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Campus Conflict Abstracts from the 1970s

Baldridge, V. (1971). Power and Conflict in the University: Research in the Sociology of Complex Organizations. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

This classic book, based on Baldridge's experiences working at NYU during a time of great changes, argues in favor of viewing universities as political organizations as opposed to collegial, bureaucratic or purely rational systems. Baldridge explains "Rather than a holistic enterprise, the university is a pluralistic system, often fractured by conflicts along the lines of disciplines, faculty subgroups, student subcultures, splits between administrators and faculties, and rifts between professional schools. (p. 107)"

Coleman, M. and et al. (1971). Is Conflict Utilization Underestimated?, University of Pittsburgh: University Urban Interface Program Report. (37 pages.)

This document, one of several prepared by the University Urban Interface Program at the University of Pittsburgh, deals with the nature and solution of conflict within the environment. Many professionally trained managers are ill-prepared to deal with conflict in their environment. They often do not see it as a part of their managerial function. It is the contention of this paper that the management of conflict can and should be taught in a formal curriculum aimed at the preparation of managers. ERIC Number: ED063899

Hobbs, W. C. (1971). An Academic Dispute - Settlement Commission: A Proposal. Educational Record. 52(2): 181-85.

In this early work, the author notes the unique aspects of university decision-making structures, and because in academic controversy both judicial expertise and legal precedent are virtually nonexistent, an Academic Dispute- Settlement Commission is proposed.

DeFiore, L. (1972). Trustee-Faculty Conflict. Washington D.C.: Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

Among the major conflicts that have surfaced is the long-standing conflict between faculty and trustees. The first part of this paper summarizes the major findings of the principal areas of possible conflict between these two groups. The data upon which this study is based were collected from national samples of trustees and faculty by means of a mailed questionnaire. The second part of the paper deals with an analysis of, and a proposal for, resolution of the principal area of conflict between trustees and faculty. Given the amount of rhetoric emanating from faculty about trustees, one would expect to find significant differences between these two groups on substantive issues in higher education. However, the data in this study indicate otherwise. ERIC Number: ED093195

Hobbs, W. C. (1974). The 'Defective Pressure-Cooker' Syndrome: Dispute Process in the University. Journal of Higher Education. 45(8): 569-581.
The study reported examines the processes by which university disputes are waged over matters which go beyond policy alone. Typically, such conflicts are suppressed till they can no longer be contained, at which time they erupt with no institutional channels to direct their course. The author writes "Interview data collected from observers of academic disputes disclose a pattern of conflict among university personnel analogous to the operation of a defective pressure-cooker: unsuccessful suppression is followed by unpredictable eruption -- producing, more often than not, a genuine mess. (p. 569)" (Note: The full article is available from the online JSTOR journal service. Perhaps your university library is a subscriber to this electronic reference service.)
Gilbreath, S. H., L. Goodstein, et al. (1975). Third-party intervention in a campus crisis: methods of conflict resolution. San Diego, Institute of Public and Urban Affairs, San Diego State University.
Note: I've included this reference to this report, even though it lacks an abstract because I'm hoping to track down a copy and hope that someone might lend a hand. If you have a copy, please contact me. Thanks! (Library of Congress call number is 186.G52)
Bean, J. P. (1976). The Use of Anthropological Field Methods as a Means for Conflict Reduction in Institutions of Higher Education. Iowa City: University of Iowa College of Education.

Anthropological field methods are viewed as a means of reducing the unanticipated consequences of decision-making in institutions of higher education. The conflict generated by the unanticipated consequences of decisions can be reduced by a better identification and a clearer understanding of the norms and values existing in the various subcultures of the institution. Anthropology is briefly described and compared to sociology and psychology, and some examples of anthropological thinking are given. The possible contribution of anthropological field methods to reducing the conflicts facing institutional researchers is examined. These conflicts include suboptimization, goal conflict, goal displacement, and internal conflict. Each is based to a certain extent on the idea that control of information is a kind of power, and that the power institutional researchers have will influence the future of higher education. ERIC Number: ED127887

Hartman, J. B. (1977). Change and Conflict in the University. Journal of Educational Thought. 11(1): 3-15.

The modern university reflects many of the tensions and stresses of the wider society of which it is a part. The conditions generating conflict are related to the ambiguity and multiplicity of academic goals. Within the context of a political model of the university, various strategic and tactical methods for dealing with conflict between students, faculty and administrators are considered.

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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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