President John D. Simon is an internationally renowned chemist and highly respected leader in higher education. Formerly executive vice president and provost at the University of Virginia, Simon took office at Lehigh on July 1, 2015 and was installed as Lehigh’s 14th president on October 2, 2015. Read President Simon’s bio >
What is Lehigh now? And what could Lehigh eventually be?
In many ways, I’ve spent my first year as Lehigh’s president trying to answer those two questions, because for us to understand where we’re going, we must first understand where we are today.
Of course, these are not small questions. They are complex, nuanced and multifaceted, and I understood from the moment I set out to answer them that I would not be able to do so alone.
That’s why, ever since I first arrived on campus last year, I’ve made it a point to spend as much time as possible simply listening.
I’ve traveled the country to meet with our alumni as part of the Our Lehigh tour and came away deeply impressed with both their passion for the success of Lehigh and their intense pride in calling themselves part of our university family. I’ve met with our bright and ambitious students, not only to learn why they chose Lehigh, but just as importantly, to learn how their time here had matched up with their expectations. I have had the great pleasure of spending time with our acclaimed faculty, whose teaching and research consistently bolster our reputation around the nation and the world, and have enjoyed my interactions with our dedicated staff, whose hard work on behalf of our students helps us provide a wonderful campus experience.
These many interactions, and this remarkable past year, have helped me arrive at the answers I sought. What is Lehigh now? It is a truly great university, one of the finest in the nation, and one that excels in teaching, learning, research and service.
And what could Lehigh eventually be? Simply: all of the above, and as we work to build on our strengths, so much more.
In the fall of 2016, the university trustees approved an ambitious new framework for the future of Lehigh—one that when fully implemented would see significant enrollment growth at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, the construction of new academic and residential facilities, the recruitment of 100 new faculty, the creation of new academic programs and a greater emphasis than ever before on global engagement. Read more about this plan >
With your help, this vision can be a transformative one for Lehigh. But it is also one I believe to be completely congruous with our historic strengths, our wonderful traditions, our incredible legacy of success, and the very ideas on which we were founded.
We have always been, and should remain, extremely proud of our past. In fact, as we embark on this new path forward, we honor that past—and all the progress that came before us—by using it as the platform on which we build our future.
I am so very excited to begin this new chapter in Lehigh’s proud history, and I look forward, as well, to working with you to help make our vision a reality.
President John Simon lays out an ambitious framework for the university’s future through undergraduate and graduate enrollment growth, faculty hiring, new academic programs and upgraded facilities.
Read more about President Simon's vision for Lehigh >
On this course, there are no grades, no syllabuses and no measures of success >
Read about this summer's experimental teaching collaboration at Mountaintop from Lehigh President John Simon and Pratt Institute President, Thomas F. Schutte