The Director of Informal Resolution Services is a designated neutral conflict-resolution practitioner who provides *confidential, informal, independent, and impartial assistance to faculty, staff and students through dispute resolution and problem-solving methods.
The Director of Informal Resolution Services serves as an alternative and/or supplement to, not a replacement of other University resources and procedures.
a. Listens to complaints, concerns, problems and issues.
b. Answers questions, clarifies a policy or process, or refer you to someone who can.
c. Conducts (anonymous) research on your behalf.
d. Helps identify and evaluate options to resolve a problem.
e. Coaches on how to manage a challenging situation or engage in a difficult conversation.
f. Mediates a dispute or facilitates communication among people in conflict.
g. Refers to the appropriate office should you wish to file a formal complaint.
h. Identifies and surfaces trends or patterns of complaints that might be systemic.
i. Offers workplace conflict resolution training.
j. Provides other forms of assistance to help you resolve a problem informally.
a. Conduct or participate in formal investigations or processes.
b. Make or change University decisions, rules, or policies.
c. Set aside a decision or supersede the authority of another University official.
d. Provide legal advice.
e. Testify in a formal grievance, or legal proceedings with respect to confidential communication.
f. Accept notice of claims against the University.
A. The Director of Informal Resolution Services will keep confidential the fact you reached out and the information you shared, unless you give permission to reveal specific issues to specific persons for the purpose of resolving the conflict (please see exceptions to confidentiality below).
i. Confidentiality is essential to the Director of Informal Resolution Services function and helps create a safe space for visitors to voice concerns, identify issues, and evaluate options.
ii. The Director of Informal Resolution Services’ confidentiality privilege belongs to her and cannot be waived by visitors to the office. Thus, even with the permission of the visitor, the Director of Informal Resolution Services will not disclose information and documents, or testify, attend, or participate in formal proceedings.
iii. A visitor’s confidential disclosure, either in person or writing, to the Director of Informal Resolution Services is strictly off-the-record and does not constitute a formal report of wrongdoing.
iv. Contacting the Director of Informal Resolution Services is not a step in any grievance process. Thus, conversations with the Director of Informal Resolution Services do not constitute notice to the University of any claims a visitor may have. Moreover, such conversations do not toll or extend any time limits by which notice of claims must be provided to the university. Anyone who wishes to put the University on notice should invoke a formal grievance process. The Director of Informal Resolution Services can provide referral information about whom to contact.
B. Exceptions to Confidentiality: Imminent risk of harm to self or others; Sexual assault or sexual harassment allegations; Illegal activities; or when required by law.
No. You have the option of submitting your concern or complaint anonymously. However, this may limit the options available to address the concern.
Any type of workplace conflict or concern may be brought to the Director of Informal Resolution Services by any UA staff, faculty, or student. For example:
a. You need an impartial and confidential sounding board.
b. You think you have been treated unfairly.
c. You have been unsuccessful in resolving a problem.
d. You want to formally report a complaint but first want to get a sense of possible outcomes or processes.
e. You want to discuss a University policy or practice that you think is unfair or problematic.
f. You need a mediator or a facilitator.
g. You are not sure where else to turn for help and need guidance.
Yes. While the Director of Informal Resolution Services is not authorized to receive formal complaints, she can help you better understand processes and potential outcomes before you decide whether to file a complaint. The Director of Informal Resolution Services can also help identify alternatives to formal grievance procedures, and direct you to the appropriate procedures and offices should you wish to file a formal complaint.
The Director of Informal Resolution Services may take notes while working with you, which will be destroyed after the case is closed. The Director of Informal Resolution Services does keep some statistical data about the categories of concerns visitors discuss, as well as some general demographic data which is aggregated.