ICAR Moves to Arlington Campus

Posted: August 18, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Fran Rensbarger

Over the next few weeks, the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) moves from the townhouses at 4260 Chain Bridge Road in Fairfax to space on the fifth and sixth floors of the Truland Building, the black glass building behind the School of Law.

All ICAR graduate classes will be taught in Arlington starting this fall, but classes for the new undergraduate program will be on the Fairfax Campus. The faculty and staff for the undergraduate program, however, will be based in Arlington until their space in Robinson Hall is ready. The Northern Virginia Mediation Service will stay in the townhouses, joined by other units from the university in the remaining townhouse space. ICAR will keep the same phone numbers and mail stop.

“We have outgrown our space,” says Sara Cobb, ICAR director, about the move, once planned for 2007. The crowding has meant little or no room for the new teaching and research faculty, students engaged in research, working groups, expansion of new centers, donor meetings, and a new library archive.

The move also eliminates the problem of accessibility to parts of the townhouses. “I find it terrible that some of us do not have access to the life on the second floor,” says Cobb. “This access would no doubt change the experience of the program and would be, from a human perspective, the caring thing to do—to have a program where all students could participate.”

With about 20 percent more space and space that is better utilized, Cobb says, “We hope that leads to more community and more space for students to work together and with faculty. There will be space for training, cubes for student researchers, space for the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution—as well as a ‘serious’ kitchen.”

Long-term benefits of the move include proximity to Washington, D.C., and more connections to downtown institutions, Capitol Hill, and colleagues at American, George Washington, and Johns Hopkins Universities. The move will also result in improved access for students because the Arlington Campus is near a Metro stop.

“I think the move toward Washington, D.C., will increase our connections, giving us access to policymakers, think tanks, libraries, and national and international leaders and institutions. I believe that this will help us influence the kinds of policies that are made, as well as the way they are made, so that ICAR can be an important resource for groups that set the international and national agenda. I think this fits a program like ours that seeks to not only conduct research, but also make it relevant to folks who need it,” says Cobb.

Cobb also notes that the changes will potentially bring to the institute more students from the metropolitan area who are mid-career. And, being on the same campus with the Schools of Law and Public Policy might foster more connections and collaborations with them.

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