The past year has brought many changes to the Office of Governance. Professor emeritus Joseph Ferrell retired after twenty years as secretary of the faculty, and Professor Vin Steponaitis took on the role in July 2016. Former Deputy Secretary of the Faculty Anne Whisnant left her position to take a distinguished professorship at East Carolina University, and we said farewell to Professor Bruce Cairns when he concluded his term as chair of the faculty this summer.

With change came a new opportunity to revisit how we serve faculty and how we can increase our efficiency and capacity to do more. We are excited to announce our new office structure and staffing transitions that began over the summer. We welcomed Professor Leslie Parise, who will lead the faculty in her role as chair of the faculty for a three-year term ending in June 2020. We also extend a warm welcome to Kadejah Murray, our new university program associate, and Lisa-Jean Michienzi, our new executive assistant.

Our team

Dr. Leslie Parise, Chair of the Faculty

As chair of the faculty, Professor Parise will serve as chair pro tempore of the Faculty Council and General Faculty, and she will represent the chancellor in all academic matters as requested by the chancellor. She has served on a number of faculty governance committees and has worked extensively across campus to improve the campus environment for work-life balance, to support the creation of the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program and to strengthen undergraduate achievement in the sciences through the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan.

If you wish to contact Professor Parise regarding faculty governance-related matters, please email or call the Office of Faculty Governance at 919-962-7748.

Dr. Vin Steponaitis, Secretary of the Faculty

As secretary of the faculty, Professor Steponaitis serves as director of the Office of Faculty Governance and parliamentarian of the General Faculty and Faculty Council proceedings for a renewable five-year term ending in June 2021. He is currently a professor of Anthropology and Archaeology, and formerly served as chair of the Curriculum in Archaeology and Director of the Research Laboratories of Archaeology. Professor Steponaitis’s research focuses on the precolonial Indian cultures of the American South, the development of chiefdoms, studies of ancient art styles, and the analysis of ancient ceramics.

Professor Steponaitis may be reached at (919) 962-7609 or

Katie Turner, University Program Specialist

Katie Turner has worked in the Office of Faculty Governance in various administrative support roles since February 2011. She holds a master’s degree in gender studies from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stetson University.

Katie is currently a university program specialist and is responsible for logistical, programming and communications support for the General Faculty and Faculty Council, faculty elections, committee chairs, and chair and secretary of the faculty.

Katie may be reached at (919) 962-2146 or

Lisa-Jean Michienzi, Executive Assistant

Lisa-Jean Michienzi joined the Office of Faculty Governance in August 2017. She formerly worked as the office manager in the UNC Chapel Hill Research Labs of Archaeology and has a well-developed understanding of curriculum development, customer service and university systems management.  Her knowledge of UNC enables her to understand and uniquely contribute to the needs of faculty, staff and students. In her spare time, she enjoys interior design, outdoor activities including camping, and hiking, and she is an avid animal lover.

Lisa-Jean is the first point of contact for the secretary of the faculty and chair of the faculty and handles correspondence and scheduling matters for those positions. She also manages the office’s budget, human resources and space management needs. She maintains the Campus Y reservation calendar. Lisa-Jean can be reached at (919) 962-7609 or

Kadejah Murray, University Program Associate

Kadejah Murray joined the Office of Faculty Governance as an undergraduate work-study student in 2014. She joined the team as a permanent staff member shortly after graduating this summer with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and women’s and gender studies. During her time at Carolina, Kadejah served as an intern for the Carolina Population Center and the Southern Oral History Program. As Moxie Scholar, she also interned at the Pauli Murray Project located at Duke University’s Franklin Humanities Institute.

Kadejah is currently responsible for committee scheduling matters, records management, ensuring open meetings compliance and assisting the university program specialist with Faculty Council and committee logistics. She can be reached at (919) 962-1671 or

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