Mediation - FAQs

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The Faculty Grievance & Dispute Resolution Office has begun facilitating voluntary mediation in certain situations.  Please contact the office if you would like further information or to inquire about whether mediation is appropriate for your circumstances.

(517) 353-8884



Q: What is mediation?

A: Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution in which a voluntary agreement between parties is reached via negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party.


Q: Who may request mediation through the Faculty Grievance & Dispute Resolution Office? 

A: Any faculty, academic staff or administrator covered by MSU's Faculty Grievance Policy (as defined in Section II of that policy) may request mediation.


Q: Who can participate in mediation? 

A: Mediation participants will generally be limited to faculty, academic staff and administrators as defined in the previous question but may at times include others (e.g. non-academic staff members) who are party to the disputed issue(s).


Q: What kind of issues can be mediated? 

A: Mediation may be used to resolve any workplace dispute except reappointment, promotion, tenure, discrimination, sexual harassment, serious misconduct or criminal activity, discharge, or any other issues covered by state and federal law.


Q: Who is the mediator and how are they selected?

A: A mediator will be mutually agreed upon by all parties to the mediation and shall be someone from outside the University who is selected and supervised by the Faculty Grievance Official.


Q: Who pays for the mediation? 

A: The mediation will generally be paid for by the unit from which the dispute originates.  Costs could be shared if multiple units are involved or paid by a higher administrative unit when appropriate and agreed upon.


Q: If I enter mediation, could I be forced to accept an agreement I don't like? 

A: No, the parties involved in mediation are responsible for negotiating a settlement acceptable to them. The mediator, as a facilitator of settlement, will use every effort to facilitate the negotiations of the parties but will not impose a settlement upon the parties.


Q: If I enter mediation, do I waive my right to file a grievance? 

A: No, the Faculty Grievance Official, on a case-by-case basis and per Faculty Grievance Policy Section III.B -footnote 4, may upon request waive or extend the time limits for filing a grievance.  This would be granted via written communication from the office indicating the aggrieved would retain the right to file until after an attempt at mediation had been completed.


Q: I'm interested in mediation, how do I get the process started? 

A: Persons interested in mediation should inquire about the suitability of mediation for their circumstances by sending an email to the Faculty Grievance & Dispute Resolution Office ( identifying the parties involved, the nature of the circumstances surrounding the dispute, and their perception of the issues.  Eligible parties seeking mediation will then discuss their complaint in a conference with the FGO so that the issues involved can be better understood.