Faculty Salary Equity Study: Recommendations to Provost

The Tenure Track Faculty Equity Study Advisory Work Group has completed the data review and analysis required to determine if salary inequities related to gender, race, or ethnicity exist and provide recommendations for remedy as warranted. A report of preliminary recommendations was submitted to Jayanth Banavar, provost and senior vice president, and United Academics for review.  The provost is ultimately charged with making final determinations with respect to the study and determining next steps. A link to the complete report is provided below. Under the memorandum of understanding between UO and United Academics (UA), UA has up to sixty days to review the report and confer with the administration regarding the recommended results. The provost will not make a final decision regarding equity adjustments until after that process is complete.

Key Findings and Recommendations

The work group reviewed regression analysis completed by Berkeley Research Group, LLC (BRG) to determine if patterns of systematic inequity exist and to identify individual cases, “outliers,” that required further investigation. Key findings from the work group’s analysis include:

  • Protected groups are not receiving systematically lower than predicted salaries.
    • No systematic pay inequities related to gender were identified.
    • The regression analysis indicated that Asian assistant professors had lower than predicted salaries. However, additional analysis of the data indicated that recently the UO had hired a significant number of Asian assistant professors and the significance of the Asian/White assistant professor disparity appears to be explained by inversion patterns related to recent hires.
  • The work group met a total of 30 times between August 9, 2018, and April 30, 2019, in order to review the regression analysis and 75 individual cases. Ultimately, the Work Group is recommending to the provost that twelve individuals should be considered for an equity adjustment.
    • Regression analysis identified Asian assistant professors as a group of individuals with lower than predicated salaries and individuals with lower than predicted salaries, “outliers”. Both groups required further investigation.
    • Additional data, related to a standardized set of data points, was collected from employment records and salary histories to provide explanation for the gap between the individual’s actual and predicted salary.
    • The case-by-case review revealed that there was a legitimate explanation for most of the individual cases reviewed. (See “Methodology for determining individuals for adjustments” section of the full report).
    • In the twelve cases, the explanation for the lower than expected salary indicates an increase is needed, which resulted in salary equity adjustment recommendations to the provost. (See “Methodology for determining individuals for adjustments” section of the full report).

Important Considerations Regarding the Report

The following considerations offer additional information and insight regarding the work group’s process and rationale and the public report of its findings:

  • The regression analysis used in this study is described on the study overview webpage. Key principles include:
    • Regression analysis is used in salary equity studies to determine whether specific groups of people have systematically lower (or higher) salaries than a baseline reference group. This same analysis can also be used to determine which individuals have salaries that are “unusual” within the different groups described by a common discipline and rank, etc. Individual cases must be reviewed to better understand individual salary in comparison to larger groups.
    • For the purposes of this study, the threshold used to statistically identify “negative outliers,” those earning lower-than-expected salaries, was a more inclusive threshold than conventionally used by social scientists. It was based on a combination of two measures: (a) the number of error standard deviations below the group mean at which a given person's salary lies, and (b) the individual's salary as a percent of the comparison group's mean.
  • To standardize data collection for individual cases, the work group identified the following data points to collect and consider: starting salary details; grant funded research expenditures; salary history; merit, promotion, and post-tenure review increases; performance reviews; retention offers; administrative experience; time in rank; and leave experience.
  • The Work Group’s preliminary recommendations are heavily based on its qualitative review of the information it received on the individuals identified for further review (outliers and Asian assistant professors).

The published report describes the process, data collection, and analysis that informed the work group’s recommendations. The consultant’s report is included alongside the work group’s recommendation to offer further transparency for the study. While neither report includes individual results, some connections may be drawn between the report and specific units or individuals due to small cell sizes and the fact that salaries are public information.

Next Steps

In addition to the provost, a copy of the work group’s report has been given to United Academics as stipulated to in the memorandum of understanding (MOU). Within the next 60 days, the provost and union representatives will confer to discuss the study’s findings and related recommendations.

The provost will make final determinations following review and discussion of the work group’s report and in accordance with the MOU. Impacted individuals will be notified that they are receiving an adjustment after the provost makes his final determination.

After equity adjustments are finalized, the remaining pool, including interest on the total amount, will be distributed as an across the board increase to tenured and tenure-track faculty members. 

All funds distributed will be retroactive to January 1, 2019.

Questions regarding this study should be directed to OtP@uoregon.edu.