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About Us

An ombuds is a person trained to assist members of a community or organization. We are a confidential, impartial, informal, and independent resource for staff, faculty, students and administrators at Carolina. We also identify trends and challenges and can make recommendations for change in University policy or practice when appropriate. However, we are not decision makers. We do not have the power to establish, change, or set aside any University rules, policies, or management decisions.

Wayne Blair

Wayne A. Blair

Wayne is the University Ombuds and Director of the office. He came to Carolina in 2005 to lead the creation of the ombuds program. And lead he did. By all accounts Carolina's program is one of the most highly regarded in the country.

Wayne says, "When I arrived on campus, I was struck by the commitment, passion, and love for all things Carolina that I saw in students, staff, faculty, administrators, and even from people who never went here. I remember thinking that it must be something in the water. I soon realized that I have drunk from those waters and am an enthusiastic and proud Tar Heel."

Wayne has extensive experience in conflict management and is skilled in working collaboratively with people at all levels of responsibility. As an ombuds, he helps people find creative solutions to complex problems. He also provides decision makers with non-confidential information and observations about trends and potential problems that merit their attention.

Wayne’s work and influence extend beyond the campus. He was invited to lead the development of an ombuds program by the Town of Chapel Hill and is consulted regularly by the town’s two ombuds. Ombuds from across the country rely on him for advice, and he has mentored many new ombuds. Wayne has been a leader in the International Ombudsman Association (IOA), serving as treasurer, committee member, and member of the Board of Directors. He has taught in many IOA programs including in South Africa in 2015.

He worked for many years at Columbia University in New York in student affairs, university disability services, and as the associate university ombuds officer. Wayne is originally from Jamaica. 

 

Laurie Mesibov

Laurie Mesibov

Laurie Mesibov is an ombuds because she believes people want to do a good job and to be respected and appreciated for the work they do. She understands that while workplace problems and conflicts are inevitable, they also offer opportunities for positive change, learning, and professional development. Laurie considers it a privilege to serve the Carolina community as the Associate University Ombuds. 

Laurie was a long-time faculty member at the School of Government where she specialized in public school law. Laurie also has wide experience across the campus. She worked in the Office of the Provost from 1996-2000, chaired the Performance Management Review Board, served as advisor to SPA grievance panels, and was a member of the Faculty Grievance Committee, Faculty Executive Committee, and Faculty Council.

Laurie earned her B.A. from Stanford University and her J.D. from Carolina’s School of Law.

 

 

Victoria Dowd

Victoria Dowd

Victoria is the Assistant University Ombuds and Progam Specialist for the University Ombuds office. She has over twenty years of service at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has served on various committees and boards across campus.

Her professional training includes mediation, managing conflict and confrontation, advanced problem solving, counseling, performance management, student services, supervisory resources and a variety of courses offered by the International Ombudsman Association.

Victoria is a recipient of the 2006 State Employee's Award for Excellence, 2005 Chancellor's Award, Star Heels Award and the Carolina Black Caucus award. She is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) where she has served as a member of the Board of Directors and committee member. She is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution.

ombuds@unc.edu