UNT established mediation process for faculty, staff and administration

Dec. 3, 2018

Dear faculty and staff,

You have heard me say that the University of North Texas is the most caring university I’ve ever encountered. We are inclusive, celebrate differences and challenge each other to do what is best for our students and our university community. But, sometimes, our creative differences lead to interpersonal disagreements and we may need assistance finding mutually agreed upon, solutions-based outcomes. So, I am excited to announce the relaunch of our voluntary mediation program. 

Administered through the Talon Process Improvement Team, UNT’s mediation program is a voluntary process that can be used to resolve interpersonal disagreements – not grievances, sexual harassment, discrimination or other personnel-related issues. All mediation will be facilitated by two of UNT’s 18 mediators, and cases will be kept confidential to the extent allowed by law.

UNT’s mediators completed training through Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas and will act as unbiased facilitators. The mediators’ role is to help the individuals involved find mutually agreed upon solutions to job-related interpersonal disputes, not to make decisions or express opinions.

I want to thank the team of UNT mediators who volunteered for the rigorous training and for helping us to be a great place to work.

UNT’s trained mediators are:

  • Ann Bartts, College of Business senior academic advisor
  • Sian Brannon, UNT Libraries associate dean for collection management
  • Cynthia Chandler, professor of counseling and higher education
  • Bertina Combes, professor of educational psychology
  • Lisa Cuevas, UNT Libraries collection development specialist
  • Lisa Dicke, professor of public administration
  • Kristi Easley, Office of Enrollment Management outcomes assessment specialist 
  • Rachel Grimes, Student Money Management Center assistant director of financial readiness
  • Christi Hestand, Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity executive assistant 
  • Brian Lain, associate professor of communication studies and director of debate
  • Josh Lukins, UNT Facilities energy engineer
  • Kim Luevano, associate professor of clarinet
  • Carol Pollard, College of Music senior academic advisor
  • Teresita Ramos, assistant director of diversity and inclusion
  • Debbie Rohwer, associate to the president and chief of staff
  • Ericka Sisk, College of Information executive assistant to the dean
  • Karen Weiller, assistant chair and associate professor of kinesiology, health promotion and recreation
  • Marcus Young, associate professor of materials science and engineering

Mediation is voluntary and will take place in Gateway 135. Requests to participate in mediation can be submitted via online request form. A Talon Team designee will review each request to see if it is a good fit for mediation and assign a pair of mediators. 

Many of you have heard me say that our university is not made of bricks and mortar, but instead is built by the wonderful faculty and staff that have made us the caring community we are. This program will help to ensure that we continue to work together and become stronger as a Mean Green family.

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk