Farce or Fantastic? Mediation Trainer Chosen, Mediation Experience Questioned

Northwest College has hired Pam Fisher for six days to provide mediation and facilitation services in regards to ongoing conflicts between administrators, faculty, staff and students at the college.

According to the Poweel Tribune:

"According to information in a campus-wide e-mail from NWC President Paul Prestwich, Fisher served as the chancellor of Yosemite Community College District in California for 12 years. She is a community college alumna, and her 30-year history as an educator includes service as faculty leader and in leadership positions in state and national organizations.
Her academic background is in psychology and counseling, the information said."

The six full days of training will cost the school $10,000.

The only question I have is what actual mediation experience and training does Ms. Fisher have???

To pay her 10K and not sight her experience in the work she will actually be doing baffling.

The article further states there was some contention as to how Ms. Fisher was chosen and specifically her trainings being more in line with leadership training.

So here I wonder, writer Ilene Olson puts together this article and quotes the press release. NWC President Paul Prestwich is quoted as well as a representative of the faculty board. No mention of any outreach to Ms. Fisher or failed attempts to contact her. I would think Ms. Fisher would be more than happy to answer the questions raised, right?

Bad reporting? You decide. All I know is there was an article written, and a potentially good story how a College is seeking to resolve disputes through communication yet the positive spin is dampened with unanswered questions.
Update: Okay, I realize that if I am to question the research methods (or lack of) used, I should at least attempt to see what I can find.
I am not sure if this is even the same Pam Fisher: http://www.thework.com/facilitators.asp?show=profile&fid=34&lang_cd=en
Here's a press release on her from 2004 retiring from Yosemite Community College (note: no mention of mediation): http://www.yosemite.edu/externalaffairs/1Media_files/Press%20Releases/YCCD%20news%20release%2004-01%20-%20YCCD%20%20Chancellor%20to%20Retire.pdf
Final note: I am not blogging this as a questioning directly of Dr. Fisher's abilities. I often search the news for mediation related stories to write about. This story caught my attention as I already stated above, I thought it was a good, positive attempt by the school. While reading the article, I did wonder if details were given of her various experiences, why was there no mention of her mediation experience? That thought was compounded even further when the writer actually quoted someone questioning that in the article yet see did not seek the answer to the question!

1 comment:

  1. More evidence of why we need some sort of certification process for mediators and trainers.


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