9.15.20: Cost-Saving Reminders

A message sent to staff and faculty

Dear Colleagues,

As we have entered the new academic semester, we wanted to remind the community of several policies related to budgets and resource stewardship during the ongoing COVID pandemic. We previously documented some of these policies in a memo dated April 15, 2020. This memo will add additional clarity and address questions we have received.

University-Related Travel
University-related travel has been restricted since March due to health concerns. In addition, because of the potential need for quarantining upon return from a long list of states as well as international travel, loosening these restrictions is not advised at this time. Therefore, all non-essential University-related travel should be deferred.

Dining and Catering
Food-related expenses, including those related to dining and catering, have also been significantly limited, resulting in helpful savings last fiscal year. With the limitations on meetings and gatherings already in place, we expect this trend to continue.

To eliminate duplication of supplies and to take advantage of purchasing contracts negotiated by Lehigh, purchases made for office supplies, computers and COVID-related supplies should go through approved purchasing vendors (office supplies), LTS (computers, software) or the Lab Store.

Oversight of Contracted Services
We expect to reduce the use of contracted services from consultants and vendors as an important cost-saving measure. Any contract for consultants or vendors must be approved by the Provost or the Vice President, Finance and Administration.

The University is continuing the freeze on hiring. All position recruitment must receive approval by the Provost and the Vice President, Finance and Administration, before being posted. Grant-funded research positions must be approved by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

We appreciate your contribution to our efforts to control costs. It is vital that Lehigh stay financially strong to maintain its services while providing the flexibility to act in the best interests of our students, employees and the institution.


Nathan Urban
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Patricia Johnson
Vice President, Finance and Administration