Our Strategic Vision
The fundamental role in Student Affairs is to support and enhance the University's educational mission. At the core of all we do 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.
We foster 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 our 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.
Our strategic vision is directly aligned with the University Strategic Plan, which includes a key component of promoting student success. This 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:
- 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 Strategic Outcomes
The Division of Student Affairs at Lehigh University seeks to provide a comprehensive residential experience for our students. As part of our commitment to this goal, the Division of Student Affairs strives to demonstrate annual progress toward the following outcomes:
An Equitable, Inclusive Environment
We view diversity as an important asset within our university environment and we are committed to advancing the Principles of Our Equitable Community. We give voice to and provide an avenue of support for the needs and concerns of a diverse student body. We provide educational experiences that expose students to diverse, multicultural viewpoints and issues of social inequity. Our work with students in this area promotes a culture of respect where students are equipped to lead positive change in their own community and beyond.
A Healthy, Safe Community
Health and safety are both individual and shared responsibilities. We provide superior services and resources to facilitate a healthy, safe living and learning environment. We respond quickly and effectively when presented with student health and safety concerns and emergencies. As a result of educating students about their health and well-being, they will be equipped with the tools to make informed, responsible decisions and be accountable for their actions as members of both the Lehigh and Bethlehem communities.
A Commitment to Student Success
We provide support to students as they transition into, through, and out of Lehigh University. This requires effectively orienting students to the university environment; providing strategic academic support services; connecting students to critical university resources; and meeting specific needs of various cohorts of students within our community, e.g., students with disabilities, athletes, marginalized student populations, students in crisis, etc. As a result, students are well prepared to be meaningful contributors in their personal and professional lives at Lehigh and beyond.
An Exemplary Division of Student Affairs
We are responsible stewards of divisional resources (i.e. human, physical plant, fiscal, and technological, etc.). This requires hiring and retaining a richly diverse and strong performing staff, continually assessing our programmatic efforts and benchmarking nationally, and thinking strategically about future student priorities and needs. As a result of being intentional in our planning and routinely assessing our progress, we create and sustain a staff culture that values continual improvement and excellence in all that we do.
A Laboratory for Student Learning
We offer opportunities for intentional student learning that span and connect students' multiple experiences and identities. Utilizing the Core Developmental Competencies as our foundation, we affirm that learning happens everywhere and meaning is co-constructed within our campus environment. We challenge students to take calculated risks and try new things. Simultaneously, we support them and teach life skills that promote learning through these endeavors. This results in a co-curricular culture that ensures enriching and meaningful student experiences.
Student Affairs Key Initiatives
Key Initiatives within the Division of Student Affairs are important priorities that typically represent our work around an emerging or ongoing issue that spans multiple departments within our unit and is directly connected to two or more of the Divisional Outcomes 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.
Sample Key Initiatives for 2012-2013:
- Social Media - This medium has become critical to connecting with and communicating to students. Over the next year, we will develop a social media plan for the Division of Student Affairs and designate a division-wide committee to contribute to these efforts. (Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
- Student Affairs Facilities - Lehigh is at a critical juncture in the transformation of its Student Center facilities. As partners in the planning and implementation of important construction projects with the University Center and Williams Hall, we will contribute to the development of dynamic program plans that will effectively meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff in the coming years. (Outcomes 1, 3, 4, 5)
- Student Life Curriculum - Utilizing the Core Developmental Competencies as its underpinning, Student Affairs offices will work synergistically to provide opportunities for First and Second Year students to experience developmentally appropriate, sequenced learning opportunities within their residential environment. Components of the Curriculum will be piloted in 2012 and will be more fully realized in the 2013-2014 academic year. This curriculum will assist Student Affairs in further communicating the value of living on campus and transitioning FY students to Lehigh. (1, 2, 3, 5)
- Prevention Strategies - As part of the National College Health Improvement Project, we are committed to implementing new initiatives that focus on the reduction of student risk and harm related to health and safety. Some initial priorities include initiating enhanced Late Night programming opportunities for students, enhancing the coordination of health promotion and alcohol prevention efforts, advancing hazing prevention education, reviewing key health and safety policies and sanctions, expanding bystander intervention training for students, and offering critical mental health services. (Outcomes 2, 3, 5)
- Assessment - Assessment of key student services and student learning are essential to fostering an outstanding student experience and communicating our valuable contribution to the university's mission and goals. We have recently reallocated resources internally to assign a staff member to oversee our efforts in this area. Working with a division-wide committee and partnering with the Office of Institutional Research, we seek to build a strong foundation for this initiative. By spring 2013, we will adopt a division-wide assessment strategic plan. Moving forward, our Division will continue to collect, analyze, and disseminate key data related to student learning and the co-curricular student experience to the division and the broader campus community. (Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)