Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Plan 2021-2026

An Unequivocal Commitment to Promoting Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

Our Mission Statement commits Lehigh University to being a “caring community deeply committed to harmonious cultural diversity as an essential element of the learning environment.”

Enhancing a diverse community in which wide-ranging experiences and perspectives are represented and in which disparate ideas are freely expressed and discussed is necessary for any outstanding university. This plan describes the actions that the Lehigh administration is planning and undertaking to advance Lehigh’s mission through creating a more diverse community in which all feel included, views are freely expressed and all are treated equitably.

With this plan, we assert Lehigh’s unequivocal commitment to being an institution that strives to enhance diversity, inclusion and equity. As part of this commitment, we also dedicate ourselves to being an antiracist institution. These priorities and steps will strengthen our ability to listen, learn, adapt, improve, challenge, change and lead to ensure that all members of our community feel safe, valued and welcome.

Lehigh has made important progress in many of these areas, but we recognize the need to constantly evaluate and enhance our work to achieve our goals. These initiatives, based on best practices and expertise in diversity, inclusion and equity, as well as feedback from our community members, will be a lift shared by all. Lehigh’s administration is committed to the sustained work of examining and addressing policies and actions that perpetuate inequities of all kinds and lack of respect for differing views, even when it is uncomfortable.

Our approach will evolve over time as we further determine the best ways to collaborate with and serve our vibrant community, and as new needs and challenges arise. We welcome continued conversation and encourage all members of the Lehigh community to share their own ideas and efforts.

"At Lehigh, we celebrate our diversity, and we embrace our academic, cultural, economic and physical differences. We respect one another, we look out for one another and we help one another succeed. These principles are not just words on paper; they are what we believe in and what we expect of our entire campus community. "
- Lehigh Leadership

Lehigh Pledges

  • To further our efforts and commitment to address diversity, inclusion and equity issues in institutional policies, procedures, practices and daily operations.
     
  • To embrace and deploy real and sustainable change in policies and practices that may overtly or covertly contribute to racial hierarchies, inequities and injustices.
     
  • To be fully transparent and accountable in the words we speak, the actions we take and the programs we create for all members of our community.

Join Us

Our community is committed to change and to the enhancement of our Diversity, Inclusion and Equity programs and actions. While progress in recent years has addressed important gaps, the work is far from over. These times call for more bold steps and well-executed initiatives to become a truly inclusive community that fosters respect and civil discourse for all.

We appreciate the continued campus-wide engagement. Lehigh’s mission and values serve as the bedrock for the continued deliberations and robust exchanges so important to creating the open, fair and supportive campus environment that all members of our community deserve.

Your ideas, involvement and voice matter. Email vpec@lehigh.edu so we can continue this work, together.

An Evolving Process

This plan is a framework meant to guide the Lehigh community’s collaborative efforts, which we acknowledge will change and evolve over time. It also reflects a compilation of best practices and current thinking in the diversity, inclusion and equity space based on both scholarly and community research.

The plan also represents the current best practices in improving organizational climates in government, business and higher education. It may contain similar material from multiple public sources and standard language for strategic diversity, inclusion and equity efforts.

We have been energized by colleagues in the diversity, inclusion and equity space and acknowledge in particular the United States Military Academy at West Point and the University of Missouri, whose plans inspired some of the language.