The Lehigh University Board of Trustees announced today the selection of Joseph J. Helble ’82, currently provost of Dartmouth College, as Lehigh’s 15th president. He will assume the presidency on August 16.
Helble, a Lehigh graduate who received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1982, was named president after a comprehensive and global search process that began last fall following the announcement that Lehigh’s current president, John D. Simon ’19P, would be stepping down on June 30. Nathan Urban, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, will serve as interim president until Helble’s arrival.
“I am honored to be taking on this leadership position at a university that has been such an important part of my life,” said Helble. “Lehigh is an outstanding institution, and I’m humbled by the confidence the Board of Trustees has placed in me. I’m inspired by the university’s commitment to excellence in teaching, research and service, and its focus on thoughtful innovation, international engagement and interdisciplinary experiences. I look forward to engaging with faculty, staff and the entire Lehigh community to advance this work and ensure an exceptional Lehigh education for generations to come.”
Lehigh Board of Trustees Chair Kevin Clayton ’84 ’13P said that Helble’s impressive achievements and leadership at Dartmouth distinguished him among a diverse and talented pool of candidates.
“We are thrilled that Joe Helble, a widely respected leader, accomplished scholar and a 1982 graduate of Lehigh, will be joining us as our 15th president,” said Clayton. “Joe’s passion for excellence, interdisciplinary learning and innovation in higher education make him the perfect choice to lead Lehigh into the future. We are tremendously impressed by the personal and professional qualities that made him so successful at Dartmouth, and are confident those same qualities will make him an outstanding president at Lehigh.”
Helble is the second alumnus in Lehigh history to be appointed president. Henry Sturgis Drinker, Lehigh’s 5th president, graduated from the university in 1871 and served as president from 1905 to 1920.