Misunderstandings, disputes, and disagreements are inevitable in a complex organization with a diverse population such as Binghamton University. Most people dislike conflict, and many try to avoid it. Avoidance, however, is not always in the best interests of an individual or organization.
When handled appropriately, conflict can enhance performance and creativity, strengthen relationships, and prevent escalation of problems over the long run. Within the University setting, conflict can foster the development of ideas and decision-making and enhance communication and understanding.
The University Ombudsman provides consultation regarding any kind of conflict as well as mediation and facilitation of individual and multi-party disputes.
Resolving Problems Formally and Informally
Binghamton University offers formal grievance procedures for a wide range of problems, including those alleging harassment, discrimination, wrongful dismissal, and unfair grading. You can find these procedures in student and employee handbooks and at department websites.
In some cases, formal procedures provide the best means of resolution. Just as often, however informal assistance yields the most effective solution to the problem. Informal assistance is available from a variety of sources. The University Ombudsman can provide advice on how to pursue both formal and informal options.