Remembering Laurie Mesibov

A headshot of former School faculty member Laurie Mesibov, courtesy University Communications

The UNC School of Government is saddened to share the passing of Laurie Mesibov, former faculty member and UNC Faculty Ombuds. Mesibov passed away on March 31, 2021, after a 19-month battle with glioblastoma. Her obituary is available here.

Mesibov was a treasured member of the School faculty for nearly 30 years, focusing on public school law. Her roots at UNC ran deep: she graduated from the School of Law, worked in the Office of the Provost, chaired the Performance Management Review Board, and served as a member of the Faculty Grievance Committee, Faculty Executive Committee, and Faculty Council.

When UNC established its nationally-recognized Ombuds office in 2005, Mesibov became the University’s first Faculty Ombuds. She remained in that role for the rest of her career, working in dispute and conflict resolution for the UNC community. Read the University Ombuds Office’s remembrance here.

“Laurie strongly believed that law and compassion were compatible,” said Dean Mike Smith. “She worked in the field of school law, and over the years, school officials and their attorneys relied on her for first-rate legal analysis. They were devoted to Laurie. They relied on her judgment, wisdom, and common sense—and for her willingness to engage them in challenging and sometimes uncomfortable conversations. Laurie meant a great deal to me, and she meant a great deal to the School.”

Upon her departure from the School, Mesibov shared these remarks with her colleagues: “I love the School of Government and our noble mission. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege—and a huge responsibility—to be a member of this community. I step out knowing that the School’s future is bright because it is in your hands."