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University Network for Collaborative Governance

About the Network

The University Network for Collaborative Governance (UNCG) consists of centers, programs, and individuals in colleges and universities that engage in service and scholarship in order to enable citizens and their leaders to engage in dialogue, discussion, problem solving, and conflict resolution around public issues.

The Network supports centers and programs, helping them carry out their mission, connecting them with colleagues, sharing ideas and programs that work, offering consultation and assistance, and holding outstanding conferences.  

Network members have adoped a common set of principles that its members agree to adhere to in their organizational operations, functions, and practices. The principles reflect a commitment to maintaining the integrity and excellence of the programs and practices of these centers.

Each center has or will have an organizational charter or set of policies that articulates the principles as well as appropriate policies and standards to guide their practices.

In March 2008, the inaugural meeting of the Network was held in Atlanta, Georgia. Members of the Network adopted the Charter and identified objectives.

About Collaborative Governance

The term "collaborative governance" refers to a relatively new and emerging field, and thus academics, practitioners and participants engage in discussions on how to best define collaborative governance. Members of UNCG draw from a variety of descriptions to describe the work their centers do. We have collected the most widely used definitions that encapsulates collaborative governance.

Network Objectives

  • Advance teaching, research and outreach in public deliberation, collaborative problem solving and multi-party conflict resolution;
  • Share knowledge, information and best practices among members;
  • Assist universities in shaping and adapting their research, teaching, and community engagement to enhance their effectiveness;
  • Acquaint university leaders, policymakers, and the public with the role universities can play in carrying out collaborative governance practices;
  • Provide linkages between university centers and leaders interested in using collaborative governance practices;
  • Promote policies that support the use of best practices and systems for collaborative governance.

UNCG STATEMENT: Addressing the increase of violence in public spaces in the U.S. 

The work of the Association for Conflict Resolution’s Environment and Public Policy Section and the University Network for Collaborative Governance fosters opportunities for diverse voices to be heard, and for all to participate in shaping the decisions that affect our lives. We are sobered and saddened by the fact that violence, hate crimes, and intolerance have reached crisis levels in the United States. In opposition to intolerance and indifference to those harmed by this crisis, we consider robust, honest dialogue to be essential to our democracy. By robust and honest dialogue, we mean sharing our own insights and listening to those of others with respect, compassion and recognition for one another’s humanity.  Rather than avoiding conflict or ignoring injustice, robust dialogue promotes constructive confrontation, allowing us to surface and address these issues directly to produce healthy, sustainable, and just outcomes.

As conflict resolution practitioners, we are on the front lines of strong emotions and impulsive actions in a polarized environment. We reject physical and structural violence as a means to express hate, disagreement and dissent, or as a strategy for achieving outcomes. Instead, we commit ourselves, as organizations and individuals, to encouraging respectful discussion, facilitating the inclusion of diverse perspectives in public dialogue, and striving to create an environment conducive to constructive and brave discourse.