Thursday, April 27, 2000

Women on UC faculty paid less, study says


Gender gap amounts to 2.83% to 4.85%

By Ben L. Kaufman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A new study says the University of Cincinnati generally pays female faculty less than male colleagues, but UC says individual inequities do not amount to a systemic problem.

        Women's average pay is 2.83 percent to 4.85 percent less after experience, seniority, degrees, academic rank and race are considered, economist Robert K. Toutkoushian said.

        It could cost as much as $23 million to redress this disparity, his study added.

        His $13,000 study, commissioned by UC's branch of the American Association of University Professors, analyzed UC pay data for the 1999-2000 school year.

        Historic data suggested unequal treatment, “but we wanted to know "where are we right now?'” said Andrea Kornbluh, associate professor of history and head of the AAUP's Committee W on gender inequities. “I think we got our money's worth.”

        If the AAUP isn't satisfied with UC's response, it could become an issue in imminent contract negotiations, Ms. Kornbluh said. “We will not do nothing. ... The study is not going to be sitting around waiting for something to happen.”

        Committee W gave copies of the study to UC this month, “assuming that seeing this problem, they would want to do something about it,” Ms. Kornbluh said. She has since met with Provost Anthony J. Perzigian.

        UC spokesman Greg Hand said Wednesday that the university has “a number of people looking at this study” but it was too early to comment on it. However, “There is no evidence, despite a number of charges in the past, that the university shows a pattern of inequity,” he said.

        When individuals show they are unfairly compensated, “we do make adjustments,” Mr. Hand said, but an “equity adjustment for an individual is different from admitting there is an equity problem university-wide.”

        He said UC has made such adjustments from an equity fund at least since 1985 and, this year, expects to spend about $100,000 to bring individual women's salaries up to those of comparable male colleagues.

        If warranted, equity payments recommended by Dr. Toutkoushian are “something that needs to be bargained,” Mr. Hand said, citing the AAUP contract.

        He said the contract limits compensation beyond negotiated raises.

        The study did not surprise Maita Levine, professor emerita of mathematical science. In the 1970s, she said a federal official probing anti-female bias at UC told her, “You're practically the stereotype of the underpaid female.”

        It hasn't gotten much better, Nancy Evers said.

        Head of the education administration program and a full professor, Ms. Evers settled her 1995 lawsuit over pay for an unspecified lump sum last summer without a salary adjustment.

        A federal judge refused to certify her complaint as a class action and rejected the study on which she relied to prove personal and systemic inequities.

        Ms. Evers said she was paid $10,000 to $20,000 a year less than comparable colleagues when she sued. “Now, it's still under where it should be. ... It makes me sad that the system doesn't compensate us fairly.”

        There also was good news for UC in his study, Dr. Toutkoushian said. He found:

        „Women and men earn roughly the same in nontenured adjunct, clinical, research or field service academic positions.

        „There was no evidence in salary or rank data of discrimination against faculty members of color.

        „Data on current faculty “do not provide clear evidence” of discrimination in vital promotions to tenured associate and full professorships.

        Dr. Toutkoushian is executive director of the Office of Policy Analysis for the University System of New Hampshire, with a specialty of faculty/staff compensation.

        Ms. Kornbluh said AAUP hired him because he is a university executive whose pay/promotion analyses for faculties and colleges are regarded as unbiased.

        Dr. Toutkoushian studied 439 female UC faculty members and 889 male colleagues on the payroll last October, that is, “regular” faculty members who were tenured or in positions that made them eligible for tenure in all 17 UC colleges.

        Medical school professors without regular outside clinical income were included, but medical school faculty whose outside incomes were not available were excluded, as were teachers ineligible for tenure.

        Dr. Toutkoushian said it would cost UC $1.5 million for an across-the-board increase that would raise every eligible female faculty member's base salary 4.85 per cent.

        If would cost $2.2 million to raise base salaries if individual disparities were taken into account.

        However, “The cost of removing all current and past gender-based salary inequities is conservatively estimated at $7.3 million and can range as high as $23 million depending on the assumed levels of past salary inequities.”

        AAUP will present the data at an open forum at 4 p.m. May 2 in 401A/B Tangeman University Center.

       



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