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Nevertheless, she persisted

Last updated on 03/22/2017

Full disclosure: I know and work with many of the people on both sides of this lawsuit, and while I will try to keep my opinions to a minimum, I doubt I’ll be completely successful.

Jack Moran of the RG has the story on the lawsuit by Psychology professor Jennifer Freyd against UO, alleging gender discrimination in pay:

Psychology professor sues University of Oregon, says she’s paid ‘substantially less’ than male colleagues

The University of Oregon is being sued by a longtime psychology professor who alleges that she’s being paid substantially less than several less-experienced male colleagues, in violation of the federal Equal Pay Act.

Jennifer Freyd’s suit, filed Tuesday morning in U.S. District Court in Eugene, also includes claims alleging disparate treatment and impact, sex-based discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX violations.

“For years, I have tried to work within my department and the college to help the UO live up to its own policies of non-discrimination,” Freyd said in a statement issued by her attorneys. “Women all over the country and in all kinds of jobs earn less than their male counterparts. It’s past time for the UO to recognize and address this problem in its own salary practices.”

The suit asserts that professor salaries in the psychology department are supposed to be determined by seniority and merit, and alleges that UO officials are aware of pay differences between their male and female psychology professors.

University spokesman Tobin Klinger said UO officials are aware of Freyd’s allegation and plan to “look closely at the case in the coming days.”

“Although professor Freyd’s pay places her in the top 13 percent of all tenure track faculty at the UO, we are committed to paying our faculty commensurate with their achievements,” Klinger said.

Freyd’s current salary is $155,237 and she receives benefits totaling another $70,545, bringing her total compensation to $225,782, according to data provided by Klinger. …

Oh no, Mr. Klinger. A university that is currently paying its football coach $3.6M a year, its former football coach another $3.6M, ~$400K a pop to assistant coaches both drunk and sober, and which has a very well paid President, Provost, and Deans, etc., should probably avoid bringing up the fact that one of its most internationally known professors, in the midst of a long and very successful career of teaching and research at what is probably UO’s top ranked research department, with an admirable record of attracting top graduate students and placing them well, is paid only $155K.  This is not going to help the new Knight Campus recruit top faculty of either gender.

Perhaps Mr. Klinger is just following orders from higher-up, to try and poison the potential jury pool against Freyd by pandering to our state’s anti-education sentiments. Which makes me wonder just how high a price our administration is willing to pay – or should I say make our university pay – to try and win this. So let’s hope that this attack is just Klinger going off the farm.

The RG story goes on to note that Prof. Freyd has gone through many careful steps to demonstrate gender discrimination in her department and try and resolve this without a lawsuit. Her department head (a man, if that matters) has documented this discrimination with a regression that shows that psychology’s female full professors are paid an average of $22K less than males, when accounting for the sort of standard research productivity measure that our administration favors (the H-Index):

Yes it’s a small n, but it’s run on the entire relevant population, not a sample.

The department head’s full letter to the dean’s office is here. He goes on to explain the systematic reasons that gender differences in lives and careers mean that female professors are less likely to pursue outside offers and get retention raises from UO, and that UO has not implemented procedures to address the gender wage gap that can result. He asks the administration to therefore give Freyd the appropriate raise, or at least a fraction of it.

Apparently that request was ignored or rejected. The RG:

Meanwhile, the psychology department completed its own study during the spring of 2016 that addressed a range of topics and found male professors are paid an average of about $25,000 more per year than their female counterparts, according to the suit. That study was provided to deans in the UO’s College of Arts & Sciences.

The UO then appointed a committee to evaluate the psychology department. A report from the group noted gender pay disparities and recommended the department should continue “pressing for gender equity in terms of pay at the senior levels of the faculty,” the lawsuit says.

Ulrich Mayr, the psychology department’s head, emailed the College of Arts & Sciences’ deans in December requesting they address Freyd’s salary, which he characterized as “our most glaring inequity case,” according to the suit. Mayr asserted Freyd’s pay is as much as $50,000 below where it should be, the lawsuit says.

The College of Arts & Sciences announced raises in January. Freyd earned standard pay increases but no additional raise based on requests that she and Mayr had made, according to the suit.

Andrew Marcus, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and Hal Sadofsky, the associate dean, met with Freyd on Jan. 18. They told her that they would not address sex discrimination in her pay, and “belittled her comments” by saying that only three men in her department earned more than her, the lawsuit says.

There are those who will argue that this gender gap is simply the competitive market at work. Those people must have failed undergraduate microeconomics. Eugene’s labor market for research active PhD’s is not a competitive market. It’s a local monopsony in which the employer, UO, exercises considerable market power. We covered this in week 8, but if you skipped that lecture check the textbook for the implications for wage discrimination.

Other links: Professor Freyd’s law firm is the well known Johnson, Johnson, Lucas and Middleton of Eugene. They’ve posted the following:

Press Release


Timeline of events showing the efforts by Professor Freyd since 2014 to address the gender gap, without having to take UO to court.

Oregonian report: UO psychology professor accuses school of pay discrimination

Klinger repeats his ill-advised comments.


  1. Oryx 03/22/2017

    This part of the department head’s very good letter is especially important: “One key factor contributing to this situation is that individuals differ in the degree to which they are prepared to pursue outside offers/retention negotiations. … What distinguishes these from their higher-paid counterparts is the fact that––as the majority of female colleagues––they have not had recent salary negotiations due to a senior hire or retentions.”

    The fact that getting an outside offer is a major driver of raises here disproportionately hurts women, but also hurts men who are similarly constrained. (I can think of several examples.) Overall, there’s a lack of willingness to assess people on their merits (or lack thereof). Relying on circumstances like external offers lets the administration avoid this, at the cost of harming people like Professor Freyd.

    • dog 03/22/2017

      In my experience, outside offers are the only way to leverage significant pay increases at most Universities and so this is the eternal game that is played.

      I think internal institutional assessment of people on their “merits” is extremely difficult since we are

      a) all great and b) all deserve higher pay based on our greatness …

      • reaction 03/22/2017

        Assuming you’re talking about women academics, this is logically wrong: “women are more likely to be married to an academic.” There are equal amounts of men and women in two-sex academic couples by definition.

        • Peter Keyes 03/22/2017

          By definition equal absolute numbers, but also not equal percentages, since there are more male faculty members overall.

        • reaction 03/22/2017

          Guess I posted under the wrong item. Anyway, I see your point. A “solution” to this problem–other than getting rid of spousal hires altogether–would be to accommodate spousal hires at a rate equivalent to the share of the faculty represented by the spouse’s gender. So we should be accommodating request from women to hire their spouses much more often than similar requests from men. I’m sure that wouldn’t raise any objections.

          • Dog 03/22/2017

            In the current cluster search I am involved in there is a noted increase in women wanting spousal hires as well.

            My overall feeling on spousal hires is simply that it makes searchers harder and recruitment harder.

    • thedude 03/22/2017

      I would also say university spousal hiring programs disproportionately help women because women are more likely to be married to another academic. No one offered my partner a job. My partner didn’t get their salary subsidized by the provost and my home department to get another department to offer them a job…

      • Leporillo 03/26/2017

        Spousal hires reek of nepotism. I’ve worked on campus almost 30 years and have seen more problems with this type of hire (read sinecure) than benefits.

  2. thedude 03/22/2017

    Did she get an outside offer?

    My sense is merit pay is always too compressed because
    1) Little variation in teaching
    2) Little variation in service
    3) Quantity/Quality tradeoffs are tough and imperfect
    4) Merit pools are fixed within departments (zero sum).

    Bottom line at ALL universities, if you want a big raise, get an outside offer. This is well understood in academia (and in the private sector too). At UO we would actually help reduce the external equity problems if we encouraged each other to go on the market and didn’t question someone’s loyalty. Its up to UO to be loyal to them and pay them what the market would bear. Suing UO is just going to make lawyers rich.

    • Dog 03/22/2017

      But going on the market is very time consuming, a pain in the ass, and can be emotionally demoralizing – there is also a price for that …

      • thedude 03/23/2017

        I don’t necessarily like the rule you need an answer outside offer for a raise. It brings up all sorts of problems

        1. UO doesn’t usually match, they just get close
        2. UO certainly match outside research resources
        3. They won’t match on facilities (in many departments)

        Issues 1 and 2 can be addressed by the university. And if they can’t, than UO should do preemptive retention offers more aggressively.

        In terms of gender, I think culture should be to encourage all women and men that considering an outside offer can only help you. Encourage women to lean in to the game of thrones that getting outside offers entails. And departments heads shouldn’t abuse their knowledge of constraints to minimize retain raises to those who can’t really leave. They should use outside offers as a chance to increase the salary of an individual, which also just serves to increase the total merit pools their colleges and departments will have to work with in the future.

    • open search committee 03/23/2017

      This would be nightmare if everyone did this. Each year, our department spends hundreds, probably thousands of faculty-hours reading files, arguing over who to interview, interviewing, arguing over who to make offers to, negotiating with the dean, negotiating with the candidate, etc. If the job candidates where just doing this to get a $4000 raise every couple years, nobody would be happy.

  3. Anonymous 03/22/2017

    At the same time we’ve been trying to shore up public funding, Klinger’s not-so-subtly trying to pay the “professors are overpaid” card to turn sentiment against Freyd. Our PR office has zero sense of mission or integrity.

    • UO Matters Post author | 03/22/2017

      Klinger is so much more respectful to the basketball players who are (still) suing UO:

      “It is unfortunate that Mr. Austin has decided to pursue this type of lawsuit, and we intend to vigorously defend the university. We’re confident Mr. Austin was afforded fair and consistent due process that fully complied with the university’s legal obligations. We cannot provide further comment because this is pending litigation,” Senior Director of Public Affairs Communications Tobin Klinger said in a statement.”


  4. Anas clypeata 03/22/2017

    Looking at the graphs with their small sample size, it appears that what is missing in the department is anyone else with a “years in rank” of more than 14 years. I recall reading on UO Matters that professors late in their careers at the UO are underpaid in general. Do I recall correctly? Is there anyone here with better information about this effect and how it might apply in this case?

    • Hippo 03/22/2017

      Small sample size? Sample from what? It’s the population.

      • UO Matters Post author | 03/22/2017

        Congratulations for submitting the statistical comment of the week. Please contact our Swag Office for your complimentary UO Matters coffee cup. As a condition of this award, please be prepared to respond to any subsequent comments about the relevance of a current population census for inferences about future populations.

      • Oryx 03/22/2017

        Come on! We all know that what was meant was “the number of points is small.”

    • dog 03/23/2017

      I have said this before on this blog:

      There are cases of faculty that have been here for
      a long time who experienced tenure and promotion raises
      before the 2004 CAS policy of 6 and 8 % were in effect.

      That profile ends up behind.

      For example, I know of one case of a professor (still here) whose promotion to full in 1995 carried with it a whopping percentage salary increase of 2.5% – that
      difference has never been made up properly and there was certainly no correction, union based or other wise, on this basic promotion raise discrepancy.

      Its possible that Dr. Freyd has this kind of profile.

      • UO Matters Post author | 03/23/2017

        As might many of the men in her department. This doesn’t strike me as a likely explanation for the gender gap.

        • dog 03/23/2017

          not true if their years in rank have all been less than 15; its very likely that all of them got an 8% raise
          to full professor and Freyd’s promotion came before that.

        • Dog 03/23/2017

          In addition, I really think the only data way one can claim unfairness is to look at each raise step, one by one, and determine how many standard deviations each step is above or below the average.

          If Ms. Freyd always gets below average raises (which I doubt) then she has a vary valid law suit.

          However, if her low pay is the combination of low tenure and promotion raises (and don’t forget the PTR issue) in addition to higher than average salaries for
          new hires (and I suspect this is the case with her and others of her profile), then its difficult to argue its solely gender based.*

          But again, if she always gets a lower than average raise, well then, she should win the law suit.

          *this entire differential treatment in promotion and tenure raises and ptr increases over a 20 year period is the main basis for internal equity problems and its something this union should look into and offer a correction pathway

    • Eric B Rasmusen 04/05/2017

      A sample can be 100% of the population, so if we’re to be precise, this is still a small sample size, since the population is small. It is, of course, not just a small sample but a perfect sample.

  5. Obi Wan 03/23/2017

    I think the UO is long overdue a more widespread analysis of gender and salary. Maybe one has been done, but I haven’t seen it.
    I’m a classified employee, and a year or two ago I did a little analysis of the pay rates within my classification. As a woman, I make nearly 20% less than the average pay of a man within my classification. And that includes men who were hired long after me. Within my classification, the average pay of women is at least 15% below that of the men.

    • thedude 03/23/2017

      At one point this data was scraped from the pdf salary reports. Any difference between female and male and female wages disappears control for rank and department.

  6. prof from another school 03/24/2017

    Her lawsuit is fascinating in that it attacks the single major cause of academic salary differences [ correcting for rank, discipline , year-by-yr merit raises, etc]…. mainly ‘retention offers’ … as being a form of gender discrimination, and thus unlawful.
    In the words of the lawsuit, repeated several times in various ways:
    “Paying retention raises to men who seek outside offers is not a differential that is based in good faith on factors other than sex. It reflects, amplifies, and capitalizes on existing gender bias in the availability of outside offers, ability to seek them out, and ability to aggressively respond to them. UO is aware of the gender bias inherent in its use of this factor and its continued use is not use in good faith”.

    this lawsuit will be worth watching.

    • Anonymous 03/24/2017

      So all of academia is sexist because you need an outside offer for a big raise?

      This lawsuit is going down in flames. IMHO, she should be willing to tell other outside departments she’d consider their offer, get her raise, and be done. That imposes a small costs on other schools. Instead she’s imposing that cost on all of the university here. Go on the market, and get what the market says you should…

      • UO Matters Post author | 03/24/2017

        And why do you think the market should determine what people are paid? Are market outcomes always what society wants? No. Is the market somehow sacred? No.

        Under some circumstances market outcomes have some important desirable properties like Pareto efficiency and they satisfy some limited definitions of fairness. Under other common circumstances they do neither perfectly. And in those circumstances, to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson,

        “Whenever a market becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new institutions, laying their foundation on such principles, and organizing their powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

        • dog 03/25/2017

          Have to agree with the UOM on this one. Market doesn’t really apply to academic positions, in the traditional sense of a commodity market. My experience (and I have had more than readers know) is that the “market price” is primarily determined by the perception of prestige and impact – so its like future speculations – in my own case I have received about a dozen external offers over the last 7-8 years and they range in salary increases from about 20% to 150%. However, in my own case I am not interested in a salary increase, I am interested in significant increases in research infrastructure (like Florida gave to Andy Bergland) and except for one case, external offers didn’t agree to this (and in the once case they did, their were other mitigating factors).

          So most of the external market price for Profs seems to be driven by a) how well you toot your own horn and b) perception of greatness by the external world.

          That’s not a market …

          That’s recruitment, like football …

          • dude 03/25/2017

            Football is a market. Maybe not an inefficient one. But we’re in a labor market.

            The fact that you want more resources instead of more salary doesn’t mean that you don’t respond to market forces. Its just that sometimes (even often) research is more expensive than salary…

        • dude 03/25/2017

          What the alternative instead of market you would suggest? Do we all get paid the same? Do we base it on how hard we work (inputs) instead of output? I think the union has generated pretty good raises and structures so far. What it doesn’t address well is equity. Internal equity (as described by the union) is mainly a tax on merit raises. External equity universally is too expensive (we relative to AAU comparators). So at the end of the day, if you want to address external equity it looks like there are two options.

          1. Get an outside offer
          2. Get a lawyer and sue

          Seems like option 1 is way easier to me….

          • dog 03/25/2017

            the may 2011 CAS raises, I think, were the right way to address this through equity raises with comparators (not necessarily AAU).

            The union raises were good initially, through July 2014
            but since then we have fallen further behind, as documented earlier by UOmatters.

            And I would suggest that academics is not a pathway to continually bitch about your salary.

  7. Publius 03/25/2017

    Why didn’t the dimwits in CAS just give her a raise, as everyone including her dept head said they should? Are they worried about the precedent–that the next time a world famous underpaid senior woman faculty asks that the inequity be addressed–they will have to give in?

    By the way, as a former long term faculty member and former dept head the idea that the only way this happens is via an outside offer is total nonsense.

    I cannot remember a time when the U of O adm so consistently generated such a bad image to the world at large–most recently, the “blackface” fiasco now this. How much do these idiots get paid?

    • dog 03/25/2017

      well I can provide numerous examples of outside offers generation retention raises, I can not cite a single example of a significant internal raise based on equity issues.

      In addition, those retention raises do upset the pay scale ranking in a department, and in some cases, a retention raise to one faculty member has beget equity raises to other faculty members.

      In an ideal world, this should be nonsense, in the real world of the UO, my experience shows its not

    • Anas clypeata 03/25/2017

      Depends whether the idiots are male or female, apparently.

    • readthepaper 03/26/2017

      I was told specifically by my dean that I needed an outside offer to get any type of decent raise. So I did. And I’m a woman, btw.

    • dude 03/27/2017

      Because then all anyone would need to get a raise is a strongly worded letter from your department head. What would everyone want from their department head? Then there would be questions of the fairness around who the department head thinks needs a strong letter demanding a raise without an outside offer. I’ve been through the process myself. The challenge is once you get an outside offer and visit a school who is trying to recruit you, it gets tempting. Especially because everyone at the recruiting school is nice, and people at your home department, lets just say you know them (so some are great and supportive, and others are the assholes you know them to be).

      As much as it sucks, if you want to address equity, you need to be patient as all hell with merit raises, or get an outside offer. This lawsuit won’t go anywhere… (otherwise everyone will start suing for raises).

    • Eric B Rasmusen 04/05/2017

      Outside offers don’t help with equity issues either, since if you’re mediocre nobody outside will offer to raise your salary. They only help with merit issues.

      • Dog 04/06/2017

        I know plenty of mediocre faculty that got significant outside offers. I am mediocre (or perhaps sub) and I have gotten outside offers in excess of 30% of my salary. So them, I am perceived not to be mediocre,
        eventually they will catch on, but then I just sell myself somewhere else.

        In my department, historically, outside offers have been the main driver of significant pay increases.

  8. prof from another school 03/26/2017

    My comment was about the [interesting to me] content of the lawsuit, as viewed by a retired prof, not a lawyer, and most certainly was not about the theoretical/desirable/personally-yucky/socially-yucky outcomes of real-world [academic] markets. And while salary boosts can come in ways not linked to retention offers [ like moving to another school, early promotion, winning a Nobel-equivalent prize], it remains that they generally play a major role in salary differentials in the academy. I think we must respect the quality-decision on any school to hire-away one of UO’s faculty ; then UO must make the decision to attempt retention, or not. pretty simple.
    UO has recently hired 3 distinguished sr science profs [ 2 are in sr administrator roles]and one must assume UO made competitive offers, in lots if senses.

    I suggest the following form for the question: Advise from an old prof to a young prof:”Earning a good living in the Academy will require you pay attention to the following STUFF ( now add list 1]..2]..3..])”

    in my own experience few topics generate as much emotion among faculty as this one; except maybe lack of state funding in general

  9. A sad story 03/27/2017

    I am a woman and I had one outside offer that was not matched by the UofO, either in rank or in salary. The reason was that the offer was just for me and not for my husband, who is also a faculty at the UofO. The administration (DH and Dean) knew I was not going to leave my husband here and move to the East Coast. The same, but just opposite, happened to my husband (his offer was not matched and I had no offer from that University). Fifteen years later we are the lowest paid full professors in our Department, of course.
    This is discrimination.

    • dog 03/27/2017

      There are all kinds of reasons that the pay scale for full professors both internal and external is screwed up and there has been no real effort to correct this. I am not sure its discrimination so much – what I think its a) its not caring by the admin because of their spreadsheet mentality – we are all interchangeable – we are just FTE on a spread sheet and have no special talents because we are not treated as individuals and hence are easily replaceable by another FTE and b) the “oregon way”

      In my own department the difference in full prof 9 month pay is 60K per year. That seems excessively large of delta.

    • anonymous 03/27/2017

      They assume dual-career couples here are both captive. And we are, in essence. You’ll need a double outside offer. And by then, given the bitterness accumulated, I hope you’ll leave without bothering to ask for a counter-offer. Let the deans eat your dust.

      I think this whole recourse to the “market”, as a substitute for recognizing the actual contributions made in teaching, research and service by hard-working and accomplished tenured faculty, is a daily insult. And if it takes us forever, my spouse and I will get out, with no regrets. F*** ’em.

    • prof from another school 03/28/2017

      Sad indeed.
      But it raises the question of why the other 2 schools did not make 2 offers since they certainly(?) knew that neither you nor your husband would not accept a single offer.
      Job searches are funny in that the hiring school cant legally ask about ‘spouse needing a position’ and some candidates only mention it after they get an offer. THAT seems unfair to your potential new colleagues, who cant ask you.
      Lots of heated discussion about whether a candidate should ethically disclose that they are a dual academic couple and require 2 positions. personally I think they should, but many folks disagree. of course,Search committees try to guess.
      Just for note: my first Univ treated me quite badly salary wise for 15 yr; yes, based on not using job offers to boast my salary [ I never did ], and I finally just left. So I know your situation very well.
      A wise ole provost [ there are some] once told me that THEY match maybe 1/3 of outside offers. Don’t know about UO.

      • A sad story ... more of it 03/28/2017

        It is hard for school to come up with two positions. Most of the time they love the person they want to recruit and they barely tolerate the spouse.
        Once we were approached by a highly ranked university who told us that they loved us both, but they had only one position in our field, so they would be happy to take either of us (!).
        In another school, where we asked for a second offer for me, a colleague, confidentially, asked me why I wanted to damage my husband’s career by being so obstinate.
        This is just to give a taste of what it comes when you are looking for dual offers.

        • Professor #1 03/28/2017

          barely tolerated academic spouses are quite common in job searches! And often sink dual hires at the end.
          But the U that loved you both yet insisted that one be unemployed should not get a pass either. My own experience is that the academic spouse hire issue is real tough and MUST be solved from the get-go: 2 positions or nothing. Decide, and move foreword. Univs try all kinds of recruitment-tricks with soft $ ,a shared position, and so forth: they never work in the long run.
          A good western U tried to hire one of my former post-docs, and would not hire his wife, a very good scholar: so they just stayed at their better UC school [ both are now TT]. they wanted to move for the better environment outside a California city.
          I have no magic solution to any of these awful situations [ my term, carefully chosen], and deans will continue to access how little they need to do to keep folks around; it is of course worse if $ is tight.
          Keep productive.

    • dude 03/28/2017

      They never match anywhere (except maybe at elite Ivies).

      At UO I had a male colleague get an outside offer with a 60 percent raise. UO countered with nothing. For me (also a male) I had an outside offer for 35 percent raise, and UO countered with a 10 percent retention bump (it also happened to coincide with all the first retroactive and other rounds of union raises, so I stuck around).

      I had another male colleague get an outside offer for a 40 percent raise. UO countered with 10 percent.

      This isn’t a matter of disrimination. I think its a matter of UO being cheap/poor. They’ll do barely enough to make the choice hard. They won’t ever make it easy to decide to stay.

      • Dog 03/28/2017

        as I said before, I think this is all the spreadsheet FTE mentality here – you got a 10% retention offer because that is what the spreadsheet allows, fuck your individual brilliance …

    • Eric B Rasmusen 04/05/2017

      $60,000 doesnt’ seem a large salary differnetial to me at all. Aren’t there some full profs whom everyone would say are worth at least twice as much to the department as other full profs? That is, if you had to lose either your best prof or your two worst ones, wouldn’t you choose to lose the two worst ones?

      • Dog 04/06/2017

        your making assumptions here.

        The 60K I am talking about (which is now up to 75 K
        in the latest salary report) has got to do with

        a) differences in starting salary
        b) procedural differences in how raises are determined

        it has very little to do with quality

        so over a 20 year period you get this kind of divergence

        One example.

        Professor X got a PTR raise in Fall of 2013 before
        the union rule of 8% came into place (which causes
        temporary internal equity issues)

        Professor Y got a PTR raise in Fall of 2014 for 8%

        Professor X’s raise was 3% (i.e. 4K – the maximum allowed at the time)

        Professor X used to have a higher salary than Professor Y

        now the opposite is true because of a change in

  10. dog 03/28/2017

    Okay here is one weird thing about the UO with respect to pay.

    At all my other university jobs they would not allow more than 2 months of summer salary, period. When I first got to the UO I asked about this limitation and I was told by the admin, more or less, this

    “We allow a full 3 months here, because that compensates for our low 9 months salary”

    Now this entire issue of academic pay (9 months) vs annual pay (which includes grant funded summer pay) is something that is not talked about, but very much leads to an even larger salary differential.

    Indeed, in my department we once allocated something like 10 months of summer pay as part of a start up package.

    • Professor #1 03/28/2017

      yup, NSF grants allow 2 mos summer salary and HIH grants 3 mos [ last time I checked]. Biology profs[ ecology vs molecular] often grumble about this differential. But there are a great variety of options, including some grants that allow one to buy time away from teaching[ big in psychology depts.], etc,etc.
      all create income differentials , but mostly between depts.. But so do consulting gigs for folks in the professional schools, and so forth.
      And everything should be negotiable for new hires [ retention folks] including summer salary.

      • dog 03/28/2017

        yes but some universities limit you to 2 months from any source

        • Professor #1 03/28/2017

          thanx; never heard of that limitation, unless the primary contract was for a 10 month academic yr….OSU has some of those.

          • Dog 03/28/2017

            yeah limitation existed at places like Michigan in the 1980s and 1990s but I am not sure its as widespread
            as it use to be. But once upon a time, Michigan did have the highest faculty salaries for any state institution in the country

  11. Retired Professor, begining FlyFisher 03/28/2017

    UOM will probably disagree, but what UO pays its major sports coaches and sr administration is not relevant to the decision of any scholar to come to UO. They wont ask. Nor is it relevant to any faculty member’s decision to stay. And the relevant academic Market is not Eugene but all R1 schools. The general argument that any state school that pays millions for athletics can afford to [fill in the blank] for faculty is a non-starter.
    They will ask about space, salary, set-up funds, quality of colleagues, how the dept functions in general [ note; often hard to get real answers here.], UOs realistic plans for the future, a little about state funding; they might worry a little about the high salary they will be paid relative to others in their dept, and they might ask about the system used in merit raises/yr & how good the College is at getting endowed chairs, the obivous way to be paid better and circumvent lack of state funds. They will like Eugene.
    I find UOM ‘s comments here a bit odd in that they do not address the issues UO has in attracting/retaining quality faculty in the REAL world.
    I am not associated with UO, but have several ‘buddies’ who are, or ….were… all left for better opportunities. All have received
    what AAU define as ‘highly prestigious honors’. UO did not meet their needs. period.

  12. Poor Joe 03/28/2017

    The case will be decided by lawyers on what will be essentially irrelevant grounds. The inequities in UO salaries are widespread due to the irregular and chaotic merit and promotion increases over many years, the lack of adequate procedures in some years, the way newer hires have received salaries that created new inequities–and the absence of equity funds to address these issues.

    • Professor #1 03/28/2017

      As a new Senior hire at a R1 western U I was asked to serve on a dept committee that assigned merit scores to faculty for a yearly raise. Of course the state had given pretty low funds for the increase, but someone had to do the job! So ‘we’ met for an afternoon, after everyone had turned in their data.
      First the committee had to decide on how merit would be measured [ % to research,% to teaching,etc and then just what would count in each category]. I was greatly surprised here as I assumed this part was all figured out beforehand. Little did I realize: getting the committee to agree on anything was like herding cats. teaching versus research, big classes versus small, on & on. And in the end we ended up creating very small merit differences among faculty, mostly because several faculty declined to weigh research accomplishment very highly.
      I never served on this committee again, and spent a few yr exchanging memos with the dean on how merit should be measured at an R1 school; never did convince the dean either, but got many very polite responses.

      • Dog 03/28/2017

        are you sure that R1 Western U wasn’t the UO because you perfectly describe the procedure here as well as the Dean’s response to insightful comments about said procedure.

        Isn’t merit = (Number of pubs)^1.5 * sq. root (citations)* h-index

        • Professor #1 03/28/2017

          Nope, not UO. Its U*; sorry but all is hidden to protect the guilty.
          My point was simply that faculty committees rarely can agree on merit, and I suspect that its use/dfn is quite variable from yr to yr.
          Is your magic formula empirical or theoretical?;just kidding.
          NRC came up with various measures for doctoral training quality, and these were adopted by AAU
          as their primary indicators for getting/retaining membership. They basically consist of citation counts [ ISI, not google scholar], competitive grant money, and faculty receiving honors from NRC’s list of HIGHLY PRESTIGIOUS honors [ plus a few others, plus foreign honors]. UO faculty would riot if someone proposed using these as merit.
          But the h-index is too dumb to be merit.

        • Anonymous 03/28/2017

          It cannot be. Otherwise the UofO should hire mostly in very narrow, trendy areas. With the challenge that those areas could be not trendy 10 years from now. But it will spend a lot of resources in the process. …. Ops, I think it is already happening.

  13. prof from another school 03/29/2017

    This discussion thread covers pretty much everything, except perhaps the viewpoint of a dean or provost confronted with real budget constraints and a multitude of demands for cash. With walk-on roles for dept chairs and faculty committees. And, of course, the general university culture, a bigger deal than most folks think; Excellence is easy to talk about, much harder to achieve, and sustain. Much more here.
    UO’s cluster hire concept and procedures seems quite sensible to an outsider; arguments that trendy areas alone get attention are not compelling, and research $ at R1 schools always play a major role in allocation of positions, and other monies.
    I suggest we all return to the spark that began this thread, the lawsuit. The psychology prof is apparently not claiming that she received unfair yearly raises, but that the differential in the dept is caused by retention raises alone [ if I understand the lawsuit doc], and that this itself is gender discrimination, and thus unlawfull. This is a remarkable claim, and the lawsuit worth watching.

    • dude 04/06/2017

      All universities in the country are watching eagerly. I expect this lawsuit to not go very far. If it does, expect to see the same problem, just with increase moves among high performing faculty members without Ph.D. spouses. Then merit pools are smaller, and her pay under the counterfactual is even lower. Problem gets worse not better.

  14. Eric Rasmusen 04/04/2017

    I can see the strategy. Chairman gives all t raise money to men in the department, not women. Next, the women complain to the President. The President then gives the Chairman a huge pile of extra money for raises to the women. At the end, everybody in the department is happy.

    • UO Matters Post author | 04/04/2017

      It does seem like a solution to local monopsony hiring power although it depends on the inability of deans to backward induct, and the high transactions costs will dissipate the surplus to be bargained over.

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