Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 36.75
Liaison Audrey McSain
Submission Date July 10, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Lehigh University
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Dale Kochard
Asst Vice President
Community & Regional Affairs
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Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of the programs sponsored by the institution to support underrepresented groups:
The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) serves as an integral resource, advocate, and vehicle of support for the Lehigh community on issues of multiculturalism and diversity. The OMA promotes a community aware of and sensitive to the multifaceted needs of Lehigh students. Identifying itself as an agent of transformation, the OMA challenges individuals to personally and communally grow, exploring multiculturalism and determining their unique role in achieving social justice. (http://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/oma) The Office of First-Year Experience (OFYE) provides students with resources and support during their first year at the University and plans orientation and events throughout the academic year to support first-year students’ living and learning experiences. The OFYE’s first-year programming, known as “evoLUtion,” promotes and introduces first-year students to issues of diversity, inclusion, and community. (http://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/ofye) Recognizing gender is a key element of identity, the Women’s Center creates gender equity within the Lehigh community. While the Women’s Center’s focus is traditionally on gender and gender violence issues, the office incorporate issues of diversity and inclusion into its programming. (http://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/women) The Graduate Life Office exists to enhance the academic, personal, and professional development of Lehigh graduate students through providing a range of programs, activities, events, and workshops related to diversity, inclusion and community. (http://gradlife.web.lehigh.edu/) Lehigh Encourages Academic Partnerships for Success (LEAPS) Program: The LEAPS Program is a college access and retention program for students who have graduated from either the Milton Hershey School or the Reading Public Schools. Monthly workshops enable the students to build a sense of community while learning about the various on-campus and off-campus resources and services. Peer mentoring, interaction with key faculty and staff, and fields trips are additional significant elements of the LEAPS Program. Currently, there are more than sixty (60) LEAPS students at Lehigh University. The Faculty and Staff of Color Network (FSCN) offers support and resources to welcome and foster a greater sense of community with faculty and staff of color on Lehigh's campus. Goals and purpose of the group includes: building a supportive network of faculty and staff; providing professional development; hosting social events that increase networking and retention; and strengthening bridges to other institutions in the Lehigh Valley. Lehigh University is one of seven 2010 recipients of an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Grant. Lehigh’s proposal “Building Community Beyond Academic Departments” focuses on harnessing the strengths of interdisciplinarity to enhance recruitment, retention, and the advancement of women faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields at Lehigh. At Lehigh University, STEM includes the NSF funded disciplines of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Sociology/Anthropology, Economics, and the disciplines within the College of Engineering. Lehigh ADVANCE will evaluate Lehigh's climate and policies, conduct social science research, and make recommendations for best practices to transform the University over the next five years. The overarching goals of the grant are to: - transform Lehigh through improved recruitment, retention, career satisfaction and leadership development of early- to mid-career women faculty in STEM. - contribute to the national dialogue and social science scholarship by examining if interdisciplinary organization can create a critical mass and more equitable work environment for women STEM faculty if facilitated by vigorous search strategies, proactive evaluation policies, and mentoring and networking programs geared to interdisciplinary research and teaching. LGBTQIA Programs and Outreach seeks to improve the Lehigh University climate by inspiring a vision of diversity that is aware of, engaged in, and appreciative of issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. We promote academic and personal growth and development of LGBTQIA students and promote access and full involvement in all aspects of campus life. The creation of the Council for Equity and Community (CEC) was the initiative by President Gast to give increased attention and focus to issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at Lehigh and the means to address them in a systematic and coordinated manner. The 2008 inception of the CEC was a tangible and broad-based initiative that has been critical in shaping the dialog on diversity, equity, and inclusion at Lehigh. As CEC enters its sixth year, the university stands willing to strengthen the role and mission of CEC as well as make further advances in creating a more diverse and inclusive community. Three key developments demonstrate Lehigh University’s commitment to the diversity effort and provide the beginnings of the infrastructure to promote and support diversity and inclusion on our campus: (1) the appointment of the new Vice Provost for Academic Diversity (VPAD), (2) the restructuring of the CEC, and (3) the Board of Trustee Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion charge to develop a diversity and inclusion action plan. In our university community, the undercurrent for any work revolving around diversity and inclusion has been that no one office or individual is solely responsible for this work. Rather, as students, staff and faculty, we are all active participants in this endeavor and thus contribute to and benefit from this community of respect. CEC plays an important coordinating role to make this a reality. Lehigh University welcomes students with disabilities and is committed to providing the same opportunities to all Lehigh students. Policies and procedures have been developed to provide students with as much independence as possible and to promote self-advocacy. At Disability Support Services, we work closely with students who self-identify in order to ensure equal access to University programs activities and services.

The website URL where more information about the support programs for underrepresented groups is available:
Does the institution have a discrimination response policy and/or team (or the equivalent) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response policy, program and/or team:
At Lehigh, we take the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff very seriously. It is for these reasons the Bias Response Protocol (BRP) has been established for the university. The BRP document describes the role and purpose of the Bias Response Team (BRT), definitions of incidents addressed by the BRT, how to report a bias incident, and support services for Lehigh community members. As part of the BRP, the University makes available an online incident reporting form. The purpose of the form is to notify the University that a bias incident has occurred. Community members that submit a report may identify themselves or they may report incidents anonymously. The information collected on the form helps the University respond to bias incidents impacting members of the University Community and to track the frequency and nature of such incidents. Ombuds Office Lehigh's Ombuds Office serves as a neutral, independent and informal conflict resolution resource and can help resolve problems or complaints within the University. The Ombuds Office is not an official intake point for complaint processes of the University and does not engage in fact-finding or make determinations about right and wrong. The Ombudspersons do not have administrative authority to impose disciplinary, remedial, or any other actions, on University faculty, staff, students or departments, nor to make specific changes within the institution. Ethics Hotline This secure and confidential hotline (610-758-2500) is available to all members of the Lehigh community (faculty, staff or students) to anonymously and confidentially report any concerns they have regarding the financial and operational aspects of the University. This would include financial or ethical concerns, fraud, conflicts of interest, and noncompliance with governmental or University requirements. All concerns are investigated. Information provided is kept confidential unless there are serious circumstances such as fraud or there are legal requirements that do not permit a guarantee of confidentiality. Harassment A member of the Lehigh University community or guest who believes that he or she has been subject to harassment, or any member of the University community who has knowledge of harassment incidents, is encouraged to confer promptly with one of the following key contact people for formal complaints or any member of the informal network: Key Contact People for Formal Complaints, Informal Resolution of Complaints, or General Information If you’re a student, please contact: Sharon Basso, Dean of Students Office (sbr2@lehigh.edu or 610 758-4156) Rita Jones, Women’s Center (rmj207@lehigh.edu or 610 758-6484); or Chris Mulvihill, Dean of Students Office (cjm9@lehigh.edu or 610 758-6598) If you’re a staff or faculty member, please contact: Lee Kern, Harassment Policy Officer (lek6@lehigh.edu or 610 758-3267 Linda Parks, Human Resources (linda.parks@lehigh.edu or 610 758-5195) Vincent Munley, Deputy Provost for Faculty Affairs (vgm0@lehigh.edu or 610 758-5923 Judith Zavalydriga, Human Resources (jaz308@lehigh.edu or 610 758-3897)

The website URL where more information about the institution’s discrimination response policy, program and/or team is available:

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:

Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender neutral bathrooms on campus?:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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