What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

The Ombuds/Dispute Resolution Services For Staff Department (ODR) uses a variety of techniques to assist employees in preventing and/or resolving any workplace conflicts in ways other than traditional adversarial approaches.  ODR employees work with staff and their supervisors (both faculty and staff) or coworkers (both faculty and staff).   ODR emphasizes collaboration and fair consideration of all sides of an issue.  The Department provides processes that avoid lengthy adversarial conflicts that interfere with productivity.  The goal of the Department is to improve communication and the work environment.


MEDIATION:  Ombuds staff meets with the individuals in conflict and manages a process that is neutral and confidential and allows the outcome to be determined by the parties themselves.

FACILITATION:  Ombuds staff creates a process that encourages ongoing communication and problem solving.

EMPLOYEE CONSULTATION:  Ombuds staff assists employees in improving conflict resolution skills by discussing effective communication, problem solving techniques, and conflict prevention/resolution skills.

DEPARTMENTAL CONSULTATIONS:  Ombuds staff provides assistance and/or training for a department.  The training is designed to improve interactions, productivity and reduce conflict.

COLLABORATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING:  Ombuds staff facilitates discussion with individuals   involved in a conflict.  The goal is to help the parties find ways to work together by acknowledging individual   interests and thereby improve the working relationship.

TRAINING:  Ombuds staff provides training in dispute resolution techniques and other related topics.

FORMAL POLICY:  Ombuds staff provides interpretations of policy after consultation with the appropriate office.