Prevent, Address and Resolve Disputes Among Faculty and Administration
Higher education is affected by similar issues that affect non-academic institutions, including those that could broadly be described as human resources related. Nevertheless, the context of these issues is indeed unique within colleges and universities.
Members of JAMS senior leadership and many of our neutral experts have insight into the challenges facing higher education as a result of their experience as professors, adjunct professors and trustees, as well as having worked as adjudicators and investigators. This group of JAMS professionals offers the services listed below to colleges and universities.
Systems Design Services
In the face of unprecedented challenges in higher education, it is time to revisit traditional approaches to managing conflicts on campus. Learn how your institution can develop and implement dispute prevention and resolution mechanisms to meet the complex needs of the present and future academic environment. We offer half-day or full-day options:
- Why and how to conduct a systems design review
- Informal resolution options
- Unique considerations in the campus environment.
- How to equip your campus with a thriving culture that promotes resolution at the earliest possible
- Skill-building: Translate the lessons from the morning into practical skills. Learn how to hold more productive meetings, manage campus-wide situations, de-escalate tensions and build a positive culture.
In addition to these programs, JAMS also works closely with our clients to create customized systems design review programs that equip institutions of higher learning with the tools to reimagine and implement dispute resolution structures that work within their cultural and procedural framework.
Through a consultative process, JAMS works with school administration (either directly or in combination with other consulting entities) to devise frameworks to address, resolve and prevent disputes among faculty and between faculty and administration, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Tenure and promotion;
- Personnel and human resources issues, including harassment and other prohibited actions; and
- Stakeholder engagement, deal making and dispute resolution.
Professional JAMS facilitators are used ad hoc to resolve disputes informally before they escalate into lengthy and costly proceedings. JAMS panelists are accomplished professionals who have dedicated their careers to resolving disputes. Confidence in school processes is reinforced because JAMS facilitators are neutral and unaffiliated with a respective college or university.
Many colleges and universities are unable to employ full-time ombuds, which are used by many large organizations to address employment issues through productive, informal methods. A dedicated, on-call JAMS facilitator (or team) establishes a working knowledge of the school, faculty and administration, and can be called upon to resolve disputes as they arise and before they escalate. Familiarity with the institution builds the neutral’s credibility among disputants, which fosters trust, which in turn can lead to early resolution.
Discrimination and other Prohibited Conduct
JAMS helps higher education institutions resolve disputes involving discrimination and other prohibited conduct within higher education consistent with an institution’s policies and procedures under the requirements of the law, to include Title VII, ADA and the like.
Independent Investigation and Neutral Fact Finding
JAMS has an earned reputation for neutrality, fairness and transparency, and is thus retained by school leadership to conduct investigations into alleged discriminatory practices, systemic harassment and other issues. Following an investigation into a purported incident and the school’s policies, procedures and mechanisms for responding to the same, a report is issued that includes findings and suggestions to correct the problems. JAMS can conduct such investigations autonomously or by leading a team of other organizations, which adds objectivity and legitimacy to the process.
Mediation and Facilitation Training and Services
A comprehensive array of half-day or full-day training options are available from JAMS to meet the training needs and obligations of higher education. Our primary areas of expertise are in the realms of negotiation, mediation, arbitration, systems design and decision making, with subspecialties in psychology, economics and law. Specific offerings include the following:
- Spectrum of Dispute Resolution: Learn about tools and options available to prevent and resolve conflict and how to use negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration and other processes.
- Negotiation-Facilitation-Mediation Connection: Explore concepts of principled negotiation and opportunities to apply these concepts through facilitation and mediation.
- Programmatic/Institutional Facilitation and Mediation: Review one selected mediation model.
- Putting Skills to Work (Interactive): Apply the appropriate resolution tools and techniques for a given situation; i.e., how to avoid unnecessarily escalating a dispute or undervaluing an important conflict.
In addition to these and other programs, JAMS also works closely with our clients to create customized onsite facilitation services that precisely match their needs.