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Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets

During the 2008-09 academic year the Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets (FACB) met four times in full session.

A brief meeting of the FACB was held on Monday, September 8, 2008, to discuss the meeting schedule for the coming year and to elect a vice chair. Dr. Pauline Strong (anthropology) was elected vice-chair.

On October 15, 2008, Executive Vice Provost Steve Monti led a discussion for the committee on the budget process at UT. This meeting was entirely informational and the committee did not consider any other business.

On December 9, 2008, the FACB was joined by Drs. J. Strother Moore (computer science) and Gretchen Ritter (governmnt) who presented the results of the Gender Equity Task Force. Their presentation and the ensuing discussion took the entire meeting time.

For its meeting on February 24, 2009, the FACB invited Vice Provost Judith Langlois to discuss the 2008 Gender Equity Task Force report compiled by Drs. Gretchen Ritter and J. Strother Moore. Dr. Langlois was invited to meet with the FACB since she has been charged by the provost with the implementation of new measures to address some of the problems revealed by the report.

In the conversation with Dr. Langlois, it was quickly apparent that President Powers, Provost Leslie, and other members of the UT administration took the findings of the Gender Equity Task Force seriously and were moving quickly to evaluate and address many of the issues raised by the report. Dr. Langlois explained that progress was already being made in many areas. A specific effort, she and Provost Leslie explained, is now being made to encourage senior women hires—particularly in departments and colleges in which the number of senior women was disproportionately low. Dr. Langlois also explained that discussions were underway about how faculty merit was calculated in different colleges across campus with an eye to determining if faculty merit procedures negatively impacted women and thus affected retention of female faculty members.

The committee discussed at considerable length the impact that job loyalty had on salary compression for female and male faculty members who did not continually place themselves on the job market and seek outside offers as a way to raise their salaries. Provost Leslie observed that he hoped that an effect of the Gender Equity Task Force report would be a move to a better set of practices for merit review across the University that could involve some sort of rolling average of faculty productivity.

After a lengthy and spirited discussion, committee member Michael Granof (accounting), observed that there appeared to be three major issues identified by the Gender Equity Task Force report that he felt the FACB should particularly encourage the administration to support through new ameliorative measures:
1. The need to hire more women in general, and particularly senior women in certain departments and colleges;
2. The need to find means to involve women more fully in leadership positions on the campus;
3. The need to address the lower salaries of women—and male—faculty members who in many instances had not had their salary raised over the years because they did not seek outside job offers.

Professor Granof’s observation formed the basis for the following resolution, which was drafted after the meeting and circulated to the members of the FACB for electronic vote. Three drafts of the resolution were circulated to the FACB before all agreed to the language below, which was officially passed on May 15, 2009.
The FACB urges the administration to ensure equity in the compensation of women, especially those hired at the senior level. It further urges the administration to work toward new best practices for merit and tenure for both female and male faculty members that takes into consideration salary compression resulting from a long tenure at the University and/or an unwillingness to seek outside job offers as a mechanism for salary advancement. The committee specifically encourages administrative action designed to remedy the widening inequities of salary inversion among tenure track faculty.
Jan Todd, chair