Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 54.46
Liaison Audrey McSain
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Lehigh University
PA-4: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.22 / 2.00 Angela Scott
Director of Academic Diversity and Outreach and Adjunct Professor
Academic Outreach, Provost's Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a diversity and equity committee, office, and/or officer tasked to advise on and implement policies, programs, and trainings related to diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights on campus?:

Does the committee, office and/or officer focus on students, employees, or both?:
Both students and employees

A brief description of the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer, including purview and activities:

The Council for Equity and Community is a committee of Lehigh faculty, staff and students committed to serving as a campus resource and agent of cultural change. We encourage constructive dialogue and work toward building community at Lehigh.

The work to foster inclusive diversity at Lehigh reaches into every facet of campus life and engages our entire community of students, faculty and staff. Lehigh's efforts include changes to policies and practices at the institutional level as well as work creating a more inclusive campus culture through opportunities for education, dialogue and action.

Estimated proportion of students that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

Estimated proportion of staff (including administrators) that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

Estimated proportion of faculty that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence trainings and activities for each of the groups identified above:

Programs/Initiatives to Recruit Faculty, Staff, and Students from Underrepresented Groups at Lehigh

Approximately eight years ago, the following strategic proactive and intentional steps were taken to recruit and retain the best and highly talented faculty from diverse backgrounds and with emphasis on underrepresented minorities and women in the STEM disciplines:

First, Lehigh University was one of the smallest comprehensive research institutions to receive the NSF ADVANCE grant. A Project Manager position was created to help the university execute the goals. Also, at the same time, the University created and filled the position of Vice Provost for Academic Diversity. The Vice Provost position reported to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAD). This position was member of the President's Cabinet and Provost Council, charged to oversee all faculty recruitment. With the combination of these two positions, the following initiatives/programs were instituted:
1. Development of a University-Wide recruitment handbook that provided best practices guidelines on faculty recruitment (tenure track and Professor of Practice)
2. Instituted an electronic process for all faculty searches and the department coordinators and search chairs were all trained
3. Provided workshops for ALL faculty search committees across the university. These workshops were and still are delivered by the Cornell Interactive Theatre Ensemble Group from Cornell University (CITE). The focus includes, unconscious bias and effective campus visit of candidates, and etc.
4. The VPAD met with all faculty search committees prior start of their search work
5. All of the Position Search Ads were carefully reviewed by the VPAD and Provost to make sure each uses the appropriate language that sends the message that talents from diverse backgrounds are strongly invited to apply.
6. Each pool of candidates invited to campus must be diverse. The Associate Deans for Faculty Affairs in each college are trained to help to make sure each pool of candidates who will be invited to candidate are diverse prior to extending the invitation.
7. Each position ad is place in multiple venues that has helped to diversify the pool for each position
8. A tri-folder was created and at the Principles of Our Equitable Community document was imbedded at the back of each. The Principles sends the message to all candidates invited about the kind of climate expected on Lehigh campus. Also, ALL search committees are expected to use the Tri-folder.
9. A Lessons Learned sessions are held for all faculty search committees in May of every year to review the search process and explore ways to enhance the process.

Second, these efforts/initiatives have transformed the institution and as a result, Lehigh is enjoying success in recruiting faculty from the underrepresented groups and more women in the STEM fields. There are more initiatives/process in place and continuous improvement continues.

The recruitment of staff. Historically, this process was partially handled by the Office Human Resources and the other part handled by the hiring manager. However, with establishment of the division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity, and under the leadership of a Vice President and supported by a Deputy Vice President and Associate Provost for Academic Diversity, this process is now closely monitored. Here are a few examples of proactive/intentional steps deployed:
1. All hiring managers are going through a similar workshops like the faculty search committees offered by the CITE group
2. All key staff positions search committees must include a representative from the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
3. There are hiring guidelines in place for ALL staff position

With these strategic proactive steps, several of the key staff positions are held by individuals from the under-represented groups, such as, the Dean of the College of Business and Economics; Vice President for Finance and Administration; Vice Provost for Student Affairs; and much more.

Recruitment of Students:

The recruitment strategies for undergraduate students from the under-represented groups were deployed over ten years ago. These efforts were initiated when Mr. Leon Washington, was hired in 2006 as Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid and later promoted as Vice Provost Admissions and Financial Aid. The following strategic proactive and intentional steps were deployed to diversify the student body:
1. Lehigh University expanded its recruitment reach to all fifty states.
2. Two additional staff members were hired to help lead the efforts to reach more under-represented communities across the country.
3. An aggressive academic program was lunched five years ago to recruit and graduate African American and Hispanic students in the College of Engineering. This undergraduate program recruited the first cohort of 9 students and today, there are 58 undergraduate students in the program. Also, 95% of the first of the first cohort graduated with an Engineering degree and four are pursuing a graduate degree in Engineering.
4. Established much stronger partnership with Community Based Organizations across the country. It is critically important to mention that the Community Based Organizations (CBO) have become more influential than the school districts in reaching and preparing students for college who come from the under-represented backgrounds.
5. Lehigh University Board of Trustees and Administrators invited over fifteen CBO leaders to a summit in New York City.
6. Since the summit, Lehigh University is collaborating with over forty CBO organizations from across the country.
7. The incoming first year class of 1200 students since 2007 represents 25% of multicultural students and 48% of the class are women.
8. Lehigh University a year ago was one of 26 institutions from across the country to join the Bloomberg Foundation American Talent Initiative. This effort is designed for each institution to commit to recruiting and graduating first generation and low-income students. President John Simon, signed the pledge/commitment. Just a few months ago, Lehigh established an Office of Student Access and Success" and under the leadership a Managing Director. The Managing Director is member of the Office of the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity staff and he will be working very closely with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid and the Office to advance the institutions' efforts to recruit and graduate students who are first-generation college and come from low-income backgrounds.
9. Lehigh University has just resigned a contract to join the Posse Foundation, an organization designed to identify, prepare and place in colleges and universities across the country, students who come from under-represented backgrounds.

Finally, the Lehigh University Board of Trustees took an aggressive steps a few years ago to diversify the make-up of its members and with success. These efforts of institutional transformations starts at the very top for sustainable and visible impact.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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