To crib a gag line from the Instapundit blog, why are liberal and leftist institutions such cesspools of sexism? The Cavalier Daily, the University of Virginia’s student newspaper has found that female faculty at the university are earning almost $34,000 less this fiscal year than male faculty members on average. Only six of the top 20 earners at the university are women.
Here’s the part of the story I loved: In explaining the gap in male-female earnings, UVa spokesman Anthony De Bruyn sounded very much like a conservative explaining why gender pay gaps exist in society at large.
UVa strives for pay equity, De Bruyn said. Salaries depend upon a multitude of factors such as faculty classification, performance, honors and recognition in teaching, professorial rank, years in rank, market forces and administrative responsibilities like serving as a chair. “The University’s compensation philosophy supports UVA’s goal to attract, develop, and retain employees using market-based salary ranges and pay practices that reward performance and development.”
Do say… The pay for different types of employees reflects the demand for and supply of various attributes that have nothing to do with gender? What a remarkable concept. Whatever happened to “the patriarchy?”
The Cavalier Daily cites a 2014 salary study that adjusted for variables such as rank school, department and tenure. Based on 2013 salary data, male faculty members earned 2.7% more than female faculty members, a difference of $3,638. However, that study did not consider “qualitative” factors that might affect salaries in individual cases such as education and tenure. Education level among university faculty a “qualitative” factor? Who would have guessed? I wonder what the pay gap would have looked like if the study had adjusted for that trivial factor?
Field of specialization also affects compensation. As the article does not explain, engineering and medical school professors are paid well (a) because engineering professors have lucrative employment opportunities outside of academia, and (b) engineering professors are more likely to attract outside research dollars. Universities award the big money-makers with endowed professorships and other monetary enticements to recruit and retain them along with their research dollars. For whatever reason, engineering remains a male-dominated field. The ranks of senior medical research scientists, I’d wager, are predominantly male as well — although it seems noteworthy that Martha Zeiger, chair of the department of surgery, is the highest-paid faculty member (not administrator) as the university.
The wage gap “is not a U.Va. specific thing — it’s a U.S. society thing,” said Abby Palko, director of the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’ Center. “The assumptions that go with gender run really, really deep. … The best curated research shows that you can account for some of it by choice of profession and some of it by parental status, but not all of it. Some of it can be only explained by gender.”
Bacon’s bottom line: I’m inclined to think that pay discrimination in academia is almost non-existent and can be explained by factors other than gender bias. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Instapundit is right. Maybe the cloistered, left-leaning institution of academia is riddled with sexism. Even if I don’t really believe it, I can live with that interpretation.There are currently no comments highlighted.