Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Strategic Plan

DEI Strategic Plan
Three Year Plan
2024-25 to 2026-27

Executive Summary 

In alignment with the 2016 GSE Strategic Plan, we began this important work by surveying our faculty and staff in 2017. To address our strategic goal areas: Diverse Collaborative Community, and Trust and Respect, Focus Group Discussions were held in 2018.  A GSE DEI Task Force was constituted and a preliminary DEI plan for GSE was developed, using the University Diversity Strategic Planning Toolkit. In Fall 2022 GSE submitted the Draft Plan for review by the University DEI Steering Committee.  While ongoing school-wide professional development sessions have provided significant training opportunities for faculty and staff engagement in DEI efforts, this latest DEI Strategic Planning effort aims to adopt the means (goals and action steps) for the cohesive, coherent, and collaborative integration of diversity, equity and inclusion in the Graduate School of Education in support of Rutgers-New Brunswick’s shared pursuit of excellence. 

Advancing Excellence & Equity in Education 

Positioned within one of the highest-ranked, most diverse public research universities in the country and led by top experts in the field, the Rutgers Graduate School of Education has served as a vehicle for championing revolutionary change in the field of education for nearly 100 years. Our instructional programs, grounded in empirical research and developed with the goal of immersing students in opportunities for active, multimodal application of coursework, prepare graduates to be effective education practitioners, transformative education leaders, and accomplished educational researchers. The rich cultural, linguistic, and social diversity of the New Jersey school system serves as a backdrop for our pre-service teachers, where they train, study, and contribute to, as they develop the foundational knowledge and practical skills needed to become agents for positive change, both locally and in educational settings around the world. Through this process, one involving rigorous examination and applied practice, the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University and the collective work of our student body, faculty, community partners, and alumni, contribute to greater expansion of knowledge and overarching mission to Advance Excellence and Equity in Education. 

GSE DEI Statement

Rutgers Graduate School of Education’s long commitment to Excellence and Equity in Education is centered around cultivating and convening and nurturing a diverse community of individuals dedicated to ensuring that every aspect of our work – teaching, research, and service – is focused on creating more equitable and just educational systems and structures.   

First, the GSE engages in systematic and targeted efforts to create a diverse and equitable workplace in which all members can thrive, grow, and work toward our shared vision of a more just and equitable world.  We recognize and elevate scholarship that centers equity and social justice across all of the educational disciplines.  At the core of our work is preparing professionals for careers focused on improving schooling and education at all levels.  Therefore, with our students, we model and promote social justice pedagogies that they can carry into their careers.  Finally, we support and value mutually beneficial and committed community engagement with partners in our local, state, national and global communities to advance educational excellence and equity, diversify the educational pipeline, and eliminate educational disparities.  

Through scholarship, teaching, and service, we celebrate the multiple dimensions of diversity that each community member offers and together we aim to critically examine how these dimensions often differentially position and privilege individuals and communities within social and educational hierarchies.  By routinely and rigorously examining the ways that race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic circumstance, national origin, religion, geographic background, immigration status, ability and disability, and physical characteristics affect educational and social experiences, we work to discover and practice ways to disrupt inequality and discrimination.   

These commitments and our plan for advancing them are outlined in the goals, priorities, and strategies listed in the GSE’s three-year DEI plan.

Goals & Priorities

  • Goal #1: Ensure that the GSE is a Respectful, Equitable, Collaborative, Communicative Workplace


    • Develop a clearly stated vision of what it means to have a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.  
    • Review workplace policies and practices for clarity, communication & coordination, role and equity.   
    • Clearly communicate policies and procedures to all members of the community.
    • Develop and implement practices that encourage trust among colleagues and foster full inclusion of all community members.  
    • Track and review metrics of success (i.e. increase in satisfaction with climate and procedures) and regularly gather data on employee experiences at the GSE; department chairs, deans and the DEI committee will periodically review this data [and report to the GSE community].  
  • Goal #2: Build, Develop, and Retain a Diverse Faculty and Staff at the GSE


    • Build best practices for DEI (awareness, knowledge and skills) into faculty and staff hiring practices2 . 
    • Provide faculty and staff with resources, training, and recognition in working towards excellence and advancement in their careers, including existing University resources developed specifically to support faculty and staff of color. 
    • Support and recognize staff and faculty who significantly contribute to creating a diverse, inclusive community.  Intentionally highlight staff members who are making efforts in promoting DEI. 
    • Improve processes for mentoring faculty through the tenure and post-tenure advancement process, including progression into academic leadership.
    • Attend to equity in workload, including the disproportionate advising, mentoring and committee workloads that can accrue for faculty of color.  
    • Track and review metrics of success (i.e. diversity of faculty and staff, career progression; workload equity, success of mediation process) and regularly gather data on employee experiences at the GSE; department chairs, deans and the DEI committee will periodically review this data [and report to the GSE community].  
  • Goal #3: Build, Support, and Retain a Diverse GSE Student Body and Alumni Association Population   


    • Build a GSE student population that more closely reflects the diversity of the state of New Jersey.  
    • Enhance outreach and recruitment processes by using targeted practices to attract diverse student populations.
    • Review the current application/admissions process towards valuing the assets and needs of underrepresented students.   
    • Increase and refine GSE supports to ensure the success of all students, including attention to all stages and aspects of the student experience: social, academic, financial, licensure process and career development. 
    • Identify and connect students to relevant University activities, services, programs and supports.
    • Create activities, programming and groups to foster community and capitalize on the strengths of a diverse GSE student body.
    • Create opportunities for student leadership and decision-making within the GSE.
    • Interface with the GSEAA towards the development of policies and practices that increase diversity of the membership, leadership and programming of the GSEAA.
    • Track and review metrics of success (i.e. enrollment, time to degree, program completion) across and within GSE programs, disaggregated demographically and regularly gather data on students’ experiences at the GSE; department chairs, deans and the DEI committee will periodically review this data [and report to the GSE community].  
  • Goal #4: Strengthen and Support Social Justice, Equity, and Anti-Racism in the GSE’s Core Areas



    • Build intellectual community and awareness around social justice, equity and anti-racism through events and programming related to those themes.  
    • Identify internal and external resources and supports6 for social justice, equity and anti-racist-focused research, including collaborative and community-engaged research.  
    • Facilitate visiting appointments of scholars who advance school and institutional goals of social justice, equity and anti-racism through their research, and/or public engagement. 
    • Recognize excellence and leadership in scholarship in these areas.  

    Teaching & Mentorship 

    • Provide support and training for instructors on how to foster knowledge, discussion and attention to issues of race, equity and diversity in the classroom.
    • Support these instructional improvements by allocating time for discussion and reflection in various spaces (i.e. departments, programs, whole GSE). 
    • Provide time and support for faculty to review course syllabi and practices with attention to the incorporation of equity issues and diverse perspectives. 
    • Recognize excellence and leadership in teaching for social justice, equity and anti-racism.  
    • Track and review metrics of success (i.e. more inclusive syllabi, fewer student complaints on equity issues, increased comfort with leading challenging conversations); department chairs, deans and the DEI committee will periodically review this data [and report to the GSE community].   


    • Promote and raise the profile of social justice, equity and anti-racist community-engaged work at the GSE through support and recognition.  
    • Create partnerships throughout the state of New Jersey, the US and globally that build on the social justice, equity and anti-racist work taking place at the GSE.   

Meet the GSE DEI Committee

Dr. Nora Hyland
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Faculty Director of Teacher Education
Learning & Teaching

Mx. Megumi Asada
DEI Student Representative

Dr. Darren Clarke
Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
& Online Programs

Dr. Kevin Clay
Assistant Professor of Black Studies in Education
Educational Theory, Policy, & Administration

Mr. Jean Edouard
DEI Student Representative

Ms. Dhwani Kapur
DEI Student Representative

Dr. Michelle Macchia
Assistant Professor of Professional Practice
& Partnership Leader
Learning & Teaching

Dr. Michelle Mitcham
Associate Professor of Professional Practice
Educational Psychology

Ms. Rhena Montero
Department Administrator Supervisor
Dean’s Office

Mx. A Pollicino
DEI Student Representative

Ms. Xiaowen Qiu
DEI Student Representative

Ms. Melissa Thomas
Personnel Manager

  • Community Agreements

    These have been developed collaboratively to support welcoming, inclusive, and productive meetings within the GSE community.

    As a community, we are committed to:

    • Making meetings productive and focused
    • Starting and ending on time (or early!)
    • Asking clarifying questions when something may be unclear
    • Monitoring our own participation and creating space for everyone to contribute
    • Valuing the strength of diverse input
    • Listening attentively to colleagues and acknowledging the feelings, experiences, and wisdom behind what they say
    • Demonstrating mutual respect for one another

Work in Action

Walking the Talk

Take the Next Step
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