Maxwell Faculty Salary Committee Report
April 9, 2018
From: Maxwell Faculty Council Faculty Salary
To: Maxwell Faculty Council
Subject: Committee Report
The Maxwell Faculty Committee (MFC) Faculty
Salary Committee (FSC) was inaugurated by the President of the MFC on February
28, 2018 (Attachment 1), and subsequently met on March 6th, 9th, 21st, 29th
and April 3rd. The committee
was comprised of the following members: Elizabeth Cohen, Shana Gadarian, Jeff
Gonda, Sarah Hamersma, Elizabeth Lasch-Quinn, Bob Murrett, Devashish Mitra, Tom
Perreault, Robert Rubinstein, Amy Schwartz, Theresa Singleton and Janet
Wilmoth. As reflected in the attachment,
initial focus was in the following four areas:
acknowledgement of University Salary Report core finding of salary equity
problems that require set aside finding from central administration.
Request funds to correct salary structure and a protocol for correction as it
impacts faculty of the Maxwell School. [The Provost informed the senate
of one-time funds for salary corrections at the Senate meeting on the 21st].
the faculty salary process in Maxwell more generally. Has it contributed
to inequities? How might it be improved?
3. How can we encourage more women to
seek promotion to full? What are the obstacles if any?
4. What is the average pay for social
scientists (Maxwell departments) at competitor schools?
with this tasker, the FSC also formed a subcommittee (comprised of Sarah
Hamersma, Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, Devashish Mitra, Robert Rubinstein, and Janet
Wilmoth) to review the study of Maxwell faculty salaries conducted by the
Dean’s office. The subcommittee
submitted a series of questions to Professor London on the report, which he
responded to promptly (Attachment 2).
a result of this process, the FSC discussed a series of issues pertaining to
faculty salaries at Maxwell. Some of
these can be addressed immediately, while others lend themselves to additional
study or deliberation after completion of this committee’s efforts. There are legitimate concerns regarding the
history of department-level and overall Maxwell School decision-making with
regard to faculty salaries. Most of
these concerns are concentrated into discrete areas: gender inequity, the
faculty salary analysis, both intra- and inter-department-level income
disparities within Maxwell, overall lack of transparency on income-related
decision-making at the department and school level, lack of diversity at
Maxwell which may be related to salary and recruitment decisions, and
university policies that affect women on maternity leave and parents with child
as background, the following findings and recommendations are provided:
1. Gender Inequity: In response to Syracuse University’s clear findings
of systemic inequity between the salaries of men and women in the Maxwell
School, we ask the Dean’s office to immediately acknowledge the inequities
found by the University Salary Report, to remedy all salary inequities between
male and female faculty members within its departments and programs, and to
acknowledge and address the cumulative effects of this disparity on female
Faculty Salary Analysis: The study of AY 2017-2018 Maxwell faculty salary data
provided by Associate Dean Andrew London represented a partial baseline, accomplished on short notice.
length of service at current levels should also be reviewed; in particular,
follow-on analysis regarding years at the ranks of Associate and Full Professor
in each of the Departments and for Maxwell overall should be evaluated. As an example of displaying this component,
the FSC subcommittee has provided a matrix for displaying results of such
analysis (Attachment 3). Given the fact
of documented gender pay disparities, the committee also recommends that the
Dean’s office conduct analysis to learn more about whether women experience
delays in their promotion from associate professor to full professor that may
reflect gender bias and signal to Department chairs the need to offer strong
support for all qualified female faculty members seeking advancement.
with these points, and in order to provide an even stronger basis for action,
the committee feels that there needs to be more robust analysis of Maxwell
faculty salary data, to include, inter alia, additional regression analysis and
control variables, as well as trend analysis using data on pay disparities over
multiple years. In support of this
follow-on analysis, the subcommittee provided a report and a list of specific
follow-on actions related to the Maxwell study as reflected in Attachment (4).
It is the recommendation of this committee that all of the recommendations
listed by the subcommittee in the attachment be adopted.
on retention and post-exit interviews are another area of study that would be
helpful, as it would be useful to have a better understanding of attrition by
women and other faculty members at the Maxwell School for the period of the
last several years, to have a better sense of those who have opted to leave the
3. Intra- and Inter-Department Issues: There
is concern that women are concentrated in the Maxwell Departments with lower
salaries and resources, and that there is a need to balance this distribution
more evenly at Maxwell. Each department
at Maxwell should conduct and share with the Dean’s office an analysis of
faculty at peer/benchmark institutions, which are not the same for departments
across Maxwell. Committee members
forwarded three such studies for peer faculty in the fields of Economics,
Political Science and Anthropology (AEA data, APSA data, and research by Prof.
Rubinstein - Attachments 5, 6, and 7); similar products should be completed for
other departments. We also recommend
that the Dean’s office initiate meetings with segments of the faculty that the
Salary Report indicates are affected by its findings for individual or group
discussions on concerns related to salary, and related matters. The FSC subcommittee forwarded this as a key
recommendation and drafted a template invitation letter which could be used in
support of such an effort, in this case for women at the Associate and Full
Professor level (Attachment 8).
4. School and department practices for faculty
evaluations: the current procedures for Department and School faculty
evaluation, merit review, and formal avenues for engagement with the Dean’s
office should be more carefully and transparently documented (see Attachment
9). In conducting this effort, the end
result should be a process for the Maxwell School and individual departments
with as much transparency as possible, in which the faculty will have high
confidence - without exposing personal data.
Additionally, a procedure ought to be in place to monitor whether
outside offers have created or are creating gender pay and promotion
disparities, especially in light of the evidence that women experience
discrimination in negotiation processes. There should be an overall approach to
salaries at Maxwell which removes, as much as possible, incentives to solicit
offers from other universities and colleges as a means of securing pay raises
and promotions. A healthy approach to
salary levels should not rely on encouraging faculty members to seek outside
offers. Yet it is recognized that we live in a competitive environment, and in
the case of an outside offer, significant and equitable effort must be made to
retain both male and female faculty members.
5. Overall assessment of faculty contributions
and performance: School and department practices for faculty evaluations: the
current procedures for Department and School faculty evaluation, merit review,
and formal avenues for engagement with the Dean’s office should be more
carefully and transparently documented (see Attachment 9). In conducting this effort, the end result
should be a process for the Maxwell School and individual departments with as
much transparency as possible, in which the faculty will have high confidence -
without exposing personal data.
Additionally, the Maxwell School and Dean’s office ought to convey to
faculty a clear sense of which activities in their departments, the Maxwell
School, Syracuse University, their disciplines, and the public sphere
contribute to salary raises and promotion. There would be value to emphasizing
any and all work by faculty members, as reflected in annual CV updates, to include
service in administrative, public, and interdisciplinary areas, because of the
matrix organizational structure at Maxwell, and the extent of centers and
institutes as part of this fabric.
Additionally, it is acknowledged that the University Faculty Salary
Report did not take performance indicators into account, and that the follow-on
Maxwell analysis was consistent with this approach. Having said that, performance is a key
component with respect to faculty salaries, and sensitive analysis related to this
variable should be accomplished. But given the findings of systemic gender
inequity, particular care should be taken in assessing rationales for lower
salary levels of women and extra attention paid to ensuring their contributions
in all three expected areas of teaching, research, and service be fully counted
in their favor.
Hiring and salary decisions need to emphasize the value of diversity at
Maxwell, and serve to significantly increase representation by both
underrepresented minorities and people of color.
7. University policies currently have built-in
financial penalties for faculty members on maternity leave. It is worth noting that since maternity leave
is equated with disability leave, normal salary raises tied to time in service
and merit are not provided. Accordingly,
the Maxwell School should strongly advocate with the University to modify
policies that work against faculty on maternity leave, as well as for expanded
child care services. As a related issue,
University child care facilities for young children should be expanded and made
more accessible to faculty, staff and students.
a final comment, it is the sense of this committee that the MFC should continue
to keep a Faculty Salary Committee comprised, to conduct independent analysis,
to expand data accessibility where possible, and to work with the Dean’s
office, Departments, Centers and Institutes, and faculty. Such a committee can act as an important
voice, and continue efforts to advance equity and fairness for all Maxwell faculty