The Ombuds Office offers mediation to the University of Iowa community.  In mediation, an impartial party, the mediator, helps two people in conflict to communicate about their perspectives and discuss possible resolutions to the conflict. A mediation can also be used for planning purposes and to improve communication. Mediation is confidential, voluntary, and informal. The mediator does not decide on the outcome but helps the people involved develop their own solutions. When a student, staff member, or faculty member expresses interest in mediation or is referred to our office for mediation, the first step is a meeting with each person involved in individually.  Through these meetings, the mediator learns more about the situation, explains the mediation process, and determines whether mediation is appropriate.  If mediation seems appropriate and all people involved agree, a mediation is scheduled. Participants should be prepared to sign the Agreement to Mediate before the session begins. 

Group Facilitation

Group Facilitation is available for all departments, units, teams, etc. within the campus community.  Group Facilitation can be used to help a minimum of three individuals with similar or differing viewpoints come together and collaborate on the best way to reach a goal, complete a task, determine how to manage a conflict, set unit/departmental priorities, brainstorm ideas, define and optimize roles, etc. This exists as a voluntary and informal process to assists groups on how to navigate a concern and/or develop a consensus on how to move forward with any next steps. When interest is expressed in participating in a group facilitation, the first step is a meeting with each person involved individually. Through these meetings, the facilitator learns more about the situation, explains the facilitation process, and determines whether facilitation is appropriate.  If facilitation seems appropriate and all people involved agree, the facilitation sessions are scheduled at the dates and times that work best for the collective. 

*The Office of the Ombudsperson may conduct some team building activities and/or incorporate certain workshop elements as applicable throughout the sessions. 

3Practice Circle

A 3Practice Circle is an opportunity for different groups to share experiences, provide insights and reflection on topics, practice listening in the moment, and increase the skill set of asking clarifying questions for a better understanding in the campus community. Through this practice of dialoguing, groups will be able to practice being unusually interested in others, learn to stay in the room with difference, and have the opportunity to stop comparing their best with the worst of others. This process can be tailored to be conducted with an existing group, team, unit, or student organization. 

Need More Information?

Please contact Chanelle Reese at for more information about mediation and/or group facilitation.

Please contact Corey Pass at for more information about 3Practice Circles.