Virginia Tech recognizes that conflict between two or more members of any community is inevitable. The Conflict Resolution Program offers faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in mediation and other informal conflict resolution strategies to address a dispute with another person(s), and also to provide professional development workshops and conflict management coaching to nurture individual learning and growth.
Conflict is not the exception, it is familiar to everyone. Conflicts have meaning and purpose. When disputants understand this meaning, they have an opportunity to understand their own goals better and find nondestructive means of achieving them.
The easiest way for a campus community to assist in the resolution of conflict is to advocate for its early and peaceful expression, and not waiting until it has escalated and can no longer be avoided before taking action.
The campus community can demonstrate its willingness to share responsibility for conflict resolution by making available to persons in conflict, a team of competent and trained mediators who volunteer to work with other members of the Virginia Tech community. However, the mediators must always place the responsibility on the disputants for the actual expression and resolution of the conflict. By having a Conflict Resolution program, the community is maintaining a vital mechanism for the direct expression and reduction of conflicts.
All members of the Virginia Tech community can model advantages of cooperation and mutual responsibility-taking, if they keep participation strictly voluntary and work toward jointly constructed agreements that address the needs of both parties.
The mediation process can be used to model respect for diversity and may help provide a space where disputants can learn to understand, respect, and accept differences.
If a conflict is handled well it can:
For more information about the Conflict Resolution Program, contact Dale Robinson at 540-231-1824.
A complete list of upcoming workshops hosted by Equity and Access is available online.