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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Since its inception in 2006, the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark has promoted diversity, equity, and inclusion in its activities, coursework, and scholarship. The school 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. SPAA is committed to promoting and practicing social equity through teaching, service, and research, and engaging in intentional, active, and ethical efforts in order to serve and safeguard all people, especially the most vulnerable in our society.


  • SPAA is proud to be recognized as a leader in the advancement of social equity as the recipient of the 2019 Social Equity Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).



  • Rachel Emas has redesigned several courses to use only cost-free course materials and to make these materials more accessible for students with special needs such as those who are visually impaired.
  • Suzanne Piotrowski has consulted with the World Bank Institute on an evaluation of Thailand’s Official Information Act and with the Carter Center on a project assessing how access to information differentially affects women.
  • Norma Riccucci helped to produce and signed the Minnowbrook 50 Social Equity Manifesto [pdf], which documents the need to include social equity as a central principle in public administration, at the Minnowbrook 50th Anniversary Conference.
  • Marilyn Rubin has been an advisor to the Korean Woman’s Development Institute and to the governments of San Francisco, CA and Fulton County, GA on gender budgeting. She also served as a UN advisor to integrate women into public policy and economic development projects.


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

  • Leadership and Diversity (20:834:507) [MPA Program]
    This course distinguishes leadership from management and introduces students to essential leadership qualities and characteristics. Organizational diversity and inclusion are emphasized. Students will develop key leadership skills including: 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.
  • Human Resources Administration (20:834:523) [MPA Program]
    Human resources administration in public and nonprofit settings, including human resource planning, staffing, development, and compensation. Behavioral and environmental determinants are examined, including market factors, service delivery, and government regulations and policies.
  • Leadership, Equity, and Diversity (26:834:618) [PhD Program]
    This course addresses governance from a human resources perspective, focusing on such areas as leadership and diversity in the public sector. Topics covered include ethical leadership, equity discourse, and power and privilege politics. A key theme is the responsibility of government, society, and public employers to create legal, ethical, and diverse work environments.


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