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April 5, 2007


Salary reports should include gender breakdown

To the editor:

Thank you to the University Times for his informative series of stories on the recently released report on October 2005 faculty, staff and administrator salaries (March 8, 2007, University Times). Among other things, it provides another opportunity to suggest that the report include measures of central tendency and dispersion not only by rank or classification but also by sex category. For faculty, we know (from the figures published by the AAUP) that on the main campus in Oakland, the wage gaps by rank are as follows:

• Instructor, $41.1K/$43.0K = women average 95 cents for every dollar men average.

• Assistant professor, $60.4K/$68.4K = women average 88 cents for every dollar men average.

• Associate professor, $71.6K/$77.5K = women average 92 cents for every dollar men average.

• Full professor, $102.2K/$116.2K = women average 88 cents for every dollar men average.

These gaps persist despite the salary compression problems referred to in Mr. Hart’s story (which would suggest that women, as more recent entrants into the tenure stream, might have closed the gap, especially at the rank of assistant professor).

Doubtless, the wage gap is significantly smaller when analyzed in more detail (as it could and should be in the annual report the Senate budget policies committee requests). Surely it would make the University look better if it publicized the results of an analysis using data less aggregated than that provided to the AAUP.

For staff, we can only guess at the wage gap, but given the casually observable degree of occupational segregation among staff employees of the University of Pittsburgh, a sociologist would venture an educated guess that the problem gap is wider than for faculty.

Perhaps the Senate ad hoc committee on gender equity could make a request in tandem with BPC that the 2006 report include analyses of the wage gap for faculty and staff. Just a suggestion.

Lisa D. Brush

Department of Sociology



United Faculty/AAUP

Stephen Carr, chair of the University Senate budget policies committee, replies:

The Senate budget policies committee receives several reports each year about salary issues, none of which, for various reasons, are fully informative representations of salary policies and practices. Collectively and over several years, however, they do provide crucial feedback to the Senate and, through the University Times, to the larger University community. I, too, thank the University Times for its well considered coverage of these reports and of committee discussions of their implications. I also welcome Dr. Brush’s suggestion that there be more detailed analysis of salaries by sex category. The SBPC has consistently advocated equity as a fundamental component of salary policy for faculty and staff. We have educated ourselves about both the limits and the uses of readily available measures, and have worked with various administrative offices to explore additional methods of reviewing salary practices. I know that other Senate and ad hoc committees are pursuing related projects. I do believe that in recent years the University administration has made significant efforts toward redressing gender inequities in salary. It remains important to develop measures that would allow the results of these efforts to be more clearly visible and that would identify areas still in need of further work.


A musical treasure at Pitt

To the editor:

On a recent Sunday afternoon I was privileged to sit among a large crowd in Heinz Chapel and hear Professor Don Franklin lead the Pitt choir and chamber orchestra in a concert of baroque music. What a treat! The quality of the performance matched that of professional and semi-professional musicians heard in Pittsburgh, and I was reminded of the many concerts I have heard at St. Martins-in-the-Field in London — high praise indeed. The young musicians were (mercifully) in tune, and Professor Franklin’s interpretations were what one would expect of a world-class scholar and performer of baroque music. Professor Franklin and his young musicians are a University treasure, in their own way every bit as remarkable as our athletes and, some might say, even more soul-satisfying. They deserve our praise and support.

Janelle Greenberg


Department of History

School of Arts and Sciences


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