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Volume 2, Number 3, May 2002

The Minnesota Workplace Mediation Program Heads to Campus

The Minnesota Alternative Dispute Resolution Program (MN ADR), which administers the Workplace Mediation Pilot Project, is bringing workplace mediation to Minnesota college campuses.

MN ADR has had an internal workplace mediation program for executive branch agencies and employees since mid-1998. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) were not included at that time because of their size. MNSCU is comprised of 35 institution, including 2- and 4-yr colleges and technical colleges on 50+ campuses throughout the state. This does not include the four institutions that are part of the University of Minnesota system.

The Workplace Mediation Pilot Project is now in the process of folding 30 of the 35 MNSCU institutions into the state workplace mediation program. The program will cover faculty, administrative and represented employees. Campus coordinators are appointed by the presidents of the various institutions. The bulk of the Coordinators have been appointed and trained this past August and they are in the process of recommending mediator candidates.

Campus Coordinators responsibilities include:

  • Serving as the initial point of contact for employees seeking information about mediation
  • Serving as a general liaison with the MN ADR staff
  • Promoting the workplace mediation project on campus
  • Serving as campus contact for workplace mediation issues both for employees and for the MN ADR program staff
  • Working with MN ADR program staff to determine appropriateness of mediation for the particular dispute
  • On an as-needed basis, review mediated agreements for issues that are outside of the responsibilities/authority of the participants to implements and determine whether agreement needs to be seen by others in the department to be implemented
  • Serve as a resource for participants if an agreements is not being followed
  • Work with MN ADR in evaluating the Campus Mediation Project

MN ADR has utilized a shared neutrals pool of mediators from a number of state agencies and at all work levels. The campus mediators will be folded into the roster and will work on both campus and agency disputes as will the agency mediators. They generally work with co-mediators.

The MN ADR office does the case development which includes suitability of the issue for mediation, conversations with the parties, scheduling the mediation and assigning the mediators. Participants in mediation are given evaluation forms and MN ADR maintains the data base and does an analysis of the results.

The Campus Mediation Project is still in its beginning stage. For this reason, more extensive information about the project is not available. If you desire more information, email project coordinator Barbara Blackstone at barbara.blackston@state.mn.us, or visit the MN ADR website at http://www.mnadr.state.mn.us.
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Page last updated 11/27/2005

A project of Campus Conflict Resolution Resources.
Supported by a FIPSE grant from the US Department of Education
and seed money from the Hewlett Foundation-funded CRInfo project.


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(Attn: Bill Warters)
Campus Conflict Resolution Resources Project
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Detroit, MI 48201.

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