IV.6. Collegiality and Conflict Resolution

Not all conflict can be managed or resolved at the department level. The university (Bylaws, Article 9) provides for a Faculty and SPS Personnel Advisor to assist faculty members and SPS with personnel difficulties and any dissatisfaction with personnel decisions. The Office of the Ombudsman is also available for consultation. These services are available to department chairs as well as faculty members and SPS staff!

Part of the chair’s leadership charge is to protect faculty, staff, and students from injury and/or discrimination and protect the university from lawsuits and legal claims of injury and/or discrimination. Prevention is the best protection. The chair may request training from the Office of Affirmative Action and Diversity Resources (AADR). University policy prohibits employment or academic decisions that are based on race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, status as a victim or perceived victim of domestic or sexual violence or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications. Conduct that results in sexual harassment and/or retaliation is also prohibited. Prompt investigation of complaints and, if required, correction action can prevent a situation from rising to the level of litigation.