Managing Campus Conflict Through Alternative Dispute Resolution

This manual is a product of many years of thought and reflection on issues and laws facing administrators who work with conflict resolution. It reflects numerous contacts with college and university administrators responsible for resolving campus conflict and those aggrieved members of the college community seeking resolution of problems.
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This book analyzes and assesses alternative dispute resolution systems available to the college campus. A continuum of options is available from face to face negotiations, impartial review, mediation, grievance processing and more formal processes that can lead to binding decisions. Each step or tier may lead to another option and a binding decision.

Litigation and claims against colleges and universities are increasing.  Reasons for these increases include new legislation, expanding protection to individuals, changing norms and expectations of college constituencies, and the value placed on litigation for problem solving.

Concomitantly, there is increased awareness the judicial system is not adequately providing disputants the relief they desire in a timely, efficient, and cost effective manner. Furthermore, many campus complaints involve minor conflicts of interpersonal relationships among and between students, staff, and faculty. Unaddressed, these lead to more serious problems including loss of morale, hostile behavior, and inefficient work performance. Accordingly, campuses are providing alternative dispute mechanisms including informal negotiations, mediation, grievance systems, ombudsman offices, and arbitration.

Managing Campus Conflict focuses on widely accepted forms of alternative dispute resolution, how they work, and their application to the collegiate environment. It offers data to assess options and determine how processes can be adapted to a particular institution and environment. An extensive 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.

Colleges pride themselves in their efforts to model a collegial community. They ought therefore serve as a leader in addressing conflict and providing an internal means for its resolution.

As a leading provider of legal information for college decision makers, Managing Campus Conflict is designed to contribute to the reassessment and refinement of dispute resolution mechanisms and hopefully to the reduction of campus conflict.

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