The Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution

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General Information

  • Official name: The Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution
  • Country: USA
  • City: Austin
  • Type of organization: Non-profit organization
  • Date of creation: 1993
  • Interests: Arbitration - Mediation – Facilitation - Training
  • Fields of expertise: All types of Disputes


The Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution provides effective conflict resolution assistance and services including education and training. The Center is a not-for-profit organization of professionals who focus on state and local government and are dedicated to the stewardship of conflict resolution in state and local government, the UT community, and the public. The Center seeks to bridge resolution with conflict using Alternative Dispute Resolution methods.

The Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution was created in 1993 to specifically promote the appropriate use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in Texas government.

The use of ADR processes by the courts and federal government has been widely celebrated as a more efficient and cost effective method of conflict resolution. The Center is located within the University of Texas so as to provide a neutral, non-political site for assisting Texas state and local governments with ADR. The Center provides a number of ADR services to governmental entities, policymakers, and others involved in public disputes. Training and conferences also play a role in the Center's mission to promote and increase the appropriate use of ADR processes in Texas government.


“The courts of this country should not be the place where the resolution of disputes begin. They should be the places where disputes end- after alternative methods of resolving disputes have been considered and tried.” - Justice Sandra Day O'Connor


The Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution promotes the appropriate use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) by Texas governmental and public interest entities and provides ADR education, research, and services to the State, local governments, The University of Texas community and the public.


One of the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution's missions is to provide dispute resolution assistance in Texas, primarily for state and local governmental agencies and courts. Assistance is provided in the resolution of public policy issues and in the planning and designing of systems for ongoing use of ADR processes within government programs and the courts. The goal is public cost-savings, increased efficiency of public administration, and enhanced quality of public services.

Services regularly provided by Center staff and qualified subcontractors supervised by staff include:

  • Consultation and assistance designing ADR systems for managing recurring disputes;
  • Services as impartial third parties resolving public disputes;
  • Referral of qualified public policy mediators, facilitators, and arbitrators;
  • Assistance assessing conflicts for ADR appropriateness;
  • Assistance planning effective dispute resolution processes ("convening");
  • Evaluation of ADR programs to measure quality and effectiveness;
  • Training and other public education events regarding ADR processes;
  • Drafting of ADR contract clauses;
  • Assistance with legal research on ADR issues through the Center's ADR library;
  • Provision of Center publications for guidance on several specific public policy ADR topics.

Mediation and Facilitation Services

  • The Center provides:
  • Third Party Neutral: Mediation, Facilitation, Convening, Referral Services
  • Consultation: ADR System Design, Measurement and Evaluation, Referral Services, Situation Assessment, Organizational Development
  • Education and Training: General / Public, Customized
  • The Center serves:
  • State Governmental Agencies: Courts
  • Local / Regional Governmental Agencies: Counties, Cities, Courts, Other Entities
  • Universities
  • Public Interest Groups


Training and conferences play a vital role in the Center's mission to promote and increase the appropriate use of alternative dispute resolution processes in Texas government. Effective training for both ADR practitioners and public decision-makers gives participants an understanding of dispute resolution techniques and their applicability to a variety of public concerns.

Center trainings have reached more than 3,500 individuals from government and the private sector since 1993. Center Fellows receive advanced training in complex, public policy dispute resolution and learn about the Center and its activities. Participants in special programs such as the Center's Employee Grievance/Dispute Resolution Working Group were instructed in the design, implementation, and the use of effective alternative dispute resolution systems. Child Support Enforcement Officers at the Texas Office of Attorney General requested a two-day training program to reinforce basic mediation skills and focus on specific new conflict management skills needed in the Child Support Review process. The Center has also provided specialized training for Oil Spill Response Team members at the request of the General Land Office.

In addition to general training activities open to the public and the programs described above, the Center also provides customized trainings for agencies and special initiatives.


727 E. Dean Keeton -- Austin, TX 78705 - USA

Tel: 512-471-3507

Fax: 512-232-1191

Email: -

Official Website

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