Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Our Commitment to DEI
Rutgers University’s vision is to create “an inclusive community that embodies, reflects, and respects the complexities of all our parts.” As a path to realizing this vision, the University's first ever Diversity Strategic Plan was released in March 2022. In this document, Rutgers community members have affirmed five overarching priorities for the university: developing a diverse community, promoting inclusive scholarship, defining substantive community engagement, building capacity for inclusive climates, and developing the infrastructure to drive change. To achieve these priorities, every member of the faculty and staff, and all students, are called upon to integrate the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of our work.
The Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP), is in full alignment with Rutgers University's vision and commitment to individual and cultural diversity – a commitment that dates back almost 50 years. It was under the leadership of our first dean, Dr. Donald R. Peterson, that GSAPP established the Ethnic Minority Alumni Advisory Committee (1983), the Hispanic Organization of Professional Psychology Students (1985), and the Black Students of Graduate and Professional Psychology Programs (1986 - now known as the Black Graduate Student Association). Today, we have several additional student groups with a range of identities and backgrounds that provide spaces to gather and discuss the field and practices of psychology through their individual and collective lenses.
The Committee on Diversity (COD) – a faculty led and student-focused committee – is one example of how these groups address issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion in the practice of professional psychology. In 2020, GSAPP created a Diversity Action Plan and task teams focused on climate, instruction, and scholarship, and hired our first Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in 2022. Expanding on our strong past, we continue to grow as a school and community, always working toward building a better GSAPP for tomorrow.