Updated June 17, 2021

We strive to make Lehigh University a place that values, welcomes, and nurtures diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in all forms. This strategic plan outlines the objectives, as well as the parties responsible for the timely implementation of agreed-upon goals, targeted to create and maintain an equitable and just environment for faculty, staff, and students.

Strategic Goals

The strategic goals for our college stem from the long-standing commitment of Lehigh University to diversity, equal opportunity, and affirmative action. The college leadership (department chairs, associate deans, Interdisciplinary Research Institute (IRI) directors, DEI Council, and college dean) participated in formulating the goals. Direct interactions with, and feedback from, our constituents positively influenced the goals as well.

Our strategic goals for the next five years are as follows:

  1. Recruit and hire diverse faculty, staff, and students
  2. Provide a welcoming, inclusive, and nurturing environment conducive to attracting and retaining a diverse group of individuals
  3. Meet or exceed national diversity demographics for the group of faculty hires in the next five-year period
  4. Integrate the college diversity plan with the university diversity plan and build on the strengths and activities of the university
  5. Create processes to recognize and reward faculty, students, and staff for their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts
OVERARCHING GOAL: Establish baseline database
Task Metric Baseline 2021 One-Year Target Initiative Leader(s)
Building the baseline database for current diversity and inclusion status of the Rossin College N/A No organized information available Full database containing any available historical diversity data and inclusion survey results Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development

Vice Provost for Institutional Research and Strategic Analytics

Senior Data and Financial Analyst, Rossin College

Building the database on faculty, staff, and student retention within last 10 years N/A No organized information available Database containing any available information on retention of students, faculty, and staff within last 10 years Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development

Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

Rossin College Director of Administration

Building the database containing historical gender and racial diversity data within last 10 years (comparison with national averages and peer schools) N/A No organized information available Database containing available information on national averages within last 10 years, and information on peer schools when available Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development

Vice Provost for Institutional Research and Strategic Analytics

Senior Data and Financial Analyst, Rossin College

Building the database containing information on the academic success
of women and under-represented minorities (URMs) in the college
N/A No organized information available Database containing available information on academic success of Rossin College women and URMs to be developed Rossin College Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Rossin College Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs

 

STRATEGIC GOAL #1: Recruit and hire diverse faculty, staff, and students
Task Metric Baseline 2021 One-Year Target Initiative Leader(s)
Develop Rossin College strategies
to improve undergraduate student diversity in the college
Evaluate the efficacy of the
plan and its implementation annually and adjust accordingly
No unified plan on how to improve
the diversity of the undergraduate body in Rossin College in existence.

Develop a plan that builds on the progress from existing diversity programs for under-graduates (CHOICES, Greer Scholars program, Summer Engineering Institute) and takes the effort to the next level.

Feasibility study to be done within three months to determine whether we have the influence needed to affect Rossin College undergraduate demographics. If the outcome of feasibility study is positive, plan to be developed within a year and to be implemented thereafter. Rossin College Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

Rossin College Department Associate Chairs

Rossin College Department Chairs

Develop Rossin College strategies
to improve diversity of the graduate student pools
Evaluate the efficacy of the plan and its execution annually and adjust accordingly No unified college graduate student diversity plan in existence.

Develop a plan  that builds on the progress from existing diversity programs across the university and takes the effort to the next level.

Develop the plan within a year and implement it thereafter Rossin College Manager of Graduate Programs

Rossin College Directors of Graduate Studies

Rossin College Department Chairs

Rossin College Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Rossin College
DEI Council

Develop and implement Rossin College strategies to recruit and hire more diverse faculty members in collaboration with ADVANCE Evaluate the efficacy of the plan and its implementation annually and adjust accordingly No college hiring and diversity plan in existence. Develop a plan that builds on the progress from existing hiring plans and practices across the university and takes the effort to the next level. Develop the plan within a year and implement it thereafter Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development

ADVANCE Program Directors

Rossin College
DEI Council
 

Improve hiring procedures to include a compulsory diversity statement from all candidates for faculty positions Conduct annual diversity and retention analysis of the faculty (evaluate how well we are retaining underrepresented faculty, as well as how successful our underrepresented faculty members are) Diversity statements by candidates became compulsory in Fall 2019 Incorporate in search committee report details on how the diversity plans were evaluated by the search committee. The rubrics used for this evaluation should be developed prior to the evaluation and provided with the report. Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development
Perform feasibility analysis on improving the diversity of college staff Perform annual analysis of the college staff diversity No feasibility analysis in existence Perform feasibility analysis. Based on outcomes, develop a strategy for improving recruitment and hiring of more diverse staff. Rossin College Director of Administration

 

STRATEGIC GOAL #2: Provide a welcoming, inclusive, and nurturing environment conducive to attracting and retaining a diverse group of individuals
Task Metric Baseline 2021 One-Year Target Initiative Leader(s)
Develop Rossin College strategies for retention in collaboration with the corresponding university offices, and encourage faculty, staff, and students to participate in retention activities already present at the university level Perform annual analysis of retention for faculty, staff, and students No college-specific retention strategies in place. However, ADVANCE has a lot of retention strategies already developed. Build database on existing efforts and activities in this space. Combine it with college-specific efforts, developed if necessary, and achieve 90% engagement among faculty, students, and staff. Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development

Dean’s Student Council

Rossin College Director
of Administration

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

ADVANCE Program Directors

Organize and implement a Rossin College specific annual DEI workshop for deans, department chairs, and program directors Keep track of attendance for workshops No regularly organized workshops by the Rossin College. University workshops exist, but do not necessarily address college-specific needs. College-specific workshop held annually with 100% participation. Evaluate methods to increase attendance for university-organized workshops within three months. Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development

ADVANCE Program Directors

Implement an online diversity education course for faculty and staff Keep track of attendance for diversity courses No specific online diversity online education course in place. However, a lot of other related resources are available through the university. Identify available diversity courses to be offered online; enroll and ensure 100% participation by 2023 Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development

ADVANCE Program Directors

Support recruiting and retention process of minority students in Greer Scholars program Perform annual analysis of recruitment and retention of
Greer Scholars. Specifically, look at the number of Greer Scholars who stay at Lehigh, as well as those who remain in the Rossin College for the duration of their studies.
Department representatives and Associate Deans of Faculty Development and Academic Affairs attend monthly Greer Scholar meetings Investigate possibilities to engage more faculty in this process. Implement proposed ideas and evaluate their effectiveness in improving Greer Scholars recruitment and retention. Rossin College Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

Dean’s Student Council

Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development

Support recruiting and retention process of GEM Fellows Perform annual analysis of GEM program results (recruiting and retention) in Rossin College Enrolled in the GEM consortium in
2018-19 school year. In 2019-20 school year, Rossin College had 10 applicants; five students received offers in our doctoral programs, and two students accepted the offers.
Working with university-level GEM program, develop recruiting and retention procedure, processes, and best practices. Implement and annually evaluate their effectiveness. Target 3x improvement in recruitment and retention of GEM Fellows. Deputy Vice President for Equity and Community and Associate Provost for Academic Diversity

Rossin College Representatives in Graduate Student Senate

Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development

Seek and secure private and federal funding that includes commitments
to the academic and professional advancement of underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students and faculty
Perform annual analysis of the results (both applications and awarded grants) Isolated efforts Develop and implement college- and department- level efforts focused in this direction. Annually provide list of funding opportunities to department chairs. Analyze the number of applications in the past two years and target 3x improvement in the next five years. Rossin College Dean

Rossin College Department Chairs

Rossin College Associate Deans

Implement a faculty/staff/student exit survey and use the results to identify issues and opportunities for continuous improvement Surveys administered at college level for faculty and staff. Departments to apply DEI questions as a part of their senior exit interview process. Rudimentary faculty exit rubric in place. Individual departments run undergraduate senior student exit surveys. DEI questions not asked of students in a systematic way. Develop faculty/ staff/student exit survey; share anonymized results with the DEI Council and department chairs; and implement changes. Candidates will be informed beforehand how the survey will be utilized. Rossin College Associate Deans

Rossin College Director of Administration

Dean’s Student Council

Provide support for academic clubs, teams, and organizations that develop and/or conduct activities addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion Provide annual report on the overall funding level Some support provided on case-by-case basis Systematically support clubs, teams, and organizations with this platform; regular reports from supported groups addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion will be required Rossin College Dean
Provide support for URM-focused summer research undergraduate programs Provide annual report on the overall funding level Some support provided on case-by-case basis Systematically support selected summer undergraduate programs with this platform Rossin College Dean
Provide handicapped access in engineering buildings that do not have it yet, whenever possible Provide annual report on the engineering buildings’ accessibility Access available in some buildings, but not others Enable the access wherever possible within two years Rossin College Dean

Rossin College Facility Manager

Request from all engineering faculty diversity and inclusion statements that highlight steps taken/to be taken to improve/ensure an inclusive and equitable environment for research and learning Conduct annual survey among students and faculty to evaluate satisfaction with the learning and research environment in the college No diversity statements in existence Use the execution of this individual plan as part of the annual performance evaluation of the faculty. Verify with the chairs that statements are put into practice. Rossin College Dean

Rossin College Department Chairs

 

STRATEGIC GOAL #3: Meet or exceed national diversity, discipline-specific faculty demographics
Task Metric Baseline 2021 One-Year Target Initiative Leader(s)
Meet national engineering gender diversity targets for new hires Collect and review department annual reports toward accomplishing departmental faculty demographic goals.

Identify specific college target for hiring diverse groups of individuals in the upcoming five years.

Compare yearly the target and the gender URM status for each individual department.

No plan in existence Hiring diverse group of faculty in the next five-year period that meets or exceeds the gender diversity national average for the Rossin College as a whole (averages for our eight departments).

Establish incentives
for departments that exceed national averages. These numbers should be reached for both tenure-track professors and professors of
practice.

Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development

Rossin College DEI Council

Rossin College Department Chairs

Increase the number of URMs in our college faculty Collect and review department annual reports toward accomplishing college faculty demographic goals. We have two URMs in our college Develop in six months a robust and efficient process to recruit faculty that meets DEI criteria irrespective of vacancies.

Increase the number of URMs by 400% in the next five years (one per department on average).

Rossin College Dean

Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development

Rossin College Department Chairs

 

STRATEGIC GOAL #4: Integrate the college diversity plan with the university diversity plan and build on the strengths and activities of the university
Task Metric Baseline 2021 One-Year Target Initiative Leader(s)
Review university plans and verify that the college DEI plan is in compliance Review plans annually

Annual endorsement from university leadership

No college DEI plan in existence. Draft of the university plan obtained from Vice President for Equity and Community. Annual verification. Perform adjustments to the college DEI plan based on verification. Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development

Rossin College DEI Council

 

STRATEGIC GOAL #5: Create processes to recognize and reward faculty, students, and staff for their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts
Task Metric Baseline 2021 One-Year Target Initiative Leader(s)
Create a new annual college award
for diversity and inclusion efforts
Prepare annual report on the awards given First faculty award was funded and established in Spring 2020 Continue and expand awards to include students, student groups, and staff, targeting goal of one award per category Rossin College Associate Dean for Faculty Development

Rossin College Dean

Make diversity and inclusion efforts
part of the annual evaluation process
Gather annual information on how many departments use diversity and inclusion efforts as a component of their evaluation Not an explicitly identified component when determining the annual merit raise Diversity and inclusion effort will be considered when determining annual merit raise for faculty and staff Rossin College Department Chairs

Rossin College Dean

Make diversity and inclusion efforts part of the criteria for distribution of department and college resources Make diversity and inclusion efforts part of the criteria for distribution of department and college resources Not an explicitly identified component when determining the distribution of department and college resources Diversity and inclusion effort will be considered when deciding on the distribution of departmental and college resources Rossin College Department Chairs

Rossin College Dean

 

Acknowledgments

Rossin College Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council
Svetlana Tatic-Lucic, Associate Dean for Faculty Development (Chair)
Shalinee Kishore, Diversity Champion, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Bob Storer, Diversity Champion, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Kelly Schultz, Diversity Champion, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Xuanhong Cheng, Diversity Champion, Department of Bioengineering
Justin Jaworski, Diversity Champion, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
Lesley Chow, Diversity Champion, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Kristen Jellison, Diversity Champion, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; ADVANCE Faculty Director  
Mark Erle, Diversity Champion, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Additional Acknowledgments

Steve DeWeerth, Dean, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science
Marci Levine-Morefeld, ADVANCE Program Director