Conflict Management System Design

Implementation of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents’ Initiative and Policy Direction on Conflict Resolution required a conflict management system design structure that clarifies the roles and responsibilities of all the stakeholders involved.

The Stakeholders:

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia

The board oversees the 31 colleges and universities within the University System of Georgia.

Advisory Committee

The advisory committee is responsible for developing an educational program and system-wide plan and for advising the Chancellor’s Office on implementation of that plan. The chancellor appointed the committee in fall 1995. In order to benefit from diverse ideas, experience and opinions, the chancellor invited the presidents to nominate potential committee members from their institutions and then selected a broadly representative group of faculty, administrators, staff and students. A list of the members is available.

Chancellor’s Office

The chancellor’s office is charged to provide education, training and support; assemble a panel of system-wide mediators; compile data for assessment; and use ADR in contracts.

Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Once the initiative was adopted the Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution was immediately designated as the technical consultant to the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Conflict Resolution.

The Process

The initiative resulted in a conflict management system involving a six-step process and close interaction between all of the stakeholders. Each institution was provided with the six-step model for implementing the initiative on its campus.

Six-Step Model to Implement a System at an Institution

The ADR Liaison’s initial task is to form a Campus Conflict Resolution Committee representative of the full range of stakeholders on campus. The committee’s task is to help identify current conflicts, anticipate future conflicts, analyze current conflict handling procedures and design an improved conflict management system if necessary.
It is necessary for Liaisons, committee members, other stakeholders, and key decision-makers to learn about conflict management theory and design as quickly as possible. The intent of this education and training phase is to help each campus develop the internal capacity to provide the ongoing education and training required.
Each institution is directed to take an honest, in-depth assessment of its conflict environment including the types of disputes present, disputes handling mechanism in place and the effectiveness of those mechanisms.

  1. Sample Assessment Instrument
  2. Conflict Assessment from Georgia College and State University
  3. Campus Culture and Climate Survey from University of West Georgia
  4. Program Planning Guide from Campus-ADR.org

After conducting the assessment, the committee will determine what conflict management system improvements, if any, to recommend.
The committee is charge with formulating and carrying out a detailed plan for implementing its system design recommendations.
Every good conflict management system contains a feedback mechanism that alerts designers to emerging needs for modification and hot spots for conflict and disputing. Recognizing this, the initiative directs committees to engage in ongoing or periodic assessment and evaluation of their conflict management system.
 
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