Results of The Lehigh Survey shared with campus community

Earlier today, Lehigh President John D. Simon and Provost Patrick V. Farrell shared the results of The Lehigh Survey, which was conducted for a six-week period during the Fall 2015 semester to gauge opinions and perceptions of members of the Lehigh community.  It was the first time in nearly a decade that such a comprehensive climate survey had been conducted at Lehigh.

The survey had a response rate of 41.5 percent, exceeding university goals for participation.

The survey instrument was created by four Lehigh faculty with expertise in the areas of unconscious stereotyping, group processes and the impact of racism on mental health and social support.

Lehigh’s Council for Equity and Community (CEC) – a group of roughly 35 faculty, staff and students dedicated to issues related to diversity and inclusion – has been charged with developing a series of recommended action steps based on the survey results. It is expected that the CEC will be sharing those recommendations with the campus community next week.

The text of the message sent to the campus from Simon and Farrell is included below:

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

In late December, we informed the campus community that the Lehigh Survey -- which was the first campus-wide climate survey in nearly a decade -- had been completed and that the data collected was being submitted to the U. S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. You will recall that this survey was conducted as part of an agreement with the OCR, and was designed by four Lehigh faculty members with expertise in this area.

The Lehigh Survey was designed to provide valuable information from our own community about the current Lehigh campus climate. The faculty members who designed it said they are also interested in how our campus climate has been evolving, how we can identify underlying mechanisms for positive change, and how this process might work for students, faculty, and staff to build a reality and spirit of one Lehigh community.

The survey is just one window into our campus culture. The faculty members caution that a much deeper analysis of the data is needed in order to assess how different groups experience the campus climate.

In the interim, we wanted to share the data collected through this survey. You can view it by going to this webpage, clicking on "The Lehigh Survey Report" and authenticating with your Lehigh email and password.

As we noted in a message on the Lehigh Survey in late December, this information was also shared with Lehigh's Council for Equity and Community (CEC).

Throughout the month of January, three CEC subgroups dedicated to faculty, staff, and student concerns have been reviewing this information and the entire CEC developed recommendations to address them. These recommendations will be shared with OCR and at the end of this month, and with our campus community shortly thereafter.

Over the past two and a half years, a great deal of attention and effort has been devoted to issues related to diversity and inclusion, and significant progress has been made. You can read more about that progress on our diversity and inclusion website here. Still, it is clear that we have much work to do before all members of the Lehigh community can feel fully accepted, welcomed, and respected.

We are encouraged by the commitment of many across campus to continue that work toward a better Lehigh.

Sincerely,

John D. Simon
President

Patrick V. Farrell
Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs

 

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