Reconciliation is available to Teaching/Research, Administrative and Professional, and Research Faculty.

The Faculty Senate's Committee on Reconciliation offers advice and counsel to faculty members who seek it, particularly in relation to disputes with immediate supervisors or university administrators. Kenneth Eriksson is the Faculty Reconciliation Coordinator and can be contacted at kaeson@vt.edu or 231-4680.

General Guidelines

Cooperation and candor from all members of the university community are prerequisite to the successful functioning of the Committee on Reconciliation in investigating serious and delicate cases. Confidential information concerning personnel and academic issues may be shared with the committee; it keeps no written records and treats all matters with utmost sensitivity. In the event that a case proceeds to grievance, the Reconciliation Committee can still be approached to assist in informal resolution of disputes but will not participate in the grievance process.

Administrative and professional faculty members who wish to pursue reconciliation are referred to section 7.7.1 of the Faculty Handbook. Eriksson will work with an A/P faculty member on these cases.

  • The goal of reconciliation is to promote fairness, equity, justice, and respect that will lead to a “win-win” resolution to a dispute.
  • The process is confidential (issues such as fraud, waste and abuse, immediate risk of physical harm, discrimination and sexual harassment do not fall under the jurisdiction of the reconciliation committee and, if such issues are brought to the attention of the committee, confidentiality cannot be maintained).
  • Depending on the wishes of the faculty member, the reconciliation process may assist in facilitating conversations between the faculty member and their immediate supervisor or other university administrators.
  • Should the parties so wish, reconciliation allows the parties to work with an independent and neutral third party with no role in the dispute other than assisting the parties in identifying common ground and reaching a mutually agreeable resolution.
  • The coordinator initially meets with the faculty member to discuss conflict dispute resolution options and other possible resources including mediation services.
  • Depending on the wishes of the faculty member, the coordinator may work with another member of a panel of committed faculty volunteers and meet separately with the two parties in an attempt to identify common ground.
  • Depending on the wishes of the faculty member, the reconciliation process may involve one or more of the following:
    • identification of issues,
    • exploration of options,
    • coaching, facilitation, or serving as an intermediary, or
    • providing upward feedback to academic administrators or management without attribution to faculty member.
  • Faculty members submit requests for reconciliation concurrently to the provost’s office and the chair of the Reconciliation Committee in the context of an actual or pending grievance, or directly to the chair of the Reconciliation Committee concerning issues that may not be eligible for a grievance. [Note that members of the reconciliation team will not later participate in a hearing as witnesses or advocates for either party if the conflict progresses to a hearing as part of the formal grievance process.]
  • The faculty member is able to discuss issues confidentially without any additional action being taken.
  • A negotiated agreement between the faculty member and the department head. (Other senior administrators may be involved in the agreement as necessary).
  • An agreement that addresses performance issues.
  • Coaching to help individuals help themselves.
  • Rebuilding of trust and communication between the parties.
  • A better understanding of the reasons for departmental actions.