National Conflict Resolution Day 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018*

Jonah L. Larrick Student Center, Court End Ballrooms

The VCU Office of the Ombudsperson is pleased to announce the addition of an afternoon session during this year's National Conflict Resolution Day celebration. Participants can attend either or both sessions. Please see the event agenda and registration link below to make your selections. As always, the event is free and open to VCU faculty, staff, students and administrators, as well as members of the Richmond community. Additionally, VCU faculty and staff who are interested in receiving Talent@VCU credit for attending either or both events can indicate it on the registration form and more information will be provided.  

Thank you for attending National Conflict Resolution Day 2018.
Click the links below to download PDF versions of the morning session presentation decks. 
by Donna Douglass Williams, event keynote speaker
by Amy J. Armstrong, Ph.D.

Morning session

Breakfast and networking

8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Buffet breakfast available before the morning event.

Introduction and welcome

9:00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

William E. King
University ombudsperson, Virginia Commonwealth University


9:10 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Jacqueline L. Kniska
University chief integrity and compliance officer, Virginia Commonwealth University

Introduction of keynote

9:15 a.m. - 9:20 a.m.

William E. King
University ombudsperson, Virginia Commonwealth University 

Keynote speaker

9:20 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.

Donna Douglass WilliamsOmbudsperson, Green Climate Fund

Inspiring Conflict Competence on Campus: Building Cultures of Psychological Safety
Amy Edmondson of Harvard Business School coined the term “Psychological Safety” in connection with her research of optimal performing teams. She defined it as “a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.” This interactive session will review Edmondson’s work on psychological safety, and how to work towards building safe cultures in campus environments. The discussion will also explore the connection between psychological safety and a culture that is conducive to healthy and constructive resolution of conflict, and the role of trust, empathy and respect in creating connections that result in safe and productive learning and work environments.


Break 10:20 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

VCU's Commitment

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Amy Armstrong, Ph.D.
Chair and associate professor, College of Health Professions

Discussion with hands-on activity

11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Mark E. Rubin, J.D.
Executive director of the Virginia Center for Consensus Building 

A hands-on opportunity for registrants to participate in conflict resolution tactics.

Closing remarks

11:50 a.m. - noon

William E. King
University ombudsperson, Virginia Commonwealth University

Afternoon session

1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

“From Conflict to Connection and Community”

  • Chief John Venuti, Associate vice president of public safety, Virginia Commonwealth University 
  • Laura Rugless, Director and Title IX coordinator, VCU Equity and Access Services
  • Chuck Klink, Ph.D., Senior vice provost for student affairs 
  • Carol Ann Irby, Executive director of human resources, VCU Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences 
  • Kevin Harris, Ph.D., Associate vice president for academic health sciences, VCU Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences


National Conflict Resolution Day Pledge cards will be available. Those in attendance are encouraged to sign up and take the pledge. Show your personal commitment to use alternative dispute resolution strategies throughout the year. ‌