In 1993, Marquette established the interdisciplinary Center for Dispute Resolution Education. The center focuses on law, business, communication, education and psychology as they relate to the multifaceted issues in dispute resolution. The center engages in training and research, primarily with community-based partners, and actively seeks these partnerships. Funding for them is usually provided through local, state and federal grants.
In 2007-08, the center received funding from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services and Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission to provide training on cultural competency and conflict to the Milwaukee Fire Department. All 950 members of the fire department were trained during an 18-month period, and the center’s team collected research data that guides the department’s policies. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee gave this project the Melvin Lurie award for exemplifying the most effective labor-management collaboration in the city.
From 1997-2007, the center administered the Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System, providing intake services, assignment of cases, and consultation on legal and mediation issues. The center also trained the system’s 25 mediators on an annual basis.