The prominence of a university, both nationally and internationally, is largely a function of the quality and quantity of the research that it generates. If Lehigh is to become prominent, its Path to Prominence plan needs to take into account the fact that its faculty are not competing on a level playing field with faculty at virtually all other research universities in terms of research costs and the research support provided by the university.
If Lehigh’s faculty are not competitive with research costs and university support, then they’re also not competitive in generating scholarship. If they’re not competitive in generating scholarship, they’re not competitive in renewing research grants. If they’re not competitive in renewing research grants, then projects and, eventually, entire graduate programs are likely to be lost. If graduate programs are lost, Lehigh will be unable to provide cutting edge research opportunities for its undergraduates.
Based on my own 47 years of experience as a teacher/scholar, I believe the five most urgent needs of Lehigh’s faculty (including the 100 new faculty that will be added in the future) are:
2) A dramatic increase in the graduate fellowship/student ratio
3) Signing bonuses to aid in graduate student recruitment
4) Dramatically reduced graduate tuition charges after candidacy has been reached
5) Dramatically reduced fringe benefits charges on postdocs