Conflict Resolution Process

Learning through teaching and research at the University of Michigan Biological Station (hereafter UMBS) is an intensive total immersion experience. Participants spend long and often unusual hours in their endeavors. As a result, special care must be taken to protect the interests of all residents, and the scholarly community. Sometimes, individuals feel their interests have been violated, especially their right to learn. Some, but not all problems that can negatively impinge on others are listed in the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Consequently, UMBS has established a process to protect the interests of individuals who are harassed, victimized, or injured, as well as the interests of the community at large. It is important to note that each situation is different, and problem situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Our preferred approach to achieving responsible behavior by and among UMBS residents and their guests is through advising, mediation, and positive examples. If any member of the community tells another that their behavior is interfering with them or other members of the community, that community member should take immediate steps to change her/his behavior to remedy the problem.

Sometimes frictions develop between members of the community that are not so easily changed. Mutually considerate behavioral changes may be needed but may be difficult to achieve without help. In these circumstances, students should seek advice from the Residential Advisors. Their names and cabin number in camp are listed on the bulletin board outside the Administrative Offices. The Resident Advisor will work with the involved parties to seek a mutually agreeable solution. In some situations, relocation to a different cabin and/or area of camp may be possible.

If no remedy is achieved with the help of the Resident Advisor, or if there are recurring complaints of disruptive activities the Resident Advisor will request the issues be addressed by the Associate Director, or the Director, if for any reason the Associate Director is not available or appropriate. The Associate Director or Director will first meet with the parties involved to seek a solution to complaints and problems. Specific remedial expectations will be determined to which all parties are expected to adhere.

If inadequate or no changes in behavior occur and disruptive activities continue, the Associate Director or Director will convene a Review Committee to examine the case and recommend a course of actions. The Review Committee will be chaired by the Associate Director or the Director if for any reason the Associate Director is not available or appropriate. The Review Committee will include one faculty member and a member of the staff. The faculty member will not be an instructor or mentor of the community member and neither the faculty member nor staff member will be direct parties to the problem.

The Chair of the Review Committee will inform the community member(s) involved in disruptive activities in writing that the Review Committee has been formed and the date and time at which the committee will convene with the community member. This will usually be within two days of the date of the notification. The community member may bring a written statement UMBS Conflict Resolution Process 2011 page 1 to the hearing. The Review Committee will forward in writing their recommendations to the student within two days. A copy of this decision will be placed in the community members permanent file at the University of Michigan, where applicable. Review Committee recommendations may range from specific expectations for the community member, and may include the community member(s) finding off-station accommodation for the remainder of their program, or removal of the community member from the program and expulsion from the UMBS campus. A student remaining with the program but continuing to be disruptive will be expelled.

If a community member’s behavior risks serious harm to other members of the community, including themselves, UMBS reserves the right to separate that person from the program immediately.

The Review Committee’s decision is final.

A report stating what procedures were followed and what decision was reached will be sent to the LSA Assistant Dean of Student Academic Affairs within five business days after the conclusion of the review process.