Professional Development Center FAQs

General Professional Development

Professional Development Center offers trainings for most CWRU employees. The majority of the PDC trainings are offered at no cost to the participant. Click here to view up and coming trainings that are offered. 

The PDC’s broad-based curriculum focuses on the professional development needs of staff and faculty of CWRU. These courses and learning opportunities are intended to provide guidance and structure to individual contributors and supervisors to foster personal and professional growth by intentionally contributing to a high-performance culture at CWRU.

Click here for more information about up and coming trainings and how to register. 

We recognize that sometimes you do not have a few hours to attend a workshop. At this time, all PDC trainings and webinars will be offered online.  This approach is designed to provide you with learning opportunities that you can attend from your desk. We’ll explore topics and methods to help you increase your effectiveness, such as communication skills, managing conflict or ways to manage your time better.

Look out for guest presenters on the webinars and subject matter experts across the CWRU community to help you learn and grow—all from your desk! Webinars will be hosted and moderated by PDC staff members, but can involve subject matter experts from across the university.


The Professional Development Center currently offers customized trainings suggestions in the form of content provided by Academic Impressions, Linkedin Learning and Impact Solutions. Contact HR at to discuss the needs to your team in greater detail.

Staff Mediation

A confidential, semi-structured process in which participants, with the help of a mediator, collaborate in good faith to resolve work-related disputes by sharing perspectives, identifying issues, considering possible solutions, and reaching a mutually agreeable solution.

Mediation is:
  • A way to structure difficult conversations.
  • A place for parties in conflict to reach a mutually agreeable compromise and/or solution.
Mediation is not:
  • Arbitration. In arbitration, the parties in conflict agree to present their case to an impartial third party, or arbitrator, who makes a final, binding decision. In mediation, actions and agreements are reached by the parties in conflict with the mediator acting as a facilitator to the discussion.
  • Therapy or counseling. The mediator is not a licensed therapist or counselor, but is instead simply facilitating the conversation between parties in conflict.
  • A guarantee. It is possible participants might quit the mediation, make agreements they have no intention of following through on, or might not reach an agreement at all.

Staff mediation services are available to all CWRU staff members. Faculty members should reach out to the Faculty Conciliation and Mediation Program.

The mediator is a neutral third party who facilitates conversations between participants to help them hear and understand each other, identify underling issues, and reach a mutually agreeable solution to those issues. The mediator does not take sides, offer solutions, investigate the situation, or impose a resolution.

A staff member who is experiencing conflict contacts the mediator and asks for a mediation consultation. The mediator will meet privately with the requesting party to determine the nature of the conflict and explore possible options for resolving it. If mediation is desired and appropriate, the mediator will contact the other party to determine their interest in mediation. If both parties agree to mediation, the mediator will explain the process, address any questions or concerns, and coordinate the meeting.

  • Personal or professional disputes among staff members
  • Issues of respect and coordination
  • Communication, performance, and/or management issues

If you are unsure if your issue is appropriate for mediation, the mediator will be happy to discuss it with you by phone or in person.

  • Policy issues
  • Current or pending legal actions
  • Discrimination charges or lawsuits
  • Administrative charges or lawsuits alleging harassment or retaliation on a protected basis
  • When there is a threat of violence, to self or others
  • Concerns relating to serious violations of rights or regulations

If you are unsure if your issue is appropriate for mediation, the mediator will be happy to discuss it with you by phone or in person.

  • Mediation aims to give people a safe setting in which to engage in honest, respectful communication which helps resolve most misunderstandings.
  • Mediation is interests-based and encourages participants to work together to best solve the problem being discussed. Since participants, not the mediator or anyone else, decide how to best solve the problem, they are more likely to follow the agreed upon solution.
  • Even if no agreement is reached, participants usually leave having a clearer understanding of the issues and of each other.

No. Mediation is a voluntary process and must be entered into willingly by all participants. You may make employees aware that this is a service available to them, but may not require them to participate in it.

Under Ohio law, the content of a mediation is confidential, with some exceptions. Only the names of the individuals involved, meeting dates, and whether a resolution was reached will be disclosed to administrative departments with legitimate business needs. Additionally, a copy of the Mediation Agreement will be kept by the mediator for their records, but will be kept confidential.

Yes, the grievance process is still available if a staff employee believes that Human Resources policies and procedures are not being properly applied to their workplace situation or a specific violation of Human Resources policies has occurred.

No. Participants will be asked to suspend any grievance process when they begin mediation and have the option to restart it once mediation is complete. However, participants may not bring agreements reached in mediation to Employee Relations as a grievance. For example, if after the mediation is completed one party does not follow the mediation agreement, the other party may not use that as a basis for a grievance issue.

Contact for more information about mediation processes.