University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Ombuds candidate open forums continue April 9, 10

From University Senate Chair and History Professor Jim Mochoruk:


As many of you will remember, representatives of the three UND Senates – working in conjunction with President Kelley – have been engaged in the search for the university’s first Ombuds. After careful examination of the applications of over 20 candidates the Search Committee conducted six telephone interviews and, on the basis of those interviews, has invited three candidates to campus during the week of April 7.

This is a particularly exciting opportunity for the right person, as the successful candidate will create an entirely new office and program which will have as its primary goal helping to create a better, more positive work and learning environment for all of UND’s faculty, staff, and students.  The UND Ombuds will be a neutral resource for members of the entire University community and will provide timely and informal assistance to members of the UND community by listening to concerns with the aim of proposing various options for positive resolution, providing information, and making referrals.

The three candidates will visit UND on April 7, 8, and 9.  Each candidate will give a 15-20 minute presentation on “My Vision for the Office of Ombuds at the University,” at an open forum followed by a question and answer period.  The forum is open to all faculty, staff, and students to meet and greet the candidate.

The schedule and short biographies of each candidate follow:

Tuesday, April 9 – 3:15-4 p.m. – Medora Room, Memorial Union, Tara Muhlhauser

Tara Lea Muhlhauser is a licensed social worker and attorney and has spent her thirty year career working with human service professionals, students, staff, faculty, elected officials, attorneys and judges, community groups and children and their families.  She worked on the UND campus for eighteen years as an Assistant Dean at the School of Law and at the Children and Family Services Training Center (CFSTC) in the Department of Social Work.  In the past decade, Tara has worked in public child welfare agencies in state government in both ND and Washington State, and with the Annie E Casey Foundation as a Leadership Fellow in Baltimore.

Most recently, Tara was the state child welfare director and spent seven years working at the ND Department of Human Services.  She has written policy and protocol, legislation, curricula, scholarly articles, is a frequent local and national presenter.   Tara developed and initiated the ND Guardian ad Litem program, worked on implementation of new victim witness legislation as an Assistant Attorney General, presented widely on domestic violence issues and services for women and children, and launched new programs and services for families in her work in ND and Washington.  When not working, Tara quilts, gardens and is a dedicated dog walker for a fur ball named Bob.

Wednesday, April 10 -- 3:15-4 p.m. – Medora Room, Memorial Union,  Kristine Paranica

Kristine Paranica is Director of the UND Conflict Resolution Center (1999-Present).  Kristine is a licensed attorney and a Certified Transformative Mediator™.   Her professional experience includes service as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Bismarck, and Staff Attorney for the Northeast Central Judicial District.  Kristine provides leadership for CRC staff and volunteers, training, education, coaching, mediation and facilitation to clients in the region.  She manages UND’s Certificate in Conflict Transformation with an emphasis on Emotional Intelligence, Transformative Conflict theory and skills, and leadership development.  She has presented at multiple national conferences in her field, and regional conferences for human resources and other professions.  She has published several articles in professional journals and a book chapter entitled Lessons Learned of Mediation in Indian Country, in Transformative Mediation: A Sourcebook.  She holds leadership positions nationally through her Fellowship with the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, the Association for Conflict Resolution as a Tri-Chair of the National Conference in 2011, and currently as a member of the Public Education Committee.  In North Dakota, she serves on the Joint Committee on ADR, and past Chair of the Family Law Mediation Subcommittee where she was the primary author of the Family Mediation Pilot Project and the Code of Ethics for Mediators.  Currently, she is a board member of the Coalition for Abused Women’s Services in North Dakota.  She has served on UND’s Council for Campus Climate, the PAC-W, Staff Senate, and a variety of other committees.  She lives in Grand Forks with her husband and 3 children.
The open forum for Dusty Farned is complete.

Dusty Bates Farned received his Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Harvard University, Juris Doctorate and Certification in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Faulkner University, and his Master’s in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University (ranked #1 in dispute resolution by U.S. News & World Report for the past nine years).  The grandson of a labor negotiator, he has attended numerous academic conferences and seminars including the Harvard Negotiation & Leadership Conference, and received advanced mediation training from the Duncum Center for Conflict Resolution at Abilene Christian University.  Dusty has also published multiple academic articles on conflict and dispute resolution.

Prior to completing his undergraduate studies at Harvard, Dusty interned with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, where he served as staff and community liaison to the newly created Department of Neighborhood Empowerment.  Before law school, Dusty worked briefly in a social science research role for the University of Tennessee.  During law school, he was awarded a full academic scholarship, worked as a research assistant for a dispute resolution instructor, served on the Law School Honor Court, and was named a Public Interest Fellow for his numerous pro bono activities.  Since 2011, Dusty has worked as a contract mediator with Dispute Mediation Service of Dallas, Texas, where he serves as the youngest member of their distinguished Litigation Panel and helped successfully start their new Community Mediation branch.