Almost one year ago on March 11, 2020, President Simon sent a communication informing us we would be teaching and working remotely for the next two weeks. Little did we know what the following 12 months had in store.
In addition to the formidable challenges posed by remote or hybrid teaching and working, many of you have been dealing with personal and family concerns. We know it has not been an easy time.
Yet, with all you have faced, a number of you have reached out and supported our students during what for many was a very difficult time in their lives. Others have volunteered to help with testing, contact tracing and work unrelated to your work responsibilities pre-COVID. When the Lehigh community needed help, you didn’t hesitate, and we are thankful for your ongoing caring and commitment.
In large part because of your work, our community has persevered. Our students are progressing in their education, the work of the university is moving forward, and there is at long last cause for optimism about the future.
One of our goals during the financial uncertainty of the pandemic was to avoid layoffs if at all possible. We were able to achieve that in part due to the elimination of last year’s merit increase pool and the suspension of retirement benefits.
While much remains uncertain, we are now in a position to plan for a merit increase and the restoration of retirement benefits for the next fiscal year beginning July 1.
We continue to be grateful for your remarkable efforts in support of our university and our students. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication during this extraordinary time.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Vice President for Finance and Administration