Interim administrative positions announced pending searches

Katherine Lavinder

Katherine Lavinder (Courtesy of

With multiple positions in Lehigh’s administration vacant, the university announced two interim administration positions taking effect July 1.

An email from John Smeaton, who just departed as vice provost for Student Affairs, said Katherine Lavinder, current associate dean of academic life and student transitions, will serve as the interim dean of students.

“(Lavinder) is calm under fire, has more than one person’s fair share of emotional intelligence, is the consummate strategic thinker and makes excellent, thoughtful decisions while always keeping our students in the forefront as the priority,” Smeaton wrote.

A post on Lehigh’s website named Ian Birky, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, as the interim vice provost for Student Affairs.

Ian Birky (Courtesy of

Ian Birky (Courtesy of

According to both notifications, the interim positions will last until a search is conducted and a new hire is ready to fill the position.

Former dean of students Sharon Basso left Lehigh for a position at Claremont McKenna College. Smeaton retired at the end of the 2015-16 academic year after serving at Lehigh for more than 30 years.

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