Faculty Salary Equity Survey Presented to Academic Council

Data show disparity for women faculty across most tracks and ranks

The results were different for male faculty from historically underrepresented groups, Herring said.  The survey showed that among tenured and tenure-track faculty, salaries of men from historically underrepresented groups are markedly higher than those of their non-Hispanic white counterparts.

A third finding was the survey showed a salary gap based on citizenship: Across faculty tracks, salaries of U.S. citizens tend to be a bit higher than those of green card holders and non-citizens.

The survey, the first conducted since 2019, used data from 2022 and took into consideration dozens of factors including department, rank, time spent in rank and rank at the time of hiring at Duke, and distinguished professor status. The data is run through a model that provides a predicted salary for every faculty member, then compares it to their actual salary.

One caveat about the survey: Herring said it doesn’t account for hard-to-measure factors such as excellence of teaching, research and mentoring, which is often taken into consideration in individual salary decisions.

The survey showed improvements in faculty diversity in many schools, with others “holding steady,” Herring said.  The advancements follow several years of intensive efforts to diversify faculty hiring led by the provost’s office and Duke Faculty Advancement. The numbers also reflect hiring initiatives in fields of strategic priority, building upon university strengths in the study of racial and equity issues across fields from the environment to medicine.

Among regular rank faculty, 73% were identified as being white, with 15% listed as Asian and 11% from historically underrepresented groups including Black, Hispanic and Native Americans.

Among tenure-track faculty, 68% are male and 32% female; the trend is reversed among non-tenure-track faculty, where 54% are female and 46% male. While faculty members can now provide more nuanced data on gender identity in Duke@Work, insufficient numbers of faculty members have done so (and given permission for release) to allow inclusion of more detailed data in the equity study. The gender breakdown varies significantly across schools.

Faculty can see the data with a Duke NetID on the Academic Council website.

The survey’s purpose is more than collecting data, and it can lead to salary adjustments. While all data are provided to the committee are de-identified, Herring said that deans and other supervisors will soon receive information from the provost’s office regarding faculty whose salaries were substantially below those predicted by the model.  These leaders can then determine if salary adjustments are required.

However, she added the committee is not informed of any adjustments made, and the committee is recommending a report back to Academic Council.

“It’s important that we can point to low outliers for possible action, but we recommend that the university establishes a reporting mechanism back to the Academic Council so we can know what actions have been taken,” Herring said.

Other recommendations addressed data quality issues. One is to improve the collection of faculty gender identity, race and ethnicity information on the Work@Duke website by helping faculty in taking the additional step of approving use of that data in such surveys.

A second data quality recommendation calls for more uniformity in non-tenure track job titles, an issue that Academic Council considered in the report of the Regular Rank Non Tenure Track Faculty Committee. “There is a lot of variation across the university in job responsibilities among faculty with the same non-tenure track job titles, which complicates any effort to address salary equity in these positions,” Herring said.