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Volume 3, Number 2, February 2003

Recently Found in the Periodicals

Baily, Kenneth W. (Feb 2002). The Role of Extension in Controversial Studies: The Case of Interstate Dairy Compacts. The Journal of Extension 40(1).

This article reviews the steps taken at the University of Missouri in dealing with a very controversial study on dairy compacts. More and more, Extension is being asked to conduct applied economic studies on controversial public policy issues. However, care must be taken to conduct these studies in an objective and scholarly manner without unnecessarily alienating affected stakeholders. Academic freedom and integrity must be maintained, and faculty cannot allow themselves to be placed in a position to be influenced by affected stakeholders. At the same time, Extension cannot operate effectively without these important stakeholders. This study outlines an acceptable balance.

Barsky, Alan E. (2002). Structural Sources of Conflict in a University Context. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 20(2).

What are the structural factors that act as sources of conflict in universities? This qualitative study answers that question from the perspective of students, faculty members, administrators, and the non-teaching staff. The results are presented in light of the unique organizational characteristics of universities providing insight for practitioners of higher education workplace conflict resolution.

Brown, Linda. (Summer, 2002). Community College Leadership Preparation: Needs, Perceptions, and Recommendations. Community College Review.

This research provides the results of a random survey, administered in 2001, of 128 community college instructional leaders. Respondents rated 48 skills and areas of expertise in effectively fulfilling community college instructional leadership roles. Survey results also suggest respondents recommend a different emphasis in doctoral coursework than they experienced in their doctoral programs of study. Conflict Resolution, Mediation and Negotiation Skills, one of the measured skills in the survey, was ranked 4th out of all 48 skills in terms of importance as a needed skill, and was ranked as the number one most recommended skill for potential leaders. These same skills were ranked 2nd overall in terms of key skills thought to be underrepresented in academic programs preparing community college leaders. The table below provides some sample results from the study.

Top Ten Ranked Skills in Needed Skills (All Respondents) and Recommended Emphasis Contexts (All Respondents and Leadership Program Graduates)
Skills and Areas of Expertise
Needed: All Respondents
Recommended: All Respondents
Recommended: Leadership Program Graduates
Leadership
Developing and communicating a vision
3
4
8
Understanding and application of "change"
(14)
7
3
Understanding of community college mission
5
9
4
Understanding of collaborative decision
(17)
8
6
Communication
Understanding of interpersonal communication
6
6
7
Effective listening and feedback skills
1
5
10
Effective writing skills
2
2
1
Effective public speaking skills
7
10
8
Conflict resolution, mediation, and negotiation
4
1
2
Institutional Planning and Development
Institutional effectiveness: assessment and analysis
8
3
4
Management
Organizing and time management skills
10
(21)
(20)
Faculty and Staff Development
Curriculum development
9
(11)
(11)

Corp, Mary K. & Darnell,Tom. (Feb 2002). Conflict-Laden Issues: A Learning Opportunity. The Journal of Extension 40(1).

Extension faculty has opportunities to bring people together to solve problems. A simple process finds solutions to a problem with herbicide drift. The process provided five key "findings:" 1) Finding balance between reason and emotion is crucial; 2) Having a participatory process facilitates buy-in; 3) Learning to solve conflicts provides long term benefit(s); 4) Facilitating is a role Extension is uniquely suited to fill; and 5) Extension staff should be trained in facilitation. The authors argue that Extension faculty should play a role in developing this capacity to resolve conflicts.

Kusztal, Iwona L. (2002). Discourses in the Use and Emergence of Organizational Conflict. Conflict Resolution Quarterly 20(2).

There has been little research on how organizational conflicts actually emerge, develop, and change. Research addressing this question has usually focused on personality and structural factors as sources of conflict. A better understanding of these processes is invaluable for practitioners seeking to effectively prevent and manage conflicts. This extensive study locates the source of emerging conflicts in the different discourses used by organizational members. The study is based on a yearlong qualitative study of one university administrative unit.

Lambarth, Janet K. (February 2002). Building Strong Communities Through Mediation. The Journal of Extension 40(1).

The subject of the article is development of mediation education in Spokane, Washington, by Washington State University Cooperative Extension. The author discusses the value of mediation as an alternative dispute resolution process. She outlines the reasons for introducing the program and actions taken to implement it, and details the documented impacts on community, personal, and professional life of the mediation training for the 110 adults in the program. Mediation is recommended as a way of restoring civility, transforming individual behavior, and building community.
Paskey, Janice.(February 22, 2002). Middle East Tensions Divide a University in Montreal. The Chronicle of Higher Education 48(24):A35.
With a relatively large Arab and Jewish student population at Concordia Univeristy in Montreal, Quebec, the Arab-Israeli conflict resonates as a rather heated topic on campus. This article covers the campus community recently experiencing some tension since the emergence of political activism on this topic began in late 2000. The issue heightened when the Concordia Student Union passed a resolution supporting the Palestinian cause. Because of the strong passions felt, the University has taken certain measures to prevent the on-campus conflict from escalating even more.

Read this article by subscribing to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

 

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