August 2015 Newsletter

August 2015 Werner Institute Newsletter

A Message From the Director

By Patrick Borchers, J.D.
Director and Professor of Law

To my Werner friends and colleagues, I’m stepping down as the Director of The Werner Institute. I had three big goals coming in: to help get us into the national rankings, attract more law students into our very affordable and valuable joint degree program, and improve the bottom financial line. I had only planned a 2 to 3 year stay.

I’m pleased to say that with a lot of hard work by the already hardworking men and women of the Institute we’ve made enough progress that I feel I can leave after two years. We are now ranked the 14th best dispute resolution program in the nation according to U.S. News, we finished well into the black last year, and we’ve significantly increased our law student enrollment. Of course a lot of other good things happened, though I don’t claim exclusive or even primary (or in some cases any) credit for them. The Institute’s very capable Assistant Director Bryan Hanson will lead the Institute while we do a national search for a new Director. I’m not going far. I’m moving into a faculty office and will be full time on the law faculty, though I will stay involved in the Institute (teaching an arbitration segment in the residencies and so on). It has been a fun couple of years and it has been a great blessing to work with such a talented group.


Alumni Merit Award Winner: Jeff Thompson, MS-NCR ‘10 

Graduate School Alumni Merit Award Winner Jeff Thompson, MS-NCR ‘10,  NYPD Detective and member of the Hostage Negotiation Team and the Strategic Communications Unitwill be presenting a public discussion forum about the application of crisis management in conflict resolution and how the practical communication skills he developed at the Werner Institute helped him progress in many aspects of his personal and professional life, how trainings can help with community engagement and his findings on the importance of social media to build community support. 

Jeff will share the skills used by hostage and crisis negotiators. Reflect on what these negotiation experts have done effectively can allow you to apply it situations you are involved in ranging from misunderstandings, business/work disputes, and personal conflicts. He will share specific skills that crisis negotiators have used to de-escalate tense situations, demonstrate empathy, build rapport and trust, and be able to successfully influence others.

Join us for this compelling and insightful talk from a Creighton University graduate (MS in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, 2010) and increase your use of effective communication skills.

Schedule of Events:

  • Cocktail and appetizer reception - 4:30pm - 5:30pm
  • Discussion - 5:30pm - 6:10pm
  • Q & A - 6:10pm - 6:30pm
  • Please RSVP by September 13th, 2015

ACR Annual Conference Oct. 7-10, 2015

By Bryan Hanson
Assistant Director & Assistant Professor

The Werner Institute at Creighton University is going to have a strong presence at the Association. This year’s conference will take place Wednesday, Oct. 7, through Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, at the Atlantis Resort and Spa in beautiful Reno, Nev. As a lead tri-chair for the conference coordinating committee, I have been working with a team to create a program that will provide significant opportunities for learning and networking. 

This year’s program has been crafted with the wisdom in mind by Dr. John Haynes concerning the importance of “thinking about our thinking.”

Read More


Graduate Spotlight: Jonathan Hernandez, MS-NCR’15

Not to sound cliché, and no…this isn’t a biased opinion; however, it will sound as though it is. The Werner Institute at Creighton University has been the best educational experiences I’ve had. As graduate, I’m constantly thinking of ways to share the knowledge I learned while at Creighton. Read More.