Why Inquiry to Impact?

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As articulated in our vision statement, Lehigh University prepares graduates to engage with the world and lead lives of meaning. National and international research prominence and learning experiences grounded in fundamental, transferable skills across all disciplines and in real world challenges feature at the top of our commitments. The Path to Prominence, as laid out by President Simon and Provost Farrell, focuses on the intellectual growth and dynamism of the university and further elevates this ethos of staying relevant and contributing to the world.

What drives the university forward is its human capital. Faculty gain eminence through their basic, applied, and use-inspired research and contributions to the world, how they prepare the next generation of creators, innovators, and problem-solvers, and how their works are transferred and translated to create value. By engaging with the world, faculty help translate theory to practice and that engagement leads to stronger, better, more relevant questions to bring back to the university. The university prepares students to find their place in the universe. A Lehigh education prepares students not to be worker bees but be the leaders and game-changers who live lives of consequence and impact. Lehigh students don’t want to be another cog in the wheel. Representing their generation, they are adept at using technology to learn from the world and are particularly driven by the social impact of their work. Hence, educating them cannot focus on the transfer of information alone. It necessitates experiential learning infused with creative inquiry: engaging with authentic problems that have not been solved before and striving to find and actually deliver solutions. Impact talks! Journal articles, new products in the marketplace, and creative works in the museums, and social enterprises that create jobs and bolster food security distinguishes them as they find their dream job, top-flight graduate program, prestigious fellowship, or platform for entrepreneurial change-making. Measurable, tangible, sustainable impact leads students and faculty to a new identity, a new state of being with improved agency, self-efficacy, and consciousness to stand up for what they believe in, to envision a better world, and do whatever it takes, to effect positive, constructive change. The ethos of Inquiry to Impact lives in every aspect of our university and our office is committed to supporting any and all programs that elevate impact. We invite faculty and students to define impact in their own ways, in a multiplicity of ways, and inspire us to join their dreams.

We are setting a direction that builds and expands upon our historic strengths and honors the core values that have made Lehigh such a special place. This plan has the potential to be truly transformative for our university.
John Simon, President of Lehigh University