CACM Origins, History and Growth
The Center for Applied Conflict Management (CACM) was founded in 1971 as Kent State University's original "living memorial" to the students killed on May 4, 1970 when Ohio National Guardsmen killed four and injured nine Kent State University students during a student protest against the United States' war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
Following the shootings, a university-wide commission was charged with recommending long-range institutional responses. The commission's consensus recommendation was that KSU should establish a living memorial in the form of a Center to study and to promote peaceful mechanisms of change. Thus the Center for Peaceful Change was established in 1971, later renamed the Center for Applied Conflict Management.
The Center's undergraduate degree program in peace and conflict studies was established two years later, in 1973, making it one of the oldest in the country. Today it is also one of the country's largest, regularly enrolling more than 1,000 students in its courses each academic year. Thanks to the Center for Applied Conflict Management, Kent State students learn and practice applied skills in negotiation, mediation, community collaboration, workplace conflict management, dispute systems design, and nonviolent action.
Famous not only for the violent conflict of May 4th, Kent State is now also well-known for its academic study of conflict management. Many students come to Kent State University to study conflict and its constructive management with the faculty of the Center for Applied Conflict Management. There are options at all levels. Besides our undergraduate major and minor in Applied Conflict Management, we also offer graduate students many options.
Doctoral students come to Kent State from all over the world to study closely with Center faculty members who teach in the Political Science doctoral degree, which has a Conflict Analysis and Management track that students may choose. In addition, many graduate students study with Center faculty through Kent State’s creative Master’s in Liberal Studies program, where students can fashion a master's level conflict management degree program to fit their particular interests.