Dear Carolina Community:
I am pleased to announce that Laurie Mesibov has agreed to take on the additional duties and responsibilities of Interim Director of the University’s Ombuds Office, effective February 8. I asked Laurie to take on this role when Wayne Blair leaves the position of director today, February 7.
Laurie, who has worked as the Associate University Ombuds and served alongside Wayne since 2005, will be assisted by Victoria Dowd. Laurie is a long-time faculty member in our School of Government. Her leadership roles include working in the Office of the Provost from 1996-2000; serving as an advisor to the SPA Grievance Panels; and membership on the Faculty Grievance Committee, Faculty Executive Committee, and over 20 years of service on the Truman Scholarship Selection Committee.
The University Ombuds Office plays a key role in supporting intellectual freedom, promoting personal integrity and justice, and pursuing values that foster enlightened leadership and mutually beneficial interactions between all members of our community. The office is a safe space to discuss any University-related issues, problems, or disputes and is available to all students, faculty, staff, and administrators. The Ombuds Office is also available to all units on campus for conflict management training.
It is important to have an experienced leader with Laurie’s background and first-hand knowledge of our University’s initiatives continuing the dedicated work of the office. There is no one more capable to take on that responsibility. Laurie’s background makes her uniquely qualified to build on the reputation and record of the University Ombud’s office as a confidential and safe place to visit where all feel welcome.
A committee has been appointed to search for candidates to lead the University’s Ombuds Office. In the meantime, I am grateful to Laurie Mesibov for assuming the interim leadership role of this critically important office that benefits all members of our campus community.
Carol L. Folt