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New Department Reflects ILR’s Global Relevance, Academic Excellence

The ILR School’s new Global Labor and Work Department brings together scholars who are examining rapidly unfolding changes that impact labor and management worldwide.

Faculty members are rooted in the social sciences, the humanities and law. They study issues in regions across the globe, including Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Global Labor and Work Department builds on the legacies of the Labor Relations, Law, and History Department and the International and Comparative Labor Department. The new department is creating additional synergies among scholars in signature school strengths such as labor relations, comparative labor, conflict resolution, labor law and labor history.

That domestic and international ILR expertise is now united in one department and will further elevate the school’s stature as the premier institution of its kind.

Researchers based in the Global Labor and Work Department ask a variety of questions about workers across the world, from Bangladesh to Germany to New York City. Key research topics include:

According to Dean Alexander Colvin, Ph.D. ’99, “The Department of Global Labor and Work will constitute the world’s premier academic department in the fields of labor and employment relations. It brings together an exceptional set of scholars from multiple disciplines studying issues of work, labor and employment. The global breadth of the department provides the ability to conduct research and offer academic programs with unparalleled international reach.” A member of the Global Labor and Work faculty, Colvin is ILR’s Kenneth F. Kahn ’69 Dean and Martin F. Scheinman ’75, M.S. ’76, Professor of Conflict Resolution.

Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Diversity and Faculty Development Kate Griffith said, “Global Labor and Work faculty research the sources and nature of inequality and explore implications for policymakers, workers and social movements in the U.S. and globally.” Griffith is ILR’s Jean McKelvey-Alice Grant Professor.

The Global Labor and Work Department is home to many of ILR institutes, centers and programs that are advancing the ILR School’s dedication to public impact as one of Cornell’s four statutory colleges. Affiliated outreach initiatives include:

Co-chairs of the new department are Shannon Gleeson, the Edmund Ezra Day Professor and previous chair of the Labor, Law, and History Department, and Associate Professor Eli Friedman, previous chair of the International and Comparative Labor Department. On July 1, Gleeson begins as chair of the Global Labor and Work Department.