Cornell University School of Industrial & Labor Relations
Cornell is a privately endowed research university and a partner of the State University of New York. As the federal land-grant institution in New York State, we have a responsibility - unique within the Ivy League - to make contributions in all fields of knowledge in a manner that prioritizes public engagement to help improve the quality of life in our state, the nation, the world.
The ILR School of Cornell University is the leading college of the applied social sciences focusing on work, employment, and labor policy issues and practices of national and international significance.
The ILR School advances the world of work through teaching, research and outreach. As a land-grant college, we generate and disseminate leading-edge knowledge to solve human problems, manage and resolve conflict, establish best practices in the workplace and inform government policy.
ILR's mission is to prepare leaders, inform national and international employment and labor policy, and improve working lives. The school offers undergraduate and graduate education as well as career-long learning for professionals.
Founded in 1945 as the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the ILR School today is advancing the world of work through teaching, research and outreach. ILR’s mission is to prepare leaders, inform national and international employment and labor policy, and improve working lives, but as the world of work evolves, the school’s focus broadens to keep pace with that change.
ILR studies many areas that shape the working world and contribute to an organization’s success in a global economy. These include human resource management; labor-management relations; labor economics; organizational behavior; international and comparative labor; labor relations, labor law and history; conflict resolution; management development; diversity management; employment and disability; and social statistics.
An ILR education is grounded in the social sciences. Students and faculty explore and gain an understanding of human behavior through the lens of the workplace. Students also learn how organizations work and how they fit into the larger society and economy. As a result, they acquire knowledge and skills that help them to solve problems on-the-job and to build and manage productive work relationships. An ILR education, for students and professionals, is practical and applied.
ILR has more full-time faculty involved in teaching and research that spans the broad range of work and employment disciplines than any other educational institution of its kind. Its Martin P. Catherwood Library is regarded as the most comprehensive source of information in North America on work, employment and labor issues.
As the Land Grant University of New York, Cornell has had a presence in Buffalo from its early days—Cornell Aeronautical Labs, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell ILR School—all with a rich history of linking cutting-edge research and education with real world practice.
The ILR School opened its first extension office in 1946, in downtown Buffalo, from where faculty and staff have continuously worked to improve the workplace and advance a productive, fair and sustainable economy over seven decades. Today Cornell ILR staff, in active collaboration with colleagues on campus, provide education, research and technical expertise on workplace safety and health, labor and employment law, industry analysis, labor-community initiatives, the social economy, and environmental sustainability. ILR Buffalo initiatives are uniquely attuned to the remarkable regeneration of the Greater Buffalo economy and its challenges of sustainable development, equitable opportunity, and quality jobs.
Cornell in Buffalo brings together innovative partners in a new networked office complex in the historic Market Arcade on Main Street. The ILR School, the Worker Institute, High Road Fellowships, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Partnership for the Public Good have co-located to create an engaged learning center that facilitates the interchange of applied knowledge and resources between Cornell and the Buffalo community.
Greater Buffalo is home to many Cornell alums, working in all sectors of the economy and networked through a vital Cornell Club. Numerous area employers recruit heavily from Cornell graduate and undergraduate programs. This sound foundation supports exciting new Buffalo-Cornell initiatives for promoting knowledge with a public purpose while strengthening and expanding opportunities for practitioners, working adults, and young people in our community.
Together, we are creating Buffalo Commons, a dynamic hub of innovative research, engaged learning and civic activity—a collaborative space shared by organizations dedicated to the advancement of social and economic progress and the promotion of knowledge for the public good.