Robert D. Straughan Crawford Family Dean of the Williams School and Professor of Business Administration

Robert D. Straughan

Huntley 203
Curriculum Vitae

Rob Straughan serves as the Crawford Family Dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. He joined the Williams School faculty in 2000 as a member of the Business Administration Department, having taught previously at both Baylor University and the University of Houston. His teaching interests center on marketing strategy, international marketing, and socially responsible business.  His work with students has been recognized in numerous ways, and he has been invited to speak at various conferences about his approach to integrating business and the liberal arts. Prior to entering academia, Dean Straughan worked briefly for Shell Oil’s Refining and Marketing Division.

Dean Straughan has published more than a dozen journal articles and book chapters on sustainable business, cross-cultural issues in retailing, cross-cultural advertising, and cross-cultural consumer response, as well as a variety of issues related to marketing and business education. His work has appeared in International Marketing Review, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Marketing Education, and Marketing Education Review, among others. He has also presented dozens of studies at conferences sponsored by the American Marketing Association, Academy of Marketing Science, Society for Marketing Advances, and other national and international professional associations.

Prior to becoming dean in 2015, Dean Straughan served as associate dean of the Williams School for 12 years. In his administrative roles, he has played a central role in several AACSB accreditation reviews of the Williams School as well as a SACS accreditation review of W&L. He has also been involved in significant facility upgrades, including the complete renovation of Holekamp Hall. Dean Straughan has worked with faculty to launch and support a variety of new curricular and co-curricular initiatives and to develop partnerships with international study abroad programs and graduate programs. He has also served as an external reviewer for business and economics programs at several other colleges and universities.

Dean Straughan and his wife Leslie Straughan have two sons, Matthew and Kevin. Matthew is a student at Bridgewater College, where he is studying health and exercise science and playing football. Kevin attends Elon College and is active in lacrosse. Within the community, Leslie has served as the president of Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity, the chairperson of the Lexington City School Board, a board member for Project Horizon, and in numerous other community support roles. She works as the office manager at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Lexington. Dean Straughan served for many years on the board of directors of Lexington Lacrosse, the local youth lacrosse program, including stints as both president and secretary. He has also coached youth basketball, baseball, and lacrosse.


Ph.D. in marketing, University of Houston (1995)

M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing, University of Houston (1990)

B.B.A. with majors in marketing and management, Baylor University (1987)


Cross-cultural issues in retailing and consumer response, marketing and business education, corporate social responsibility and sustainability.


Marketing Management, Cross-Cultural Issues in Marketing, International Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability.