New faculty salary equity study shows progress on closing gaps

Colorado State University is making progress on closing salary gaps by gender and minority status for tenured and tenure-track faculty, according to the latest study in the University’s ongoing review of salary equity. The Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness (IRPE) is releasing the findings of its FY18 Salary Equity Study for each faculty rank.

The analysis shows a narrowing of salary differences that were identified by the CSU Salary Equity Committee in its FY17 report. The IRPE study used the same regression models for analysis that were developed by the Salary Equity Committee, one for gender and one for minority status at each rank.

The FY18 study is a continuation of CSU’s exploration of salary equity that began in 2015 when President Tony Frank called for the formation of a committee of internal and external experts to develop a methodology for assessing faculty salary equity and a path to move forward. Prior to the committee’s formation, CSU had regularly conducted salary equity analyses and made adjustments accordingly. However, it was the voicing of concerns by senior female faculty to the administration that led CSU to reexamine its approach. Specifically, CSU Statistics Professor Mary Meyer’s research on salary equity in 2014 helped kick-start a broader campus conversation, spearheaded by senior female faculty including those serving with the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity, the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty, and the Faculty Council leadership.

“Many dedicated faculty and staff across CSU and external collaborators deserve credit for moving us forward with respect to salary equity and we are grateful for their contributions and hard work,” said Rick Miranda, provost and executive vice president. “We are pleased to see these gaps closing with the FY18 study, but it does not mean we can rest in our pursuit of salary equity. It just tells us we are doing better.”

The full FY18 Salary Equity Study report is available at the IRPE website and includes the following summary of findings:

Salient Findings

Salient findings for FY18 single-year analysis

  • There were no statistically significant between-group differences in salary identified at any rank by gender or minority status after controlling for department and years in rank.

(The findings of the FY17 study showed minority Associate Professors earned 94.6 percent of their non-minority colleagues and female Full Professors earned 95.1 percent of their male colleagues. No other statistically significant differences were identified in the FY17 analysis.)

Salient Findings for FY14-FY18 change-over-time analysis

  • In four of the last five years, the salary gap for female Full Professors was statistically significant but has narrowed and is no longer statistically significant.  In FY14, female Full Professors (N = 131) earned 93.5 percent of what their male colleagues (N = 302) earned; by FY18, this increased to 96.6 percent.
  • Over the last five years, there were no statistically significant differences in salary by gender for Assistant or Associate Professors (Associate female N = 149; Associate male N = 203; Assistant female N = 120; Assistant male N = 140).
  • In three of the last five years, the salary gap for minority Associate Professors was statistically significant but has narrowed and is no longer statistically significant.  In FY14, minority Associate Professors (N = 72) earned 96.8 percent of what their non-minority colleagues (N = 280) earned; by FY18, this increased to 97.8 percent.
  • Over the last five years, there were no statistically significant differences in salary by minority status for Assistant or Full Professors (Assistant minority N = 62; Assistant non-minority N = 198; Full minority N = 54; Full non-minority N = 379).

“In doing these studies, IRPE and the Salary Equity Committee put substantial effort into validating demographic data, years in rank, and other relevant information,” said Laura Jensen, associate provost for planning and effectiveness. “To ensure data fidelity we repeatedly solicited faculty input, reviewed curriculum vitae and searched faculty web pages. But as an added check, we recommend that faculty periodically review their HR data through either the HR self-service portal or with their department HR liaison to make sure we have accurate and complete information on their status.”

The Salary Equity Committee concluded its 2017 analysis of tenure/tenure-track faculty salaries last spring, and released two reports with its findings and recommendations to the administration for moving forward. Those reports also are available online along with FY18 report.

Following the release of the FY17 reports, the University hosted a series of campus forums last March and April to discuss the committee’s process, development of the analytical models used, results of the analysis and suggested next steps including further exploration of the models and training for department chairs/heads.

The salary equity review will continue in the spring during the SALX process, and IRPE will complete another salary equity study for FY19.