The Bureau of Mediation Services established the Minnesota State Office of Dispute Resolution in 1985 to promote the use of means other than litigation for resolving disputes affecting the public interest. Over that time fame, OCDR programs have included management of the Minnesota Special Education Mediation Service for the Department of Education, administration of a Department of Human Rights mediation program, Vocational Rehabilitation program, State Services for the Blind mediation program, a workplace mediation program, and more. Now the Minnesota State Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution, its mission has expanded to include a broad array of collaborative processes.
Collaborative problem solving process projects have included changes to child custody legislation with the state legislature; improvements to the Minnesota State Security Hospital to address staff safety and patient care issues; and community conversations in Falcon Heights to address community policing and inclusion. In addition, OCDR has worked with more than 20 state agencies including the Department of Human Services, the Department of Education, and Minnesota State; 25 cities including Marshall, St. Paul and Hastings; and a number of school districts and other public sector entities.
OCDR was established to provide effective forums for collaborative problem solving, public decision-making and community involvement on contentious public issues and to build capacity within public agencies.
Serving as a statewide catalyst to advance:
- Sustainable resolution of matters of public interest
- Broad use of community mediation throughout Minnesota
- Effective collaboration and dispute resolution in state and local government
- Advance and increase the use of collaborative public policy dispute resolution processes in Minnesota by convening processes that address significant public policy matters
- Enhance and strengthen Minnesota's community mediation programs and the direct services they provide to citizens
- Meet the unique and varied dispute resolution needs of Minnesota's state and local government agencies
- Ensure high quality, sustainable operations and programming for the OCDR