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Volume 1, Number 1 Jan/Feb 2000

Resource Reviews
and Announcements

MEDIATION IN THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY: Designing and Managing Effective Programs
   by William C. Warters

"Far and away the most comprehensive guide available to colleges or universities, or indeed to any public institution with an active staff and involved client base..."
Endorsement from the late Jim Boskey, editor of the Alternative Newsletter

Mediation in the Campus Community coverI'm pleased to be able to announce the release of this new Jossey-Bass publication. The book is intentionally very practical, weaving bits of relevant theory and research about campus conflict into a practitioner's guidebook. The focus is on building a sustainable mediation program within complex organizations such as colleges and universities.

Mary Rowe, well-known dispute systems designer and Ombudsperson at MIT, notes that

"Every academic administrator will find dozens of specific ideas that will bring relief from the constant challenges of conflict. This book helps show where the conflicts come from--and how mediation and conflict resolution training can support a conflict-competent organization."

Endorsed by the Conflict Resolution in Education Network (CREnet), the book builds on the legacy of the 1985 manual Peaceful Persuasion (Girard, Rifkin and Townley) that some of you may have seen or used in the past. The 283-page oversized paperback sells for $29.95. For your information the table of contents is reproduced below.

  • 1. The Growing Need for Conflict Resolution Strategies in Higher Education
  • 2. Why Mediation Makes Sense for Academic Organizations
  • 3. First Steps in Building a Program
  • 4. Identifying and Training Mediators
  • 5. Publicizing the Program and Creating Referral Systems
  • 6. Operating and Maintaining the Program
  • 7. Implementing Strategies for Evaluation and Feedback
  • 8. Expanding Conflict Management Options Beyond the Mediation Table
  • 9. Resources, Forms, and Documents
    • A. Statements of Purpose for Conflict Resolution Programs
    • B. Goals and Objectives Planning Document
    • C. Job Descriptions for Program Personnel
    • D. Trainee Nomination Form
    • E. Volunteer Mediator Application Form
    • F. Mediator Performance Evaluation Sheet
    • G. Role Play Practice Guidelines
    • H. 7 Scripts for Role Play Practice
    • I. University Lease Agreement Language for Rental Disputes
    • J. Workshop Outline for Introductory Mediation Training
    • K. A Mediation Referral Guide for Residential Assistants
    • L. Case Referral Follow-up Form
    • M. Agreement-to-Mediate Forms
    • N. Information Sheet for Parties Preparing for Mediation
    • O. Procedural Summary of the Case Management Process
    • P. Blank Mediation Agreement Form
    • Q. Post-Mediation Report Form
    • R. Standards of Practice for Campus Mediators
    • S. Mediation Follow-up Form
  • Annotated List of Recommended Resources
More information and ordering forms are available from Jossey-Bass at their online catalog listing. The book is not yet fully cross-listed in the various topical areas on the Jossey-Bass website, so if you are searching (rather using the direct link offered here), search by author -Warters- or by title, rather than browsing by subject. Orders may be placed by phone at 800 956 7739, by fax 800 605 2665 or via email to (please include mailing address and telephone number). The book is also available from

   by the Center for Legal Information, Inc.

This recently released (August, 1999) technical assistance manual is from the publisher of Lex Collegii, a quarterly legal newsletter for independent higher education. As explained by the book's publisher, this manual "analyzes and assesses alternative dispute resolution systems available to the college campus. It focuses on widely accepted forms of alternative dispute resolution, how they work, and their application to the collegiate environment. The manual includes data to evaluate options and determine how processes can be adapted to a particular institution and environment. Appendices of policies and forms that can be used for arbitration, mediation, grievance processing, and ombudsman systems is provided. Detailed bibliographies on higher education and dispute resolution are included."

The manual costs $60, and is available via a web catalogue or by mail from College Legal Information, Inc., P.O. Box 150541, Nashville, Tennessee 37215-0541. Email:

   by Neil Steinberg

It is important for people workingin the conflict resolution area to keep a sense of humor. If At All Possible, Involve A Cow is a 240 page history of collegiate pranking in America. (No, it's not a guide to setting up a mediation session...) Beginning with the earliest colleges in America, and even taking note of some activities taking place in Canada, the book is a well documented look (including some 30 photos) at the kinds and variety of campus pranks found across North America.

The author, Neil Steinberg, writes:

There is something glorious about a college prank. A really good prank brings not just laughter, but a visceral satisfaction and a kind of awe that does not fade with time nor diminish with retelling. In the narrow world of university life, so routine, so programmed and often - like life in the real world - too dull to tolerate, a prank shakes things up, breaks the tedium, and gives hope for a life filled with hidden, delightful possibility.

Steinberg clearly distinguishes pranks from mean-spirited jokes and hazing. While not a how-to-guide (thankfully), the author does suggest a few basic guidelines regarding good prankster form:

  • Good art in this form is a funny event.
  • High art in this form is to make a point with your joke.
  • Bad art comprises being merely mean, destructive, or vicious. By definition, this is pointless.
  • If you must descend to insulting the object of a practical joke, be creative. (There are Web sites, for instance, to supply you with surreal or Shakespearean insults.)

As noted by one online reviewer, "For anyone looking for an interesting, funny book that might be shelved under Applied Humor, check this one out." It appears that the book is now out of print, so you'll have to rely on the library or used book stores to find a copy.

Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building Case Study Materials at the ELECTRONIC HALLWAY

The Electronic Hallway ( offers teaching cases, exercises, role-plays, teaching workshops, and curriculum planning resources for faculty, with primary emphasis on faculty working in public administration and public policy areas. All the cases are available free, at the click of a button, and in multiple formats so that you can find one that works with your software without need for any special plug-ins. Faculty and instructors in public administration and related fields (such as conflict resolution) are eligible to subscribe to the Electronic Hallway.

The Electronic Hallway is governed by a consortium of universities and operated by the University of Washington's Graduate School of Public Affairs. Additional guidance is provided by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), and deans from a broad spectrum of NASPAA-member schools. With thanks to support from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the schools and institutions that participate in the system, the Electronic Hallway's services are available at no cost.

Cases and Roleplays currently available on the site that relate to conflict resolution and consensus-building include the following:

Bread for the World
Reveals the practical and ethical tensions inherent in many grass-roots-based advocacy organizations between sustaining the grass-roots membership and supporting a professional staff who must effectively interact with relevant policy elites.

Carver State University Hospital
Role-play in which management team must decide how to allocate new resources. Emphasizes competing priorities, nature of decision-making, and leadership role in conflicts.

Church-State Debate Threatens Budapest's Second District
Church seeks return of a school building after 50 years of Communist rule. Illustrates competing community interests and resolution of conflicts in Eastern European setting.

Clarkson Airport Authority
Simple exercise for identifying interests in a conflict and for planning an inclusive negotiation to resolve an airport noise problem. Good as an exam or introductory case.

Disagreements Behind an Agreement
A UN hydrologist discovers the political complexity of adopting an environmentally sound riparian resource plan for the Zambezi River, which flows through eight African nations.

Karen Hannen and Robert Welsh: The Division of Economic Analysis
Manager of economic analysis agency faces a well-liked, but seriously underperforming, senior employee as she tries to reshape agency. What is her best (or least worst) course of action? Useful in management or conflict resolution courses.

Mammoth Motors' New Paint Shop
Multilateral role-play with lively internal dynamics and external relationships among corporate, state, local, and environmental interests. Students gain insight into conflict resolution by enacting an economic development/environmental conflict.

Managing Cutbacks at the Department of Social and Health Services
Agency head develops strategic, inclusive budget process in response to drastic federal cutbacks. Powerful example of internal and external consensus-building under extreme pressure, as well as insight into political aspects of good budgeting.

Negotiated Rulemaking Exercise: Woodstove New Source Performance Standard
An environmental role play in which a multi-party committee employs a negotiated rule making process to achieve consensus. Recommended for students already introduced to negotiation and who have background in economics and management dilemmas.

Operation Wilderness
A simulation exercise on environmental issues. Students experience the process of conflicts and the personal responses that both cause and result from it. Teaches key principles in conflict resolution and multiparty negotiations.

Pacific City Utilities Service Department
Role-play exercise in which a manager has to resolve a conflict over the annual vacation schedule. Illustrates and applies key principles of conflict resolution.

Radar Controversy in Zalas
A civilian air traffic radar facility is proposed in a popular recreational forest and the local administrator must confront hostile environmental, political, and grass roots opposition in a region of newly democratic Poland.

Solid Waste Landfill Crisis
Although set in Eastern Europe, the problems besetting short- and long-term waste disposal seem universal to democratic regimes. How will the city manager resolve the conflict?

St. Joseph Shopping Mall
Role-play where participants--city planners, the mall developer, two business groups and three neighborhood groups--must reach consensus on plans to turn an abandoned golf course into a shopping mall.

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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.

Correspondence to CMHE Report
(Attn: Bill Warters)
Campus Conflict Resolution Resources Project
Department of Communication
585 Manoogian Hall
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48201.

Please send comments, bug reports, etc. to the Editor.

© 2000-2005 William C. Warters & WSU, All rights reserved.