School of Graduate Studies Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Faculty, students, and staff in the School of Graduate Studies are engaged in the university-wide strategic planning and implementation process to craft a shared vision for diversity, equity, and inclusion in graduate education.

At a Glance

The School of Graduate Studies (SGS), which comprises more than 150 doctoral and master's programs, developed a strategic plan that is consistent with the five major strategic plan priorities defined by the Rutgers Office of University Equity and Inclusion, as well as the mission and goals of SGS. The university-wide diversity strategic planning process aligns efforts across Chancellor-led and organizational units to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) developed a strategic plan that is consistent with the five major strategic plan priorities defined by the  Rutgers Office of University Equity and Inclusion, as well as the mission and goals of SGS. We envision this strategic plan will guide efforts in cultivating an equitable, affirming, and inclusive graduate education experience in which all SGS community members, across race, ethnicity, gender identity, citizenship status, religion, socioeconomic status, nationality, sexual orientation, and ability-difference, can learn and thrive.

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Process and Strategic Goals
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Current Initiatives
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The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan
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Next Steps and Assessing Progress
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The Executive Council of SGS endorsed the creation of a committee of faculty and a committee of students in Spring 2021, who met separately to develop the first draft of the SGS strategic plan. This plan was also informed by reports submitted by all graduate programs describing activities and aspirations. The early draft plan was shared with the SGS Executive Council in Fall 2021. This report is based on the original Spring, 2021, draft plan, following reviews by the Division of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement.

This report contains three major sections: (I) a list of the five main strategic goals, (II) a description of DEI activities across SGS and constituent graduate programs that were initiated prior to the development of this plan, and (III) the specific actions planned under each strategic goal.  

Strategic Goals

The School of Graduate Studies Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is centered
around the following five broad strategic goals:

  1. Bring to Rutgers a diverse population of graduate students and broaden participation to address the historical disparities in representation across race, gender, and ethnicity.
  2. Develop targeted, funded projects to ensure successful experiences and outcomes for a diverse cohort of graduate students.
  3. Foster the personal, professional, and scholarly growth of students, leading to successful graduate school experiences and post-graduate outcomes and careers.
  4. Promote inclusive scholarship, teaching, and mentoring.
  5. Develop institutional infrastructure to support collaboration, accountability, and community engagement in support of DEI goals.

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Current Initiatives

Ongoing Initiatives in Support of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Activities within the SGS Doctoral and Master's Programs

SGS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan

Next Steps

SGS is currently working on implementation and will:

  • Set priorities.
  • Translate the objectives listed above into specific actionable steps.
  • Identify individuals and groups who will implement the actions, including recommendations for involving partnering organizations or units within Rutgers.
  • Determine what resources are needed and recommend steps to obtain these resources, whether internal or external.
  • Examine periodic reports from those given the tasks of carrying out steps in the plan.

Assessing Progress and Outcomes

To evaluate the status of implementation of this strategic plan, SGS will perform annual assessments consisting of:

  • Development of appropriate software tools to store and analyze data related to recruiting, enrollment, academic initiatives, funding related to diversity and inclusion (internal and external), participation by students in professional development activities, and status of relationships with university partners and undergraduate-serving institutions.
  • An annual self-assessment performed within SGS to determine the status of all activities initiated under this plan.
  • An annual survey of program faculty and of students addressing the main issues covered by this plan.
  • A review of relevant literature and websites, including those of peer universities, professional societies, and professional organizations concerned with graduate education to assess Rutgers’ progress relative to peers.