WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN ENTERING MEDIATION
Parties meet the mediator. The mediation
starts with one-on-one meetings between the mediator and each party
OR with a joint session in which both parties are present with the
mediator. Individual meetings are followed by a joint session. The
mediator describes the process in full, including time frames, ground
rules, and confidentiality. Each party makes a statement regarding
the dispute. The mediator meets privately with each party in caucus
to discuss his or her individual concerns.
Both parties rejoin the mediator for a joint discussion in which
possible resolutions are explored. The process of caucus and joint
discussion is repeated until a resolution is reached which is agreeable
to both parties. The mediator helps the parties develop and write
an agreement. Parties sign the agreement, which is binding on both.
How Much Time Does Mediation
The average mediation
session lasts one to three hours. Most often the mediation is concluded
in two to three sessions. Mediation is a timely process in which
disputes are typically resolved within 30 days or less.
Is Mediation a Confidential Process?
Mediation is a confidential process,
in which every reasonable effort is made to ensure that the parties'
privacy is respected. Participants may not discuss the mediation
with anyone outside the process except where a university official
has a "need-to-know" or where both parties give permission
to share the terms of their Agreement within another individual,
such as a supervisor or dean. The Ombuds Office may be consulted
on questions regarding "need-to-know."
Who Keeps Copies of the Agreement?
Copies of the agreement are kept by
each party and by the Ombuds Office. In some instances, with the
consent of the parties, the mediation agreement may be shared with
other individuals, who are affected by the outcome of the mediation.
What Happens if the Agreement is Breached?
Parties are expected to abide by the
terms of the agreement. If either party believes that the agreement
has been breached, he or she may contact the Ombuds Office. Parties
should understand that the university reserves the right to take
appropriate action, including disciplinary action, if either party
breaches the agreement.
Who are the University Mediators?
The mediators are university community
members who have been trained in negotiation, dispute resolution,
and communication techniques. Parties requesting mediation will be
assigned a mediator who does not have an inherent conflict of interest.
If either party feels that the designated mediator has a conflict
of interest, another mediator will be assigned.