Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Dr. LouAnn Bierlein-Palmer
Mediation Centers have been introduced to college and university campuses in recent years as a cost effective method to deal with a variety of conflict issues. These centers offer a variety of services to students, faculty, and staff including mediation, facilitation, and training. Campus mediation centers that report various levels of success and growth serve as an example for operations to their peer institutions. Yet for a lack of previous research, little information is known about the actual operations of campus mediation centers and the systems and processes they follow.
An internet-based survey was sent to campus mediation centers staff that had voluntarily identified their program via a national registry of such centers. Respondents from 44 mediation centers representing both public and private colleges and universities nationwide reported information on their center's demographics, staffing, services, funding, and training processes. Information was also received detailing specific examples of success and "best practice" that centers had enjoyed since their establishment. Five respondents were subsequently selected to participate in a telephone interview for elaborate on measurements of success, details of the "best practices" they had noted, and on future plans their centers may have.
Results reveal that campus mediation centers provide a broad range of services to their campus communities and the surrounding public. Many centers struggle with staffing issues, institutional support, and budgeting. Other centers reported success over the course of their existence and have established a recognized strength in their approach or for the particular service they provide. Measures of success often include surveys to those populations providedmediation, facilitation and/or training.
The study also found that marketing their existing services and expanding service offerings to groups both on-campus and outside of campus is a common method of growth and continuous improvement. Affiliation with outside organizations is a recognized method to expand opportunities for continuing support, resources, growth, and recognition.
Conclusions revealed that the future of campus mediation centers is driven by a variety of factors: the ability to continue to deliver quality services to the groups they serve; the expansion of a broader range of services to new populations; the development of methods to insure the recognition of value in the services they provide and the professionalism of their staff; and the continuing ability to recognize their primary service to the student populations of their institutions. Based upon these issues, a list of "components for success" for campus mediation centers' operations was developed. This list identifies the subjects of affiliations, sponsors, funding, web-presence, quality standards, staffing, services, and continuous improvement as key factors to consider when establishing such an operation.
Hills, Warren L., "Best Practices within Mediation Programs" (2006). Dissertations. 950.