Rick consults exclusively with the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM), and is proud to serve as the Co-Chair of NCHERM-CR, an autonomous practice group of NCHERM dedicated to conflict resolution services.
NCHERM-CR is committed to the development, implementation and support of a broad range of conflict resolution systems on college and university campuses. The work of NCHERM-CR includes adapting 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-CR offers guidance and support in:
- conducting campus dialogues around conflict resolution,
- conducting needs assessments,
- providing training,
- developing resources,
- offering ongoing support for those resolving conflict,
- and offering program assessment reviews.
The staff of NCHERM-CR includes talented practitioners, theorists and researchers in restorative justice and conflict resolution systems, including Saundra K. Schuster (Co-Chair and NCHERM Partner), Matt Gregory, Ph.D. of Louisiana State University, Chris Loschiavo, J.D. of the University of Florida, 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 the NCHERM-CR website includes many more programs and services, our most commonly requested programs and 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. NCHERM-CR 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. NCHERM-CR 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
NCHERM-CR consultants 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, NCHERM-CR 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 Rick Olshak, NCHERM-CR Practice Group C0-Chair, at email@example.com.