"As a leading center for the study of work and employment, the School of Management and Labor Relations aspires to serve as a role model for creating an environment that reflects our commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging. We are inspired by President Obama’s words at the 2016 Rutgers University commencement, noting the incredible diversity of Rutgers’ student body, “America converges here.” At Rutgers, we are rightly proud of the diversity of our student body. Yet, the diversity of our faculty and staff lags far behind that of our students. Moreover, having a diverse student body or a diverse faculty tells us little about whether our accepted policies and daily practices of interaction communicate these values to those, who because of their race, gender, ethnicity, immigration status, class background, or sexual orientation or gender identity are made to feel they belong here. 

We aim to change that.  

We seek to influence the world beyond Rutgers in promoting just and effective practices in the workplace and beyond. We are proud of being a school that successfully educates and mentors a diverse array of students including many who are first generation college attenders. Creating a culture that demonstrates our values is essential to our ability to work together to develop curricula, govern ourselves, create knowledge and plan for the future. Finally, as many advocates and experts in this area affirm, inclusion is not a destination or a goal that can be reached, but rather a process where we all continue to work to improve our own behavior and to break down institutional barriers."

 — Message from Dean Adrienne E. Eaton to the SMLR Community, April 2019 

Communication Regarding Racism and Inclusion

SMLR's Strategic Plan for Strengthening Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In spring of 2021, a committee undertook a review of SMLR's current state relative to Rutgers University's strategic priorities related to DEI. Based on this review, a 3-year DEI strategic plan has been developed. Leaders across SMLR, along with the support of a DEI committee, will be implementing the plan in the coming years. 

SMLR DEI Strategic Plan

In support of Rutgers’ strategic priority of building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, SMLR is committed to recognizing, addressing, and eradicating racism and all forms of oppression. We will be a welcoming place that values and promotes diversity, provides equitable access to all opportunities, and provides an affirming environment for all faculty, staff, and students. We are united in our pursuit to be a place where we can all thrive in our work/learning and feel a sense of respect and belonging. 

YEAR 1 GOALS (completed by June 2022)

1.  Identify and offer training/workshops on diversity and inclusion topics and achieve 70% completion rate among faculty and staff for participating in at least one workshop. All administrators and leaders take part in an anti-racism and inclusion training workshop.

2.  Identify a process/system for all SMLR students to be exposed to DEI training as part of orientation or in an introductory course in our academic programs; launch process in year 2.

3.  Identify a recruiting strategy to attract PhD students from underrepresented groups.

4.  Commit $60,000 from SMLR’s budget in year 1 to support the DEI strategy implementation; equivalent amounts may be committed in years 2 and 3 based on progress and needs.

YEAR 2 GOALS (completed by June 2023)

5. 100% completion rate of faculty and staff on above training/workshops. 

6.  Launch the process for student DEI training identified in year 1. 

7.  Complete the process for proposing DEI as an additional SMLR Learning Objective of our academic programs; discussion and vote on proposal by SMLR faculty in December 2022 or May 2023.

YEAR 3 GOALS (completed by June 2024)

8.  Improved fundraising for scholarships to support economically disadvantaged students in Master’s programs and to support undergraduate student internships in the Centers and study abroad.  

9.  Increase diversity of students in Masters and PhD programs by notable percentage.

10.  Notable improvements in faculty and staff scores on “belonging” and inclusion climate on survey conducted in Spring 2024 by: 

  1. Active community-building among faculty and staff in years 1 and 2. 
  2. Training on creating a respectful culture and micro-affirmations for all faculty and staff. 
  3. Reducing perceptions of unfairness related to employment practices through improved information-sharing. 

11.  95% retention of faculty employed in Fall 2021. 

12.  Notable improvement in staff’s scores on development support by building a “development culture” and success in earning and securing pay grade changes when appropriate. 

13.  All SMLR instructors have attended a workshop on “inclusive” teaching practices.

SMLR DEI Committee

A committee has been established within the School of Management and Labor Relations to support and strengthen ongoing efforts to create an inclusive environment within our faculty and staff communities. 

2021-2022 SMLR DEI Committee Members
  • Maria L. Kraimer (Chair) 
    Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
    and Professor, Human Resource Management Department
  • Patty Deitsch (Administrative Support)
    Program Coordinator, Labor Studies and Employment Relations Department
  • Tracy Cangiano
    Senior Program Coordinator, Education and Employment Research Center
  • Ludine Daux
    Program Coordinator, Center for Women and Work
  • Jie (Jasmine) Feng
    Assistant Professor, Human Resource Management Department
  • Carlos A. Flores
    Career Management Specialist, SMLR Career Services
  • Glenda Gracia-Rivera
    Director of Professional Development and Training, Center for Women and Work
  • Christopher Hayes
    Assistant Teaching Professor, Labor Studies and Employment Relations Department
  • Lawrence Houston III
    Assistant Professor, Human Resource Management Department
  • Lisa A. Schur
    Professor, Labor Studies and Employment Relations Department
    and Director, Program for Disability Research

Building Community Through Shared Group Experience

So You Want To Talk About Race bookLike institutions across the U.S., we have been challenged to engage with our community on issues of diversity and address systemic racism in particular. During the summer of 2020, the entire SMLR faculty and staff read the book, So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo.

On October 30, nearly 100 faculty and staff from across the school's various departments, programs, and centers came together for a morning of discussion to explore our personal experiences reading Oluo's book. Small group breakout sessions allowed for individual reflection on what resonated within the book for each person and established a setting for group discussion about actions that can be taken – both individually and collectively – to battle systemic racism in our own workplace to positively impact SMLR and its culture, perhaps even the larger university community as well.  

In the News: SMLR Faculty and Staff Share Expertise on Racial Justice in the Workplace

Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations faculty and staff are sharing their expertise on racism at work, the power of police unions, and the nationwide protests.

View a list of SMLR faculty and staff news stories and articles on racial justice and the workplace

Diversity in Our Curricula

As our society becomes more diverse and our economy more global, how an organization draws upon the talents of every individual in the workplace is critical to its success. SMLR offers courses to bring awareness to topics of diversity and inclusion that offer students the tools to help navigate the challenges and opportunities associated with an increasingly diverse workforce. 

Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Graduate Certificate

SMLR offers a 4-course graduate certificate program on Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace. Students enter the program by completing a non-degree application for study through the Rutgers Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions. Visit the Graduate Certificate Program webpage for complete details on requirements and how to apply. 

Courses for Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certificate

Required courses include:

Employment Law – one of the two options below:

  • 38:578:566 offered by the HRM Department (not open to non-degree students)
  • 37:575:315 offered by the LSER Department

AND one of two broad classes about diversity:

  • 38:578:510  The Inclusive Workplace
  • 38:578:551  Identity and Discrimination at Work and in the U.S. Labor Market

AND any two classes from the following list:

  • 38:578:541  Women and Work 
  • 38:578:526  Immigration, Public Policy and Worker Rights 
  • 37:575:365  Disability, Work and Society
  • 38:578:511  Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace 
  • 37:575:316  Employment Discrimination Law
  • 37:575:303  Black Workers in American Society
  • 37:575:307  Latino Workers in the U.S. 
  • 37:575:366  Asian American Workers in a Global Context
  • Topics or other classes related to the content of this certificate with the approval of the program director
  • Independent Study related to diversity and inclusion

Selected Coursework Related to Diversity and Inclusion

The School of Management and Labor Relations offers coursework at both the graduate and undergraduate levels addressing topics of diversity and inclusion.   

Graduate Courses Descriptions

38:578:510  The Inclusive Workplace 
Fostering an inclusive workplace; issues related to race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and other aspects of diversity in work organizations.

38:578:535  Women and Global Labor Movement 
How women are organizing worldwide for gender justice and an improved quality of life; how changing labor movements are addressing gender issues.

38:578:541  Women and Work 
An analysis of women’s experiences and status in a range of work settings; an evaluation of legal, institutional, and public policy responses to issues such as the segregation of work by race and gender, pay equity, the feminization of poverty, sexual harassment, and the restructuring of work and family roles.

38:578:551  Identity and Discrimination at Work and in the U.S. Labor Market
Social construction of identity and the consequences for contemporary diversity outcomes; intersectionality of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other forms of identity.

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

37:575:303  Black Workers in American Society 
Examination of the historical relationships between African-American workers and the American labor movement; analysis of problems facing Black workers at the workplace.

37:575:307  Latino Workers in the United States 
Role of Latino workers in U.S. society and the U.S. economy; impact of the new migration on the U.S. labor market and social policy.

37:575:309  Working Women in American Society 
Focus on the contemporary experience of working women, including an exploration of current legal strategies and social policies created to address their concerns.

37:624:364  Diversity in the Workplace
Focuses on how the increasing demographic diversity of American workplaces affects social relations, cultural dynamics, and organizational effectiveness.

37:575:366  Asian American Workers in a Global Context
Social structures affecting Asian American workers; contemporary and historical immigration policies; stereotypes and other problems; racialized employment; inequality and achievement; differences by nation origin.

Teaching Resources for Creating Inclusive Classrooms

Rutgers University Resources

The Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement at Rutgers offers resources for faculty, staff, and students:

  • Becoming Anti-Racist Resource List - A list of articles, books, videos, and podcasts on the following topics: Understand How Race Shapes Experiences in Higher Education, Understand How Race Shapes Experiences in the Workplace, Understand Allyship, and Understand How Anti-Black Racism Shapes American Society
  • Self-Directed Learning - LinkedIn Learning Paths provide clustered content on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for All; Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for Leaders and Managers; and Become an Inclusive Leader.
  • Bias and Crisis Support - Information and support resources for reporting a bias incident and for reporting a Title IX incident