Published: Feb. 25, 2002

Statistically significant differences among salaries of male, female and minority faculty members have disappeared at the University of Colorado at Boulder following five years of annual studies of salary inequity, according to Bill Kaempfer, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Kaempfer also is a CU-Boulder economics professor. He has undertaken studies of the problem in each of the last five years.

Chancellor Richard L. Byyny in 1999 made a commitment to correct gender inequities in salaries among CU-Boulder faculty and allocated $240,000 in funding to achieve that goal over the last two years.

Each year since he assumed the responsibilities of chancellor in 1997, Byyny has requested an analysis of salaries by gender, rank and discipline.

The most recent salary analysis showed there are no longer statistically significant differences in salaries paid to male, female and minority faculty when the data is corrected to account for differences in faculty rank, market demand and experience.

"There is no longer evidence of a salary gap that can be explained solely by gender," Kaempfer said. "While the data show that on average women earn $1,300 less than males, this differential is explained by other factors, not because they are women," he said. 

In general, women across the nation enter academics in lower-paid fields, such as humanities and education rather than engineering and business. They also have been on the faculty for shorter times than their male counterparts. 

Of the total faculty members, 1,056 are men and 285 are women. Minority faculty salaries have kept pace with white male salaries for the last three years.

"More women have been joining the faculty in recent years," Kaempfer said. "For example, we have only two women who have been on the faculty for 35 years, but many men have been teaching that long."

A total of 47 Boulder campus departments were analyzed. The data was corrected to reflect differences among departments. Business, engineering and law salaries, for example, are higher than those in the humanities and social sciences.

This year Kaempfer also examined instructors' salaries along with assistant, associate and full professors. Among instructors, women are actually paid somewhat more than their male counterparts.

The data showed salaries ranging from an average of $107,391 in the law school to $46,497 for library faculty. Senior professors hired recently tend to receive higher salaries due to the competition among institutions of higher education for good faculty.

With few exceptions, all CU-Boulder salaries continue to fall below the average for peer institutions, which are members of the Association of American Universities.

Chancellor Byyny continues to support fiscal polices that will bring CU-Boulder faculty salaries up to national norms.