SALT SLAKE CITY (ABC4) — A Colorado university has launched an online course inspired by Utah Gov. Spencer Cox’s “Disagree Better’ initiative, addressing problems of polarization in America.
The course, offered by Colorado State University Global is aptly called Disagree Better. It aims to help students learn tools and strategies and styles for healthy conflict.
The Disagree Better initiative was implemented by Cox while he served as Chair of the National Governors Association. Cox said Americans need to learn to disagree better in a way that helps find solutions and solve problems without “endlessly bickering.”
Cox said his intention with the initiative is to model how to have a civil disagreement with the hopes that by setting an example, the movement could spread throughout the public at all levels of government and beyond. CSU Global’s online course is one of many public-facing projects of the Disagree Better initiative with more projects becoming available by the end of the year.
“Partisan animosity is not good for individuals and it’s not good for the country. That’s why I launched this Disagree Better initiative to show there is a better way to find solutions, and I’m excited that CSU Global is amplifying the effort,” said Gov. Cox. “This course provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn conflict resolution skills, skills that will improve their personal and professional relationships as well as our political discourse.”
CSU Global Provost Dr. Audra Spicer said students enrolled in the course will learn to identify communication styles and conflict management skills that will help effective collaboration between advocates and adversaries.
“Whether it is a dinner table conversation or a business negotiation, healthy and respectful conflict management and persuasion are tools for finding success in everyday situations,” said Dr. Spicer.
“In today’s challenging environment, it is more critical than ever that we can address conflict in a positive and effective way to try to reach a resolution on the many problems facing our nation, society, and communities,” said CSU Global President Dr. Becky Takeda-Tinker. “CSU Global is delighted to have the opportunity to design and provide this course to teach those important tools to professionals in our state and beyond.”
The course is worth one college credit and can apply to a CSU Global degree or certificate or apply to another program at other institutions that have created transfer pathways for the credit, according to the governor’s office.