phone: (316) 284-5881
B.A., McPherson College, 1968
J.D., University of Kansas, 1973
After a 15-year career in private law practice with an emphasis on work with local governmental units, and additional post-Juris Doctorate work in conflict analysis and resolution, Gary Flory has since worked full time in the conflict resolution arena as both a practitioner and a trainer. Gary began his teaching career in conflict resolution as a member of the faculty at McPherson College, and came to Bethel College in 1998 as director of Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) and as a member of the Bethel faculty. As director, Gary provides overall administration of all KIPCOR programs. During his tenure as director, KIPCOR revamped the Conflict Resolution Certificate Program, developed and established the Community Mediation Center and the Church Conflict Working Group, and also established the Great Plains Consensus Council. In the training field, Gary initiated the development multiple broad training programs for both Bethel students and mid-career professionals -- and trainings are now a staple of KIPCOR’s work. As a member of the faculty, Gary has taught courses in interpersonal conflict resolution, mediation, negotiation, culture and conflict, causes of social violence, international conflict resolution, organizational and public conflict, and restorative justice.
Much of Gary’s current work stems from being the principal facilitator with the Great Plains Consensus Council, which designs and facilitates consensus building processes to support the development and implementation of public policy decisions. Prior to coming to KIPCOR, Gary was a founding member of The River Group, established in 1994 to help member states in the Missouri River Basin Association design and implement consensus building processes for reaching agreement on controversial Missouri River management issues. Since then, he has worked extensively with the Missouri River Natural Resource Committee, the Mississippi River Interstate Cooperative Resource Association, the Kansas Department of Transportation, the Kansas Governor’s Sub-Cabinet on Natural Resources, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, the Kansas Water Office, the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts, and the Kansas Supreme Court’s Office of Judicial Administration, among others. He also facilitated the process of bringing states and tribes in the Missouri River Basin together to form a new organization called the Missouri River Association of States and Tribes. Much of the Great Plains Consensus Council work continues to be related to water and environmental issues, and more recently, to other policies in which a governmental unit is involved.
In addition to environmental work, Gary has been active in developing programs related to Restorative Justice. He was a long-time member of the Board of Directors of Offender / Victim Ministries, Inc. in Newton, Kansas, a non-profit focusing on a restorative justice response to crime. In response to a request by the Kansas Department of Education (KSDE) in 2011, Gary led a multi-year KIPCOR initiative to develop and present workshops to Kansas educators on Restorative Discipline as an alternative to suspensions and expulsions. KIPCOR has termed this project its Restorative Practices Initiative. During the grant years, more than 1,000 Kansas school administrators, teachers, counselors and social workers attended KIPCOR’s one-day workshop or KIPCOR’s two-day advanced training in the use of Restorative Practices. Gary also consults with schools who want to adopt a Restorative Practice component as part of their school climate and disciplinary policy.
Gary is approved as a mediator and mediation trainer by the Kansas Supreme Court in the areas of core, civil and domestic mediation, and he is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution and Heartland Mediator’s Association. Gary recently completed a second term on the Kansas Supreme Court’s Advisory Council on Dispute Resolution, and he also serves on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Civil Discourse and Democracy at Kansas State University. In addition, he is on the national roster of Environmental Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building Professionals for the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, an organization created by Congress in 1998 and operating under the aegis of the Morris K. Udall Foundation in Tucson, Arizona.