The Conflict Resolution Network assists students, staff and faculty with conflict resolution. If you would like to speak with a member of the Conflict Resolution Network, please select the request conflict assistance button above. Please note, that this option is not considered confidential. All requests for assistance are considered private and only need to know individuals will review and respond to you.
If you prefer, you may address concerns or questions confidentially. Students, faculty, and staff may contact the Office of the Ombuds at email@example.com or 906-487-2391. Students may contact the Center for Student Mental Health and Wellbeing at 906- 487-2538 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do you know which option is right for you?
The Conflict Resolution Network provides several options for resolving conflicts between students, faculty and staff at Michigan Tech. Restorative practices focus on addressing harmful behavior, community needs, how to restore trust in a responsible party and provide an opportunity for community healing. All restorative processes are voluntary and both the impacted party and responsible party must agree upon the process.
Options for Conflict Resolution
Meeting with a member of the Conflict Resolution Network can help you to determine how to move forward. For additional information, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Conflict coaching is a one on one consultation to assess and develop an individual's communication skills and conflict management strategies.
A facilitated dialogue is a structured conversation between a facilitator and the party or parties involved in a conflict.
Mediation with the Ombuds Office
The Ombuds Office provides informal mediation services for members of the Michigan Tech academic community. The Ombuds Office provides services to help individuals resolve their concerns fairly and informally. Informal conflict resolution services are intended to be employed prior to initiating any formal grievance procedures. The Ombuds Office does not handle issues specifically addressed by collective bargaining agreements for employees who are represented by labor unions.
Ombuds Contact Information:
The Ombuds Office
- operates independently as a supplement to existing administrative and formal grievance procedures and has no formal decision-making authority;
- does not act as an advocate for either side in any dispute; and
- operates confidentially, which means we do not acknowledge who has—or has not—used the office or its services, without the permission of the parties requesting services.
The Ombuds Officer will
- Listen carefully to your concerns.
- Inform you of the various options that are available to you to resolve your concerns.
- Answer University-related process and procedure questions or put you in direct contact with others who can advise you.
- Help you to understand the reasons behind various University policies and procedures.
- Facilitate communication between members of the Michigan Tech academic community.
- Help you to determine if other members of the academic community are amenable to informal conflict-resolution mediation efforts.
- Make the appropriate referrals if and when informal options don't work.
- Periodically point out patterns of problems to the University president for purposes of continuous improvement.
The Ombuds Office will not
- Offer legal advice.
- Provide any services to members of the University community in disputes with persons or organizations outside of the University.
- Get involved in any issues specifically addressed by collective bargaining agreements for employees who are represented by unions.
- Formally or informally investigate the validity of any claims or expressions of concern brought to the attention of our office.
- Become involved in any disputes that have been filed in a formal grievance process.
- File your concern or disclose it to any University department or unit. Because of the confidential nature of the ombuds process, bringing a concern to the Ombuds Office does not constitute making formal organization notification to Michigan Technological University of alleged violations of policies, procedures, or laws.
Restorative Group Conferencing
Restorative Group Conferencing provides a structured opportunity for impacted and responsible parties to address conflict or unacceptable behavior through a facilitated discussion. Restorative Group Conference facilitators create a safe space for all parties to share openly about the incident(s). Facilitators ask a set of restorative questions to both parties and allow each party to discuss what they were thinking at the time of the incident(s) and how the parties feel about the incident now. Impacted parties then create a formal resolution with the responsible party to restore confidence and trust in the responsible party. All parties must agree upon the plan. The International Institute of Restorative Practices (IIRP) also provides a description of Restorative Group Conferencing here.
Restorative Justice Circles
Restorative Justice Circles involve all parties coming together to share stories and learn more about what harms have been created, who has been affected and how, and ways to repair the harms. In a circle process, participants are encouraged to be open and honest about their perspectives about the conflict, how they have been harmed, how they think others might have been harmed, and to come up with their own solutions on how to fix the harm created. All students sit in a circle and take turns participating and sharing their perspectives while using a talking peace. Often, support persons and community members can also be present to provide their input as well.
The crafting of an agreement using restorative justice framework that does not require parties to participate in an in-person conference with each other. The University official will meet and work with parties individually to create an agreement to which both parties can agree.
Academic and Community Conduct and/or Human Resources have the authority to determine if restorative conflict resolution practices are appropriate for students and/or staff on a case by case basis in the event of a policy violation. For example, a formal process may be determined necessary when an accused party is unwilling to take responsibility for alleged unacceptable behavior. For more information about the formal adjudication process, please contact Academic and Community Conduct or Human Resources.