ILR School curriculum changes to begin in fall ’22

The New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) will implement its most substantive undergraduate curriculum changes in more than 30 years, which include increased emphasis on statistics and data analysis, as well as on issues of diversity.

The new curriculum, part of the school’s continued commitment to academic excellence, has been approved by the New York State Education Department and the State University of New York.

Cornell impacting New York State

“These modifications will ensure that ILR students continue to be prepared to address new challenges in the world of work, while maintaining core strengths as a broad disciplinary major,” said Alexander Colvin, Ph.D. ’99, ILR’s Kenneth F. Kahn ’69 Dean and Martin F. Scheinman ’75, M.S. ’76, Professor.

The curriculum will be implemented in fall 2022 for incoming Class of 2026 students. Current students will not be impacted by the changes, but will have the opportunity to take new courses offered through the new curriculum.

Highlights of the ILR curriculum changes include:

  • a course introducing new students to the research at ILR to provide a broad perspective on the school;
  • increased emphasis on statistics and data analysis skills through new sequences of courses in that area.;
  • a deepened emphasis on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, enhanced by a new course requirement in this area;
  • increased global focus, strengthened by a new international course requirement; and
  • reconfiguration of existing courses on organizational behavior and human resource management into four new seven-week courses, enhancing the disciplinary grounding in the areas of the sociology and psychology of work.

The curriculum changes open the door for the creation of elective concentrations that will allow juniors and seniors to structure elective coursework around key topics related to ILR’s mission.

In spring 2017, former Dean Kevin Hallock convened an ILR Undergraduate Curriculum Review Committee, chaired by Colvin, who was then ILR’s associate dean. The group conducted an extensive curriculum review that included feedback from faculty, students and alumni.

In spring 2019, the committee’s recommendations were submitted to the ILR Undergraduate Program Committee for further study. Final recommendations were presented to the faculty in fall 2020.

Mary Catt is the communications director for the ILR School.

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Abby Butler