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Fri, Sep 07, 2012

Conflict Management Programs in Public Universities

The August/October 2011 (yes, I know I’m behind!) of the Dispute Resolution Journal featured an article by Sally Klingel and Michael Maffie from Cornell University entitled Conflict Management Systems in Higher Education: A Look at Mediation in Public Universities. The article explores the state of conflict management and dispute resolution systems across 45 state universities. The review finds that most state universities follow a formal grievance system to handle interpersonal disputes, with human resources (HR) departments most often (68% of the time) providing the base for this work, with 38% of this group also having the services of an ombuds office. More than half of the institutions (26) reviewed provided some form of mediation for interpersonal disputes, which can be through peer mediation or academic department-based alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system or some other interesting arrangement such as co-mediation with one mediator being a campus volunteer and the other being an off-campus professional mediator. As the authors note, there does not appear to be a cookie cutter design that has become the norm across campuses, but rather each program is tailored to the local culture and systems. The article, while brief, provides a nice summary of university workplace mediation in higher education circa 2011.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2012 09 07 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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