Governance, Legal, and Risk

The Division of Governance, Legal, and Risk works with University leadership to develop strategies and lead operations that are risk informed, legally compliant, and supportive of the UNC System’s mission.

The professionals within the division participate as team members, project leads, and partners to identify opportunities, solve problems, ensure that the University and its institutions operate within the requirements of law and regulation, and conform to consistent institutional expectations of ethics and integrity.

The major areas of work for the division are as follows:

Oversight and Support of Integrated Objective Advice and Counsel in Legal, Safety, Audit, and Compliance Matters, and Support of System-wide Management.

This activity is directed at providing the Board of Governors, the president, the senior team, the president’s staff, and other University officers and staff with reliable, accurate, and independent advice that is actionable and in furtherance of their responsibilities to the University. This activity also supports significant projects, Board workgroups, and ensures the GLR Division focuses on providing counsel, expertise, and support on all matters presented by the Board, president, and System officials, including matters of governance, ethics, and conflicts of interest.

Legal Advice and Counsel

As a state entity, federal aid recipient, and federal contractor, the UNC System is required to comply with hundreds of federal and state laws, policies, and ever-evolving case law. Our legal staff provides the expertise to identify, interpret, and advise on this complex governing framework, consistent with the NC Rules of Professional Conduct. Legal Affairs is responsible for establishing, approving, and overseeing relationships with outside counsel.

Within the Office of Legal Affairs, we oversee the relationship with the Attorney General’s Office and shared legal services for the constituent institutions in the area of immigration law.

Campus Safety, Emergency Operations, and Threat Mitigation and Response

Activities in this area are directed at coordinating and maintaining well-trained and equipped law enforcement, emergency management, and other support personnel across the UNC System; providing essential training; overseeing a program of disaster planning exercises and drills; and maintaining communication and liaison with federal, state, and local law enforcement/ emergency management personnel. Activities in this area also include maintaining and enhancing the security and safety of individuals within campus environments, including functional areas with significant federal regulatory oversight such as crime reporting (Clery Act) and responding to student misconduct.

Learn more about safety and emergency operations.

Internal Audit

Activities in this area are directed at developing, implementing, evaluating, and supporting internal audit functions and activities at the UNC System Office and System-wide; maintaining productive relationships with the Offices of the State Auditor and State Controller; reporting findings to the Board of Governors, the president, and senior administrators; and responding to requests for assistance from UNC System entities. A significant and growing area of work in this area involves conducting sensitive internal investigations and fact-finding at the direction and request of the Board of Governors, the president, and/or the Committee on Audit, Risk Management, and Compliance.

Learn more about the UNC System Office internal audit unit.

Learn more about internal audit functions across the UNC System.

Compliance and Risk Management 

Activities in this area are designed to identify, report, and/or assist the University in addressing strategic, operational, and compliance risks across the enterprise. This work helps provide assurance that System institutions and entities comply with law, regulation, and policy, understanding that all authority for the UNC System’s operations is sourced in a single-governing board, which establishes and maintains a policy framework within which University leadership, along with faculty and staff, operate to achieve the University’s mission.

Examples of activities include internal audits and investigations; System-wide compliance through the Business Compliance Program; Title IX and Clery, and related training and coordination; System-wide activities in safety and emergency operations; legal counsel and advice; and other activities focused on identifying, assessing, and mitigating risk at the enterprise level.

Governance, Legal, and Risk Staff Listing

Thomas C. Shanahan
Senior Vice President for Governance, Legal and Risk, and General Counsel | 919-962-4588

Ruth A. Brill
Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice President and General Counsel | 919-962-4588

Karin F. Szypszak
Special Projects Director | 919-962-4587

Paulette J. Stroman
Executive Assistant | 919-843-6997

Office of Legal Affairs

Michael R. Delafield
Senior Associate General Counsel | 919-962-6162

Carolyn C. Pratt
Associate General Counsel | 919-962-3406

Bridget Bishop
Associate General Counsel | 919-962-0444

Carrie O. Johnston
Assistant General Counsel | 919-445-0473

John J. Dougherty
Assistant General Counsel | 919-962-2579

Haley Lohr
Higher Education Legal Fellow | 919-962-0330

Anne H. Phillips
Assistant General Counsel | 919-962-0533

Office of Compliance and Audit Services

S. Lynne Sanders, CPA
Vice President for Compliance and Audit Services | 919-962-4610

J. Wesley Chancey
University Compliance Director | 919-962-6077

Jerry C. Flood, CPA
Special Projects Analyst | 919-843-3683

Heather L. Hummer
Business Compliance Analyst | 919-843-0342

Internal Audit

Joyce D. Boni, CPA
Chief Audit Officer | 919-843-3623

Carol T. Harris, CIA
Internal Auditor | 919-962-3139

Office of Safety & Emergency Operations

Brent T. Herron
Associate Vice President for Safety & Emergency Operations | 919-962-4594

Edward R. Purchase
University Public Safety Operations & Clery Act Training Coordinator | 919-962-4597