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Are all professors created equal?

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Comments (4)
  1. David Courard-Hauri says:

    This is a really good topic to be bringing up; thanks for writing about it! I just wanted to point out a couple numerical things that you may want to correct. You write that female assistant professors make 4% less than male, amounting to a $400 difference. That would imply that male assistant professors make, on average, $10,000, which is significantly less than they actually make. Similarly, $2500 is 11% of about $23,000, which is too low for associate professors. Your $13,500 number suggests that full professors make an average of about $112,000, which might be right if it includes Law and Business, but seems high to me. I guess I’m just saying that you might want to check your percentages. Also, you say “The majority of full time faculty, 45 percent, are male.” Not sure what you mean to say here.

  2. Will Wright says:

    You speak to a couple potentially valid causes. Did you explore duration of employment as another potential factor?

    Regardless of sex, I’d expect a tenured professor with more years experience as a tenured professor to make more money than a peer in the same department with fewer years experience.

    The agenda of this article is quite clear. The argument for the “Field Difference” is weakly argued and contains confusing and unrelated statements. Conversely, the other notions are more strongly supported.

    Criticisms of this piece aside, the premise should be explored further and with more statistical diligence.

    Two of the best professors I ever had were women. I hope they’ve been getting paid more than their male counterparts. They deserve it.

  3. Dina Smith says:

    The end of a conversation (on my side) with a senior administrator during Summer 2011, after I had inquired about the lack of a committee to evaluate faculty salaries. I researched and discovered faculty salary compensation was gendered (not to mention issues with college inequities). My concerns were dismissed.

    I did all of this research out of necessity. With no savings, I had to go into debt to pay for a surgery to save my dog, Henry. Totally mercenary, at first, I wanted more money/year. But, then I became concerned after looking at the data, which was so incredibly gendered. Here’s the summer 2011 response to an administrator after a protracted conversation about the data. Clearly, I knew I wouldn’t be getting a raise anytime soon, then and now, and, hence, the reply:

    “Good to know there is still a Salary Committee; bad to discover that it hasn’t met in a year (or longer).

    And, I believe I read the table right: at Drake, Associate Professor women earn 70.7 (in thousands) in relation to men’s earnings at 77.4 — so $70,700 to $77,400 ($6,700 difference). And, yes, at the full Professor level, the gap is more profound: men earn on average $110,100 to women who earn $95,100 (a startling $15,000 difference). . .

    That said, a gender schism occurs across our peer institutions, but this schism is most pronounced at Drake, I fear. Creighton has a worst record at the Professor level (men: 108.1, women: 84.6), but has less of a differential at the Associate level (men: 77.5, women: 75.2) . Bradley has a similar spread at the Associate Professor level (men: 73.6, women: 64.6) but is closer at the Professor level (men: 97.2, women: 91.5). Of course, I have read studies about faculty salaries becoming more gendered at the Associate and Professor levels because of attrition (women drop out of the academy/don’t get tenure, presumably because of children, and, thus, there are more male faculty at the Associate and full Professor level affecting the statistics). Of course, those same studies complicate the “attrition theory,” arguing that the academy suffers from the same bias as the corporate workplace, whose logic goes like this: “women, assumed to be the primary caregivers, work less because they have children, and, thus, they deserve less pay or worse.”

    As for the argument that the market should determine faculty salary and thus Business and Law Professors unproblematically must earn more than A&S, Education. . . faculty, well, I will quote a mentor: “There should be an [A&S] Tax applied to all professional programs. We teach their students, help them become engaged, critical thinkers, writers, and decent human beings. Thus, we should not be seen as separate from those schools, nor should we be relegated to the university’s salary ghetto.”

    There you have it.

  4. Dina Smith says:

    The FSAR Review, Faculty Salary Administrative Review, only includes two women faculty outside of administration. Of the two non-administrative positions accorded to women, one is an Endowed Chair, and the other a Full Professor in Law.