Building a Marketplace of Ideas

Lehigh Business Dean Georgette Chapman Phillips

Image by Christa Neu

One of the strongest aspects about being at Lehigh is that we are teaching our students critical thinking skills and the pursuit of ideas. We must not shy away from our responsibility to be a marketplace of ideas, enabling the exchange of thoughts, and providing a safe platform where different sides of the same discussion can be presented in a neutral manner.

One of the ways we do this is through the Year of Learning. Every school year at the College of Business, we take one theme and we weave it throughout the entire curriculum, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The idea is that in each class the students take, they are consistently exposed to and engage in discussions with this theme embedded throughout.

This year’s theme is interdependency between government and business

We devoted our cover story in this issue to this idea (starting on page 3). Faculty from each of our six departments shared their opinions while raising the conversations above the politics inherent in the topic. They talk passionately about government-business relations regarding regulations, infrastructure, supply chain, health care, energy and (of course) taxes. They point out how responsibilities for these areas have had a healthy ebb and flow through history, and how, because of this relationship, innovations are often shared for the benefit of the whole.  

The same fervent conversations are taking place in our classrooms, where our faculty is successfully teaching our students to pursue ideas with tolerance and critical discourse.

This is how we grow the marketplace of ideas.

“Discourse and critical thinking are essential tools when it comes to securing progress in a democratic society. But in the end, unity and engaged participation are what make it happen.” -Aberjhani, American Historian

Year of Learning icon 2023

Join the Discussion

In spring 2024, the Year of Learning lecturer will be Richard Revesz. Currently on leave as the AnBryce Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, Revesz is the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and oversees the implementation of government-wide policies and review of draft regulations for the White House. Please join us Thursday, March 28, 2024, 4:30 p.m. Stay tuned for the location.

Georgette Chapman Phillips
The Kevin L. and Lisa A. Clayton Dean of the College of Business

Listen to the Dean's podcast on this topic.