What is mediation and how does it work?

Mediation is a voluntary dispute resolution process that provides the opportunity to forge creative and long lasting solutions to seemingly intractable problems. Facilitated by a specially trained, impartial mediator, participants meet to discuss their conflict and to develop an appropriate resolution.  Mediation only occurs when all parties agree to participate. A solution is only implemented by the consent of all participants.  

What is the Mediation process?

  • Contact the mediation coordinator to set up a private, confidential meeting.
  • At the initial meeting, you will discuss your particular situation and the dispute resolution options available, including mediation and conflict coaching. 
  • At the end of the initial meeting, you will have a clear understanding of your options and a list of next steps to pursue/contemplate.
  • If it is determined that mediation is the next step, you and the coordinator will determine the best method of inviting the other participants to be part of the process.
  • If the other participants agree, we will arrange a mutually agreed upon time for mediation.  Mediation sessions typically last two hours. Sometimes more than one session is required.
  • If an agreement is reached, we will write it up and all parties will sign.  The agreement is confidential and does not go into any official file at the University.
  • If no agreement is reached, we will discuss other resolution options and help facilitate those when appropriate.

Who can use our services?

Any member of the University of Pennsylvania community: Students, Faculty, and Staff.

How long does a mediation typically take?

 A mediation typically takes two to three hours. However, each mediation process is unique and all participants’ time constraints are taken into consideration when setting up the meeting.

Are there any scheduling constraints?

Our goal is to schedule mediations at a time that is most convenient for the participants. Often mediations occur outside of traditional work hours in order to accommodate participants’ busy schedules.

Who should participate in the mediation process?

All of those actively involved in the conflict should participate or have someone participate on their behalf.

Is it really confidential?

Yes. It is completely confidential.

What conflicts should not be mediated?

We do not mediate cases that fall under Title IX (i.e.: Sexual assault, sexual misconduct, stalking, domestic violence or harassment). We also do not mediate cases involving Academic Integrity or serious violations of the Code of Student Conduct.

Are cases always resolved?

Cases do not always resolve, although most do. Even for cases that do not have a formal resolution, the process helps the participants come to a deeper understanding of the conflict and possible future resolution options.

If I am interested in learning more, who should I contact?

Contact Mediation Coordinator Marcia Glickman at or via telephone at 215-898-5651.