DePaul University, College of Law, 1982
Managing Partner, Workplace Resolutions LLC
Dick Fincher ’73 was surrounded by ILR-related topics his entire life. His father was a human resources manager for Birds Eye food. Dick’s first official job as a teenager was at a grocery store where employees were organized by the Retail Clerks Union. . The owner of the store eventually recognized the union without an election.
Fincher was the first in his family to go to college. He credits his ILR degree with giving him confidence and critical thinking skills. Since graduation, he has had four distinct careers, all related to ILR.
He began his career in human resources before moving into dispute resolution with the American Arbitration Association in Washington, D.C. He later became a labor and employment lawyer in Chicago. Today, Fincher manages a dispute resolution company. He is hired by law, union and management firms as a mediator and arbitrator to settle labor and employment disputes.
Fincher works closely with ILR’s Scheinman Institute, helping students practice their dispute resolution skills. He provides students with travel scholarships so that they can attend dispute resolution and law conferences. Fincher also helps emerging neutrals gain important skills through adult education courses in Ithaca and New York City. He co-authored the text “Emerging Systems for Managing Workplace Conflict” with former ILR Dean David Lipsky and retired Professor Ron Seeber.
He has seen ILR evolve over the decades since he graduated, “an increasing number of institutes and expanding faculty expertise to ensure that ILR is at the forefront of the world of work.”
Fincher is also passionate about international opportunities for ILR students. He says, “There were very few opportunities to study internationally when I went to ILR. The ILR School now strives to make these opportunities available to all students. I am doing my part to make this happen by providing ILR students with funding for engaged learning in Vietnam.” He supports a two week cultural immersion program to Asia, where ILR students are paired with local students to learn about labor relations and dispute resolution.
Fincher believes students must have international experiences and global perspective, as it is “no longer a domestic world.”
Fincher has worked in Vietnam for many years, building the capacity and skills of local unions and management in labor relations, collective bargaining and mediation. He also taught labor relations as a Fulbright Scholar with a university in Saigon.