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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

Since before its inception in 2006, the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark has promoted diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in its activities, coursework, and scholarship, and has had a clear and sustained commitment to reflect the ethnic and cultural variety of the RU-N population (one of the most diverse in the country), the city of Newark, and the state of New Jersey. Rutgers SPAA is committed to promoting and practicing social equity through teaching, research, and service, and engaging in intentional, active, and ethical efforts in order to serve and safeguard all people, especially the most vulnerable in our society.


Initiatives & Activities

Teaching & Curriculum

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded in course content and design throughout the curriculum, appearing through lectures, guest speakers, and other ways.

  • SPAA recently evaluated the school's DEI efforts and made a number of positive changes, including working with other schools on the RU-N campus to create university-wide DEI concentrations, certificates, and minors.
  • The MPA program addresses issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the curriculum, but especially within the core courses around Administrative Ethics, Managing Public Organizations, and Human Resources Administration, as well as Introduction to Public Administration and Public Policy Process.
  • In the MPA concentration on Leadership of Public Organizations, SPAA offers a course titled Leadership and Diversity that "distinguishes leadership from management and introduces students to essential leadership qualities and characteristics" such as "team building in diverse organizational settings, visioning and agenda setting for diverse clientele, cultural competence, strategies for promoting social justice, understanding the impacts of diversity on group dynamics and leadership and the strategic challenge of maintaining organizational diversity."

Research & Scholarship

SPAA faculty focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in their research across a range of policy domains.

  • Board of Governors Distinguished Professor Norma Riccucci's research focuses on public management with interests in social equity policies and representative bureaucracy. Her recent publication in Administration and Society is titled "Preparing Blacks and Latinx for Workforce 2000: Unfulfilled Promises and Lost Opportunities."
  • Assistant Teaching Professor Jihye Jung assesses accountability, transparency, performance management, diversity, and representation in public and nonprofit organizations. Her recent co-authored article titled "Racial Representation and Socialization in Bureaucratic Organizational Structures" was published in Public Administration Review.
  • Associate Professor Lindsey McDougle studies voluntarism, philanthropy, nonprofit management, and social inequality. She recently co-authored an article in Teaching Nonprofit Management titled "The Critical Pedagogy of Nonprofit Management Education: Teaching for Social Justice."
  • Professor Ariane Chebel d'Appollonia focuses on the politics of immigration and anti-discrimination, security issues, racism and xenophobia, extreme-right wing movements, immigrant integration, urban racism, and European policies. Her Rutgers SPAA Research Brief "To Whom Black Lives Actually Matter? Reflections on the Efficacy and Sustainability of Ethno-Racial Coalitions" addresses questions surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement – Who actually supports the BLM movement? What are the main motives of the various ethno-racial groups that coalesce around its agenda? And what has been its impact to date? – by focusing on the evolution of race relations and multiracial coalitions in America today.

Service & Partnerships

SPAA faculty regularly engage in efforts in order to advance diversity and equity.

  • Assistant Professor of Professional Practice Diane Hill was part of a team that received a $5M National Institutes of Health grant to expand access to COVID testing for vulnerable communities in New Jersey.
  • Associate Professors Suzanne Piotrowski and Greg Porumbescu are part of a Rutgers-led team which was awarded a $2.3M grant from the National Science Foundation to partner with the City of Newark for the development of strategies to create equitable digital public services.