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Campus Events, Diversity, General Information

LSU Offers Seminar on Creating Harmonious Work Environments in Stressful Times

01/30/2012 12:24 PM

BATON ROUGE – On Thursday, Feb. 9, the LSU Office of the Ombudsperson and the Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach will present the 2012 LSU Spring Faculty Enrichment Series. The presentation will be held from 3-4:30 p.m. in Capital Chamber Room 329 of the LSU Student Union.


Titled “Workplace Harmony: Creating Civil and Appreciative Cultures in Stressful Times,” the presentation will review community standards for civility, tolerance and diversity appreciation. The overall goal of the presentation is to share and discuss promising strategies in preventing and managing workplace issues and conflicts.


“Developing effective strategies to create harmonious work environments has many implications for appreciating diversity and translates well for working across and embracing differences,” said Marco Barker, director of educational equity and assistant to the vice provost for Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach. “Participants will find this series to be a conversation that can be taken back to their departments.”


This iteration of the Spring Faculty Enrichment Series is also the first to be co-sponsored with the LSU Office of the University Ombudsperson. The role of ombuds in the settlement of workplace disputes can often be crucial to avoiding escalation of conflicts. If a matter cannot be resolved internally, the ombudsperson serves as a neutral third party in solving workplace issues. Kirsten Schwehm serves as the LSU ombudsperson, providing confidential and neutral services, and reporting emerging trends and broad employee issues directly to the Office of the Chancellor.


“The Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach is delighted to have this wonderful opportunity to collaborate with the Office of the University Ombudsperson for this year’s Spring Faculty Enrichment Series,” said Barker.


This year’s enrichment series features Tom Kosakowski, president of the International Ombudsman Association and ombudsperson for the UCLA Health Science, and Melinda Le, counseling psychologist for the LSU Student Health Center.


“We are honored to have Tom Kosakowski joining us to talk about effectively preventing and responding to incivility in the workplace,” said Schwehm. “We should be striving to create a happy and respectful workplace even when outside stressors constantly bombard us, and Dr. Le will round out the presentation by talking about practical techniques for stress management.”


In addition to reviewing standards for preventing workplace disputes, participants will get a more detailed description of the duties of the LSU Office of the Ombudsperson and information about realistic methods that can be applied towards positively transforming their respective work environments. The LSU Office of the University Ombudsperson was established in 2006 to provide a confidential, neutral resource for staff and faculty to raise issues and concerns, identify options and request assistance to informally resolve workplace conflicts.


The Spring Faculty Enrichment Series is an annual presentation of the Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach. All faculty and staff are welcome to attend. For more information, visit the EDCO website at, or contact EDCO directly at For more information about the LSU Office of the Ombudsperson, visit, or email Schwehm at

LSU Media Relations