Salary Equity Committee releases findings, recommendations on faculty study

The CSU Salary Equity Committee has concluded its 2017 analysis of tenure/tenure-track faculty salaries, and is releasing two reports with its findings and recommendations to the administration for moving forward. The reports are available online, and the university is hosting a series of campus forums beginning Friday, March 31 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 committee is confident these findings and recommendations will serve to encourage the ongoing dialogue on campus related to salary equity for tenured and tenure-track faculty,” said Diana Prieto, Executive Director of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and chair of the Salary Equity Committee. “Among other recommendations, the committee suggests the models developed for the faculty analysis be modified for application to other employee groups in CSU’s continued exploration of salary equity.”

Committee Reports Available Online

Both of the Committee’s reports (which are explained below) are available online at:

Salary Equity Committee Report

  • This report provides a brief history of the Committee’s formation and charge, lists the names and affiliations of members, details the development of the models and how variables were selected, makes recommendations for implementation and further analysis, and addresses the need to provide guidance to department chairs/heads on how to use the models.

FY17 Faculty Salary Equity Analysis Report

  • This report provides an in-depth explanation of the study, goes into more depth about the development of methodology and results, and has supporting appendices including extensive tables displaying regression model coefficients for each rank by gender or minority status by each department on campus.

In spring 2015, President Tony Frank called for the formation of a committee of internal and external experts to develop a reliable and transparent methodology for assessing faculty salary equity and a path to move forward. The committee was formed in the summer of 2015 and was composed of 13 members: five faculty across multiple disciplines, the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, the Associate Provost for Planning and Effectiveness, the Executive Director for Human Resources and Equal Opportunity, the Assistant Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, and four external members including three faculty representatives from the University of California-Berkeley, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Duke University as well as a representative from the consulting firm the Berkeley Research Group.

Campus Forums

Salary Equity Committee representatives will hold a series of forums to discuss the committee’s findings and recommendations, and next steps by the administration for moving forward. All forums will be held in the Lory Student Center, Longs Peak Room.

Friday, March 31, 2-3 p.m.                                   Monday, April 3, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Tuesday April 4, 2:30-3:30 p.m.                           Wednesday, April 5, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Salient Findings & Recommendations

The committee developed two regression models to assess salary differences between groups – one model for gender and one for minority status – which were completed separately for each faculty rank to assess salary variances. The models, selected to ensure best practices and data fidelity, assessed the salary differences between groups (i.e., male vs. female faculty and minority vs. non-minority), and considered the additional variables of years in rank and department. The models were used for a single year analysis (FY17) and to assess change over time (FY13-FY17), but did not speak to the salary of any individual faculty member.

Salient findings for the FY17 single year analysis:

  • Minority Associate Professors earn 94.6% of what their non­minority colleagues earn after controlling for department and years in rank. No statistically significant differences were identified at the Assistant Professor or Full Professor ranks.
  • Female Full Professors earn 95.1% of what their male colleagues earn after controlling for department and years in rank. No statistically significant differences were identified at the Assistant Professor or Associate Professor ranks.

Salient descriptive findings for FY13 to FY17:

  • The salary gap for female Full Professors is observable over time but appears to be In FY13, female Full Professors earned 92.1% of what their male colleagues earned; in FY17, this increased to 95.1%. There were no statistically significant differences by gender, in any of the five years, at the Assistant Professor or Associate Professor ranks.
  • The salary gap for minority Associate Professors is statistically significant in three of the five years and appears to have expanded. In FY13, minority Associate Professors earned 97.8% of what their non­minority colleagues earned; In FY17, this decreased to 6%. There were no statistically significant differences by minority status, in any of the five years, at the Assistant Professor or Full Professor ranks.

The committee is recommending further exploration be done to better understand the remaining unexplained salary variance by gender at the Full Professor rank and by minority status at the Associate Professor rank. While such variance may indicate unintended bias it may also be attributable to multiple other factors that are not included in the analysis such as scholarly achievement, teaching effectiveness/load or service contributions.

Seeking Equity Across the Board

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.

“The issues discussed and work completed by the Salary Equity Committee have resulted in giving us more robust models that continue to help us identify and close gaps where they exist,” said Dan Bush, Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs and Salary Equity Committee member.

Bush said the salary analysis is a continuation of the university’s commitment to improve culture and climate at CSU, and make sure there is equity across the board.

“The goal of salary equity is one very important part of what we are trying to achieve across the university,” said Bush. “CSU wants to be a leader around equity and inclusion among institutions of higher education, and we have a lot of dedicated people on campus working on multiple fronts to get us there. There’s a lot of work ahead, but we are on our way and taking concrete steps toward change.”