We live in a disappointing, yet unsurprising reality where not even higher education is immune to salary inequities across the payment of faculty and staff — our university included.
To put it plainly in the words of Misha Becker, “male faculty earn more on average than female faculty,” and “white faculty earn more on average than faculty who identify as African American, Latinx, American Indian or another racial category.”
Disappointing, yet unsurprising.
Becker may have brought salary equity into the light during a Faculty Council meeting on March 11. Studies show this has been a consistent issue at our institution — one that has been building for years.
In the Permanent Employee Characteristics report from fall 2021, we see who makes up the faculty body here at UNC.
- 66.7 percent of faculty and staff are white.
- 11.8 percent are Black or African American.
- 8.6 percent Asian, 4.9 percent Hispanic, .5 percent American Indian, Alaskan or Pacific Islander.
- 2 percent are two or more races, and 5.5 percent are non-resident aliens or unknown.
- 41.9 percent are male and 58.1 percent are female.
UNC ranks 45th in faculty average salary for professors, 62nd for associates and 39th for assistants.
Both UNC's Committee on the Status of Women and the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment have composed thorough studies on salary equity. The results of both illuminate where UNC is lacking, and what the troubling outcomes of continued inequality would be.
COSOW found that from 2014 to 2017, men on UNC faculty earn 28 percent more than women. This is visible when compared to male faculty, we see female faculty are more likely to have a fixed term appointment, hold an academic rank of assistant professor or instructor, not hold a distinguished title, have spent fewer years in their current rank and specialize in a lower-paying disciplines.