A Letter from the President
November 1, 2007
Faculty, Staff, Students
University Of West Georgia
Dear Members of the University Community,
In 1995, the University System of Georgia asked each member institution to create a viable Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program with the mission of “resolving conflict at USG institutions in a less adversarial, more timely and equitable manner.” (The System Supplement, Vol. 39, No. 2, February 2002)
As a result, for the past 12 years, UWG’s ADR committee has developed a number of initiatives consistent with the USG’s stated mission. A program to add mediation as an alternative means for staff and faculty to resolve disputes was proposed and approved by the Faculty Senate, the Staff Advisory Council, and the President’s Advisory Council. These policies are now included in both the Faculty and Employee Handbooks.
The current committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution, led by co-chairs, Dr. Denise Overfield and Dianne Smith, with my support, has provided training in resolving conflict for supervisors, mediation training for 11 faculty and staff members, as well as training for various student groups.
When conflicts arise, each of us – faculty, staff, administrators, and students – has a shared responsibility to the campus community to work together while addressing conflict management and dispute resolution at the lowest level. The economic and social impact grievances can have on any organization cannot be ignored. I strongly believe that together we can lessen the effects of disputes by becoming more informed about campus policies and procedures related to this subject.
The ADR Committee and I encourage you to consider mediation as an option to resolve conflicts. Please consult the committee website for information on the appropriate use of mediation or to initiate the process. I thank each of you for your continued contributions to preserving a positive, productive learning environment for the entire West Georgia community.
Beheruz N. Sethna, Ph.D.
Professor of Business Administration, and
President of the University