Salary Equity Review for Tenure / Tenure Eligible Faculty

Last updated on October 15, 2020 at 9:07 am to reflect the results from the elective review request.


The University of Arizona is deeply committed to paying comparable salaries for comparable work for all of its employees, regardless of gender, race and ethnicity. Accordingly, we have recently completed a comprehensive review of base salary among tenured and tenure-eligible (T/TE) faculty. To begin, we engaged an external law firm and further retained a nationally recognized labor economist to guide a legal review of compensation of T/TE faculty, from which no findings were found of systemic issues in compensation with respect to gender or race / ethnicity. Upon conclusion of that review we reviewed base salaries at the unit-level to ascertain through near-peer comparisons if there are instances of salary disparities that could not reasonably be attributed to performance or some other legitimate, non-discriminatory, factor. The near-peer comparison process revealed instances of correctable salary disparities which have been addressed by making adjustments in 12.1% of cases, totaling $885,659, equivalent to an approximate 0.5% increase in the total salary pool for this faculty population.  The notices of salary adjustments were issued to affected faculty directly during the week of 9 March 2020.  We are working towards similar reviews of salary among career track and continuing status faculty in the near future.

Read the Report on 2020 Salary Equity Review Tenure/Tenure Eligible Faculty

A note: Equity vs. Market

The purpose of this review was to establish if there are base salary disparities that do not appear to be explained by non-discriminatory job-related factors within the colleges at the University of Arizona.  This review did not address possible differences in salary between the University of Arizona and other institutions of higher education (i.e., “market rates”).

Elective Review Request

Following the release of the 2020 Salary Equity Review for Tenure / Tenure Eligible Faculty report, we launched a process to allow any current Tenure and Tenure Eligible faculty member who has been on the University of Arizona payroll since at least the start of the Fall 2019 semester to request an Elective Review of base salary using the same analytical approach developed for this process.

For the Elective Review process, faculty members’ base salary data as of May 19, 2020 was utilized to ensure that base salary differences reflected the most current payroll information. By the April 30, 2020 deadline, 82 requests had been submitted from employees in 42 departments at the University of Arizona. Out of the 82 submitted requests, 9 were excluded because they did not meet the criteria of individuals for the near-peer comparison process. As a result, 73 faculty members were eligible for elective review, 47.9% of whom were female, 1.4% American Indian/Alaska Native, 23.3% Asian, 2.7% Black/African American, 9.6% Hispanic/Latinx, 50.7% White, and 12.3% Not Specified. Additionally, 76.7% of eligible submissions were classified as equity requests, while 23.3% were classified as market or merit requests.

From the results of this review, salaries of 10 employees out of a total of 73 employees, or 13.7%, were recommended to receive salary increases based on equity concerns. These salary increases were implemented effective as of July 1, 2020. The impact of the recommended salary adjustments totaled $38,278. The share of the salary adjustment total for female faculty was $21,044 (55.0%), with the balance for male faculty. The share of the salary adjustments by race/ethnicity were: $2,400 (6.3%) Asian, $6,090 (15.9%) Hispanic/Latinx, $25,288 (66.1%) White, and $4,500 (11.8%) Not Specified. All employees who submitted an Equity Review Request were notified about their individual outcomes by end of June 2020.

We are deeply grateful to the many faculty and staff who contributed to developing the process and tools for salary equity review at UArizona.