USIP's Carla Koppell sings agreement with Dean Robin Dorff, left, and Joe Bock.

Kennesaw State University’s  new School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development is to offer a master’s degree in conflict management, a dual master’s degree in conflict and business administration, and a doctorate in international conflict management.

Its mission statement outlines the school’s goals to include the training of its students with peacemaking and development skills in domestic and international contexts. It also is to conduct research on conflict, peace and development with the intent of affecting official policy making.

In addition, the school is to enact related programming and inspire peace and the promotion of positive change.

The school officially opened on March 15 with a panel discussion and the signing of two memorandums of agreement that are to widen the scope of conflict resolution education.

In keeping with its mission, it signed an agreement with the United States Institute of Peace, an independent government-funded organization designed to prevent, mitigate and resolve violent conflict around the world.

From left, Bi-National’s Adriana Helenek, Sue Raines and Dean Robin Dorff

The partnership is to offer two certificate programs for students, faculty, staff and alumni: 1) a certificate in the foundations of conflict management and peace building, and 2) a certificate in critical skills covering negotiation, arbitration and mediation.

It also signed an agreement with the Bi-National Group Inc., a nonprofit that provides legal support services. Under this agreement, the school is to train thousands of mediators, judges and attorneys across Mexico due to recent constitutional changes in Mexico requiring restorative justice practices including mediation and related processes for criminal and civil cases.

Panelists at the opening include Gary White, co-founder with the actor Matt Damon of and the concept of Water Equity; Carla Koppell, vice president for the Center of Applied Conflict Transformation at the U.S. Institute of Peace and Kevin Avruch, dean of the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. Tim Hedeen, Kennesaw State Ombudsman and professor of conflict management, served as moderator.