Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at the Bloustein School
A commitment to faculty, students, staff, alumni & community partners
The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy values diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) and aims to improve and grow these efforts strategically by managing and assessing performance.
Accountability is shared among our family of faculty, students, staff, and external partners. Investment of School resources will be enhanced, where required, to realize our vision, mission, and purpose in alignment with our shared institutional values.
Strategic Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Goals
The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy is fully committed to, and unequivocally shares, Rutgers University’s core pillars related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. These values are consistent with and essential towards the realization of a vibrant and high-performing community of support. By committing to this mission, our ability to achieve true diversity, equity, and inclusion is strengthened.
We believe in and will work towards:
- Creating, maintaining, and assessing our performance toward equity;
- Creating a diverse school-wide community of faculty, staff and students;
- Maintaining an inclusive and belonging community; and
- Creating a community of equity; equitably accessing the school’s enterprise of academic and research assets; and fostering transparently engaged communications with our family of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and external partners.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Task Force at the Bloustein School
The Bloustein School’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Task Force was created in Spring 2020 to advise the dean about strategies to build awareness of and foster a positive climate for increased diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging within the school and among the school’s students, staff, and faculty.
The school is home to individuals from many cultures, races, nationalities, genders, identities, and life experiences and with different beliefs and values. The work of the Task Force is critical in embracing individuals with such multifaceted backgrounds by making them feel supported and empowered, by working through student, staff and faculty-driven processes to advance a culture of belonging, tolerance, and mutual respect for others, and by inspiring excellence in cultural awareness, competency, and equity.
The Task Force works within the framework of the foundational institutional values of Rutgers University and in consultation and collaboration with the Rutgers New Brunswick Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement.
School-wide Standing Committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
The Bloustein School’s Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Task Force recommended the formation of a standing committee to provide advice and counsel to the dean on matters related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. The overarching role of the Committee is to envision, develop and serve as a progressive force for transformative change within the school. The committee will give serious focus toward increasing the number of faculty, staff, and students from among historically underrepresented minority groups (as defined by federal, state, and Rutgers University workforce utilization standards). The committee will work to build awareness among the students, faculty, and staff and to create a positive learning, working, and service climate within the school, and with our external key stakeholders.
Rutgers University’s four campus-wide educational communities comprise one of the most diverse (in terms of student demographic populations) AAU, BIG TEN Academic Alliance, and research-intensive higher education institutions in the United States. However, this diversity is unevenly distributed among the four distinct campuses. It is also presumed that much of the Rutgers diversity of individuals from many cultures, races, nationalities, genders, identities, and life experiences and with different beliefs and values—is more circumstantial than intentional—given the population diversity of the New Jersey/ New York region.
The Committee on DEIB is to continue the work of the Task Force on DIB created by the dean of the school last year. The Task Force submitted a report to the dean in February 2021. The Committee will explore deeper and more comprehensive understandings of the nature, scope, and varieties of concerns related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the school. The Committee will engage and respect the extensive input from and engagement of student, staff, and faculty-driven processes to advance a culture of belonging, caring, tolerance, and mutual respect for others, and by inspiring excellence in cultural awareness, competency, and equity. Key to the successful implementation of the previous Task Force and newly formed Standing Committee goals is holding ourselves as a school-wide community accountable for achieving the agreed values and goals for DEIB in our school.
The Committee will work within the framework of the foundational institutional values of Rutgers University and in consultation and collaboration with the Office of the Senior Vice President for Equity, and Rutgers New Brunswick Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement.
The Committee will undertake the vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at the Bloustein School by progressively undertaking, (on an ongoing basis) the committee’s core charge. These roles and functions may be expanded as recommended to the dean by the consensus of members of the Committee.
Faculty and Staff
Associate Teaching Professor – Chief, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
Professor of Professional Practice – Committee Chair
Soumitra Bhuyan, PhD
Associate Teaching Professor
Teaching Instructor and Internship Coordinator
Professor and Chancellor Scholar
Professor and Director, Nurture thru Nature
Professor; Director, Urban Planning and Policy Program; Director, Ralph W. Voohees Center for Civic Engagement
Senior Learning and Development Manager, National Transit Institute
Associate Director of Undergraduate Student Services
Assistant Dean for Student and Academic Services
Undergraduate Public Health
Master of Public Policy candidate
Master of Public Policy candidate
Master of City and Regional Planning candidate