Leading expert in workplace
discrimination and diversity joins faculty
Dr. Derek Avery
believes that “research is me-search.” Although you won’t find an autobiography
in his 20-page curriculum vitae, dozens of his articles, book chapters, cases
and columns have been prompted by his personal philosophy and experience.
Avery is a
leading expert in workplace discrimination and diversity, including how gender,
race and ethnicity affect employee recruitment, retention, engagement and
performance, among many other issues. He is one of 19 full-time faculty members
to join the Fox School in Fall 2010 and one of two new additions to the Human
Resource Management (HRM) Department.
Avery joins Fox
as an associate professor with tenure. Most recently, he taught psychology and
management at the University of Houston, but he says he feels more at home in
business – especially in a business school known for its diversity.
respected for his leadership in the field, Avery has received many honors, including
best paper awards and recognition in Academic Key’s “Who’s Who in Business
Higher Education.” In 2006, he was named one of 35 inaugural Rutgers University
Leaders in Diversity.
features nearly 50 publications and studies on topics ranging from customer
discrimination and workplace recruitment to demographics of professional sports
“I love to study
the underdog,” he said. “If I can provide enough education for folks who are
learning to become the leaders of tomorrow to be able to institute these
practices and policies in their organizations, then we won’t continue to make
the same mistakes in terms of underutilizing people.”
Avery said the
idea of equality was an integral part of his upbringing – both his father and
grandfather were civil rights attorneys. This fall, he is teaching two
undergraduate courses at Fox – intro to human resource management and a special
topics course in diversity. He said his favorite strategy in the classroom is
to keep students “off-balance” and “outside of their comfort zones,” presenting
them with difficult scenarios they could face in the workplace.
And Fox students
aren’t the only ones excited by Avery’s move to Philadelphia. Dr. Patrick McKay,
associate professor of human
resource management at nearby Rutgers, is one of Avery’s closest colleagues –
and best friends.
admire Derek. He’s old-fashioned in that he works hard and earns the
respect of his colleagues,” McKay said. “Given his reputation in the field, he
brings an air of prestige, quality and productivity to the department.”
This type of
work ethic is allowing Avery to work on six ongoing projects, including one
that explores how fans support NBA teams in regard to the demographic make-up
of the players. Another project seeks to understand if customers prefer to be
waited on by an employee of the same race.
Avery is a
prolific author and has published more than 30 articles in major journals,
including the Journal of Applied
Psychology, Personnel Psychology,
Journal of Organizational Behavior
and Journal of Business and Psychology.
Amid his own projects, he also finds time to serve on the editorial boards of
five journals, including the Journal of
Applied Psychology and Personnel
He earned his
bachelor’s degree in psychology from Tulane University and his master’s degree
and PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from Rice University.
associate professor and chair of Fox’s HRM Department, said Avery “will be a
great complement to our existing faculty.”
“We look forward
to having him provide top teaching and research for many years,” she said.
– Julie Achilles