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.