Report on the Status of Women Faculty at The University of Texas at Austin - 1986 to 1999
The recent study of women at UT Austin prepared by the Provost’s office summarizes data from 1986 to 1999 on indices related to faculty salary and numbers of women faculty by rank in each department. These data sets are indicative of the climate for women and the status of women in the various schools and colleges at UT Austin.
The various tables of the report present, by department, the number of males and females who hold the positions of Chair, Professorship, Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor. Below each of these figures, a comparison is made between the average salary of males and females in each of these positions. Finally, a comparison is made between the ratio of male and female faculty to the ratio of male and female undergraduate and graduate students in each department.
The analysis of salary data should be explained further. Salary data was obtained for each year from 1986 to 1999. Data was available for the average salary of males in the positions of Chair, Professorship, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor. Similar salary data was available for females in each of these positions. The average salary of males and females in each of these positions was used to compute their percentage of the average department salary. An example is provided to clarify:
Assume that Department X has 10 male Associate Professors with an average salary of Mav=$60,000, and 2 female Associate Professors with an average salary of Fav=$50,000. The Department average salary for Associate Professors, Dav, is Dav=[10 x $60,000 + 2 x $50,000] / 12 = $58,333. The percent of the Department average for male associate professors is M% = Mav / Dav = 103%. The percent of the department average for female Associate Professors is F% = Fav / Dav = 86%.
Salary Data and Number of Female Faculty
In looking at just the salary data, it would be fair to conclude that the situation looks quite good with regard to gender equity. There are pockets of possible inequity. For example, in the School of Architecture, the salary situation appears to be improving but less so at the assistant professor level. In the College of Education, women’s proportion of the salary appears a bit lower across departments. In Business, women’s average salary appears a bit lower in some departments, particularly in the Department of Finance.
In pursuing these data and drawing conclusions, it is as important to note that some colleges, schools and departments continue to employ relatively few women faculty. Among the colleges and schools, cases in point are Architecture, LBJ School, Law, and Engineering. Departments with relatively few women faculty include Economics, the Physical Science Depts., Educational Administration, Finance, Geography, and Government.
Proportion of Women Faculty, Graduate Students, and Undergraduate Students
In looking at the proportion of women faculty vis-à-vis the proportion of women undergraduate and graduate students, the situation varies a great deal by school and department. Nursing is the only school in which the proportions are similar for all three groups. The situation is also quite good in the School of Social Work. In Architecture, the proportion of women faculty remained below 20% during this time frame although the proportion of women students increased from approximately 30% to nearly 50% at the undergraduate level, and to 40% at the graduate level. In the College of Education, the patterns are quite good with the exception of the Dept. of Higher Ed. In the College of Business there has been some improvement over time but not in the Department of Finance. In the College of Fine Arts, overall approx. 39% of the faculty are women and 60% of the students. Trends indicate an improving situation in the departments of Theatre and Dance and Art and Art History but less so in the School of Music.
In the College of Liberal Arts, the overall trend is in the positive direction with less than 20% of the college faculty being women in 1986 and nearly 30% being women in 1999. Over these same years the proportion of female students overall has ranged from approx. 45% to 51%. The proportions vary a good deal by department, however. The situation looks quite good in the Departments of American Studies, Anthropology, and English, for example, but not good in the Departments of Economics and Geography. In Economics, the proportion of women faculty has decreased from 15% to 5% over this time period and the proportion of female students has increased from approx. 20% to 30%. For Geography, the proportion of women faculty has been less than 10% since 1990 whereas the proportion of women graduate and undergraduate students has averaged close to 50%.
In the College of Pharmacy, the proportion of women faculty has increased from 10% to 15%. The proportion of undergraduate students has remained quite constant at approx. 65% and the proportion of graduate students who are women has increased from approx. 50% to approx. 60%. In the College of Engineering, the situation has improved dramatically in the past six years, but the numbers of women faculty remain low in many departments. In the Department of Chemical Engineering, for example, the proportion of female graduate and undergraduates has increased from 1986 to 1999, and overall represents approx. 35% of undergraduate and 25% of graduate students but the proportion of women faculty remains very low at 5%. A similar picture emerges for the College of Natural Sciences. In the Department of Chemistry, for example, approximately 50% of undergraduates are women and 35% of graduate students, but only 5% of the faculty are women.
The number of women faculty in a department is a very important factor in determining the climate that exists in the department for male and female students. Although some departments are doing quite well on this dimension, these data indicate that others need to improve.