Lehigh is one of the nation’s most distinguished private research universities, offering a rigorous academic community for more than 7,000 students. The small size, ideal student-to-faculty ratio, and vibrant campus allow students to collaborate on projects in and out of the classroom. Located in Pennsylvania’s scenic Lehigh Valley, the campus is in close proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia and is right in the middle of the Mid-Atlantic corridor. The Lehigh Valley region is home to about 750,000 people, providing students and the campus community a wealth of resources and opportunities. Student health and wellbeing are integral components of Lehigh’s commitment to student success and are reflective of strategic priorities and the University’s $1 billion capital campaign.

The Position

The executive director of the health and wellness center provides the vision, administrative leadership, and oversight of all medical care and wellness programming of the Health and Wellness Center (HWC—student health services) serving both undergraduate and graduate students. Reporting to the chief student affairs officer, the executive director is a key member of the Student Affairs leadership team advancing a progressive agenda promoting student success and wellbeing. The executive director leads a team currently comprised of seven clinicians, one medical assistant, and three administrative staff members.

Responsibilities include policy development and review; work flow analysis and continuous improvement to advance best practice and enhance efficiency; budget management; and quality assurance for patient visits. The executive director serves as a University resource on health issues and promotes an institutional agenda to advance the health of Lehigh students. Providing counsel and guidance on student health issues to the university’s Crisis Management Team, and serving as the point person for internal and external audiences (including media, through the Office of Communications and Public Affairs) on student health policies, practices, and protocols and on health crisis situations are also important priorities of the executive director. As a collaborative change agent, the executive director develops campus-wide health policies and actively promotes an integrative care model working in partnership with University Counseling and Psychological Services (UCPS), Health Advancement and Prevention Strategies (HAPS), Athletics, the newly designated College of Health, and external healthcare providers and related services. This coordination of efforts is inclusive of, but not limited to, education, programming, training, outreach efforts, and institutional messaging of Lehigh’s health and wellness-related priorities.

Additionally, the executive director will be engaged in strategic planning initiatives to project and advance future health and wellness needs of an increasingly diverse and expanding student community, including the design of future facility requirements, development of an optimal staffing model, and the integration of technology as part of a comprehensive approach to the delivery of top quality university health and wellness services.

Additional duties as outlined in the institutional job description include:

  1. Design, manage, and oversee all service delivery conducted by the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center in its effort to provide expert health care to Undergraduate and Graduate students
    • Ensure that clinicians perform histories and physical exams and record progress notes in medical record
    • Ensure that clinicians treat according to accepted standard of care and follow up appropriately
    • Ensure that all HWC staff keep current via continuing medical education
    • Oversee ancillary services such as lab work, x-rays, and referral to specialists
  2. Direct activities of Department or Unit
    • Plan strategically and set goals and action plans consistent with the university’s academic mission and Student Affairs’ foundational principles
    • Hire and retain clinical staff
  3. Act as a health and wellness advocate and medical resource for the campus
    • Develop and enforce immunization requirement for all students and TB testing for new International Students
    • Provide easy access to vaccines for students and flu vaccine for entire campus
    • Respond to campus health concerns in various ways, including proactively (serve on Radiation Safety Committee, Emergency Preparedness, and Pandemic Committees)
    • Work with University Communications in cases of serious disease or outbreak
    • Work with HR on policies (such as smoking and alcohol policies) for the campus
  4. Set a campus-wide agenda to advance the health of Lehigh students through coordinated efforts of HWC, UCPS, and HAPS offices
    • Determine priorities of student health and wellness issues
    • Develop and implement a high-level strategic plan with measurable goals and quantitative targets that fully coordinate all medical, counseling, and advancement and prevention-related efforts
    • Link health and wellness goals to Lehigh strategic plans for student learning and personal development
    • Provide leadership for intentional and collaborative efforts between the HWC, HAPS, and UCPS
    • Serve as a spokesperson for health and wellness-related efforts at Lehigh University
  5. Engage a broad range of multidisciplinary partners to work together as a community to create a safe living and learning environment and healthy student body at Lehigh University
    • Advocate for a shared vision of health and well-being as the responsibility of all members of the campus community
    • Develop interdisciplinary campus partnerships that advance health related strategic plans

Characteristics of the Successful Candidate

A master’s degree in a health-related discipline is required; doctorate or other terminal degree in an appropriate field preferred. A minimum of five years of progressive leadership experience in college health or in a closely-related area of health care practice and administration, along with demonstrated analytical, decision making, problem solving, staff supervision, and management skills are also required. Additional capabilities and experience that will be important considerations in the selection of the executive director of the Health and Wellness Center include: knowledge of current trends and best practices in college and university health and wellness as well as public health; excellent communication (written and oral) and interpersonal skills; demonstrated computer competency using electronic health record systems, specialized databases, and other administrative technology; strong business acumen including finance/budgeting experience; knowledge of, and experience with quality improvement and change management; strict adherence to all compliance and quality of care standards; and an ability to engender trust and confidence in others as a visible spokesperson and advocate advancing a culture of well-being in a university setting serving a dynamic and diverse student population.

Several Lehigh stakeholders also indicated the following capabilities and attributes would be attractive in a successful candidate:

  • Bring a systems-oriented approach to the role—continually seek to enhance efficiencies, streamlining policies and practice.
  • Possess a broad knowledge of public and community health that emphasizes health prevention efforts.
  • Have a track record of managing change and the ability to apply strong relationship-building ability to facilitate others’ embrace of change.
  • Understand the cultural context of a college of university—private higher education institutional experience would be very beneficial.
  • Possess some familiarity with unique health issues that are specific to Pennsylvania and Lehigh’s student population.
  • Be a self-starter, able to lead with a high degree of autonomy.

History of the Position

For 23 years, Dr. Susan Kitei served as the medical director and leader of the Lehigh Health and Wellness Center. Previous to her appointment as director, Kitei served eleven years as a staff physician at Lehigh. Dr. Tom Novak—an HWC staff physician—was named as interim director following Kitei’s retirement and has served in this capacity for the last three years. His interim service has been extended because Lehigh has welcomed a number of new senior leaders in the last couple of years.

In fall 2018, University stakeholders evaluated the position against growing priorities and elevated the leadership role to that of executive director. At this time, the University seeks an executive director who will provide direct oversight of the Health and Wellness Center and also bring forth a transformational vision and direction for the institution as it moves to increase the coordination and collaboration between HWC, UCPS, and HAPS, as well as the newly established College of Health, thus creating a more integrated, contemporary approach to student health and well-being. Additionally, the executive director will serve as a visible and proactive voice to articulate and reinforce the value Lehigh has placed on health and wellness as an integral component of student success.

Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position

The expectation is that the executive director of the Health and Wellness Center will be a transformational leader, bringing about a new, more integrated approach and contemporary delivery model of health and wellness services aimed at meeting the needs of a diverse student community. Through a collaborative process with Health and Wellness staff and other colleagues (HAPS, UCPS, and others), the executive director will need to assess HWC services, work flow, staffing model, use of available cost-effective technology, campus and external partnerships, and Center hours of operation in an effort to identify current strengths and potential gaps or opportunities for improvement. Benchmarking of services, analysis of national best practices with regards to student health and wellness services, and, most importantly, a careful evaluation of the unique health and wellness needs among Lehigh students will be important as the executive director endeavors to shape a strategic plan to guide the Health and Wellness Center forward in light of key institutional priorities. Maintaining a student-centered focus will be central to a progressive vision and mission focused on health care, education, and prevention.

A key element of Lehigh’s Path to Prominence (institutional strategic plan) is the expansion of the campus. Over the next decade, the “University will increase its undergraduate population by 1,000 students, or roughly 20 percent, while increasing its graduate student population by 500.” By design, this will allow the University “to extend the value of a Lehigh education to more students from more diverse backgrounds than ever before.” As Lehigh broadens its reach, students will bring new and varied cultural and lived experience to campus. Their health history and the complexity of comprehensive healthcare needs will also evolve. The executive director must take a keen, proactive interest in the changing demographics of the student population and adapt the policies, procedures, protocols, and service delivery model to stay abreast of this evolving dynamic.

Developing a three- to five-year strategic plan that outlines the facility, budgetary, and staffing needs of the Center is paramount. Once articulated and with the support of the vice provost for student affairs, the executive director will need to broadly communicate this plan and foster University-wide engagement in advancing its chief objectives. As part of this strategy, the executive director will need to devise a path forward in which the HWC re-evaluates its current largely transactional/urgent care model.  Whether a more comprehensive health services model is adopted, or some other model that is designed to best address the needs of young adult students, the executive director will take into account that many students do not have access to healthcare options in nearby home communities.

Additional challenges and opportunities for the executive director of the Health and Wellness Center as articulated by stakeholders are listed below.

  • Establish credibility with students, as well as faculty, staff, and senior officers as the health and wellness expert on campus.
  • Build a strong collaborative relationship with partners in Health Advancement and Prevention Strategies and University Counseling and Psychological Services—identify and advance shared priorities and goals designed to enhance the overall health and well-being of Lehigh students.
  • Actively contribute to facility assessment and planning processes being guided by Brailsford & Dunlavey consultants.
  • Following a review and collection of relevant data, devise a staffing model that will allow for more extended hours of operation, as well as backup capacity to address staffing shortages in the wake of temporary vacancies (contingency employees) and/or anticipated staff turnover.
  • In conjunction with UCPS colleagues, evaluate the cost/benefit opportunities related to securing the services of a psychiatrist, including the option of tele-psychiatry services.
  • Build a collaborative working relationship with the new dean of the College of Health and identify mutually beneficial opportunities for research initiatives that could yield advancements in the quality of care and service to students.
  • Strategize ways to meet students’ “on demand” expectations of health services; evaluate possible partnerships with off-site service providers and/or use of tele-medicine to address needs falling outside of HWC operating hours; and leverage technology as well as appropriate self-care educational options.
  • Research and weigh the prospects of introducing a student health fee to support expanded services and resources directly benefitting students
  • Maintain effective campaigns promoting immunizations (meningitis, MMR, etc.) and routine wellness care while also expanding educational outreach/programming to emphasize prevention and adoption of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Be an active, contributing member of the CARE and Health Review Teams.
  • Establish a working partnership with student-run organizations engaged in educating peers about healthy relationships, prevention of gender violence, alcohol and drug use, etc.
  • Seize opportunities to secure external funding to advance health and wellness initiatives with support of personnel in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations and/or the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
  • Build synergy and a common language through which to communicate with, collaborate with, and educate others on issues of student health and wellness, including with academic deans/administrators, faculty members, and colleagues throughout Student Affairs—especially those in HAPS, UCPS, Athletics, Dean of Students, Disability Support Services, and Gender Violence Education & Support, Pride Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Residence Life, and Student Support & Case Management Services—as well as partners in Communications and Public Affairs, emergency preparedness, and University Police Department. These campus partners will also serve to identify emerging needs and may be deployed as health advocates and champions to advance HWC key strategic objectives, thus extending the reach and positive impact of the Center.

Measures of Success for the Position

At appropriate intervals after joining Lehigh University, the following items will define success for the executive director of the Health and Wellness Center. The executive director will have:

  • Through an inclusive collaborative process that solicited input from key campus stakeholders, shaped and widely communicated a strategic plan for the Health and Wellness Center.
  • Forged a strong, collaborative relationship with colleagues in the University Counseling and Psychological Services and Health Advancement and Prevention Strategies.
  • Demonstrated effective budget management, recognizing that budgets will grow in step with projected enrollment growth.
  • Built intentional and productive working partnerships with the dean of the College of Health, Athletics, and Recreation that help elevate the discussion and importance of a healthy lifestyle across the campus.
  • Provided substantive input and guidance while working with Brailsford & Dunlavey consultants on a facilities audit to define future Health and Wellness Center physical space requirements.
  • Assessed HWC work flow and organizational structure, making data-informed changes that align with the HWC vision.
  • Evaluated the HWC on-call system and implemented changes to equitably distribute that responsibility.
  • Continued efforts to increase education and prevention efforts surrounding use of alcohol and other drugs.
  • Integrated increased use of technology throughout the HWC to improve services and respond to the 24/7 needs of a residential student population.

An Overview of the Health and Wellness Center

The health center is staffed by a team of medical professionals who provide a host of health services, including acute care, routine examinations, immunizations, lab services, gynecological examinations and contraceptive counseling to more than 4,500 undergraduate students and approximately 2,000 graduate students.

Mission Statement

The Health and Wellness Center supports the mission of the University. It is dedicated to working in collaboration with campus colleagues to optimize the physical and emotional well-being of Lehigh students.

The mission of the Health and Wellness Center is to provide students with:

  • High quality, compassionate medical care;
  • Non-judgmental care that respects individual differences in a confidential environment.

Organizational Structure

The executive director will report to the vice provost of student affairs, Ricardo Hall. The current HWC organizational structure is as follows:

Executive Director

  • Staff Physician: Tom Novak (currently serving as interim director)
  • Staff Physician: Sarah Stevens
    • Director of Nursing: Kathleen Brehm
      • Nurse Practitioner: Kathy McCovern
      • Staff Nurse: Karen Sienski
      • Staff Nurse: Holly Fereno
      • Staff Nurse: Kurk Harris
      • Certified Medical Assistant: Lynn Billig
  • Administrative Coordinator: Christina Finley
    • Administrative Assistant: Joan Rose
    • Administrative Assistant: Yen DeBellis

Additional information regarding the HWC is located here: https://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/content/health-wellness-center

An Overview of Student Affairs


Ricardo Hall joined Lehigh University as the vice provost for Student Affairs in June 2017. Prior to his current position, Hall served for over 20 years in progressive leadership positions at the University of Miami, Wake Forrest University, Clemson University, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He earned his doctorate in educational leadership from Clemson and his master’s in higher education administration, as well as a bachelor’s in business management from Ohio University.

When Hall is not addressing student issues, Hall is often found on the racquetball court. Additionally, he is an avid PEZ and comic book collector, devoted husband, and father of four.

Strategic Vision 

The fundamental role in Student Affairs is to support and enhance the University’s educational mission. At the core of all that Student Affairs does is a commitment to promote student success in and outside the classroom.

The living and learning environment should inspire, challenge, and support students to achieve their full potential as individuals, as members of the Lehigh community, and as citizens of a larger society. A critical focus of the environment Student Affairs fosters is ensuring that students coming to Lehigh participate in and receive an education of lasting value.

Student Affairs takes a comprehensive approach to students’ intellectual and personal development by integrating formal studies with residential life, a vibrant array of student organizations and activities, leadership development, the arts, and athletics.

The quality of Student Affairs programs, facilities, and services should compare favorably to those of the finest colleges and universities in the country. Lehigh should be known as a university that produces leaders who are held in high regard for their character as well as their achievements.

Student Affairs’ strategic vision, which includes a key component of promoting student success, is accomplished through the provision of a best-in-class experience and the holistic implementation of core competencies throughout a student’s living and learning experience at Lehigh.

These competencies lay the critical foundation for a distinctive student life and learning experience, and are embedded in Student Affairs’ student life curriculum, the bLUeprint program that employs a four-phrase process to encourage students to discover, explore, connect, and then apply their learning.

  • Intellectual Development: Students learn to understand others who differ from them in life experiences, outlook, and opinions, and learn to adopt intellectual values that promote the discovery and application of knowledge.
  • Individual Identity Development: Students learn to explore and understand their personal values, beliefs, and sense of self.
  • Interpersonal Development, Equity, Community and Global engagement: Students learn the skills they need to build relationships, become leaders, and engage with others on campus in the community and in the world beyond.

Student Affairs Foundational Principles

The Division of Student Affairs is committed to ensuring that students leave Lehigh as academically accomplished, self-confident, creative, and productive leaders, citizens, and persons of sound character. Ultimately, we want our students to be uniquely well-prepared to thrive in a challenging and complex world. We recognize the need to support students as they flourish as individuals and as they contribute to a sense of a campus community that is characterized by respect for self and respect for others. We strive to demonstrate and measure our annual progress in the context of the fundamental principles presented below:

1.  Commitment to Student Learning and Development

We engage students in the discovery of knowledge, exploration of skills, connection with others, and application of behaviors that cultivate self-efficacy and lifelong learning.

2.  Commitment to Community

We embrace a prominent role in the shared responsibility to promote an inclusive community characterized by a genuine sense of belonging and demonstrated respect for self and others.

3.  Commitment to Purposeful Action

We empower students to integrate learning and development by leading with integrity and contributing to the community as active, engaged citizens.

4.  Commitment to Staff Professional Growth and Development 

We foster a professional culture that values and promotes staff member learning and engagement, as well as the sharing of knowledge and expertise, both on and off campus.

Student Affairs Areas of Focus

Areas of focus within the Division of Student Affairs are important priorities that typically represent its work around an emerging or ongoing issue that spans multiple departments within their unit and is directly connected to two or more of the Foundational Principles listed above.  These initiatives may be one year or multi-year efforts. They require strategic thinking, collaborative partnerships, a concentrated amount of attention and resources, and careful assessment and evaluation to be successful.

With the recently retooled Foundational Principles as a backdrop, Student Affairs has identified three themes/areas of focus for 2018-2019, and it is their hope that these will become further embedded into the fabric of the entire division. Each department/area has been tasked with identifying key initiatives for the year, which incorporate each of the three themes:

  1. Community – Programs, processes, initiatives, etc. that promote, encourage, or otherwise bolster a sense of community on campus.
  2. The Lehigh Experience – Active conversations, observations, and documentation of ways (to include programs, traditions, etc.) in which our students’ undergraduate experience is distinctive.  “The Lehigh Experience” discussions are in the context of identifying common/shared experiences that resonate with current students and alumni as we prepare to embark upon a significant, and institution-defining, fundraising campaign.
  3. An Exemplary Student Affairs Division – Specific, quantifiable, assessable efforts that seek to deliver top-tier services to our students while serving as an exemplary to similar office/departments on other campuses. Each of the 20+ offices within our division should strive to be the “gold standard” for that specialized area of service.

Student Affairs Reporting Units

Student Affairs is comprised of the following units/departments:

Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs

  • Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Health and Wellness Center
  • Health Advancement and Prevention Strategies
  • Assessment and Student Life Curriculum
  • Dean of Students
      • Student Engagement
      • WLVR Radio Station
      • Residence Life
      • Community Service
      • Athletics Leadership Development
      • Student Conduct
      • Fraternity and Sorority Affairs
      • Orientation and First Year Experience
      • Disability Services
      • Academic Transitions
      • Student Athlete Academic Services
      • Center for Academic Success
  • Student Support and Case Management
  • Gender Violence Education and Support
  • Military Science
  • Student Center Facilities
  • Writing and Math Center

2017-2018 Student Affairs Annual Report

Institution & Location

Institutional Background

Lehigh University was born in post-Civil War America, a period when the United States was both rebuilding from the turmoil of the war and flexing its muscles as a new economic power. The growth of the period was driven in part by the dramatic increase in the utilization of iron and coal in industry, brought about by improved transportation on the nation’s waterways and railroads.

Asa Packer, founder of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, was one of the men who both pushed along and benefited from the dynamics of the day, and by 1865 he had acquired both the vision and the financial clout to give back to the region that had helped him build a fortune. He donated $500,000 to create a new university to serve the “intellectual and moral improvement” of the young men of the Lehigh Valley. The new institution was called, simply, Lehigh University.

In the century and a half that has passed since, Lehigh has evolved into one of the most highly regarded institutions of higher learning in the nation. Lehigh graduates have led both the Ford and Chrysler corporations, orchestrated the construction of the giant locks of the Panama Canal, and stood as leaders and innovators in the worlds of business, engineering, politics, the arts, education, space exploration, and countless other fields.

A Tradition of Excellence

More than 150 years after its founding, Lehigh continues to honor its legacies and traditions while constantly seeking new and innovative ways to educate the leaders of tomorrow. A university that began as the home of just 39 eager young scholars is now a thriving, internationally recognized university of more than 4,600 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students drawn to South Mountain by the opportunity to learn at an internationally recognized research university, and to live and grow in a vibrant and engaging campus community.

Under the leadership of President John Simon, Lehigh has embarked on a bold plan to expand its impact on its students, its community, and its world. President Simon’s “Path to Prominence” plan calls for Lehigh to grow and diversify its overall student enrollment; create a new college of health; build new academic and research facilities; and reimagine and renovate some of the university’s most historic and iconic buildings. Taken together, these initiatives represent the latest efforts in Lehigh’s ongoing work to achieve excellence in teaching, learning, and service to society.

About Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Bethlehem & the Lehigh Valley

Located in the heart of the beautiful Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem is a vibrant city, rich in history, and known for its small-town friendliness and feel. The arts are alive in Bethlehem—there are many exciting seasonal events, nationally recognized musical acts, comedy, art and more. The city boasts three performing arts centers on the SouthSide alone, and the Banana Factory—a dynamic cultural arts center—is located just steps from Lehigh’s campus. Known as the “City of Festivals,” Bethlehem hosts more than 20 major festivals and over 150 mini-festivals each year.

Lehigh University’s Location

The University campus is in the Lehigh Valley, which is comprised of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, and the third largest metropolitan area in Pennsylvania. Lehigh’s convenient location affords members of the campus community to easily drive to major east coast cities. New York City is approximately 1 ½ hour from campus and Philadelphia is within an hour’s reach. For those looking to explore the great outdoors, a wide range of opportunity to observe the natural ecosystem and recreate await in the nearby Pocono Mountains.

To explore more about the Lehigh Valley, visit: https://www1.lehigh.edu/about/bethlehem


Mission, Values and Vision

Lehigh’s Mission Statement

To advance learning through the integration of teaching, research, and service to others.

(Adopted 1992)

Lehigh’s Core Values

Essential and enduring tenets—a small set of timeless guiding principles that require no external justification; they have intrinsic value and importance.

  • Integrity and honesty
  • Equitable community
  • Academic freedom
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Collaboration
  • Commitment to excellence
  • Leadership

(Adopted 2007)

The Principles of Lehigh’s Equitable Community

Lehigh University is first and foremost an educational institution, committed to developing the future leaders of our changing global society. Every member of the Lehigh community has a personal responsibility to acknowledge and practice the following basic principles:

  • We affirm the inherent dignity in all of us, and we maintain an inclusive and equitable community.
  • We recognize and celebrate the richness contributed to our lives by our diverse community.
  • We promote mutual understanding among the members of our community.
  • We confront and reject discrimination in all its forms, including that based on age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economics, veteran status, or any differences that have been excuses for misunderstanding, dissension, or hatred.
  • We affirm academic freedom within our community and uphold our commitment to the highest standards of respect, civility, courtesy, and sensitivity toward every individual.
  • We recognize each person’s right to think and speak as dictated by personal belief and to respectfully disagree with or counter another’s point of view.
  • We promote open expression of our individuality and our differences within the bounds of University policies.
  • We acknowledge each person’s obligation to the community of which we have chosen to be a part.
  • We take pride in building and maintaining a culture that is founded on these principles of unity and respect.

(Adopted 2011)

Lehigh’s Vision Statement

Lehigh University prepares graduates to engage with the world and lead lives of meaning. We commit to:

  • National and international research prominence
  • Learning experiences grounded in fundamental, transferable skills across all disciplines and in real world challenges
  • Strategic risk-taking in the presence of opportunity and adversity
  • Social, environmental, and economic sustainability
  • Meaningful connection and partnership with alumni, supporters, and citizens around the globe
  • A robust return on the investment in a Lehigh education
  • A diverse, inclusive, and financially accessible environment

(Adopted 2016)

Strategic Plan – A Path to Prominence

As an institution dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and service, Lehigh University educates future generations of leaders, creates new knowledge, and serves as an agent of powerful, positive change.

Building on its proud legacy of success, Lehigh, under the leadership of its board of trustees, has now embarked on an ambitious plan that will allow it to grow and evolve into an even more impactful and innovative university—one whose work will change lives, and the world, for the better.

The University is engaged in a major capital campaign to raise funds and engage stakeholders in initiatives that will strengthen Lehigh’s efforts to attract the best students, develop new facilities and programs, and support the research of its renowned faculty. Since October 2018, with the announcement of the public phase of the campaign—known as “GO: The Campaign for Lehigh”—the University has raised over $580,000,000 towards its goal.

For additional information about the strategic plan or capital campaign, visit:



Institutional Leadership – John D. Simon, President

John D. Simon, Lehigh’s 14th president, is an internationally renowned chemist and highly respected leader in higher education. He took office at Lehigh on July 1, 2015.

During his time at Lehigh, Simon has worked to raise the university’s national profile, strengthen and grow its research infrastructure, expand its global programs, and build on its long, proud legacy of success in teaching, research, and service. In the fall of 2016, the Lehigh Board of Trustees endorsed Simon’s ambitious growth plan for the university, one which will see Lehigh significantly expand its undergraduate and graduate student populations, recruit new faculty, build new academic and student housing facilities, and launch an innovative college of health.

Simon has also overseen Lehigh’s efforts to build a stronger presence on the West Coast. The university opened its Western Regional Office in San Mateo, California, in 2016, and later entered into a partnership with the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center in San Francisco. The university aims to leverage these new initiatives, as well as existing Silicon Valley–based programs, to better connect with West Coast alumni, create strategic industry partnerships, provide immersive learning opportunities for students, and cultivate a stronger admissions presence in the region.

A strong advocate for research, Simon created the Presidential Research Initiative in 2017 with the aim of supporting top Lehigh faculty as they work to generate new knowledge and pursue groundbreaking projects with the potential to change the world for the better. The first of these presidential research grants will provide an interdisciplinary research team with $3 million over five years to explore methodologies to more fully utilize the data generated at Lehigh’s Electron Microscopy and Nanofabrication Facility and allow for real-time integration of experimental results and complex computer models to drive innovation in research.

Simon has also furthered the university’s commitment to ensuring that students of all financial backgrounds have access to a Lehigh education. In December 2016, Lehigh joined 29 other top universities in launching the American Talent Initiative, a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies through which participating institutions will seek to enroll and support lower-income students and conduct research that will help other institutions expand access as well.

Simon came to Lehigh from the University of Virginia, where he served as executive vice president and provost. In that role, he was responsible for the academic administration of each of the university’s 11 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.

During his tenure at Virginia, Simon spearheaded a number of global initiatives, including the establishment of a new major in global studies and the opening of a physical presence for the university in Asia. He played a leading role in the launch of the University of Virginia’s cutting-edge Data Science Institute as well as its Advanced Research Institute and in creating the university’s Endowment for the Arts. He also appointed several of the University of Virginia’s deans and oversaw the hiring of several hundred faculty.

Previously, Simon served as vice-provost for academic affairs at Duke University from 2005 to 2011. During his time at Duke, he guided the university’s strategic planning process and drove initiatives aimed at connecting the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. He was chairman of Duke’s department of chemistry from 1999 to 2004 and also held appointments in the Duke University Medical Center in both biochemistry and ophthalmology.

Simon received his BA from Williams College in 1979 and his PhD in chemistry from Harvard University in 1983. After a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA, Simon joined the department of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California San Diego in 1985 and then moved to Duke University as the George B. Geller Professor in 1998.

The Student Body

Recognized among the nation’s premier research universities, Lehigh offers a rigorous academic community for more than 7,000 students. Its small size, ideal student-to-faculty ratio, and vibrant campus allow students to collaborate on projects in and out of the classroom.

  • 7,017 students (undergraduate & graduate)
  • 5,047 undergraduate students
  • 1,942 graduate students
  • 55/45 Male/Female (percentage of the student body)
  • 73 % out-of-state students
  • 8.6 % international students
  • 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • $61,000 average starting salary of 2017 graduates
  • 100 % amount of every student’s demonstrated financial need met by Lehigh
  • 25 NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports for men and women
  • 43 % of students have an international experience, and nearly half of those included applied work such as internships or research

The Academic Program

Lehigh is comprised of five colleges:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business and Economics
  • College of Education
  • College of Health (will welcome its first class in fall 2020)
  • C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Collectively, these colleges offer more than 2,300 programs and courses. Over 100 undergraduate degree programs are offered. Additionally, there are 87 research-based PhD programs, professional master’s degrees, and certificate programs.

Lehigh offers more than 250 study abroad programs in more than 70 countries. The average class size is 29. Ninety-six (96) percent of the faculty hold a terminal degree in their field.

Benefits Overview

Lehigh University offers a comprehensive benefits package including:

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Prescription Drug Insurance
  • Health Savings and Flexible Spending Accounts
  • University Retirement Plan
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Benefits
  • Tuition Benefits

For additional information regarding benefits, please visit: https://hr.lehigh.edu/benefits

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin May 3, 2019, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Valerie B. Szymkowicz at vbs@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Lehigh University website at https://www1.lehigh.edu/

Lehigh University is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer. Lehigh University provides comprehensive benefits including partner benefits.