The Experience of Conflict

Faculty at UNM are not unlike faculty at other university campuses now or in the past: they occasionally experience conflict in the course of their everyday work. Their conflicts may involve colleagues in their department or other departments, department chairpersons, deans, office staff and both graduate and undergraduate students. Faculty conflicts may center on matters of perceived favoritism, perceived workload disparity, coalitions within a unit, communication breakdowns, entrenched patterns of interaction, philosophical differences, management styles, cultural and gender miscommunications, and contests of will, power and being right. Responses to conflict can be made in a constructive way, and can result in resolutions that are satisfactory to the parties involved. Early attention to conflicts can prevent further escalation that can be quite costly in both personal and financial ways.


Ombuds Services for Faculty offers consultations and joint meetings with trained mediators for addressing workplace difficulties.  The goal of mediation is to resolve difficulties/conflict at the least adversarial level.

Prior to arranging a  joint meeting, the ombudsperson will meet with each person individually to understand concerns, discuss options, provide information about the process, and answer any questions.  The process is voluntary.  During a mediation an impartial third party assists the faculty in discussion of their conflict and identification of issues, and in their generation of possible alternatives, and creation of a resolution.  The process is informal and confidential.  UNM faculty, administrators, deans and chairpersons who are professionally trained/certified mediators serve as mediators.  All mediators for Ombuds Services for Faculty uphold the professional standards of practice of the International Ombudsman Association: services are confidential, impartial, informal and independent.

For more information contact our office by phone (277-3212) and leave a message. The Ombudsperson will return your call promptly.