AAUP: Women Professors Lag in Tenure, Salary

AAUP: Women Professors Lag in Tenure, Salary
By Shilpa Banerji

There are now more women in full-time faculty positions than there were 30 years ago, but research institutions are still reluctant to hire women or pay them salaries on par with their male colleagues, concludes an annual report by the American Association of University Professors released last month.

The report, “AAUP Faculty Gender Equity Indicators 2006,” highlights data from individual schools for the first time, in the hopes of generating on-campus dialogue on employment and salary inequities.

“We hope to move from a perspective of national diversity and equity to one of more local dialogue on campuses about these issues,” says Dr. Ann Higginbotham, professor of history at Eastern Connecticut State University and chair of the AAUP’s Committee on Women in the Academic Profession.

The report says that women have nearly reached parity and are 47 percent of tenured full-time faculty at community colleges. The number of tenured female faculty members decreased to just over one-third at baccalaureate- and master’s-degree granting colleges. But tenured women make up only 25 percent of the faculty at doctoral institutions.
According to the report, women made up 24 percent of full professors at all institutions nationwide in 2005-2006. But they only comprise 19 percent of full professors at doctoral universities. Tenured female faculty at baccalaureate and master’s degree institutions averaged 29 percent and 28 percent of the total faculty, respectively.

The report also compared salaries between male and female faculty, which has remained unchanged since the 1970s. In 2005-2006, across all ranks and all institutions, the average salary for women faculty was 81 percent of the amount earned by men.

The authors point to two reasons for the salary disadvantage: Women are more likely to have positions at institutions that pay lower salaries, and they are less likely to hold senior faculty rank.

“This doesn’t have to do with science disciplines,” says West. “Even if there are more women Ph.D.s in English or psychology, the doctoral institutions are not hiring them.”

The report concludes that unless institutions establish a centralized review of all salaries at the time of appointment, salary inequities will continue.

“As long as women hold 57 percent of the lecturer and instructor positions, but only 36 percent of the assistant through full professor positions, these significant differences between men and women’s average salaries will remain,” the report says.



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