from 50 states and 51 countries. It’s that rich fabric of life experiences that makes Lehigh such a vibrant and enriching campus community. We treasure the diversity that comes along with it and embrace our academic, cultural, economic and physical differences. They make us who we are.

But we can do so much more to foster an environment that is accepting and collaborative, and our commitment to diversity, inclusion and engagement has never been stronger.

We have captured that commitment in The Principles of Our Equitable Community, a list of values that fundamentally serves as the foundation of our university community. The Principles have been endorsed across the institution and by Lehigh's Board of Trustees and its subcommittee on diversity. We believe that every member of our community has a personal responsibility to acknowledge and practice the nine basic principles found in this document, which was crafted by Lehigh’s Council for Equity and Community.

The Principles of Our Equitable Community

Lehigh University is first and foremost an educational institution, committed to developing the future leaders of our changing global society. Every member of our community has a personal responsibility to acknowledge and practice the following basic principles:

  • We affirm the inherent dignity in all of us, and we maintain an inclusive and equitable community.
  • We recognize and celebrate the richness contributed to our lives by our diverse community.
  • We promote mutual understanding among the members of our community.
  • We confront and reject discrimination in all its forms, including that based on age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economics, veteran status, or any differences that have been excuses for misunderstanding, dissension, or hatred.
  • We affirm academic freedom within our community and uphold our commitment to the highest standards of respect, civility, courtesy, and sensitivity toward every individual.
  • We recognize each person’s right to think and speak as dictated by personal belief and to respectfully disagree with or counter another’s point of view.
  • We promote open expression of our individuality and our differences within the bounds of University policies.
  • We acknowledge each person’s obligation to the community of which we have chosen to be a part.
  • We take pride in building and maintaining a culture that is founded on these principles of unity and respect.

The "Principles of Our Equitable Community" is also available as a PDF.

Unfortunately, there may be times when we fall short of these principles. Lehigh University is committed to being an inclusive living and learning community where differences are celebrated and each member of the campus is valued, and where an atmosphere of civility and respect is a fundamental expectation; however, should the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff ever be compromised, the university has established an anonymous Bias Response Protocol (BRP).

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