Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Ombudsperson?
Who Can Use the Office?
Why Should I Contact the Office?
Where Can I Find the Ombudsperson?
Can the Ombuds Office give me legal advice?
How can the Ombuds Office help me?

WHAT IS AN OMBUDSPERSON?

An ombudsperson helps resolve problems or complaints within Lehigh University and helps achieve equitable settlements. The ombudsperson is also a source of confidential advice.

WHO CAN USE THE OFFICE?

Any member of the Lehigh community -- students, faculty, and staff -- and others who may bring a complaint against the university. The Ombuds Office may also investigate problems and grievances on its own initiative.

WHY SHOULD I CONTACT THE OFFICE?

The Ombuds Office of Lehigh University has access to a wealth of knowledge and resources that can help you to work successfully to solve problems within and through Lehigh University's complex structure. It is our responsibility to make that knowledge and those resources available to the Lehigh community.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE OMBUDSPERSON?

To contact Barbara Traister, call 610-758-3330 or e-mail bht0@lehigh.edu. To contact Robert Thornton, call 610-758-3460 or email rjt1@lehigh.edu.

CAN THE OMBUDS OFFICE GIVE ME LEGAL ADVICE?

No. The Ombuds Office will advise you of your rights within the university but does not provide legal advice.

HOW CAN THE OMBUDS OFFICE HELP ME?

  • By carefully listening and helping to analyze the situation
  • By researching and explaining relevant university policies, procedures, and problem-solving channels
  • By helping you to identify and evaluate options
  • By mediating disputes
  • By initiating non-adversarial, problem-solving discussions with other involved parties (only with your permission)
  • By making referrals to other campus and community resources
  • By striving to help students, staff, and faculty receive fair and equitable treatment within the University system

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