$0.00 – $6.00
Five-person, multi-issue negotiation among university administrators and student organizers over cost and arrangements for a controversial figure to speak on campus
The case is loosely based on a series of events which occurred at Princeton University in January and February, 1989, but reflects a number of similar situations that have taken place on various college campuses. In this exercise, the Black Students Union (BSU)–one component of the parent Minority Peoples' Center (MPC) at fictional Garden University–has invited the well-known Minister Louis Farrakhan, an outspoken and controversial African-American speaker, to give a speech at the University. When the student organizers learn that the costs of this speech will exceed their initial estimates, they are forced to seek additional sources for funding. It would seem that without additional financial support from somewhere in the University, the BSU will not be able to afford the speech.
At the same time, the University administration finds itself in a position to rethink their decision to support Farrakhan's speech. The speaker is contentious; racial tensions at the University are already high; the money needed to make up the BSU's shortfall seems to be in short supply. In addition, there is dissent both inside and outside the administration as to the true benefit of having someone as controversial as Farrakhan give a speech. This case centers around an upcoming meeting between three students and two administrators where these and additional matters will be discussed.
The case is designed for five negotiators: Two representing the University administration and three representing various students. The participants should spend approximately 45-60 minutes negotiating. A review and discussion period requires 60-90 minutes.
- The knowledge that one's BATNA is weak often leads people to negotiate much less vigorously than they otherwise would. Is this ever justified? If so, under what conditions? This exercise affords a good opportunity to point out that any such analyses should be based on a consideration of the parties' relative BATNA's.
- The substantive issues in the case seem easily understood on both sides, and provide the opportunity for tough bu creative negotiation. Too adversarial an approach can easily lead to serious, escalating conflict. Skillful discussion of interests and options can lead to significant gains and a mutually satisfactory and effective outcome.
- Focusing on issues that are value differently will allow students to assess the importance of trading across issues to reach an agreement.
For all parties:
- General Instructions
Confidential instructions for the:
- Special Assistant to the President
- Assistant to the Dean of Students
- Chair of the Minority People's Center
- Co-Chair of the BSU
- Second Student Organizer
- All of the above instructions
- Teaching Notes
- Excerpts from a speech given by Louis Farrakhan
Alternatives; Authority; BATNA; Communication; Currently perceived choice analysis; Drafting; Group process; Interests, dovetailing; Legitimacy; Options, generating; Partisan perceptions; Power imbalance
Farrakhan Negotiation, The Attributes
|Time required:||1-2 hours|
|Number of participants:||5|
|Neutral third party present:||None|
|Teaching notes available:||Yes|