UNT to adjust 83 faculty salaries following equity study and concerns about competitive pay

UNT to adjust 83 faculty salaries following equity study and concerns about competitive pay

UNT to adjust 83 faculty salaries following equity study and concerns about competitive pay
April 04
23:39 2018

Eighty-three faculty members – eight assistant professors and 75 continuing faculty – will receive a salary adjustment following a study into market value and salary conducted by the Provost’s Office.

Faculty employed by UNT on October 1, 2017, were a part of the study, which Provost Jennifer Cowley appointed a seven-member task force to administer. The methodology used in the study came from a book called “Paychecks: A Guide to Conducting Salary-Equity Studies for Higher Education Faculty” by Lois Haignere. The adjustments took effect for assistant professors on April 1 and will begin September 1 for continuing faculty.

“When I had a meeting with some key leaders on campus, they raised the issue of whether or not our salaries were competitive with market,” Cowley said. “I put it on the priority list and we put together a team that was able to conduct the analysis.”

The last salary analysis, similar to the one conducted in October 2017, was conducted in November 2015. Following that analysis, salary adjustments were made accordingly.

“It’s pretty rare to have a systematic salary adjustment,” Cowley said. “So this is fairly unusual, but the university is undertaking this. Although certainly there [are] individual circumstances where individual faculty members’ salaries can be adjusted.”

In the analysis results, UNT’s average salary-to-market ratio is 1.009 on a scale from .5 to 1.6 and above across 1,096 faculty members, meaning overall UNT pays its faculty members a bit more than the average, which is 1. More specifically, 98 percent of faculty make between 60 to 139 percent of market salary, with the remaining two percent making more than 139 percent of their market salary.

“I was very pleased to see that overall, if we look at the university as a whole, we’re paying right at the middle of R1 and R2 institutions,” Cowley said. “[UNT was] appropriately placed given our position as an institution, so that was great news to see that overall, we’re paying pretty well.”

Cowley said the results of this most recent study show her that this proves that UNT’s equity work in the past – the November 2015 study and prior studies – is making a difference and UNT is moving in the right direction.

Andy Harris, who teaches in the dance and theatre department and has been at UNT for 15 years, is one of the faculty members receiving a salary adjustment.

“Since I didn’t request it, I didn’t expect it,” Harris said. “I was extremely pleased as it was [done] in terms of wanting to retain me and reward the work I’ve been doing in UNT.”

The study also identified four areas of salary compression: in the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism from lecturer to senior lecturer, in the College of Business from senior to principal lecturer and from assistant professor to associate professor and in the College of Information from senior to principal lecturer.

“We’ve invested approximately $310,000 in market adjustments for 83 individual faculty members,” Cowley said. “That was an effort to address the faculty that were most compressed and also performing well.”

Another faculty member, Professor Jiangping Chen who came to UNT in 2004 and teaches in the College of Information, said she was very surprised at her salary adjustment.

“I feel so appreciated,” Chen said. “I think the value doesn’t really matter, but just the way I could get an adjustment means a lot to me.”

UNT plans to replicate this study every three years to continue to monitor salary equity and will make changes as necessary according to Cowley.

“We hope to maintain [the study] as it has been crafted for consistency,” Cowley said in an email. “But of course, improvements could be possible.”

Jodi Duryea, a senior lecturer in CMHT who’s been at UNT for 12 years and received a salary adjustment, is glad UNT is making an effort in addressing salary equity.

“I think it’s important,” Duryea said. “It is something that [I have] been aware of for a while, that I’m not paid as much as my peers at other universities and I’m glad they’re making an effort.”

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Lizzy Spangler

Lizzy Spangler

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