An academic environment necessarily involves academic conflicts including strongly-felt disagreements, critiques, and evaluations. Despite the challenges conflict poses, conflict can lead to positive outcomes, including learning, change and growth, when managed effectively. Managing these conflicts well is an important part of a vital, thriving community and is the responsibility of every student, faculty member, and staff member. The University of Iowa’s core values, as stated in its strategic plan, “The Iowa Promise,” serve as the foundation for effective conflict management on campus:
- Community: Create and maintain a safe, supportive, healthy and humane environment for yourself and others.
- Respect: Treat others with respect, even when you disagree.
- Diversity: Be open to differences of opinion and value the open exchange of ideas.
- Integrity: Act with the highest degree of honesty, fairness and personal integrity, especially when dealing with conflicts.
- Learning: Seek to understand differences and to identify common interests, shared goals and possible solutions.
- Responsibility: Take personal responsibility for your role in the conflict and help find effective solutions.
- Excellence: Seek continuous improvement in effective conflict management skills.