Role Call: Deans of Lehigh colleges talk goals


Lehigh students can pursue their degrees within one or across the university’s four colleges, and eventually, a fifth college focused on health.

Each college has a separate dean with a personalized vision for their college. Deans oversee the larger operation of their respective college and bring new academic opportunities to their students.

Georgette Phillips is the dean of the College of Business and Economics. The CBE is located in Rauch Business Center. (Simona Shur/B&W Staff)

Georgette Phillips, the dean of the College of Business and Economics

“Everything that has to do with the academic mission and everything that has to do with the business college is my responsibility,” said Georgette Phillips, the dean of the College of Business and Economics.

In terms of long-term goals for her college, Phillips said a new undergraduate core curriculum is now being implemented, and new classes in data analytics, business communication and leadership are coming soon.

Phillips also said the CBE has raised $11 million and is moving into the construction phase on a new building project.

Stephen DeWeerth, the dean of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering

Stephen DeWeerth, the dean of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering, said he has a desire to expand the growth of research activities, particularly in interdisciplinary studies and experiential learning.

“In terms of experiential learning, we are trying to make a fundamental change in the way we educate,” DeWeerth said. “We are moving from faculty-centric to a model that is more student-centric. My goal is that 100 percent of the undergrads experience experiential learning inside and outside of their curriculum.”

DeWeerth said the launch of three campus-wide research institutes and a peer mentoring program that roughly half of engineering students are involved with are part of a culture change within the college.

“We want students to get more ownership of their learning,” DeWeerth said.

Cameron Wesson is the current interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The CAS is located in Maginnes Hall. (Simona Shur/B&W Staff)

Cameron Wesson, the interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Cameron Wesson, the interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said he is “student-focused” and wants to prepare students for advanced education.

Wesson wants to leave the college in the best shape for the next dean and wants undergraduates to remain the driving force of the college. Wesson is focused on getting students involved with opportunities on campus and investing in their future.

“I really strongly believe in immersive experiences and travel,” Wesson said. “I want all our students, who possibly can, to take advantage of our study abroad program. I want students to walk away with two things: one thing is I want them to find their passion, what is it that motivates them to action? Second is maximal engagement. How are you going to engage the world in a different way with this new knowledge you obtained?”

William Gaudelli, the dean of the College of Education

Meanwhile, William Gaudelli was recently named the dean of the College of Education. Gaudelli wants to improve basic operations of the college and increase collaboration between staff and faculty.

“We want to expand our research profile so we began by hiring an associate dean for research,” Gaudelli said. “New programming is also a high priority, modeled after the autism clinic in that it’s grounded in research, service and teaching.”

He also wants to move the autism clinic online and strengthen the college’s English as a Second Language program.

Future dean of the College of Health

In addition to the existing colleges, Lehigh’s college of health is beginning to take its form.

Provost Pat Farrell is leading the search for hiring the dean for the college.

“We are looking for someone who understands how to create a vision for the future,” Farrell said. “I want someone who can also evaluate how well they are doing. You have to be optimistic yet honest. You have to evaluate how well the college is doing, to be an honest assessor.”

Farrell said he wants a dean who is excited but not worried about leading a college with no faculty or physical location yet. He wants the dean to look at the situation as similar to a “start-up.”

Farrell said he hopes to have a finalized decision for the new dean by the end of January 2019.

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1 Comment

  1. By the way, the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences is the largest college today and includes about 40% of the total number of university students. P.C. Rossin College of Engineering took the 47th place among national universities in 2016 in the list of “best colleges”, I even write my paper about its achievements.

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