Conflict Resolution Services provide a variety of tools to address workplace disputes in collaborative and creative ways. These tools include informal resolution through consultation, mediation, and special trainings or coaching for individuals and units. In addition to resolving the immediate issues presented by parties in conflict, this office assists individuals and units in strengthening their communication skills and building collaborative and collegial working relationships.
Mediation and other services are offered by trained, University staff members who help the parties to a dispute resolve their issues in a safe, respectful, and confidential environment.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a confidential process in which a mediator facilitates communication and negotiation between parties to assist them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding their dispute.
Mediation helps parties in conflict work through tough issues so that they can focus on improving their relationships and their workplace.
The goal in mediation is not to find fault but to work together to find creative, individualized solutions that will foster mutual respect and an acceptance and appreciation of diverse perspectives.
Using Conflict Resolution Services
Faculty, staff, contract professionals, and student employees are eligible for these services. Conflicts between peers and between supervisory personnel and those under their supervision can be addressed by this office. There is no charge for these services.
Parties who are part of a collective bargaining unit must obtain permission from union officials to participate in mediation or other informal conflict resolution processes when disputes involve a member of supervision. Each participant in mediation must sign an Agreement to Mediate before the mediation session begins.
Reaching an Agreement
If a matter is successfully resolved through mediation or other informal conflict resolution processes, the parties will work with Conflict Resolution Services to prepare a Settlement Agreement. This agreement will not set precedent or change University policy and it will not be used in any subsequent informal or formal legal or administrative proceeding unless necessary to enforce the provisions and terms of the agreement.
Failure to Reach Agreement
If the workplace dispute cannot be resolved through the intervention of Conflict Resolution Services, then all other informal and formal University procedures remain available to the parties. Filing deadlines or other time limitations under those procedures toll during the mediation process.
How to Get Help
Parties to a workplace dispute can contact the office directly, or the matter can be referred by supervisors or other individuals and offices within the University community. The first step is an initial consultation with Frances Gross Mediation / Org Dev. Spec. at (330) 972-6702. All available options will be discussed in a safe and confidential setting.
The Office of Employee Relations is located in the Administrative Services Building at 185 East Mill St, Akron, Ohio.
The University of Akron
Akron, Ohio 44325-4731
Phone (330) 972-6462
Fax (330) 972-2323
Parties to a workplace dispute can contact the office directly, or the matter can be referred by supervisors or other individuals and offices within the University community. The first step is an initial consultation with Frances Gross, Mediation / Org Dev. Spec. Contact her at (330) 972-6195. All available options will be discussed in a safe and confidential setting.