Report on 2022 Salary Equity Evaluation and Outcomes for Career Track Faculty

Provost Liesl Folks, PhD MBA

Last updated November 14, 2022

Executive Summary

The University of Arizona is deeply committed to fair and equitable pay for all of its employees, regardless of gender, race and ethnicity. Accordingly, we have recently completed a comprehensive review of base salary among career track (CT) faculty, building on the salary equity review for tenure track faculty that was completed in Spring 2020. Our initial objective was to ascertain whether there are any significant systemic differences in base salary, not otherwise strongly correlated with common variables such as terminal degree, years in service, and track titles, when considering gender or race/ethnicity. Upon conclusion of that work, we reviewed base salaries at the unit-level to ascertain through near-peer comparisons if there are instances of salary differences that did not correlate with our pay model and should qualify for a base salary adjustment. As a result of our initial analysis, we did not identify systemic pay differences among gender or race/ethnicity cohorts in the salary data at the University of Arizona. The subsequent near-peer comparisons revealed instances of correctable salary variations which have been addressed by making adjustments totaling $666,217, equivalent to an approximate 0.9% increase in the total salary pool for this population. We plan to conduct similar reviews of salary among continuing status faculty in the near future.

Process Description

Internal Review and Adjustments

This review was informed by our prior work based on widely used guidance from the American Association of University Professors provided in Haignere [1].  It was informed by newer work described in [2] and the related efforts at peer institutions [see refs. 3 – 10 for some examples]. To this end, we developed a mathematical regression model that provides a prediction for the expected salary for each faculty member considering common factors of pay and career progression. Then, we undertook a near-peer comparison of the salaries of similarly situated faculty. Where salary differences were found between near-peers that were not readily explained by a limited set of pay indicators included in our model, salaries were adjusted to narrow the spread among those near-peers. The amounts of the salary adjustments were informed by the predictions from the mathematical model. No salaries were adjusted downwards.

A note: Equity vs. Market

The purpose of this review was to establish if there are base salary differences that do not appear to be explained by our selected, 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”).

Methods

Faculty Included in the Review

  • All 954 CT faculty members who have been on the UA payroll since the Fall of 2021.

Data Utilized

  • Base salary data, as of April 7, 2022, exclusive of all additional stipends, merit bonuses, summer pay, supplemental compensation, or other one-time payments.
  • Years since terminal degree, as recorded in UACCESS Employee.
  • Adjusted years since terminal degree. This field was created for employees who have real-world experience, but not a terminal degree, in their discipline.  It was calculated by taking the year of the most recent degree an employee had obtained, as recorded in UACCESS Employee, and adding 5 years to get the adjusted degree year, then taking the difference between the current year and the adjusted degree year.
  • Job code and track title, as recorded in UACCESS Employee .
  • Years in academic rank at the University of Arizona, as recorded in UACCESS Employee.
  • Employment unit(s) for paid position(s), as recorded in UACCESS Employee (e.g., department & college).
  • Sex data, as formally recorded in UACCESS Employee. (Note that we are working towards providing an option for non-binary self-identification, but this was not available for the current analysis).
  • Inclusive Race and  Ethnicity data, as self-identified in UACCESS Employee.
  • Teaching contributions, measured as the sum of Student Credit Hours delivered in the period 2017 – 2021 (fiscal year data), as recorded in UACCESS Student.
  • Sponsored Award Research Expenditures, by credit split to investigator, 2017 – 2021 (fiscal year data), as recorded in UACCESS Research / Financials.

Accounting for FTE and Appointment Type Differences

All salaries were adjusted to a 1.0 FTE academic year equivalent, to allow for comparison within the model. Salaries for CT faculty on fiscal-year appointments were pro-rated to an academic year appointment.

Mathematical Approach

A primary component of the equity evaluation was a conventional multilevel regression model, which allowed the impact of multiple factors on salaries to be simultaneously modeled. The model was developed by UAIR staff in R, and used to predict employee salaries. This model was constrained in its use of predictor variables as recommended in guidance from the AAUP [1]. We used a multilevel regression model with the following predictor variables:

  • Job  Code/Track Title
  • Adjusted Years Since Terminal Degree
  • College (treated as a random intercept effect)
  • Department (treated as a random intercept effect nested within College)

For each faculty member, the model provides a “residual” value, which indicates the dollar amount by which that faculty member is over-paid or under-paid, relative to the predictive model. These residuals were normalized and used to guide the amount of the salary adjustments that were implemented following the near-peer comparisons. For the current round of salary adjustments, a standardized residual of 0.5 or greater was used as a minimum cutoff for adjustment eligibility.

Near-peer Comparison Process

Within each unit, faculty salaries were ordered as a function of years since the terminal degree. For every faculty member within the unit, the salary was compared against all near-peers (as determined by academic rank and years since terminal degree). Where salary differences were observed that could not be readily explained by the limited number of additional performance factors available, being the teaching contributions (as appropriate) and / or the research expenditures (as appropriate), adjustments were implemented. The size of the adjustment was informed by residuals resulting from the mathematical model used to predict the expected salaries. The same process was performed for all faculty, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity.

Criteria for Exclusion of Individuals from Near-Peer Comparison

Because an individual faculty member’s salary can be contingent on a variety of legitimate, non-traditional factors related to their particular circumstances, our review excluded some faculty (38, out of a total of 1,458) from being considered as comparators. These include;

  • Faculty that currently hold, or previously held, administrative roles at the level of head / chair or above.
  • Faculty with formal retirement agreements in place.
  • Faculty with significant salary differences due to non-normative qualifications, relative to their peers within their departments (e.g., a computer scientist working in a non-STEM department).
  • Faculty for whom the University of Arizona does not control the salary, due to binding partnership agreements.
  • Faculty with current Performance Improvement Programs.

Who Performed the Near-Peer Comparison?

The near-peer comparisons of the faculty of each college were performed, one at a time, by a team comprising of the Provost (Dr. Liesl Folks), the Dean of the relevant college, the Chief Data Officer/Associate Vice President, University Analytics & Institutional Research (Ravneet Chadha), working with three members of the UAIR team, and representatives from the relevant college as needed (e.g., typically either the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, and / or the Assistant Dean for Finance, Human Resources & Administration ).

Limitations

This process was limited in multiple ways. The data used are limited in both scope and significance for many cases. For example, ‘research expenditures’ is not a relevant performance metric for many disciplines, and even where it is viewed as being of some value, it measures an input rather than outputs, outcomes or impacts. Similarly, ‘teaching load’ is a measure of individual contribution to the department’s workload, but (a) it varies per assignment by the chair, head or director, and (b) the quality of the teaching contribution (i.e., the outcomes or impacts) is not considered. Service contributions (as distinct from administrative roles) were not considered at all due to a lack of data.

We have made the assumption that all years since the terminal degree were spent accumulating relevant experience, but this is likely, not true for all faculty considered.

As with many data sets, we fully recognize that our data may contain errors or inconsistencies that lead to imperfect outcomes, despite our best efforts to find and correct errors during this process. For example, a challenge we faced was obtaining the year of terminal degree (or equivalent qualification) data, which, although necessary for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation, has not been uniformly recorded for all faculty.

Accordingly, we are committed to continuing to develop more robust data to improve the process and outcomes in future reviews.

Review Findings

The total annual salary pool for all CT faculty included in this study was $65,791,508 when all salaries were normalized to academic year at 1 FTE. The share for female faculty is $36,832,198 (56.0%), and the balance funds male faculty salaries. Female CT faculty at UA are paid median annual salaries of $68,582, whereas male faculty are paid median salaries $66,950, a difference of $1,632. However, the more senior ranks have a higher proportion of male faculty, as shown in Table 1, and these have higher salaries, as shown in Table 2.

  Representation, by Sex  
Rank Female Male
Professor 40.22% 59.78%
Associate Professor 62.76% 37.24%
Assistant Professor 59.52% 40.48%
Lecturer 55.08% 44.92%
Instructor 54.29% 45.71%

Table 1. Representation of male and female CT faculty, by rank, in the review population.

  Median Salaries (Academic), by Sex  
Rank Female Male
Professor $83,232 $84,400
Associate Professor $75,475 $73,579
Assistant Professor  $66,335 $64,847
Lecturer $59,538 $60,312
Instructor $44,000 $45,000

Table 2. Median salaries for male and female CT faculty at 1 FTE and scaled to an Academic contract length, by rank, in the review population (before salary adjustments).

The representation of race / ethnicity cohorts among the CT faculty are shown by rank in Table 3, and the median salaries by rank, race / ethnicity are shown in Table 4.

  Representation, by Academic Rank        
IPEDS Race Ethnicity Professor Associate Professor Assistant Professor Lecturer Instructor
2 or More Races   2.72% 1.64%    
Asian 10.87% 5.52% 7.55% 4.59% 12.86%
Blk African Am 2.17% 0.69% 1.81% 3.61% 1.43%
Hispanic Latino 8.70% 9.66% 12.08% 9.84% 21.43%
International 2.17% 2.07% 6.65% 2.95% 4.29%
Native American/Alas...     0.30% 0.66%  
Not Reported 9.78% 7.59% 3.93% 4.59% 7.14%
White Caucasian 66.30% 74.48% 64.95% 72.13% 52.86%

The representation of race / ethnicity cohorts among the CT faculty are shown by rank in Table 3, and the median salaries by rank, race / ethnicity are shown in Table 4.

  Median Salaries (Academic), by Academic Rank        
IPEDS Race Ethnicity Professor Associate Professor Assistant Professor Lecturer Instructor
2 or More Races     $69,182 $58,125  
Asian $74,350 $71,987 $61,200 $60,157 $44,000
Blk African Am $73,986 $100,000 $59,231 $53,040 $40,000
Hispanic Latino $101,668 $70,896 $67,144 $51,000 $42,636
International $88,808 $64,187 $66,756 $50,000 $44,000
Native American/Alas...     $62,000 $58,009  
Not Reported $86,446 $73,476 $69,020 $63,648 $46,154
White Caucasian $82,218 $76,178 $65,975 $60,313 $45,000
         

Table 4. Median salaries at 1 FTE and scaled to an Academic contract length for UA’s ethnic and racial populations, by rank, in the review population (before salary adjustments).

Sex IPEDS Race Ethnicity Rank Percentage of Faculty in Cohort Median Salary (Academic)
Female 2 or More Races Assistant Professor 0.7% $65,555
    Lecturer Low n's $53,293
  Asian Professor Low n's $93,166
    Associate Professor 0.5% $63,073
    Assistant Professor 1.2% $64,000
    Instructor 0.6% $43,109
    Lecturer 0.9% $55,408
  Blk African Am Professor Low n's $75,372
    Associate Professor Low n's $100,000
    Assistant Professor Low n's $69,462
    Lecturer Low n's $53,040
  Hispanic Latino Professor Low n's $88,000
    Associate Professor 1.2% $70,792
    Assistant Professor 2.5% $68,301
    Instructor 0.9% $41,636
    Lecturer 1.9% $53,300
  International Professor Low n's $83,232
    Assistant Professor 0.6% $71,548
    Instructor Low n's $44,000
    Lecturer 0.5% $46,800
  Not Reported Professor Low n's $86,446
    Associate Professor Low n's $82,430
    Assistant Professor 0.6% $78,235
    Instructor Low n's $41,612
    Lecturer 0.5% $62,620
  White Caucasian Professor 2.8% $82,346
    Associate Professor 7.3% $76,275
    Assistant Professor 14.7% $66,034
    Instructor 2.0% $46,000
    Lecturer 13.0% $60,157
Male 2 or More Races Assistant Professor Low n's $89,298
    Lecturer Low n's $68,578
  Asian Professor 0.6% $74,350
    Associate Professor Low n's $85,800
    Assistant Professor 1.5% $56,694
    Instructor Low n's $46,294
    Lecturer 0.5% $69,022
  Blk African Am Professor Low n's $72,600
    Assistant Professor Low n's $52,000
    Instructor Low n's $40,000
    Lecturer 0.8% $53,429
  Hispanic Latino Professor 0.5% $102,375
    Associate Professor Low n's $73,682
    Assistant Professor 1.7% $64,445
    Instructor 0.6% $44,318
    Lecturer 1.3% $48,784
  International Professor Low n's $94,385
    Associate Professor Low n's $64,187
    Assistant Professor 1.7% $63,145
    Lecturer Low n's $67,743
  Native American/Alaskan N. Assistant Professor Low n's $62,000
    Lecturer Low n's $58,009
  Not Reported Professor 0.8% $86,767
    Associate Professor 0.7% $70,726
    Assistant Professor 0.7% $65,468
    Instructor Low n's $46,890
    Lecturer 0.9% $65,650
  White Caucasian Professor 3.6% $78,572
    Associate Professor 4.0% $76,178
    Assistant Professor 7.9% $65,975
    Instructor 1.9% $45,000
    Lecturer 10.1% $60,900

Table 5. Salary ranges at 1 FTE and scaled to an Academic contract length by gender, race / ethnicity, rank in the review population (before equity salary adjustments).

Adjustments to Individual Faculty Salaries

From the results of this review, salaries of 107 employees, out of a total of 954 employees, or 11.2%, were adjusted, effective July 1st, 2022. Summary tables on the impacts for each of the Colleges can be viewed here. The total amount of the salary adjustments across this population is $666,217 ($878,740 with ERE included). The notifications of the adjustments were made to individual affected faculty via memos from the relevant deans during the week of 2nd May 2022.

Note: Units with Standardized Salaries by Rank

The faculty in some units at the University of Arizona have established fixed salaries for each rank, and these are adjusted periodically to mark-to-market. No adjustments were made to salaries in these units.

Next Steps
  • Elective Review Process: Following the release of this report, we will launch a process to allow any current career-track faculty member who was active in April 2022 to request an Elective Review of base salary using (only) the same data types and processes used in this review. A simple, secure web form will be provided for faculty wishing to make a request. An open text field will be provided to allow faculty to share information that they believe is pertinent for such an analysis.
  • Convene a Faculty – Administration joint committee to guide further campus work on faculty salary equity, and to stimulate thoughtful engagement with issues of faculty salary equity through sustained discussion and review.
  • Conduct salary equity reviews for Continuing Status Faculty (Fall 2022), Tenure-Track Faculty (Spring 2023) and for University Staff (initiated already).
  • Schedule biennial salary equity reviews for faculty and staff.
References
  1. Haignere, L., United University Professions (Association : N.Y.), & American Association of University Professors. (2002). Paychecks : A guide to conducting salary-equity studies for higher education faculty(2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Association of University Professors.
  2. Rouhani, S. (2014). Intersectionality-informed quantitative research: A primer. Vancouver: SFU: The Institute for Intersectionality Research & Policy.
  3. Report On The UC Berkeley Faculty Salary Equity Study, reviewed 20 Feb 2020 at https://vpf.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/Equity%20Study%20Report%20final%201-26-15%20--revised.pdf.
  4. University of California Los Angeles, Faculty Salary Equity Studies, reviewed 19 Feb 2020 at https://www.apo.ucla.edu/compensation/ucla-faculty-salary-equity-studies.
  5. Faculty Salary Equity: A Literature Review, The University of Texas System, Office of Strategic Initiatives, reviewed 19 Feb 2020 at https://www.utsystem.edu/sites/default/files/offices/strategic-initiatives/Faculty%20Salary%20Literature%20Review_July2015.pdf
  6. Faculty Salary Equity Study: Recommendations to Provost, The University of Oregon, reviewed 19 Feb 2020 at https://provost.uoregon.edu/faculty-salary-equity-study-recommendations-provost.
  7. Faculty Salary Equity Report, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, reviewed 19 Feb 2020 at https://facultygov.unc.edu/files/2019/03/2016-17-Faculty-Salary-Equity-Report-to-Provost-Final-March-2017.pdf.
  8. Final Report: 2014 Joint Administration - Senate Oversight Committee on Faculty Salary Equity Analyses, University of California at Davis, reviewed 19 Feb 2020 at https://academicaffairs.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk2376/files/files/page/Faculty%20Salary%20Equity%20Analysis%20Report%2001.23.2014.pdf.
  9. University of Oregon Analyses of 2018 Total Salary Differences by Gender and by Race/Ethnicity Executive Summary, reviewed 19 Feb 2020 at https://provost.uoregon.edu/files/consultant_report_for_web.pdf.
  10. 2017 Pay Equity and Advancement Report, Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women, University of Mississippi, reviewed 20 Feb 2020 at https://ccsw.wp2.olemiss.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/49/2018/02/2017-Pay-Equity-and-Advancement-Report-v2.pdf.