North Central College - Naperville, IL

Dispute Resolution Center

"Advising the Compromising"

What is the Dispute Resolution Center? 

The Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) is a place to further your experience in conflict resolution. Through the DRC, students have access to mediation and consultation services through its Peer Mediation Program. The DRC provides community outreach opportunities in the form of training, mediation, and group facilitation services.

Peer Mediation and Consultation Services

Peer Mediation is a problem-solving process, conducted by North Central students, which can give you the skills and confidence to resolve future disputes independently and more effectively. The DRC is staffed to provide a trained mediator to assist in a wide range of cases, including roommate disputes, trouble with teammates, racial, ethic, or gender disputes, and harassment.  Additionally, peer mediators are trained to assist students in gaining a better understanding of the conflict.

There are three main advantages to the mediation process:

  • Confidentiality: Students can participate without any concern that information about the dispute will be communicated to others in any way.
  • Voluntary: Students have a choice whether or not to participate
  • Collaborative: Rather than assigning blame, the process involves facilitated conversations that can lead to realistic and functional solutions.

DRC Internships

The Dispute Resolution Center internship is the place to begin your career in conflict resolution. Whether you intend to pursue a career in law, psychology, or business, an internship with the DRC will teach you the skills all successful business people must possess, providing unique hands-on experiences.

There are two main advantages to a DRC internship:

  • Mediation: Mediating conflicts for different departments and areas on campus, and mediating disputes within the community at local courts, area businesses, local churches, and other entities.
  • Training: Business, churches, colleges and schools in dispute resolution.

Contact Information:

Director of DRC:
Dr. Thomas Cavenagh
(630) 637-5157

Meet the Director of the Dispute Resolution Center

Thomas D. Cavenagh, JD

On March 4, 2009 Thomas D. Cavenagh, J.D. was named the first holder of the newly endowed faculty chair, the Schneller Sisters Professor of Leadership, Ethics and Values.

Dr. Cavenagh is professor of Business Law and Conflict Resolution.  He is the Director of the Leadership, Ethics and Values program and the Dispute Resolution Center.  He also is the coordinator fo the Master of Leadership Studies program. 

Dr. Cavenagh worked as an attorney and mediator before coming to North Central College in 1990.  He considers teaching to be an opportunity to positively shape future leaders.