Mediation Program Information
A Mediator will:
- Explains the mediation process to all participants.
- Provides a supportive, bilateral, and non-confrontational setting for discussions.
- Fosters constructive, positive, and results-oriented dialogue.
- Assists the parties with understanding and analyzing facts and issues.
- Keeps the parties focused on the relevant issues and potential resolutions.
- Facilitates creative, collaborative, and mutually agreed upon effective solutions.
Mediators do not make decisions on the substance of the matter, only the parties do. Notably, that the complainant and the respondent have complete control in determining the outcome of the mediation. The role of the mediator is to serve as a neutral and objective third party. The mediator can neither impose a settlement, nor make judgments about the facts or merits of the case on either side. Also, either party may withdraw anytime from the process without a penalty.
- Mediation is performed on a voluntary basis, but all members of the Stockton community (Faculty, Staff, and Students) are eligible to participate in the program.
- Mediation may not be the best solution in every situation. As such, please note that the Ombuds Officer reserves the right to refuse to accept a case for mediation when appropriate.
- Mediation will only be used when both parties voluntarily agree to proceed with the process in good faith.
Mediators are members of the Stockton community who have attended an intensive training through the New Jersey Office of Dispute Settlement.
Mediators will be assigned based on their neutrality, availability, and peer relevance, i.e. students will not mediate disputes between employees.
No. The mediation process shall be solely between the parties themselves and the ombuds officer. Representatives, legal, union, or other, shall not be permitted at meetings between the parties and they shall not advise the parties during meetings called by the ombuds officer. However, these procedures do not prohibit a party from discussing his or her case and options for resolution presented by the ombuds officer with a representative outside of meetings with the ombuds officer, provided the representative has contacted the ombuds officer in advance of the meeting and agrees to confidentiality.
Mediation can be used to resolve most disputes, but it is most commonly used in civil, commercial, and employment related matters. However, cases which involve threat of harm to self or others, use of illegal substances on campus, disclosure of illegal activity, or reports of child, physical, or sexual abuse cannot be mediated. Sexual misconduct cases may be eligible for mediation if all parties voluntarily agree to participate and it does not involve a full investigation and/or adjudication. If such information is disclosed during a mediation, it will be referred to Care & Community Standards, HR, and/or Campus Police for follow up according to University, local, state, or federal policy.
- It provides for faster & more timely resolution(s).
- It is confidential, cooperative, and supportive.
- It can be less time consuming.
- It promotes a “Win-Win” philosophy.
- It has a high probability of settlement.
- It is NOT an adversarial or contentious process.
- It can be used as an alternative to costly litigation.
A mediated agreement is a settlement agreement between the parties in the dispute who voluntarily participate in the mediation process and sign the mediated agreement that was mutually crafted by the parties.
The ombuds officer can meet with the parties, separately or together, to determine the cause of the breach. If appropriate, the parties can make further attempts to mediate the dispute now separating the parties. However, if this is not successful, either party may seek redress outside of the ombuds process.
The ombuds officer will not retain any written record from the mediation process except the successful mediation agreement. Mediators will promptly discard all other documents and notes as soon as the mediation process has been concluded. Please note that mediated agreements may not be used as evidence in subsequent proceedings.