Lehigh University Police
9-911 (on campus)
Lehigh University’s emergency planning measures help ensure our campus is as safe as possible and our response to emergency scenarios of all types is thoughtful, collaborative and efficient. We have developed plans and established processes to enable us to respond quickly and effectively to crises. The goal is to ensure the safety of people – students, faculty, staff, visitors and neighbors—and to protect the university’s reputation and assets.
Ultimately, campus safety is a shared responsibility involving all members of the Lehigh community. The culture at Lehigh is one in which reporting safety concerns or possible criminal activity is encouraged and valued. We expect and ensure that within our campus community there is regular and open sharing of information about safety, the procedures to be followed in an emergency situation and our current year and/or historical crime statistics for the campus. Please read our annual safety report (PDF) for information on programs, policies, resources and statistics.
The university utilizes a range of tools to communicate with the campus community about emergency or crisis situations. The specific choice of tool depends upon the severity of the circumstances. Among the available communications tools are the following:
At least twice a year, we test our emergency communications systems to ensure they are fast and reliable. Additionally, the Crisis Management Team conducts monthly meetings to discuss hypothetical scenarios or to evaluate real experiences (at Lehigh or on other campuses) in order to maintain an active state of preparation for emergencies of all types. The work of the Crisis Management Team is audited periodically by risk management professionals.
Planning for possible emergencies of all types is undertaken with diligence. A disaster and emergency preparedness plan have been assembled. It includes more than two dozen department/unit protocols for responding to specific emergencies, developed under the guidance of the Office of Risk Management, the Office of the General Counsel and the Director of Health and Environmental Safety using best practices. The plan is evaluated and reviewed regularly and practiced locally as appropriate or required.
In the event of a crisis, or even when unusual occurrences unfold on or around the campus, a team of senior campus leaders, called the Crisis Management Team, initiates internal information sharing and dialog as needed. Their primary focus is to provide leadership and policy decision-making, the capability to mobilize necessary resources, to support the operational experts that are normally the first responders to a campus emergency/crisis situation (campus police, environmental safety staff, student life personnel, etc.), and to ensure that the President and Board of Trustees are kept informed. Additionally, the Crisis Management Team assesses the possible impact of the circumstances on our campus community members and campus operations and determines the need for additional communications, decisions, or university responses to the specific emergency/crisis.
Chair, Joe Sterrett, Murray H. Goodman Dean of Athletics
Ricardo Hall, Vice Provost of Student Affairs
Patrick Farrell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Linda Harbrecht, Director of Communications
Pat Johnson, Vice President, Finance and Administration
Cheryl Matherly, Vice President and Vice Provost for International Affairs
Fred McGrail, Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
Kim Nimmo, Director of Risk Management
Frank Roth, General Counsel
Jason Schiffer, Chief, Lehigh University Police Department
Erik Walker, Chief of Staff, Office of the President
Severe weather, power outages and other crises affecting campus are best dealt with by planning ahead. Lehigh has created a new resource where eligible faculty and staff may sign up in advance to volunteer when a crisis occurs, as well as specify the types of volunteer service they can provide. With an up-to-date volunteer database, Lehigh University will have a quick access to potential volunteers to assist at a moment’s notice. Visit the Volunteering in a Crisis page for eligibility information, FAQs and to enroll.
9-911 (on campus)