Higher Education

  • melissa profile pictureMelissa Sorenson is Assistant Director for Special Projects at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, in Monterey, California. She wrote this piece after attending a restorative practices training conducted by Stacey Miller, IIRP Trustee, Assistant Provost for Inclusion at Valparaiso University and Managing Partner of The Consortium for Inclusion & Equity.

    Sorenson is part of a small team that is responsible for organizational development at her college. Her work includes facilitating training and development opportunities, supporting leadership groups and collaborating on institution-wide projects.

    In November 2018 I was invited to participate in a three-day training on restorative practices held at Middlebury


  • This article is second in a series featuring sponsors of Strengthening the Spirit of Community, the IIRP World Conference in Detroit, MI, October 24-26, 2018.University of Michigan-Dearborn is a Champion Sponsor, providing scholarships for Detroit community members and bringing a new level of connection and engagement to the conference.

    In this interview, Tracy S. Hall, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Office of Metropolitan Impact, and Amy Finley, Ph.D., Dean of Students, explain the importance of restorative practices to their campus and why they would like you to join them at the conference in Detroit!


  • Columbia Teachers CollegeVia Boston Public Library.Columbia Teachers College has made a commitment to offering restorative conflict resolution practices to master's-level students at its New York City Summer Principals Academy (SPA). For the past two summers, IIRP President John Bailie, Ph.D., and Provost Craig Adamson, Ph.D., who are now adjunct faculty at Columbia, have co-taught “Basic Practicum in Conflict Resolution.” This three-credit course is geared to help aspiring school administrators primarily serving diverse urban populations communicate effectively, build relationships and meet the needs of their


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    Radical changes are coming to higher education, explains IIRP President John W. Bailie, Ph.D., as he reflects on his experience at the New York Times Higher Ed Leaders Forum. He says that smaller, nimble institutions - like the IIRP Graduate School - will be best positioned to provide 21st century students the kinds of useful skills and experiences they will want and need.

  • In May and June, the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) participated in three important national conversations on major issues facing the nation’s communities, colleges and schools.

    “Restorative practices is very much becoming accepted as an emerging social science,” comments IIRP President John Bailie, Ph.D. “Some of the best minds around the country accept that our field has some of the most innovative and promising solutions to civil society’s biggest challenges.”

  • Rick Kelly and his studentsRick Kelly, a professor in the Child and Youth Care (CYC) program at George Brown College (Toronto) and an IIRP alumnus, with students Sewsen Ikbu (left) and Amy Taylor at the 19th IIRP World Conference.

    Rick Kelly, a professor in the Child and Youth Care (CYC) program at George Brown College (Toronto), has created a hub for restorative practices to support practical learning and social innovation by students at his college. Both students and the local community are benefitting from the hub, which is introducing restorative concepts and solutions to schools and


  • Transformative-Practices-ConferenceCollege and high school students showed up to make their voices heard at a conference on restorative practices for New York City schools, in the Bronx, NY. Why? The students are hungry for learning. Mostly from disadvantaged backgrounds, they see their education as a way to liberty and freedom.

    The college students were invited to “Transformative Practices & Restorative Justice Conference: A Celebration and Call to Action,” by their education professor at Lehman College, City University of New York (CUNY), David Fletcher, Ed.D. Together with 250 educators, school administrators and community representatives, Fletcher is building a community to implement restorative practices in NYC schools.

  • StaceyMiller4Dr. Stacey Miller, Director of Residential Life at the University of Vermont (UVM) since 2003, receives a lot of calls from people across the country inquiring about how they can bring restorative practices to their campuses. “I can feel the momentum swinging. It’s going to tip,” she says.

    Miller was elected this month to serve on the IIRP Board of Trustees. Her enthusiasm for restorative practices has made her an effective leader of implementation efforts in her department and across campus. Now she will bring that leadership to the Board of the IIRP. “I am honored to have even been asked,” Miller says. “I am really humbled by the opportunity to participate and be a Board member.”

  • Aerial photo by James Jones (Puggles) at Flickr Creative CommonsAerial photo of University of Florida campus by James Jones (Puggles) at Flickr Creative CommonsBrianna Donet of WUFT, National


  • Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 1.37.39 PMWhen it comes to responding to inappropriate behavior on the college campus, a small but growing number of professionals responsible for addressing student conduct at colleges and universities are recognizing the potential of restorative practices to help young adults take responsibility for their behavior and set a new course.

    Rafael Rodriguez, Assistant Director of Redstone Campus & Community and Leadership Development at the University of Vermont (UVM), discussed a conduct case he heard a couple years ago involving two first year men who were documented three times for using drugs and alcohol by resident advisors (RAs) in the first week of the academic year.

  • Les Davey, director of IIRP UK & Ireland, emailed an update on the 1-day conference being planned for June 20, 2013 in Salford, Manchester, UK. He writes, "The programme is coming together nicely with both national and international plenaries plus a wide choice of workshops across Justice, Communities, Education and Care."

  • Two IIRP assistant professors, John Bailie and Craig Adamson, have co-authored an article, "Education Versus Learning: Restorative Practices in Higher Education," which has been published in the Journal of Transformative Education. John Bailie is also IIRP's Director of Continuing Education. Craig Adamson is Executive Director of Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy, IIRP's model programs that serve at-risk youth in eastern Pennsylvania using restorative practices.

  • This article recounts a great story in which a restorative circle was used to address conflict with about 20 girls in an alternative school in Maryland. Joe Burris of the Baltimore Sun writes:

    It began as many confrontations between students do: with a hard stare between two passing strangers, according to Toni Holmes, a senior at an Ellicott City alternative school. One of the girls told a friend, "I don't like her." Snide remarks about clothing and appearance went back and forth, and then other girls chimed in.

    Soon, unexplained yet simmering enmity exploded into a series of face-to-face confrontations among about 20 girls at the


  • IIRP director of continuing education John Bailie co-hosted an important webinar last week with Michigan State University's Rick Shafer and Washington University in St. Louis’s Molly Pierson. The topic of the webinar was an "Introduction to Restorative Justice" and was targeted to university student conduct administrators. In addition to responsive measures to wrongdoing on campus, time was also devoted to restorative practices for building community in residence halls.

    Several dozen administrators from such schools as University of Wisconsin-Madison, Harvard, NYU, Reed College and University of California-Berkeley participated to learn how to bring restorative practices to their campus.

    For those who could not participate, ASCA is making the webinar available for purchase in their online store here.

    For more information about IIRP's Building Campus


  • Brooke Adams of the Salt Lake City Tribune writes:

    There are approximately 57 countries that use capital punishment for the most heinous crimes, but only one is a western industrialized nation: The United States.

    Capital punishment in the U.S. in the context of state, national and international policies will be the focus of the eighth annual symposium on the death penalty sponsored by Utah Valley University on Thursday. The event will feature such experts as James Acker, a


  • Two videos from Michigan State University recently came to my attention. The videos demonstrate the use of restorative practices for responding to student conflict at the university, which has 16,000 students living on campus with a total of 40,000 students enrolled.

    According to Rick Shafer, associate director of student life at MSU, for the past two years the university has increasingly used a variety of responsive restorative justice practices in a range of areas.

    Said Shafer, "Primarily we are using it in residence halls to deal more reactively with reported conflict." The video below, "Student Voices," shows some great examples of this. A resident assistant discusses how she used a talking circle to work through an issue with residents who responded threateningly to her when she confronted them in a room about noise levels. In another case students offended about a large confederate flag displayed prominently in a residence hall talked through the issue with


  • Restorative Justice Today - Miller - WachtelA chapter about restorative practices in higher education by IIRP President Ted Wachtel and University of Vermont director of residential life Stacey Miller has been published in a new book called Restorative Justice Today: Practical Applications, edited by Katherine S. van Wormer (University of Northern Iowa) and Lorenn Walker (University of Hawaii Honolulu Community College).

    The book also includes a section on traditional North American native restorative justice philosophy and practice by Laura Mirsky, IIRP assistant director of communications and technology.

  • Association for Student Conduct AdministrationThe ACSA (Association for Student Conduct Administration), which serves higher education student conduct adminstrators, is offering a webinar titled "Introduction to Restorative Justice" on October 24, 2012 from 2:00 to 3:30 PM Eastern Time. John Bailie, IIRP director of professional development, will be one of three speakers. In addition to the general topic, Bailie will specifically  discuss IIRP's Building Campus Community program. In addition to responding to harm, this program provides a framework for residential life staff to proactively build community in


  • I'm continuing the Sunday videos series with the full plenary talk given by Dr. Stacey Miller, director of residential life at the University of Vermont at IIRP's 15th World Conference. Her 33 minute talk is well worth the time. It's not only highly informative, but also funny and lively, and provides a lot of clues about the type of leadership that is required to implement restorative practices not only at the university level, but also in schools, workplaces and other institutions. The talk is loaded with anecdotes and practical examples.

  • Photo by Duane Brown at Flickr Creative Commons

    The following story was posted at CBC News Nova Scotia, about a restorative justice program set up at Dalhousie University. IIRP hosted its 14th World Conference in 2011 in Nova Scotia in cooperation with Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Community University Research Alliance (NSRJ-CURA). NSRJ-CURA director Jennifer Llewellyn, and a number of other participants at the conference, are