The School of Industrial and Labor Relations was opened in 1945. New York State assemblyman Irving M. Ives conceived the idea while serving as chairman of the state's committee on industrial and labor conditions. Ives believed wise discussion based on quantitative research was the best strategy for managers and labor to settle their mutual problems. Yet, he found little research on personnel problems existed, and few courses on the topic were offered at the university level.
Now ILR is home to five research centers and offers the only four-year program in the field. The curriculum combines studies of psychology, sociology, history, economics, and government.
Graduates go on to careers in labor law, arbitration, and union management. They become CEOs, sports and entertainment lawyers, and worker advocates.
Faculty research investigates alcohol and substance abuse, labor market policy, collective bargaining, compensation and employee benefits, disability law, motivation, mediation, aging and pensions, diversity, and union organizing.