ERIC Number: EJ925043
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: N/A
Master Classes in Dispute Resolution?
Evans, G. R.
Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, v15 n2 p40-44 2011
Many institutions have difficulties in resolving complaints and grievances and other types of dispute speedily and economically. Lapses still occur in following procedures; disputes frequently grow more complicated than they were at the start; they drag on; they waste the time of administrators and those involved, even ending sometimes in an obsessive sense of grievance and a wasted life for a student or member of staff and wasted cost, including opportunity cost, for the institution. Preventing such an outcome is a skill in which it is wise for institutions to invest time and effort. In the new scene of huge funding cuts and "Browne" student-led provision, institutions will be seeking new ways of staying on top of potential and actual disputes, perhaps by way of offering "Master Classes". This paper is intended as an encouragement to institutions to build on the often excellent staff development training they offer administrators and academic line managers. There is a great deal of goodwill, experience and expertise in the administration of universities and most of them have excellent and well-drafted procedures. Designing the procedures is one thing. It is quite another to ensure that staff know and use them. It is another thing again to ensure that when they face a practical problem in the form of a looming dispute such as a student complaint, an employee grievance, the collapse of a collaborative arrangement or the breach of a contract with a commercial funder, those with responsibility for dealing with it are able to bring to bear appropriately their intimate knowledge of the way their institution works. Good principle and good practice should always go together. Working through examples in a "Master Class" is a way of ensuring that the culture of the institution takes that for granted.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Organizational Culture, Barriers, Conflict Resolution, Theory Practice Relationship, Classroom Environment, Expertise, Individualized Instruction, College Administration, Staff Development, Cost Effectiveness, Justice, Trust (Psychology)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom