Fall 2004 marked the University's and the Provost's official conveyance of institute status on Conflict Resolution. Begun as an interdisciplinary graduate degree program in 1998, Conflict Resolution has grown to count 74 students and many successes. The addition of the Luce professorship in 2002 further expanded initiatives in research and in community partnerships.
However, administrative components remained spread across several academic units. In AY 2003-2004, Conflict Resolution faculty appointed a committee to draft an Institute proposal to submit to DU's higher administration. This committee, chaired by Jack Jones, included Roy Wood, Karen Feste, and Tamra Pearson d'Estrée. The proposal for institute status was approved in August 2004. Institute status brings both new responsibilities and new autonomy important for continued expansion.
The status of Conflict Resolution at the University of Denver is moving upward.
From a modest beginning in 1998, we have become an independent Institute on
campus and positioned to become a premier national center for teaching, research, and community relations. Seventy-four students have enrolled in our MA program. Graduates are employed in a wide range of fields, highlighting the need for conflict resolution expertise. Our goal—to establish an intellectually rich environment for exploring central issues to help understand and explain mechanisms of conflict de-escalation, peaceful solutions, and reconciliation between parties—derives from a mission to encourage commitment to a harmonious world by exploring the deeper struggles that traditionally separate people and developing ideas to build an overall organic relationship.
In these times of social turmoil, whether in the family, at school or the workplace, in politics and international relations, the importance of conflict resolution cannot be overstated. Peace in the 21st century depends on our efforts to enhance the visibility, awareness and development of Conflict Resolution in the community and across the globe. We invite you to join us in this endeavor.