Campus News

Recent study finds gender equity in university’s salary-setting process

A recent study that sought to proactively identify gender-based discrepancies in faculty compensation at UGA found no institution-wide practice or pattern of paying faculty members differently based on gender.

UGA’s commitment to gender equity was the impetus for the faculty salary study. Eight faculty members were appointed to serve on a committee to develop a proposal and select an experienced external consultant for the study. Associate Provost for Institutional Diversity Michelle Cook led the committee.

Florida-based consultant Economic Research Services Group was selected to conduct the study, which was designed to assess any gender-based differences between the nine-month base salaries paid to 1,663 assistant, associate and full professors.

ERS Group has more than 30 years of experience working with universities and applies an industry-standard methodology. It has prepared pay equity studies at research institutions including Stanford University, Virginia Tech, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Auburn University and the University of Kentucky.

The study took into account factors that legitimately impact compensation, including academic discipline and rank, tenure status, education level, work experience, administrative assignments, and others. It found that similarly situated female and male professors are paid at comparable rates overall.

Cook requested additional analysis to determine if salaries that are outliers—either significantly high or low—have a disproportionate impact on any pay differences between male and female faculty members.

Results from that analysis indicated that salaries in one unit, the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, warranted closer examination. This examination currently is being conducted by the FACS dean.

Overall, the consultant’s study determined that UGA’s salary-setting process is neutral with respect to gender. Plans are to review faculty salaries on a regular basis, at least every five years.