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Profiles of Staff and Administrative Conflict Resolution Programs and Practitioners

In this section of the site, we will provide a rotating collection of mini-profiles of staff and administrative conflict resolution projects, and occasionally we will run profiles of specific individuals. Three staff oriented projects are featured now. For a complete list of campus mediation programs, visit the Campus Mediation Program Directory.

Office of Human Resource Management
-- University of Wisconsin - Madison

The Office of Human Resource Management at the University of Wisconsin has made a long term commitment to developing conflict resolution skills in their staff at all levels. As part of the "Fully Prepared to Manage" program, staff and administrators can focus on conflict resolution skill building and join support/learning groups to enhance their skill development (and career advancement). The training includes an impressive online resource guide and videos and simulations to help participants integrate their new learning.

Campus Mediation Services
-- The University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City developed a Campus Mediation Service (CMS) for staff and faculty experiencing conflict in the workplace. One of the goals of CMS is to enhance the Universityís work environment by helping employees address conflict quickly, informally and confidentially. Conflicts that resulted in the filing of a grievance can generally be mediated. Conflicts resulting from serious misconduct, sexual harassment or discrimination are referred to other departments. While the grievance process puts limitations on what types of decisions participants can make, mediation does provide an opportunity to talk about the future working relationship.

CMS mediators are UMKC faculty and staff. Mediators were selected because based on listening skills, patience, trustworthiness and the ability to be impartial. All mediators receive over 20 hours of specialized training and are accountable to the UMKC Campus Mediation Services Code of Conduct.

Staff Dispute Resolution (an Informal Group)
-- The University of Arizona

An information working group at the Human Resources Department at the University of Arizona created a nice online overview of staff dispute resolution procedures. The University has a formal dispute resolution process for both appointed and classified staff with both formal and informal options. They do not, however, have a formal in-house mediation program. The online overview provides staff with useful information and various tools. An outline of the materials is as follows:

Brief explanation of Conflict and its Implications
Supervisor and Employee Rights
Factors Leading to Conflict
--- Organizational factors
--- Interpersonal factors
Conflict Management Strategies
--- Organizational strategies
--- Interpersonal strategies
Options for Conflict Resolution
--- Self-negotiated resolution
--- Internal facilitation
--- Outside facilitation
--- Mediation
Appointed Personnel Resolution Procedures
Staff Resolution Procedures
Conflict Resolution Tools
---Conditions facilitating Change
---Consensus Decision Making
---Principles of Collaborative "Win-Win" Negotiation
---Ground Rules For Effective Conflict Resolution
---An Introduction To Mediation
Information Contacts

The overview of procedures is an example of creativity on behalf of a Human Resources Department. The HR Department recognized both the importance of conflict resolution and the lack of information available at the University of Arizona. The department responded to the needs of University staff by making information accessible to the people who most need it.