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Conflict occurs in our lives daily, whether it be at home, in the workplace or even with a complete stranger. No one is exempt from experiencing conflict, so how you manage it determines how favorable the outcome will be.
Kells Johnson |
At Lipscomb University, through the Institute for Conflict Management, we teach people how to become leaders in the art of negotiation, mediation and arbitration. Students learn these special skills from professionals who are leaders in their field who serve as Lipscomb faculty members, such as Tracy Allen.
Allen is a powerhouse mediator, arbitrator, educator and attorney. With more than 30 years of professional mediation experience throughout multiple industries, she brings a level of experience and insight to the classroom that is invaluable.
“I very much enjoyed my work with clients as a tax attorney, doing wealth management, strategic business planning and M&A work,” says Allen, “But I wanted another ‘bucket’ of revenue and an intellectual challenge.”
While serving as an adjunct professor for the Straus Institute for Conflict Resolution at Pepperdine University’s School of Law, Allen was also under the leadership of L. Randolph Lowry, current president of Lipscomb University. During that time, Lowry was director of the Straus Institute, and was highly impressed by Allen’s work and teaching methods. So when Lowry was appointed president of Lipscomb University in 2005, it was only two years before he brought Allen to Lipscomb’s Institute for Conflict Management, housed today in the College of Leadership & Public Service. She is currently a distinguished professor at the institute, and has been conducting its Rule 31 mediation trainings for more than a decade.
Allen’s career as a mediator surpasses domestic borders. She has served as a mediator and arbitrator for the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, the Singapore International Mediation Institute, the Hong Kong Mediation Council, the International Mediation Institute and former President of the International Association of Mediators. In 2006, Allen created the International Chamber of Commerce’s international mediation competition. Now, over 100 schools participate in the competition in Paris each year. Eight years after she created the competition, former Michigan governor Rick Snyder appointed Allen to serve as a United States arbitrator to arbitrate with foreign arbitrators over any conflict arising out of the construction of a huge international building project.
“The variety of work, complexity of disputes, opportunities to learn, freedom and independence all drive the passion behind what I do,” says Allen, “I was attracted to the world of alternative dispute resolution because I abhor conflict. I started in arbitration as an arbitrator because I value and respect power. I do this work because I have a personality that needs to serve.”
The proud Michiganite holds both an L.L.M. in Taxation and a J.D. from Wayne State University School of Law, in which she graduated cum laude. Later this month, Allen will teach a session on civil discourse at Lipscomb University’s 5th Annual Professional Skills Program, a facilitative, skills based conflict management program hosted by the College of Leadership & Public Service’s Institute for Conflict Management. She says she has entertained the idea of retirement planning, but has not made much progress because she cannot get enough of serving others.
“When people ask me what I do, I tell them I help improve people’s lives,” says Allen, “That is the motivator for what I do.”
For more information about the Institute for Conflict Management, visit www.lipscomb.edu/icm.