This past January, the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education announced that it had launched an investigation into whether Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had properly addressed racial bias incidents on campus. The investigation was implemented following a complaint filed by an alumna of the university. The complaint was filed after an incident on campus in November where a multicultural dormitory was vandalized with eggs and racist graffiti.
Now, the Department of Education has announced that Lehigh University has signed a voluntary resolution agreement with the Office for Civil Rights to resolve the matter.
Under the agreement the university agreed to the following:
- To issue a statement by February 15 that the university does not tolerate any acts of discrimination or harassment.
- Compose a formal policy prohibiting racial harassment and submit a draft of that policy to the Department of Education for approval.
- Fully implement the policy within 45 days of receiving approval from the Department of Education.
- Revise the university’s Code of Conduct, if necessary, to make sure it adequately deals with issues of racial harassment.
- Provide training for faculty, staff, and students on the university’s racial harassment policies.
- Conduct a campus climate survey annually to determine the extent of racial discrimination and harassment on campus.
- File annual reports with the Department of Education on all reported incidents of racial discrimination and harassment and how those incidents were handled by the university.