John D. Simon, an internationally renowned chemist and the former executive vice president and provost at the University of Virginia, officially assumed the helm of Lehigh University today. Simon is Lehigh’s 14th president, following the departure of Alice P. Gast, who was named president of Imperial College London in early 2014.
“I am delighted to be here at Lehigh and begin my service to this great university as its 14th president,” said Simon. “Over the past few months, I’ve had the great honor of learning more about Lehigh, and perhaps most importantly, more about the people who make up the Lehigh community. I continue to be impressed with the depth of commitment exhibited by so many and look forward to working with all of them toward the next chapter in Lehigh’s proud history.”
Simon’s appointment was announced in mid-October of last year at the conclusion of a comprehensive and wide-ranging search. Simon’s formal installation will take place in early October, in conjunction with the university’s annual Founder’s Day ceremony, which will also officially kick off Lehigh’s yearlong 150th anniversary celebration.
Prior to arriving at Lehigh, Simon served at the University of Virginia since 2011, and was responsible for academic administration of each of the university’s eleven colleges, as well as its library system, art museums, public service activities and foreign study programs. In all, Simon oversaw the academic activities of 2,200 instructional and research faculty, 14,500 undergraduate students and 6,500 graduate students, and managed a budget of $1.4 billion.
Prior to that, Simon was vice provost of academic affairs at Duke University, where he also served as chair of Duke’s department of chemistry from 1999-2004, and held appointments in the Duke University Medical Center in both biochemistry and ophthalmology.
For more information and background on President Simon, please visit his website at www.lehigh.edu/president