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Policy: Administrative Dispute Resolution 

Date: 09/01/04 Policy ID: EXT-001 Status: Final

Policy Type: University
Contact Office: Equal Opportunity Programs
Oversight Executive: President of the University
Applies To: Academic Division, the Medical Center, and the College at Wise.
Table of Contents: Policy Statement
Reason for Policy: To comply with the Virginia Administrative Dispute Resolution Act. The Act requires all state agencies to have a policy that authorizes and encourages the use of alternative dispute resolution in order to achieve mutually-agreed upon settlement of controversial matters without incurring the costs associated with adversarial proceedings.
Policy Summary: 
Definition of Terms in Statement: Administrative Dispute Resolution: The use of alternative, non-adversarial processes to address stakeholder concerns generally using a neutral third party.

Neutral: An individual who is trained or experienced in conducting dispute resolution proceedings and in providing dispute resolution services. This person has no stake in the dispute other than to assist the parties in reaching an agreement or resolution.

Dispute Resolution Proceeding: Any structured process in which a neutral assists parties to a dispute in reaching a voluntary settlement by means of dispute resolution processes such as mediation, conciliation, facilitation, partnering, fact-finding, neutral evaluation, use of ombudsmen or any other proceeding leading to a voluntary settlement. (This does not include arbitration.)
View more information on these processes.

Policy Statement: 

The University authorizes and encourages administrative resolution of disputes and disagreements concerning its operations through collaboration, assistance of neutrals and/or other voluntary process or intervention as may be appropriate under the circumstances. Any resulting resolution or agreement shall be binding on the parties only when reduced to writing and signed by them, provided that any resolution or agreement shall be binding on the University only when (a) approved in writing by an authorized University officer and (b) is consistent with University policy and state law. Nothing in this policy shall be understood as authorizing arbitration or collective bargaining prohibited by state law.

The University will cooperate with the Commonwealth Interagency Dispute Resolution Advisory Council and provide it such assistance as may be required.

Nothing in this policy shall amend, alter, or affect in any way any other University policy or policies, or create any right or action, obligation or expectation that the University will engage in dispute resolution beyond what is agreed to by an authorized University representative.

The University has designated an agency Dispute Resolution Coordinator whose duties include:

  1. Review University policies, procedures and regulations to determine whether to amend any of the foregoing as may be appropriate to authorize and encourage the use of voluntary dispute resolution proceedings.

  2. Ensure that training for employees involved in implementing this policy is provided, as necessary.

  3. Ensure that the agency uses appropriately trained neutrals.

  4. Serve as the University’s liaison to the Commonwealth’s Interagency Dispute Resolution Advisory Council and assist the University in participating in the training opportunities provided by the Council, as necessary.
Related Information: For information on what to do or who to contact to proceed should alternative dispute resolution be necessary or the process for selecting a neutral, contact the University Ombudsman & ADA Coordinator.
Policy Background: 
Major Category: External Relations
Category Cross Reference: 
Next Scheduled Review: 09/01/14
Approved By, Date: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 09/01/04
Revision History: This is the first version of this policy.
Supersedes (previous policy):