Inequality or hiring practices?

by Lindsey Bosse

The average salaries for female professors at Lewis & Clark are significantly lower than average salaries of male professors, according to the website citytowninfo.com. According to Dean of Students Julio de Paula, however, this is “absolutely not” a case of gender discrimination.

LC is in the top 10 percent of all colleges for full-time professor pay. Starting with full professors, men make $113, 948 while women make $96,032; associate professors make $74,656 as men and $69,685 as women; and assistant male professors make $62,184 to female assistant professors’ salary of $55,968.

According to de Paula and Associate Dean Jane Hunter, these numbers are cumulative of all professors at all three branches of the school. That means that the website took all of the salaries from all the male and female professors at the College of Arts and Sciences, the Law School and the Graduate School, and then found an average. Under the assumption that law professors make more than undergraduate professors, the higher number of male professors at the law school would skew the data. The Law School was unavailable for comment on the salaries of its professors. There are also higher numbers of male professors at CAS that fall in the associate and full professor category. These discrepancies are not indicative of gender discrimination, but instead result from the way history has played out.

When first hired, professors start out as assistant professors and generally spend six to seven years in that position before becoming eligible for promotion to associate professors and gaining tenure. A professor will then spend another six to seven years as an associate professor before promotion to full professor is allowed. Pay starts with evaluation of prior experience before coming to LC, and then professors are reevaluated every two years for salary increase.

Historically, the CAS has had a predominantly male professorial staff. Full-time professors split between 22 male and nine female, with a majority of the men in that category having taught here for longer than the women. This creates pay gaps due to the amount of time the professors have been employed at LC. Again, in the associate category there are 33 males and 12 females. These numbers distort the averages, making it seem like men make more, when the reality is that there are more men than women in the higher-paid positions.

De Paula and Hunter calculated that in the full-time professor position females are 2.7 percent behind the cohort’s salary median, while men are 2.8 percent ahead. For associate professors, women are .4 percent above the median, while men are at the median. This suggests that at CAS there is no pay difference between men and women in that cohort. In the assistant category, where there are 22 females and 21 males, women are 1 percent above the median and men are behind by .8 percent. Overall, the numbers only show a majority of a 5 percent difference between full-time professor pay, which, given the difference in gender numbers in that cohort, makes sense.

The fairly even numbers of female and male professors in the assistant cohort show that the school is integrating more women. This also means that in 6-14 years this cohort will move up together and the wage gap should begin to dissipate.

2 responses to “Inequality or hiring practices?

  1. Pingback: Piolog commentable now, like this blog is « lclark.us

  2. But if there is an even number of male and female professors in the assistant cohort, why the roughly $7,000 discrepancy in salaries (“assistant male professors make $62,184 to female assistant professors’ salary of $55,968”)?

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