The University of Minnesota Conflict Resolution Policy is an internal University process for the good faith review and resolution of employment disputes brought by employees of the University. At its February 2005 meeting, the Board of Regents adopted the Conflict Resolution Policy, which replaced the former Grievance Policy. The new policy offers more informal dispute resolution options for employees.
The Office for Conflict Resolution serves all campuses of the University of Minnesota. Non-bargaining unit University employees, including administrators, faculty, P&A, civil service, and student workers (including research and teaching assistants), are eligible for services. This program is also available to faculty emeriti. (Employees represented by a labor organization may not use this process, but instead should pursue concerns through the process established in their collective bargaining agreements.)
We offer four informal options—consultation, ombuds services, facilitated dialogue, and mediation—with a neutral third party to help parties find their own solutions. In formal processes—a peer hearing, a final University decision, and binding arbitration—the hearing panel, Senior Vice President, or arbitrator makes the final decision.
The Office for Conflict Resolution does not disclose any information or documents concerning any matter, except as necessary to comply with procedures for conducting a hearing, or as permitted or required by law.
The Office for Conflict Resolution maintains a list of persons willing to serve as advisors to parties in conflict resolution proceedings. These advisors have attended training given by the Director.
Informal conflict resolution services are available without a fixed time limit. Employees are nonetheless encouraged to bring issues forward promptly. The Office for Conflict Resolution may decline to process issues that are too stale to permit current resolution, that have been processed appropriately within this or other offices, or that create unfair surprise or prejudice for others involved.
Formal conflict resolution processes are governed by time limits.