Kristine Paranica, director of the University of North Dakota Conflict Resolution Center in Grand Forks, has been named NDSU’s ombudsperson. Paranica’s appointment is effective May 30.
Through the efforts of NDSU faculty and particularly Provost Bruce Rafert and his office, the newly formed, 12-month position serves as an independent and impartial resource for faculty, with a focus on early-stage, informal dispute resolution. The ombudsperson is intended to be a facilitator of fairness, not an advocate for individuals or the university.
“The entire search committee is delighted to welcome and introduce Kristine Paranica to the NDSU community,” said Roger Green, ombudsperson search committee chair and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. “With her impressive background in mediation and dispute resolution, deep understanding of higher education and unique understanding of North Dakota, we are certain Kristine will provide the best possible start to the newly established NDSU ombudsperson office.”
With 15 years of mediation experience, Paranica has directed the UND Conflict Resolution Center since 1999. At the center, she provides consultation services to UND administrators, faculty, staff and students.
“I have worked on all of the campuses in the NDUS (often in grievance mediation), and also in many government agencies, private businesses, non-profit agencies, and with families and individuals,” Paranica wrote in her application materials, noting she also teaches at the UND School of Law and leads classes associated with an academic Certificate in Conflict Transformation.
An ombudsperson should be “neutral, calm and discerning when working with clients,” she wrote.
Prior to joining UND, Paranica was a staff attorney for the Northeast Central Judicial District in Grand Forks, and assistant state’s attorney for Burleigh County, N.D.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work at UND and her Juris Doctorate at the UND School of Law. In addition, Paranica is a certified Transformative Mediator.
Among other duties, the NDSU ombudsperson will assist with the resolution of conflicts and concerns, serve as a resource of information and referral and provide advice and guidance on policies and procedures.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.