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News Details

University Adds Conflict Management Course to LERs

Posted Jan. 24, 2002

Abby Slutsky
Daily Kent Stater

Students looking for classes to fill their liberal education requirements next fall will have a new course to choose from in the social sciences area.

Introduction to Conflict Management, which is already a requirement for conflict management majors, is beneficial for any student, said Karen Cunningham, assistant professor of applied conflict management.

According to the Center for Applied Conflict Management, the number of students declaring an applied conflict management major has been steadily rising, and they expect the numbers will continue to rise.

David Slivers, senior applied conflict management major, said the introductory class helped him determine his major.

"If you're going to be dealing with people in a working environment, this is a class you should take," Slivers said.

Lauren Shultz, senior applied conflict management major, said the course teaches skills that students from all majors could use.

"Everyone from business to education to nursing should at least take the (introductory) class," she said.

Cunningham said it teaches students several aspects of conflict management, including negotiations, contracts and communication.

"There are very few professions where you don't have to deal with people, and just about any time you're dealing with people, you're going to have some conflict," she said.

Cunningham said that the course has been popular among students in all majors and that she has often been asked why the class was not already an LER.

The course already fulfills the university's diversity requirement and will be offered in three sections.

The Center for Applied Conflict Management is part of the political science department and has been trying to convince the university to add the course to the list of liberal education requirements since the university instituted it.

"We feel it's an extraordinarily valuable course," said Thomas Hensley, professor and chair of the political science department, explaining why the department has been working to have the class designated as an LER.

Provost Paul Gaston also supported the course's significance for students.

"Because the course in conflict management draws on many liberal arts disciplines, its inclusion in the LER curriculum makes good sense," Gaston said.  "In additional, an introduction to conflict management seems particularly timely."

E-mail: aslutsky@kent.edu

Copyright 2002 The Daily Kent Stater