Meet the Ombudspersons

The ombudspersons are available to meet with students, faculty, and staff, on or off campus, at the individual's discretion. Their hours are flexible, and a time to meet can be arranged by phone or e-mail. All discussions are confidential.

To contact Barbara Traister, call 610-758-3330 or e-mail To contact Robert Thornton, call 610-758-3460 or e-mail

Barbara Traister

Barbara Traister is a professor of English. Prior to assuming the position of Ombudsperson, she served as Chair of the English Department, CAS Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, and has chaired the University Policy Committee and the Graduate and Research Committee as well as a number of task forces and search committees. Barbara teaches and writes about the literature of 16th and 17th century England, particularly about Shakespeare and his contemporary dramatists. Her other teaching interests include contemporary drama, adolescent literature, and literature about medicine and about magic. She has her Ph.D. from Yale University, and has held fellowships from the NEH, the Rockefeller Foundation, ACLS, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. She has been a scholar in residence at College of Physicians of Philadelphia and at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, where she also taught courses in medical literature for a number of years.

To contact Barbara Traister, call 610-758-3330 or e-mail

Robert Thornton

Robert Thornton is MacFarlane Professor of Economics. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois and his B.A. in classical languages from Xavier University. Before coming to Lehigh, he worked as a research assistant for the Brookings Institution. He teaches courses in labor economics and statistics; his research interests include labor market discrimination, unions and collective bargaining, occupational licensing, and forensic economics. Robert has been chairman of Lehigh’s Department of Economics and is an associate director of the Martindale Center for the Study of Private Enterprise. He has also served as Lehigh’s faculty athletics representative to the NCAA and as chair of the College of Business and Economics promotion and tenure committee. On the less serious side, he is the author of Lexicon of Intentionally Ambiguous Recommendations (Barnes and Noble Books, 2005).

To contact Robert Thornton, call 610-758-3460 or e-mail

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