In the midst of a search for the 14th Lehigh University president, Kevin Clayton, ’84, ’13P, has been appointed Interim President of the university effective Aug. 1, according to an email sent to the community by Chair of the Board of Trustees Brad Eric Scheler.
“Kevin has a profound commitment to our students and to our mission of teaching, research and service,” Scheler wrote. “Drawing on his experience as a student, as an alumnus, as a Lehigh parent and his 14 years of service as a trustee, Kevin will bring to the Interim Presidency a keen and deep understanding of and appreciation for all that is Lehigh.”
Scheler said Clayton has made positive contributions to the university throughout the last 14 years, bringing knowledge, leadership, passion and understanding of Lehigh’s values. Scheler stressed that Clayton is also committed to fulfilling the university’s mission of teaching, research and service.
During his tenure as a board member, Clayton has worked closely within a wide range of campus functions, including the Finance Committee, Endowment Fund Investment Committee, Campus Planning and Operations Committee, Student Affairs Committee, and the Advancement of the Board Committee, according to a Lehigh University news article.
“Lehigh has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I am deeply honored by this opportunity to serve and I humbly accept this appointment,” Clayton told Lehigh University News. “I am very proud to count myself as a member of the Lehigh family, and I will work diligently in my role as Interim President to ensure that the momentum and forward progress that is ours will continue. As we all know, Lehigh is a special place, and I am excited and committed to helping Lehigh fulfill its mission.”
Clayton is a principal and director of Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., a global investment management firm, where he has established a 19-year career. However, Clayton announced his intentions to retire from Oaktree in order to fully accept the role as interim president.
To ease Clayton’s integration into his position and the Lehigh community, the Board of Trustees created and appointed members to the Office of the Interim President and Presidential Transition. The office is comprised of senior officers, including university provost Pat Farrell, who will continue to serve in their current duties while assisting Clayton and Scheler during the transition.
“Owing to and by reason of our extremely talented, dedicated and tireless University leadership team, I am certain that our presidential transition will be seamless and that the momentum and forward progress that is ours will continue,” Scheler said.
Scheler said Clayton is eager to work with students, faculty and staff in addition to the senior leadership team to continue to grow as a university in the coming academic year.
“We are incredibly fortunate that we will have the benefit of (Clayton’s) character, personal integrity and outstanding leadership abilities to serve Lehigh in this important capacity as we conclude our search for our 14th President,” Scheler wrote in his email.