Wayne State University

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The Stanley Hank Marx Lecture Series

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Join us Thursday, November 7th, 2013 at 3:00 pm for  "Conversations with a Long-time Mediator: Lessons from Experience" featuring Zena Zumeta, a full-time mediation practitioner since 1982! See full program description here. Please share this event flyer with friends and colleagues.

Stanley Hank MarxWayne State University’s Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution program, in the College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Art’s Department of Communication, proudly hosts the annual Stanley "Hank" Marx Lecture series in Dispute Resolution.

Stanley Henry Marx was a long time Detroiter and businessman and a committed student of continuing education with Wayne State. When he retired in the late ‘80s, Marx became interested in issues of non-violence and dispute resolution working as a mediator for several Southeast Michigan counties as well as government agencies. He worked to complete his master’s degree in Wayne State’s Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, with a major in conflict resolution.

The Marx Lecture Series, begun in 2004, was spearheaded by the generosity of the Stanley Henry Marx family to stimulate an interest in the value of using mediation to settle disputes.

Hank Marx died peacefully early Sunday morning, October 21, 2007.

As Hank's wife Sue noted, Hank was "the most gentle, kindest and delicious
man". All of those who spoke at Hank's funeral on October 22 echoed this
sentiment and every person in chapel nodded and smiled when yet another
example of Hank's caring, love for life, sense of humor and passion for peace
was shared. Another word I would use to describe Hank was that he was
generous with his time, his commitment, his resources, and his tremendous
capacity for caring.

Hank was a huge fan of people and their potential for greatness. One of the gifts that Hank had was his ability to be fully engaged with whomever he was talking. When you talked to Hank, you felt acknowledged and recognized; he saw in you the amazing person that you are and you come to recognizeand believe that about yourself. You were inspired. I think that is one of the reasons that Hank was much sought after as a mediator, because he recognized each person fully in that moment.  Another reason was that Hank honors the connections that we have to one another; that it is together we succeed.

While Hank is no longer with us in body, his spirit will live on in the lecture series that was set up by his family and supported by the University. This series will continue to honor Hank's passion for enhancing people's relationships to one another, for dealing constructively with conflict and to provide another means by which people's hearts and minds could be engaged in thinking and being ourselves into greatness.

Pictures from past events are available on our MADR Learning Resources Hub.

Previous Keynote Speakers

Belinda Dulin, Executive Director, The Dispute Resolution Center, Ann Arbor  
"Building Peaceful Communities: What is the Work?"

Panel on Innovations in Peacemaking featuring Marcia Lee, Susan Butterwick, and Kenzi Bisbing

Colin Rule

Colin Rule, Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay & PayPal
"Making Peace Online: Dispute Resolution & the Future of the Internet"

EBay and PayPal generate more than 60 million disputes a year, in more than a dozen languages. That’s a lot of disputes. But it’s only the tip of the iceberg in the total number of online issues that need resolution. Business-to-business and Business-to-consumer eCommerce is growing rapidly, which in turn is generating many millions of online disputes. Most of these disputes are not over very large amounts of money; they can be for as little as $5. But online disputants are just as passionate about their disagreements as face-to-face disputants, and because they are spread all over the world, their disputes can involve cultural misunderstandings, language barriers, and class differences. Come hear Colin Rule, eBay and PayPal’s first Director of Online Dispute Resolution, and author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, discuss the challenges of resolving disputes in cyberspace and what useful lessons can be drawn for the practice of dispute resolution more broadly.  

Bernard Mayer Ph.D,  Professor, Werner Institute, Creighton University
"Staying with Conflict"

Robert M. Ackerman, Dean and Professor of Law Wayne State University Law School
"Astride Two Worlds: Lawyers and Other Professionals in Dispute Resolution"

U.S. Senator Carl Levin
"The Unique Senate Approach to Dispute Resolution"


Congressman John D. Dingell
"Reflections on 50 Years of Dispute Resolution in Congress"
September 15th, 2006, then President Irvin D. Reid welcomed and introduced the Honorable John D. Dingell, U.S. House of Representatives, to share his “Reflections on 50 Years of Dispute Resolution in Congress”. In his talk, Congressman Dingell discussed why he thought there had been a breakdown of civil discourse on Capitol Hill.
He identified three main contributors to the erosion of discourse.. First, televising debate on the House floor was distracting the members from “the benefit of good, quality legislation” and creating a place to “air grievances” rather than resolve conflicts. Second, there has been an increase in the division between the Democratic and Republican parties which he attributed to changes that occurred in the way Member business was conducted. The third factor was the “win-at –all costs mentality” without room for compromise, where the “the rules of engagement and positive dialogue have been dismissed.”
Congressman Dingell concluded with five essential solutions for peaceful and constructive conflict resolution in Congress:

1.  Get the facts, then work the politics to fit the facts.
2.  Listen to those involved and try to understand what the parties in dispute need to be whole .
3.  Never put friends and allies in a position in which they endanger themselves.
4.  Negotiators must generate trust and to do that, you have to keep your word.
5.  Whenever possible, you want the parties in dispute to come to their own solutions.

The talk was concluded by a brief audience question and answer period and was followed by a reception in the Italian Room of the General Lectures Hall, where students, faculty, and staff talked with prominent public officials.

For more about Congressman Dingell, visit his website

Phyllis Hanfling, Director, U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Dispute Resolution

Our first Hank Marx Lecture in Dispute Resolution featured Phyllis Hanfling, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Dispute Resolution. She spoke about the scope of the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution (DR) by discussing less commonly known DR techniques such as partnering, dispute review boards and even early examples of online dispute resolution, among others. She addressed how the federal government is using DR across a broad spectrum of contexts. A distinguished panel of discussants provided depth and richness to the discussion. Other panelists included: Roseanne Ellison, Environmental Protection Agency; Barbara Johannessen, Mediation Specialists; Michael Nussbaum, special counsel for Bonner, Kiernan, Tribach and Crociata and Doug Van Epps, State Court Administrator's Office.