CONFLICT RESOLUTION -
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

Q. What is Mediation?

Q. What issues are covered in mediation?

QWhat issues are not appropriate for mediation?

Q. Why should I mediate?

Q. What if there are more than two of us with a problem?

Q. Is mediation confidential?

Q. I am interested in mediation but how can I ask the
other party to participate?


Q. How do I initiate the process or find out more?

Q. Is there cost involved with mediation?

Q. What other services are available by the Conflict
Resolution Services?

Q. What is Mediation?

Mediation is an informal process in which an impartial third party (a mediator) assists disputing parties in working through and resolving work-related problems or conflicts. Mediation is voluntary and all parties must agree to participate in mediation. Participation in mediation does not interfere with any administrative rights or privileges set forth by the University.

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Q. What issues are covered in mediation?

Examples of issues suitable for mediation include, but are not limited to, issues with implications for prohibited discrimination involving:

  • Faculty/Faculty Conflict
  • Faculty/Staff Conflict
  • Staff/Staff Conflict
  • Interpersonal conflict with co-workers
  • Perceived inequalities
  • Racial, cultural and gender differences (e.g. communication and language differences)

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QWhat issues are not appropriate for mediation?

Some issues not suitable for mediation include, but are not limited to:

  • Mediation of current or pending legal actions
  • Denial of tenure
  • Termination
  • Disputes related to the interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement
  • Salary, wage and grade classification
  • Non-renewal of a fixed term position or contract
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Retirement
  • Reduction in force
  • Flexible work option(s) decision by a supervisor or department
  • Evaluation of performance
  • Professional ethics
  • Issues reviewable by the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
  • Conflicts involving violations or applications of university policies
  • Concerns relating to serious violations of rights or regulations
  • Determining the truth of what happened
  • Determining fault and punishment
  • Addictive behavior
  • Pathological or abusive behaviors
  • Difference in power between the parties
  • Criminal Charges
  • Serious threat to persons or property

    Final determination of issues not suitable for mediation rests with the Affirmative Action Office

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Q. Why should I mediate?

Mediation provides each participant an opportunity to develop creative options for resolution of disputes.  The mediator will assist the parties to resolve conflicts and promotes non-adversarial outcomes through open communication, clarification of issues, generating solutions that meet the parties’ respective needs and enhance relationships in the workplace. In mediation the parties control the outcome

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Q. What if there are more than two of us with a problem?

The Conflict Resolution Services can assist with multi-party disputes that have common issues.

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Q. Is mediation confidential?

The mediation process will provide for confidentiality of the process and confidentiality of the mediation documents to the extent permitted by University policy.  The Pennsylvania State University is committed to providing a safe and hospitable working environment for all employees and students. Disputes that may occur as a result of violation of University policy are not covered by confidentiality and will require the mediator to report such information to the appropriate official.

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Q. I am interested in mediation but how can I ask the other party to participate?

We will provide you with strategies for requesting mediation with the other party or the Conflict Resolution Services will contact the other party on your behalf and explain the process.

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How do I initiate the process or find out more?

To request mediation, or to find out more about the mediation process contact the Conflict Resolution Services at 814-863-0471 or by email at resolveconflict@psu.edu.  You may also complete the Conflict Resolution Services Request Form and submit via fax at 814-863-7799 or email at resolveconflict@psu.edu. Supervisors and Department Heads may also refer employees for mediation.

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Q. Is there cost involved with mediation?

Mediation is free and is available to faculty, administrators and staff.

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Q. What other services are available by the Conflict Resolution Services?

In addition to mediation, the Conflict Resolution Services also can assist by providing informal consultation, conflict coaching, facilitated dialogue, information about mediation and conflict resolution techniques, and referral to other University services.

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Affirmative Action Office

Affirmative Action Office
328 Boucke, University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 863-0471

Questions regarding web issues, please contact Tanya Pasko, tvp2@psu.edu


Web page last modified July 17, 2014