Lehigh’s Path to Prominence plan includes a new college of health that aims to establish the university as a key piece in the future of health education.
Although the college of health is expected to focus on biomedicine and biotechnology, community resilience and health promotion, environmental health and the science of health care delivery, there are no plans to implement a traditional medical school.
Provost Patrick Farrell said discussions about a new college began about 10 years ago, but the focus area of the new college was unclear. The college of health only became a reality about four years ago, when Farrell hosted town halls to gauge community members’ ideas about what would be a beneficial addition to the university.
Farrell said most of the feedback he received from faculty indicated that Lehigh should enter health education in some form.
Initially, the idea of what the college of health would become was very broad. Farrell said the specifics of new curricula are still unclear, however, the college’s focus has been divided into innovations in evaluations of healthcare and social and biological determinants of health.
“What we are really after is a college that brings new intellectual talent to Lehigh and bridges what is already here,” Farrell said. “So, what is already here is every one of our current colleges has some activity in health.”
The new college will not focus on clinical sciences, but will instead implement an interdisciplinary curriculum with a focus on health education.Farrell predicts that in five to six years, there will be roughly 500 undergraduate students and 200 graduate student enrolled in the new college.
While a new dean and faculty have not yet been selected, the college is projected to be ready by 2020.