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Campus Conflict Abstracts from the Late 1980s

Becker, T. (1986). Conflict and Paradox in the New American Mediation Movement: Status Quo and Social Transformation. Missouri Journal of Dispute Resolution: 109-129.
The type of mediation that is community-based and aimed at achieving social and political transformation is threatened by the growing mediation movement in the United States which has tended increasingly toward professionalization, bureaucratization, and legalization. Nevertheless, the university-based model as practiced at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu demonstrates elements in common with community-based, democratically oriented, citizen-empowerment programs.
Bush, R. A. B. (1987). Using Process Observation to Teach Alternative Dispute Resolution: Alternatives to Simulation. Journal of Legal Education. 37(1): 46-57.

A method of teaching alternative dispute resolution (ADR) involves sending students to observe actual ADR sessions, by agreement with the agencies conducting them, and then analyzing the students' observations in focused discussions to improve student insight and understanding of the processes involved.

Harman, K. M. (1989). Culture and Conflict in Academic Organization: Symbolic Aspects of University Worlds. Journal of Educational Administration. 27(3): 30-54.

A recent organizational study examined the different cultural worlds of senior members of the academic staff at the University of Melbourne. Outlines a new culture perspective that is applied to academic organization and emphasizes the utility and value of a cultural view.

Harman, K. M. (1989). Using Culture To Understand Conflict within a University: Professional versus Academic Values in University Professional Schools in Australia. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27- 31, 1989)

The idea that professional schools represent a sector where two particular sets of conflicting norms are clearly apparent is discussed. Teaching staff in university professional schools inhabit an ambivalent cultural world. Their dual mandate requires commitment to traditional academic norms and scholarship through the disciplines along with commitment to the transmission of distinctly vocational skills and attitudes. Conflicts commonly experienced by teaching staff in the schools of medicine, law, social studies, music, education, and environmental planning at the University of Melbourne are examined. Findings suggest that university leaders who are mindful of the cultural origins of and are sensitive to the tensions between the conflicting roles are more likely to develop strategies that minimize symbolic separation and ensure the survival and growth of both the academic-scholarly and practice-oriented cultures. Contains 11 references.

Hocker, J. L. (1986). Teacher-Student Confrontations. New Directions for Teaching and Learning Issue on Communicating in College Classrooms. (26): 71-82.

Classrooms can serve as laboratories for experimenting with collaboration rather than win-lose conflict styles. Productive conflict tactics and patterns of interaction can be used for all parties to learn effective conflict management.

Miller, K. (1987). The Effectiveness of Mediation in Higher Education. Journal on Dispute Resolution. 3(1): 187-217.

Miller describes in detail his evaluation of the mediation program at the State University of New York at Albany established in 1985, and includes copies of the instruments he used as an appendix. The study examined three semesters of mediation data involving 85 clients and 27 cases. The research focuses on compliance with the written agreement, client satisfaction, expediency of the resolution to the problem, de-escalation of the situation, and the impartiality and confidentiality of the mediators and the Center.

McMillen, L. (1987). Colleges Are Trying New Ways to Settle Campus Grievances. Chronicle of Higher Education. 33(34): 14-15,17.

Mediation, in which a neutral third party helps two people come up with their own solutions, is being used to settle faculty and staff grievances. Experiences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Duke University, Emory University, and the University of Cincinnati are described.

Riskin, L. L. and J. E. Westbrook (1989). Integrating Dispute Resolution into Standard First-Year Courses: The Missouri Plan. Journal of Legal Education. 39(4): 509-21.

The University of Missouri-Columbia Law School has implemented a first-year course in dispute resolution integrating topics in torts, property, civil procedure, contracts, and criminal law and taught by teachers in all of those areas.

Troester, R. and C. S. Mester (1987). Teaching Peace in the College Speech Class: A Survey of Current Practice. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (73rd, Boston, MA, November 5-8, 1987). ERIC Doc ED293178

A survey was conducted to examine the role of peace education within existing speech communication programs and to describe that role both in terms of curricular and research priorities. Respondents, 113 department Chairs out of a total of 578 on the Speech Communication Association's list of institutions offering degrees in communication, answered questions concerning (1) educator attitudes about the relationship between the discipline of speech communication and peace issues; (2) the inclusion of peace issues in collegiate programs and curricula; and (3) research priorities for examining peace issues from a communication perspective. The results indicated a significant range from zero peace communication curricular activity to full-fledged interdisciplinary majors. While most speech communication educators responding to the survey perceived a logical relationship between peace communication and their discipline, very few were actually teaching peace communication theory, history, or strategies. Those who are "teaching peace" are typically doing so within the scope of upper level courses in interpersonal and small group communication. There seems to be a perception that such instruction is inappropriate for or of little interest to the general student population. Although there is increasing activity in the broad area of peace studies in the university setting, for the most part that activity is under the leadership of some department or program other than speech communication. (Six references are attached.)

Zomalt, E. E. (1989). The Ethnic Studies Program Crisis: Conflict Resolution in a Multi-Ethnic Environment, 1974-1975. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California Santa Barbara.

This is a study of conflict resolution in a higher education organization. From 1973-1975 the minority community at the University of California, Santa Barbara engaged in a protracted struggle with the University's Administration over the maintenance and growth of minority programs. The minority community--Blacks, Chicanos, American Indians and Asian Americans--was supported internally by radical white faculty, staff and students and externally by a newly elected governor and state legislature. The conflict reached crisis proportions in the spring of 1975 when 17 students occupied the campus Computer Center. This act stimulated the Academic Senate leadership, which had not previously involved itself in the resolution of such conflicts, to intervene in hopes of reaching a compromise and resolving the conflict. An ad hoc negotiating group, facilitated by the Chair of the Academic Senate, was formed to examine the issues and propose solutions. The group recommended that an outside professional mediator be employed to assist the negotiators in their efforts to resolve the conflict. Within 14 days, from the initial ad hoc group meeting through the conclusion of the mediation process, the negotiating group was able to resolve the differences and agree upon six formal agreements which ensured the maintenance of minority programs at UCSB. The purpose of this study is to determine what factors contributed to the resolution of this conflict.

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Page last updated 11/27/2005

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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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