Yet another position in UNC’s administration will be vacant, as Assistant Dean of Students Melinda Manning will step down at the end of this semester.
“I made the decision to step down for a lot of different reasons,” Manning said. “I’ve been doing this for 11 years — this work is very difficult emotionally and psychologically.”
Manning has been at UNC since her own college years — she received both her undergraduate degree and her law degree from UNC.
“I turned 40 and looked around and thought, ‘Time for my next adventure.’ And to figure that out, I really needed some time away from the University,” she said.
As assistant dean of students, Manning has had the responsibility of overseeing the everyday workings of the Office of the Dean of Students in certain areas.
Manning said her achievements include the creation of the Student Emergency Fund and an increased awareness of graduate student needs in the Division of Student Affairs.
Most recently she was one of the three creators of the HAVEN program, which aims to educate the UNC community on interpersonal violence.
Bob Pleasants, interpersonal violence prevention coordinator, said that Manning’s work was foundational for the future of HAVEN.
“The program will be a part of her legacy which has educated thousands of students and staff how to be an ally,” he said.
Dean of Students Jonathan Sauls said that Manning’s time at UNC has been characterized by a passion for student success.
“There’s no question, she’s an effective advocate for students,” he said.
Sauls said Manning has the ability to build a great repertoire with students through good times and bad.
Pleasants said that in some ways, Manning is irreplaceable.
But the position must be filled.
Sauls said that after another dean decided to leave in May, administrators began the process of searching to fill that position.
With the announcement of Manning’s departure, Sauls said the search would be expanded to fill both positions.
He said that Manning’s veteran presence and relationships with people on campus will be hard to replace.
Speaking about her future after UNC, Manning said she would be looking forward to doing something different.
She added that she could not wait to spend more time with her family.
She said that she has a 6-year-old son who she has never taken trick-or-treating because she has been working.
“To think, as rewarding as this work has been, it’s all encompassing and takes over your whole life, and you give up parts of your life,” she said.
“It’s time for me to take some of those parts back.”
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