SMLR was originally established by an act of the New Jersey legislature in 1947 as the Institute of Management and Labor Relations (IMLR). Like its counterparts that were created in the other large industrial states at the same time, the Institute was chartered to promote new forms of labor-management cooperation following the industrial unrest at the end of World War II. It officially became a school at the flagship campus of the State University of New Jersey in New Brunswick/Piscataway in 1994.
Recently, SMLR celebrated its accomplishments over the past 20 years, including its establishment as a school and the 20th anniversary of SMLR's Center for Women and Work. A symposium focusing on leadership, and reception was held at The Heldrich Hotel and Conference Center in New Brunswick, which celebrated the school's history and milestones, honored alumni, and shared exciting, new developments for the future. Invited Special Guests included Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor; Gabrielle Carteris, Executive Vice President, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists; and Claude Richardson, GEMHRL '07, Vice President, Human Resources, Thermal Management Systems Division, Ametek Inc.
For an early history of the School of Management and Labor Relations, read the article, "Labor Education at Rutgers University, 1931-1981, and the Establishment of IMLR" written by Eugene McElroy, SMLR Library Associate, and published in the Journal of the Rutgers University Libraries.