Lehigh University Settles Racial Harassment Complaint

lehigh-logoThis 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:

  1. To issue a statement by February 15 that the university does not tolerate any acts of discrimination or harassment.
  2. Compose a formal policy prohibiting racial harassment and submit a draft of that policy to the Department of Education for approval.
  3. Fully implement the policy within 45 days of receiving approval from the Department of Education.
  4. Revise the university’s Code of Conduct, if necessary, to make sure it adequately deals with issues of racial harassment.
  5. Provide training for faculty, staff, and students on the university’s racial harassment policies.
  6. Conduct a campus climate survey annually to determine the extent of racial discrimination and harassment on campus.
  7. 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.

Related Articles


  1. They need to look into the rural White colleges and universities in Oklahoma. The Confederacy lost the Civil War and Oklahoma never got the memo.

  2. While reading the issues that this university will agree to in the future, I trust that some of you “youngsters” out there will understand that during the 60’s through the 90’s universities were even “then” pretending that this was the “first” time of an “issue” and that a new rule needs to be made.
    Does anyone really believe that these “rules” need to be developed in 2014? Actually, they need to be implemented instead of pretending this issue needs “new rules.” Each time since the 1960’s this country seems to pretend, “OH, this is the FIRST TIME”.

    So, let’s see. Lehigh is a “Northern University” of 9,000 students in Pennsylvania.
    Each time a new university has a “racial issue”, they get to start from the beginning pretending that THIS is the first time. It is so sad that even many Black individuals believe “this is the first time.”

    After 50 years of discussing “affirmative action” and “fairness” in universities, does anyone really believe that the department of education must write “new guidelines”? for any one university? My guess is, by writing these “new guidelines” it means, no one on Lehigh’s campus is “guilty of anything” because there were “no rules or guidelines”. Now on to the next campus; next week. The farce continues.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Rate of Black Homeownership in America Remains Virtually Unchanged Since 2012

The National Association of Realtors has found that although homeownership rates in American are steadily increasing, the rate of Black homeownership has experienced significantly less growth than White, Asian, and Hispanic homeownership since 2012.

Safiya George Named President of the University of the Virgin Islands

“As a servant leader, I am confident I will be an effective President for the University of the Virgin Islands and will remain humble and grounded with a sincere desire to improve outcomes and the lives of students, faculty, staff, and the community," says Safiya George, who will assume the role of president of the University of the Virgin Islands this summer.

Study Examines Relationship Between Racism and Gun Ownership in America

The results found White people with racist attitudes are no more likely to own guns than those without racist beliefs. However, the study did find a correlation between racism and opposition to gun control policies.

Recent Books of Interest to African American Scholars

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education regularly publishes a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. The books included are on a wide variety of subjects and present many different points of view.

Featured Jobs