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University Network for Collaborative Governance

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About the Network

The University Network for Collaborative Governance (UNCG) is made up of college and university centers, institutes and programs that engage in service, scholarship and teaching to build the capacity for collaborative governance.

Network Vision 

The University Network for Collaborative Governance (UNCG) envisions a future where collaboration fosters our collective ability to understand and address the challenges of our times, and in the process, to reimagine and sustain our democracy. In that envisioned future, collaborative governance -- informed by practice, scholarship, and teaching, -- fosters a vibrant, equitable and resilient society and advances the common good in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, territories of the US, and other countries.

Network Mission 

The University Network for Collaborative Governance champions collaborative governance by supporting and strengthening a network of faculty members and professionals from college and university centers, institutes, and programs that engage in collaborative governance practice, scholarship, and teaching.

Network History

In March 2008, the inaugural meeting of the Network was held in Atlanta, Georgia. Members of the Network adopted the Charter and identified objectives.  In 2018, at its annual meeting in Portland, the Network unanimously adopted its Strategic Directions for the next ten years. 


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.

UNCG members at the 2018 Annual Conference in Portland, OR

About Collaborative Governance

Collaborative governance refers to community and public policy decision making processes and structures that enable participants to work together to enhance their communities and shape sustainable public policy decisions. Collaborative governance does this by engaging participants collectively and constructively across the boundaries of the public, private, and civic sectors to leverage the unique attributes and resources of each for the greatest impact. The collaborative approach to governance can encompasses any method, model, or process that is deliberative and consensual including civic engagement and service, public engagement, collaborative network management, public consultation, multi-stakeholder collaboration, collaborative public management, dispute resolution, and negotiation. 

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. To that end, we hope that the following tools and resources at this link are helpful in making this happen.