Public Dispute Resolution Assistance for N.C. Government Officials

The UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government offers assistance to elected and appointed officials in resolving public disputes. The School’s services include:

  • Consulting on public disputes. The School can help evaluate different options for addressing a public issue, including task forces, public meetings, mediation, facilitation and other techniques to assist parties in productively resolving their disputes. Individual concerns about situations of mistrust, high emotions, and how to negotiate/problem-solve more effectively can be addressed through telephone consultation.
  • Locating mediators and facilitators. The School can provide mediation and facilitation of public disputes to a limited extent. We can help identify services from local mediation centers, councils of government and other impartial providers.
  • Teaching. The School offers short courses on managing conflict collaboratively, and facilitative leadership. We work with NC government agencies to provide or broker training in negotiation, mediation, and stakeholder consensus-building techniques focused on inter-governmental or community issues.
  • Providing a clearinghouse of information. The Guidebook to Public Dispute Resolution in North Carolina, identifies the benefits and limitations of using mediators in public disputes, includes case summaries of NC public disputes, guidelines for selecting an impartial third party, and a directory of potential public dispute mediators and facilitators. There is an online index to examples of facilitation and mediation in North Carolina and across the United States.

For more information, contact:

Dr. John B. Stephens
Coordinator, Public Dispute Resolution Program
School of Government – Campus Box 3330, Knapp-Sanders Building – University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3330
(919) 962-5190 – voice

(919) 962-2705 – fax
stephens@sog.unc.edu