UAB salary analysis shows professor pay comparable regardless of gender

UAB's first faculty salary analysis shows that the university compensates male and female professors at statistically comparable rates.

Commissioned by President Carol Garrison in 2009 at the request of the UAB Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the analysis was conducted by the Economic Research Services Group (ERS) in cooperation with the UAB Office of the Provost, Office of Human Resources, CSW and Faculty Senate.

ERS conducted statistical analyses of the Oct. 30, 2008, base salaries paid to the 451 regular full-time faculty employed by the UAB schools of Business, Education, Engineering, Arts & Humanities, Natural Sciences & Math and Social & Behavioral Sciences, as well as the Lister Hill and Sterne Libraries at that time. The purpose of the study was to determine whether male and female professors (assistant, associate and full) who are similar with respect to legitimate factors that influence pay (such as academic discipline and rank, education level, work experience and administrative assignments) were compensated at statistically comparable rates.

The results of the multiple regression analysis revealed that, in every school, the female and male regular, full-time faculty who were similar with respect to the factors for which the study accounts were compensated at statistically similar rates on Oct. 30, 2008.

"Pay equity studies that conform to professionally accepted methods of analysis indicate that the outcome of UAB's salary-setting process is consistent with a system that is neutral with respect to gender," wrote labor economist Mary Dunn Baker, Ph.D., the ERS applied statistician who prepared the final UAB report.

Garrison said that one of the main goals of UAB's strategic plan is "to create a positive, supportive and diverse work environment in which our faculty and staff can excel. Obviously competitive and equitable compensation are key parts of that equation, and the ERS study clearly shows that we base our salary decisions on merit.

"I would like to thank the Commission on the Status of Women for championing this effort, as well as the Faculty Senate for working with ERS as the firm analyzed the tremendous amount of data necessary for a successful study," she said.

Download a full copy of the study.