Mediation 101      

Mediation is a form of conflict resolution in which a trained, neutral mediator facilitates a discussion between parties who have a disagreement and assists them in identifying a mutually acceptable resolution. The process is confidential and informal. Participation is strictly voluntary; all parties must agree to participate for mediation to occur.

Benefits of Mediation

Mediation offers the following benefits:

  • Objective process for addressing subjective concerns
  • Non-confrontational approach that develops capacity for future interaction between parties
  • Promotes understanding and civility
  • Encourages joint problem-solving
  • Allows for creative solutions

Confidentiality

Mediation is governed by California Evidence Code sections 1115-1128, which provides that statements made during mediation are confidential and inadmissible against another party in any subsequent non-criminal proceeding. The Center for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion does not maintain copies of mediated agreements between parties. If the parties reach a written agreement, only the parties will receive copies of the final resolution.

Disagreements Suitable for Faculty Peer Mediation

Faculty Peer Mediation can assist in any interpersonal conflict between faculty that does not require formal reporting (e.g. does not involve a violation of university policy or federal or state law) and has not been filed through another administrative unit as a formal grievance (e.g. Research Affairs or Academic Senate).

Examples of issues that may be brought to faculty peer mediation include:

  • Perceived unfair treatment or offensive comments by a colleague
  • Issues around power dynamics
  • Other interpersonal conflicts

Faculty should especially consider mediation if the conflict or strained relationship is affecting their work and/or well-being. Ideally, both parties will have a stake in resolving the matter (e.g. preserve a workplace relationship), and will want to address the issue before it escalates.

Please note that the Faculty Peer Mediation Program is only for situations involving faculty. The program does not mediate disagreements involving staff or students.