“The development of future leaders in our global society is first among Lehigh’s purposes and first among our achievements. … Respect for human dignity is very important at Lehigh, a caring community deeply committed to harmonious cultural diversity as an essential element of the learning environment.”
—Lehigh University Mission Statement
The campaigns that have just concluded in the U.S. featured candidates of the major political parties offering competing, and sometimes widely differing, views about international affairs, including their preferred policies on trade, immigration, and security. That similar debates have recently occurred in other countries is a potent reminder that we live in unsettled times.
The impact of these events on international educational and cultural exchange is not yet clear. Over the next several months or even years, policy shifts and regulatory changes may result, or they may not. Yet, some things are clear. Going forward, the staff of the Office of International Affairs will continue to serve our diverse community and to perform our functions with professionalism and compassion.
We reaffirm our commitment to Lehigh’s mission by promoting engagement between the Lehigh community and the world at large. We are dedicated to providing students, faculty and staff with rich international experiences; welcoming students and scholars from around the world; and developing strong connections with institutions overseas.
In the Office of International Affairs, we work to bring people together. We welcome and encourage dialogue. This work is important. The nations of the world are interconnected now more than ever before, and we trust that they will remain so. We believe that the world community is stronger because of it.
We understand that international connections, whether on campus or abroad, push us outside our comfort zones. Yet, we trust that remaining open to new perspectives, and so broadening our thought, will allow us to develop better, more stable, and more just solutions to the world’s problems.
When we can see issues from multiple perspectives, we are better students, researchers, colleagues. We are all the richer for our diversity.