Named professorships are awarded to distinguished faculty who excel in research, teaching, and service. The School is grateful for the generosity of our alumni and donors who have made our four current professorships possible. These gifts help us to reward and retain top faculty talent and keep our School at the forefront of employment relations.

Dean Ingrid Fulmer

Derber Professorship

The Milton and Zelda Derber Professorship was created by their daughter, Clara, to honor her parents and her father’s legacy at the School by creating a professorship for the dean. Professor Milton Derber was a faculty member at LER from 1947 until 1983. He is best known for his groundbreaking contributions to the field of labor relations and his book, “Labor in Illinois: The Affluent Years, 1945-80.” He also served as Interim Director of the then-Institute in 1951.

Dean Ingrid Fulmer received the Derber Professorship in December 2022. Her research expertise is in human resource management and organizational behavior. She is managing current projects focused on compensation system design, pay communication and transparency, organizational human capital, and management of former employees. She is the 12th dean of the School, the first female to hold the position in the history of the program and the inaugural Derber Professor.

Wagner Professorship

The School and several committed alumni funded the Martin and Nell Wagner Professorship to honor Martin Wagner’s employment and labor relations legacy. Professor Wagner was a labor arbitrator and scholar whose career included nearly 25 years with the then-Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations. He served as director from 1958 to 1968, then remained on the faculty until 1982, beginning one of the nation’s first doctoral programs in industrial relations in 1966.

In March 2023, Professor Daniel Newman was named the Inaugural Martin Wagner Professor. Professor Newman, who holds a joint appointment with the School and the Department of Psychology, included a beautiful tribute to the past professor and a heartfelt thank you to those who have supported him throughout his career.