Faculty members who have a conflict that interferes with their work are encouraged to use the Faculty Conciliation and Mediation Program to explore the nature of the conflict and the various alternatives available for resolving it. Conversations with the conciliation counselor are completely confidential.
Upon recommendation by the Faculty Senate, the Provost’s Office determined in April 2011, after a successful 18-month pilot program, that the Faculty Conciliation and Mediation Program would be ongoing.
Professor Emeritus Wallace Gingerich of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences serves as the faculty conciliation counselor. In addition to being a trained mediator, Gingerich has significant experience in school administration and faculty governance. Most conflicts that faculty members discuss with the conciliation counselor concern personnel practice: the tenure process, workload, supervisory relationships, etc. Other conflicts that have been brought to the conciliation counselor include intercollegial tensions and department conflict.
Often faculty members use the service to think through how to manage a conflict. They may or may not be interested involving the other party. A faculty member who met with the conciliation counselor wrote, “It was a great help to have a neutral third party help me talk through what happened, what I did and whether that was enough.” When both parties are amendable, facilitated conversations and formal mediation are arranged. Gingerich also helps faculty members negotiate university bureaucracy to get their issues addressed.