How to Initiate the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Process

This overview is a brief description of how to initiate the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process at Purdue University.


Who may initiate the ADR process?

  • Clerical/service employees as defined in Business Office Memorandum No. 66;
  • Administrative/professional employees as defined VI.F.5

How do I initiate the ADR process?

You can initiate the process by completing the online ADR form. An alternate, fully accessible is available and may be submitted via email if you have difficulty accessing the online ADR form. Hard copies of the ADR form are available from the Office of Human Resources.

What types of issues can be resolved through ADR?

  • Disciplinary actions
  • Application of policy or departmental procedure
  • Disagreement between supervisor and employee

What is the difference between the informal and formal ADR process?

During the informal process, an ADR specialist/mediator is assigned to meet with each party individually. During this process, individuals strive to find mutually satisfactory management or resolution of their disagreement. The ADR specialist doesn’t decide who is right or wrong; instead, they will help parties understand what’s behind the conflict and brainstorm options to solve it. If the participants are able to come up with their own solutions to the conflict, the mediator helps draft a written summary, a copy of which each participant receives.

During the formal process, a committee comprised of three trained employees, will review all pertinent data, will meet individually with both parties and will submit a report of findings and its recommendation to the vice president of human resources to render a final decision.

What are the possible resolutions parties agree to as a result of the informal process?

Examples might include

  • Written warning
    • Additional time or defined plan for improvement
    • Acknowledgement of necessary improvement
    • Reduction or removal of discipline
  • Termination
    • Separation agreement or resignation
    • Ability to consider jobs based on strengths
  • Application of policy
    • Better understanding of procedures
    • Potential compromise

May I initiate both the informal and formal ADR process?

Yes. The informal ADR process would be an attempt to resolve concerns. If however, the parties are unable to reach a mutually acceptable resolution; either party may then request a formal review.

When do I need to initiate the ADR process?

Individuals wishing to initiate the ADR process are encouraged to do so as soon as possible following the incident(s). It must be filed within 10 days of the action. The time limits for filing complaints cannot be extended.

Will the ADR process be confidential?

Each individual and issue is treated with the greatest degree of confidentiality possible. In all situations, confidentiality is maintained on a strict need-to-know basis; however, confidentiality can only be respected insofar as it does not interfere with the University’s obligation to investigate allegations of misconduct that require it to take corrective action.

Am I protected from retaliation if I initiate the ADR process?

Purdue University prohibits retaliation against individuals who initiate the ADR process or who participate in the complaint resolution process. Retaliatory action is regarded as a basis for a separate complaint under the University’s procedures. If you believe that you have been retaliated against for initiating the ADR process, or for participating in the resolution process, please contact the Office of Human Resources.

What is the role of the ADR specialist?

The ADR specialist makes no judgment with respect to who is right or wrong.  Rather, the ADR specialist’s goal is to help parties understand each other’s shared interests and opposing views and develop solutions with the parties. If the participants are able to develop their own solutions to the conflict, the ADR specialist will prepare a written summary, which will be signed and kept by each participant and by the ADR specialist.  

Where can I get more information?

The Office of Human Resources can further explain the University’s policies and procedures to you and can assist in initiating the ADR process. To make an appointment, please call

(765) 494-1679. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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