Campus News

Internal study finds no wage gap between male and female tenured faculty

Illustration of gender equity concept: male and female figures standing on either side of a balanced scale.


Published October 24, 2018

“This study demonstrates our shared sense of purpose at all levels of the faculty and the administration, and why shared governance principles work. ”
Philip Glick, chair
Faculty Senate

There was no statistical evidence of gender, race or ethnicity-based pay inequity among ladder faculty at UB in the 2016-17 academic year, according to the results of a report issued by the university’s Gender Equity Salary Study (GESS) committee.

The findings resulting from the analysis of 1,042 full-time, tenured and tenure-eligible faculty found no statistically significant earnings gap between women and men at the university in the 2016-17 study group.

After controlling for work-related characteristics, such as academic rank, time in that rank, rank at the time of hire and departmental affiliations, there was no statistically significant wage gap between male and female faculty members.

The study also found no evidence of a systemic pay bias against faculty in underrepresented race or ethnicity categories when compared with non-underrepresented faculty, but results did suggest that work-related factors such as rank, years in title and academic discipline play a statistically significant role in explaining differences in salaries.

“While UB conducts studies like this routinely to ensure compliance with U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs regulations, by being jointly sponsored by the provost and Faculty Senate, this study provides a shared understanding of the data, methodology and relevant labor economics literature and builds trust among shared governance partners while ensuring that we continue to foster an equitable and inclusive university workplace,” said Charles Zukoski, provost and executive vice president.

The data set included ladder faculty and did not include those with qualified titles, such as clinical, research or visiting. State salaries were used in the study. Librarians, geographic full-time faculty and tenured faculty serving in an administrative capacity were not included in this study, as reasonable comparisons for these groups could not be made.

“Gender equality in salaries is a reasonable expectation of everyone at the University at Buffalo,” said Philip Glick, professor, director of the MD/MBA program in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and chair of the Faculty Senate. “This study demonstrates our shared sense of purpose at all levels of the faculty and the administration, and why shared governance principles work.”

The GESS committee, jointly appointed by Zukoski and Glick, launched the study to determine if there was gender bias among tenure-track faculty at UB and to provide the administration with evidence that might guide them in remedying any inequities that may have surfaced.

UB’s offices of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and Institutional Analysis have periodically performed statistical salary analyses; however, this was the first time faculty and administration collaborated to jointly study salary equity.

“While this study examined faculty salaries using a broad statistical analysis, it is only one method that UB uses to ensure salary equity,” said GESS committee co-chair Sharon Nolan-Weiss, director of the UB Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

“Regardless of this result, individual faculty members who feel their salaries are not equitable have the option of requesting a salary review through EDI,” Nolan-Weiss said. “We also know that monitoring salary equity is an ongoing process that we must repeat regularly.”

The study is posted here.


I appreciate the hard work of the committee members who produced this analysis. If I'm not mistaken, they had access only to state salaries. Is it the case that some faculty members also obtain salary from UB Foundation sources in addition to their state salaries? If so, it would be interesting to know how such money might affect the gender equity analysis.

Susan Udin