Conflict Resolution Services
The NCHERM Group offers Conflict Resolution serves as an autonomous practice group that is committed to the development, implementation and support of a broad range of conflict resolution systems on college and university campuses. Our Conflict Resolution Services consulting team adapts current campus conduct systems to include restorative practices, as well as to supplement campus conduct systems with other appropriate means of dispute resolution, such as mediation, conflict coaching, facilitation, and other methods.
As a consulting service, NCHERM Conflict Resolution Services offers guidance and support in:
- conducting campus dialogues around conflict resolution
- conducting needs assessments
- providing training
- developing resources
- ongoing support for those resolving conflict
- program assessment reviews
Our Conflict Resolution Services consultants include talented practitioners, theorists and researchers in restorative justice and conflict resolution systems, including Saunie Schuster, J.D. of The NCHERM Group, Matt Gregory, Ph.D. of Louisiana State University and Rick Olshak, M.S. of Illinois State University. Additional consultants are available for training programs, large-scale projects, and assessment services as needed.
Although our Conflict Resolution Services consulting team provide many more programs, our most commonly requested services include:
Training and Development
Conflict is an inevitable part of our lives and exists in every relationship of value. How we manage conflict impacts the quality of our lives. As professionals, how we assist others in managing conflicts helps to define our campus culture and climate. Our presenters offer a variety of conflict resolution programs ranging from two hour introductions to full day immersion experiences. These training programs are highly interactive and have been used successfully with people of many different backgrounds, from middle school ages and up. Topic areas include defining conflict, conflict resolution styles and methods, exploring and understanding personal conflict preferences, and strategies for managing conflict.
Mediation is a formal process in which a multi-partial third party facilitator seeks to assist disputants to identify the issues in dispute and to develop creative solutions that address the needs of both/all disputants. Mediated agreements have been demonstrated to be more satisfying and longer-lasting than agreements reached in other forums. While many people consider themselves “mediators,” the formal process requires training, skill and a commitment to following a formalized process.The Conflict Resolution Services consulting team offers both basic and advanced mediation training programs that teach the formal mediation process and all related skills and topical areas, with programs ranging from 20 to 40 hours in length and includes classroom instruction, small and large group skill activities, and numerous role play opportunities.
Restorative justice (RJ) is gaining popularity on college campuses as a philosophical and practical response to student misconduct. RJ is a collaborative decision-making process that includes victims, offenders, and others seeking to hold offenders accountable by having them (a) accept and acknowledge responsibility for their offenses, (b) to the best of their ability repair the harm they have caused to victims and communities, and (c) work to reduce the risk of re-offense by building positive social ties to the community. The Conflict Resolution Services consulting team offers consultation and training in RJ facilitation and program implementation, and is actively engaged in piloting novel and innovative applications of this exciting body of knowledge.
Campus administrators often find themselves in the position of being able to work with only one of the parties to a conflict. In these instances, Conflict Coaching provides us with a means for assisting a single individual with conflict occurring in her/his life, as well as the opportunity to work closely with an individual to identify tendencies in conflict resolution, to promote self-awareness, and to assist disputants in developing better conflict resolution skills for future conflicts. This program immerses the participants in the conflict coaching process by providing classroom instruction, small and large group skill activities, and numerous role-play opportunities. The program can range from 20 to 30 training hours.
Consultation and Assessment
Conflict Systems Program Consultation
Conflict Resolution Services team members are available to consult with campuses via campus visits, video calls and telephone meetings to address situations specific to campus programs. This service can range from situational problem-solving to policy/procedure development, to the facilitation and/or mediation of campus dialogues.
Conflict Systems Needs Assessment
Many campus conflict resolution programs have been short-lived because the programs were put into place without a thorough campus-wide conversation, and little understanding of what the program was designed to accomplish. Needs assessment seeks to engage campuses in a broad and inclusive conversation designed to serve as a springboard for meaningful and sustainable program development. This service includes a campus visit offering interviews involving key campus stakeholders, as well as facilitation of both small and large group discussions designed to assess campus readiness for various programs and services. A final report offers an overview of the assessment process and offers programmatic recommendations.
Conflict Systems Implementation
For many student affairs professionals, the question of how to incorporate conflict resolution systems on a campus with a traditional student conduct program is a critical one. Designed to extend from the conflict systems needs assessment or to be used independently, Conflict Resolution Services consultants can assist campuses with both formal and informal infusion of conflict resolution practices as supplements, diversions, or alternatives to the adjudication model.
Conflict Systems Program Assessment
The only way that we can know whether or not we are meeting intended outcomes for our programs and services is by engaging in assessment. External assessment can be a valuable tool in understanding the successes and gaps in achieving stated outcomes and objectives. This service can include documentation reviews, site visits, and full external review of an existing program or service. A final report offers an overview of the assessment process and offers programmatic recommendations.
If you wish to learn more about any of these programs or services, please contact Kate Halligan, Vice President of Client Relations, at (610) 579-3725 or via email.
Saundra “Saunie” Schuster is a Partner with The NCHERM Group, a national risk management legal consulting firm. She is a founder and advisory board member of ATIXA (The Association of Title IX Administrators) and NaBITA (The National Behavioral Intervention Team Association). Ms. Schuster is a recognized expert in preventive law for education, notably in the fields of Sexual Misconduct, First Amendment, Risk Management, Student Discipline and Campus Conduct, Intellectual Property and Employment Issues. Her higher education legal experience includes serving as the General Counsel for Sinclair Community College; as Senior Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio, representing public colleges and universities; and as the Associate General Counsel for the University of Toledo.
In addition to her legal work in higher education, Ms. Schuster has over twenty years experience in college administration and teaching. Prior to practicing law, she was the Associate Dean of Students at The Ohio State University and served as a faculty member at The Ohio State University, Miami University and Columbus State Community College and created the Developmental Education Program for Miami University. She has presented extensively on legal issues in higher education, and provides consultation on many legal issues to colleges and universities throughout the country. She has provided assistance with policy review and development of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct for students and employees for many institutions across the country, including a recent invitation by the Iowa Board of Regents to develop student sexual misconduct policies for all the State of Iowa higher education institutions. Ms. Schuster is co-author of “The First Amendment: A Guide for College Administrators”, and contributing author to “Campus Conduct Practice”.
Ms. Schuster is a former president of the Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA, formerly ASJA), and held many board positions within the organization. She is also a former president of NaBITA. She is a long time member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and served on the conference planning committee. Ms. Schuster is on the Board of Advisors for the Report on Campus Safety and Student Development, published by the Civic Research Institute. She also serves on several Boards of Directors in her community. Ms. Schuster holds Masters degrees in counseling and higher education administration from Miami University, completed her coursework for her Ph.D. in Organizational Development at Ohio State University, and was awarded her juris doctorate degree from the Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University.
Read more about Saundra Schuster’s Workshops and Client Services
Rick Olshak is an Associate Dean of Students at Illinois State University in Normal, IL. He has worked in student conduct and conflict resolution programs for over twenty-one years and is a Past President of the Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA). Rick is the author of Mastering Mediation: Training Mediators in a College and University Setting, and he has provided professional consulting services on program assessment, needs assessment, conduct board training, conflict resolution and mediation training to colleges and universities across the nation, as well as to community organizations and professional associations. Rick holds a bachelor’s degree in public communication from The College of Saint Rose (NY) and a master’s degree in college student personnel from Western Illinois University. He is currently completing his doctoral degree in educational administration and foundations at Illinois State University, with his dissertation focusing on campus conflict resolution.
- Conflict and Conflict Resolution
- Basic Mediation Program
- Advanced Mediation Program
- Conflict Coaching Program
- Facilitation and Analysis: Conflict Systems Needs Assessment
- Facilitation and Analysis: Conflict Systems Program Evaluation
Matt brings a diverse blend of experiences that makes him an intriguing person to conduct presentations and trainings. Matt’s presentations incorporate a healthy sense of humor and include real-life examples to illustrate the complexity surrounding topics like conflict resolution and risk reduction.
Matt has presented to numerous groups, has presented at several national conferences, and is able to reach multiple audiences in a unique and engaging way. He has been working in higher education for over 15 years and currently serves as the Associate Dean of Students/Director of the Student Advocacy and Accountability office at Louisiana State University. Matt is a former law enforcement professional with experience at both the state and federal levels. His experience in law enforcement lends a unique perspective to his presentations. Additionally, he served as an adjunct faculty member teaching law in higher education in the Counseling and Student Affairs graduate program at Western Kentucky University.
Matt has a Doctorate in Education Administration from Southern Illinois University, a Master’s in Counseling and Student Affairs from Western Kentucky University, and a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from Southern Illinois University. Matt has worked professionally at several different institutions to include Southern Illinois University, Western Kentucky University, The College of William & Mary, University of Southern Indiana, and Louisiana State University.
Matt’s research interest focuses on issues surrounding conflict resolution and sexual violence to include male advocacy against sexual violence. Another interest of Matt’s is building and maintaining productive relationships with campus law enforcement agencies. Matt is knowledgeable and passionate about student conduct administration, behavior intervention practices, risk reduction, and conflict resolution strategies.
Matt is a trained mediator and an instructor of the Rape Aggression Defense basic program (RAD). He has served as a district governor for his national fraternity and has served as a chapter advisor for two national fraternities. Matt has worked with numerous Greek organizations to address both individual and group behavior concerns and to reduce organizational risk.
Matt is an active member and current board member for the Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA).
- Narrative Mediation
- Campus Mediation
- Restorative Justice
- Conflict Resolution Program Implementation
- Student Conduct Training
- Relationships with Campus Police
- Risk Reduction
- Sexual Violence
- Campus Ecology
- Student Development Theory
- Classroom Management