July 20, 2015

Ombuds at UNC Marks Decade of Service

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the University Ombuds Office.  Ombuds Wayne Blair, Associate Ombuds Laurie Mesibov, and program specialist Victoria Dowd together have created a program that now serves more than 40,000 faculty staff and students. “You have to give credit to University leaders because it took a leap of faith to allow an ombuds program to run true to form,” Blair told the UNC Gazette. “From the chancellor on down, there was a real commitment to make it work.”

The three members of the office are obviously fond of each other:
Dowd said Blair and Mesibov complement each other in ways that make each of them better and the office stronger.
“Wayne is an outgoing kind of individual and Laurie is somewhat reserved, but they are both great listeners,” Dowd said. “And in this profession, you have to be a great listener.”
Mesibov said she is happy working under Blair’s direction. This partnership works, she said.
“If you meet us for the first time, there are many outward differences. Wayne is male; I’m female; he’s black; I’m white; he’s younger, I’m older. He is more gregarious. I’m quiet,” she said. “But beneath the surface differences are a tremendous sharing of values and a commitment to do good work.”
Mesibov and Blair, in turn, praised Dowd for her growth as an ombuds professional. Not only does she run the office, but has completed training offered by the International Ombudsman Association.
“She knows how to handle people and to manage up,” Blair said of Dowd. “I jokingly call her ‘Boss.’”
(UNC Gazette.)

Related posts: University of North Carolina Ombuds Reports Continued Case Growth; 2012 IOA Board Elects Officers; Updated Sexual Misconduct Policy at University of North Carolina Reaffirms Ombuds' Confidentiality; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Extends Ombuds Service to Students.

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