"I want to thank you for all your efforts. We didn't achieve the outcome we were hoping for, but it was not through any lack of effort or empathy on your part."
This is the kind of thing I sometimes hear from visitors to my office, and as the Ombudsman I believe we can learn some interesting things about conflict from this perspective. Often we think about the content of a conflict: I want a better grade, or access to more financial aid, or a better working relationship with with my advisor. Sometimes we get some or all of what we want, and sometimes we do not.