Proposal: Creative Ideas for Impact Initiatives

A message to the campus community

Lehigh campus

In a June message to the Lehigh University community, President John Simon ’19P and Board Chair Kevin Clayton ’84 ’13P affirmed the goal of making Lehigh an actively anti-racist institution. In accepting responsibility to make the changes that are needed, university leaders acknowledge that they cannot do this job alone; Lehigh’s success in achieving this transformative goal must include the active participation of the entire campus community.

As we continue to pursue important work across the university to become a more equitable institution, we are soliciting proposals from across the campus community that will contribute to our efforts: “Creative Ideas to Transform Lehigh into an Anti-Racist Institution.” We welcome proposals from all members of our community. Dr. Henry Odi, ’98G ’23P, deputy vice president and associate provost for academic diversity, has been charged with leading this initiative, and he has assembled a dedicated group of students, faculty, and staff to assist him.

If you have a thought, an opinion, an idea about something Lehigh can and should do to truly and permanently become anti-racist, now is the time to make your voice heard. Submitted proposals will be divided into three categories:

Category #1: students (undergraduate and graduate). A total of $5,000 will be awarded to the best ideas in this category. Proposals can be submitted by individuals or by small teams of up to five people. All teams must consist fully of undergraduate or graduate students.

Category #2: faculty (tenured and non-tenured/PoPs/adjuncts). A total of $5,000 will be awarded to the best ideas in this category. Proposals can be submitted by individuals or by small teams of up to five people. All teams must consist fully of tenured faculty or non-tenured/PoP/adjunct faculty.

Category #3: staff (exempt and non-exempt). A total of $5,000 will be awarded to the best ideas in this category. All teams must consist fully of exempt staff or non-exempt staff.

Proposals will be accepted in written form (maximum of 750 words) or as a video (maximum of 5 minutes in length). Your proposal should identify the problem or situation you are focusing on, give example(s) of how it is experienced and reasons why it needs to change, and offer a potential solution or alternative. No idea is too far-fetched or ambitious; we want to hear your thoughts on how to make Lehigh a more equitable community for all its members.

The deadline for submissions has been extended to Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. Assessment teams comprised of staff, faculty, and undergraduate and graduate students will judge the proposals. We want to stress that all good ideas will be presented to the administration for consideration. So even if your proposal does not earn a cash award, it can still impact Lehigh in a meaningful way. And that’s what we seek – impactful change that is sustainable and lasting.  

Proposals should be submitted using the following links:

Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students 

Tenured Faculty

Non-Tenured, PoP, and Adjunct Faculty

Exempt Staff

Non-Exempt Staff

Any questions can be directed to Dr. Odi at dvpec@lehigh.edu.

We are launching this initiative as we continue our work on other key commitments, including a review of the LUPD, outreach and engagement with our community, and an evaluation of policies and procedures across the institution.

We look forward to robust participation and lots of great ideas. Thank you for everything you do to make Lehigh a better place, and for joining us in the critical work that lies ahead.

Nathan Urban
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Patricia Johnson
Vice President for Finance and Administration 

Donald Outing
Vice President for Equity and Community 

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