Lehigh’s new Community Partnership Advisory Group

I couldn’t be more excited about working with some of my colleagues on issues that are important to all of us at the university: community partnerships.

Lehigh has a long history of community engagement. The Office of Community and Regional Affairs and the Office of University Communications and Public Affairs recently completed a report that describes current programs and partnerships between Lehigh and the local community that support the mission of community engagement. What is very exciting, is being able to work with Dale Kochard. He’s all around LEHIGH! Just find him on a rainy day, walking the streets of Bethlehem in his brown Lehigh Cap; smile on his face and a jaunty step. Dale is one of the most positive forces on this planet!

All areas of the institution are represented; all colleges, student affairs, athletics, academic outreach, and the arts. Every member of this group holds community engagement in highest regard. We’re conscious of actions that build on existing partnerships, or create new relationships.

Through many activities, ArtsLehigh is driven to raise awareness of the available arts and creative activities on campus that may interest local citizens. We also encourage our students, faculty and staff to take advantage of the many resources in our community for exploration, learning, and entertainment.

Keys to great partnerships, is understanding what makes it work for BOTH parties. We must attribute the relationship whether the partnership is between the institution and a corporation, foundation, private donor, or community agency. We attribute gifts by naming buildings. When our research is backed by grants from government or foundations, each grant earned is recognized. For community agencies, our service and academic expertise supports their mission. We must continue to hold ourselves accountable for equal attribution. And we do.

It’s not just about what’s good for Lehigh – but what’s good for the community.