Table of Contents
1. Executive Summary
5. Making Rutgers Family Friendly
i) Family Leave
ii) The Case for Lactation Rooms
6. Climate Survey, 2017
7. Full report as PDF
In Spring, 2016 the Union set up a Gender and Race Equity committee to study the conditions of work for female faculty and faculty of color on all three campuses at Rutgers. We looked not only at Tenured and Tenure Track (TT) faculty, but also Non-Tenure Track faculty (NTT), Part-Time Lecturers (PTLs), and Teaching and Graduate Assistants (TA/GA). This report is a product of hundreds of hours of labor by faculty and graduate students. It is only, however, a first attempt to understand the broad picture and address inequities. We looked at hiring patterns, salary, and issues of promotion over the period 1997-2017. We also conducted a climate survey in Spring, 2017, and investigated the issue of lactation rooms conducting a survey on that topic as well. This report summarizes all our work over the last two years; work coordinated by Prof. Deepa Kumar, president, Rutgers AAUP-AFT.
In 1997 white men held the majority of tenured and tenure-track (TT) positions and they still do. By 2017 the percentage of tenured faculty who are women had risen to 38.5% from the 1997 level of 29.2% While this rise by about 10% is an improvement, there is still a long way to go particularly at the most senior and powerful level—full professor. Only 20% of current Distinguished Professors (P-II) and 30% of full professors (P-I) are female. When broken down by rank, we find that among Assistant Professors, in 1997, 64.8% were male. In 2017, that margin had closed with female and male Assistant Professors both around 50%. The same is true of Associate Professors. In 1997 only 35.2% were female, but by 2017, male and female were around 50% each.
Among contingent faculty (NTT and PTL faculty), there was and continues to be a more even gender distribution, as well as among TA/GAs. 52.2% of NTT faculty, 49.2% of PTL faculty, and 44.8% of TA/GAs, were female in 2017.
The same cannot be said of racial and ethnic minorities. While race demographics are uneven they are overall dismally inadequate in comparison to NJ demographics as well as to those of our students. New Jersey is a racially diverse state with 15% of its population African American, 20% Latino/a, and 9.8% Asian. It also has the 7th largest Muslim population in the US. Rutgers’ student body reflects this diversity particularly in Newark and Camden. The same, however, is not true in terms of faculty representation. For instance, among tenured and tenure track professors, the percentage of African American faculty declined from 5.4% in 1997 to 4.2% in 2017 and that of Latino/a faculty rose only modestly from 2.4% in 1997 to 3.9% in 2017. The number of Asian TT faculty rose from 8.6% in 1997 to 13.9% in 2017.
During 1997–2017, the share of African-American NTT faculty at Rutgers rose from 2.7% to 3.4%. The share of Latino/a NTT faculty decreased from 3.7% to 3.3%. The share of Asian NTT faculty stayed steady at over 20% until about 2010. Since then there has been a decline, to 12.7% in 2017.
Overall, what we found is that the most secure and powerful decision-making positions are still held by white men. A study by the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Rutgers found that the same was true for senior administrative positions. The study compared Rutgers to our peers in Big Ten and CIC universities and found that Rutgers and Ohio State are among the worst when it comes to gender and racial diversity.
On the topic of salary equity, what we found is that while management salaries at Rutgers have exploded at four times the national average over the term of our last contract, Rutgers faculty experience some of the lowest salaries in the Big Ten Academic Alliance once you factor in the high cost of living in the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. Furthermore, this imbalance is compounded for women, particularly at the level of full professor. While Rutgers has made significant strides in addressing wage gaps at the associate level, disparities have started to grow again at the rank of Assistant Professor. There is also a race based gap in salary at the New Brunswick campus with Asian NTT faculty earning less than their white counterparts. Overall, given the small numbers of racial and ethnic minorities it was difficult to conduct statistical analysis and generate meaningful analysis. A bigger problem we encountered was the lack of accurate data.
When we set out to conduct these studies, we found that since 2011 the University has not consistently collected race data and that what was available was incomplete. The Union asked Rutgers management to provide us this data so our analysis might be more accurate. They ignored our requests. We then put in multiple Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests. Again, we hit a brick wall. We were told that we failed to name the exact file needed. We investigated and found the correct file. After several months of this process, we obtained a data file that was indecipherable. Three faculty sociologists and two economists could not make sense of it. We asked for a key to try to understand the file but the scholars still couldn’t glean any useful data. We then studied the data that the university provides the Department of Education. We found that here too there is a lot of missing data.
Our attention, first and foremost, will focus on trying to get Rutgers to keep accurate race data and share that regularly with the Union. We also have a series of proposals to accomplish gender and race equity in hiring, salary and promotion. In our Fall 2017 contract survey, 92% of TT faculty and 91% of NTT faculty stated that gender and race equity in hiring, promotion, and salary were either “very important” or “important” in the next contract making it one of the top bargaining priorities for this group of faculty (TA/GAs and PTLs did their own survey). We also propose to make Rutgers more family friendly by arguing for lactation rooms and better family leave policies.
This is just the start of what will be a longer process to turn Rutgers into a university where all faculty can rise to their full potential regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or age.
A search of the main Rutgers University website using the word “diversity” yields, as the first entry, a link titled “We Are Diverse.” Clicking on that link takes you to one of many pages where the “Revolutionary” Rutgers brand tells a story of a public university that mirrors the state of New Jersey. “For Rutgers University–New Brunswick,” reads the leading paragraph, “diversity is an everyday ingredient of university life and one of our greatest strengths. Rutgers’ diversity—and there are all kinds, from age to sexual orientation to ethnic background to whether you grew up on a farm or city block—reflects the rich array of people who choose New Jersey as the place to build a better future” (emphasis in the original). This and other expressions of diversity as an “ingredient” of our working, teaching, and learning lives at Rutgers is in many ways accurate, though it also obscures the complexities, slippages, and ambiguities to which the term is subjected.
In terms of our students, Rutgers is indeed diverse and we should be proud of that fact. Rutgers-Newark, for example, ranks first in the Campus Ethnic Diversity Index conducted by U.S. News and World Report; it has occupied a leading position since 1997. However, the same cannot be said of the faculty. The diversity image that Rutgers offers itself and the world makes for positive branding and robust rankings but it papers over the lack of diversity among faculty. This is a problem not only because students of color benefit from being taught by people who look like them, but a diverse faculty body benefits all students.
The Union conducted two studies to determine both racial and gender diversity at Rutgers. The first looks at gender and racial diversity from 1997-2017 using the Union’s database. The second is based on Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDs) data from 2013-2016 that Rutgers submitted to the Department of Education. This data includes the medical school and therefore the numbers are slightly different from what is in our Union database (our Union does not represent the medical school). We present highlights of both reports below and encourage you to view the reports themselves in their entirety. Instead of reproducing tables with exact numbers, we have provided graphs in this report. We also list page numbers in these reports where the exact data can be found. We also conducted a study of the gender and race composition at all Rutgers schools on all three campuses for those interested in how their school compares with others.
Race and Ethnicity
Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty (TT): Between 1997-2017 across all three Rutgers campuses, the percentage of African-American TT faculty declined from 5.4% to 4.2%. Per IPEDs, in 2016, African American faculty were 4% of all TT faculty (see p. 9). The number of Latino/a TT faculty rose slightly from 2.4% in 1997 to 3.9% in 2017 (see p. 86 for exact numbers). Per IPEDs it is 2% (p. 9). The number of Asian TT faculty rose from 8.6% in 1997 to 13.9% in 2017. The number of full-time faculty identified as “Other” (“American Indian/Alaska Native,” “Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander,” or “Multiracial’) rose from 0.6% in 1997 to 9.8% in 2017.
As Figure 1 shows, the share of TT faculty identified as “White” decreased from 82.8% to 63.1%. It is important to note the effect of changing norms for racially identifying faculty after 2011, which result in an increase in those classified as “Other” and those without information (“Missing”). In 2017, 5% of the data are “missing” compared to 0.2% in 2010. A total of 14.8% of the TT faculty population in 2017 falls under either “missing” or “Other.” IPEDs data (see p. 9) show that 9% are “race unknown,” 2% are “non-resident alien” and 2% are “Other”.
When broken down by rank, we find that among Assistant Professors the percentage of African-American and Asian faculty members has dropped from 7.7% and 16.3% in 1997 to 4.5% and 14.8% in 2017, respectively. The number of Latino/a and Asian Assistant Professors has actually risen, from 3.2% to 5.3% (see pp. 93–94 of this report). At the associate level, African-American faculty members have dropped from 6.4% to 5.9% over the same time period; Latino/a and Asian have risen from 3.3% and 7.3% to 5.3% and 13.9% (see pp. 95-96). Among full professors (P-I) African-American P-I faculty members dropped from 4.7% of the faculty to 3.6%; and African-American P-II faculty members rose slightly, from 1.2% to 1.8%, as did P-I and P-II numbers among Latino/as (1.2% and 1.9% to 2.7% and 2.1%) and, to a greater degree, among Asians, 6.8% and 4.7% to 14.1% and 12.6% (see pp. 97–100). Figure 2, which captures the numbers in 2017, illustrates how these figures relate to the proportions of faculty members who identify as other ethnicities (“White,” “Other,” and “Missing”), as illustrated in the tables and graphs on pp. 94–100 of the same report.
It is worth citing here the 2017 New Brunswick Task Force on Inclusion and Community Values observations about the lack of racial diversity. The report states: “In many of the forums organized by the Task Force, students raised the lack of diversity among faculty as a major area of concern. Black and Latino students in particular have noted how they can complete several semesters at Rutgers-New Brunswick without encountering a single faculty member who looks like them. There is an urgent need for Rutgers-New Brunswick to continue its efforts to diversify the faculty. Since the 1970s, the number of Black and Latino faculty at Rutgers-New Brunswick has decreased proportionally and numerically. For example, in 1976, African Americans and Latinos constituted 6.8% and 2.1% of the faculty, respectively, but by 2004, these numbers decreased to 4% and 2%. From what the Task Force has been able to glean about the current state of affairs, from figures provided by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Rutgers-New Brunswick, no significant increase in the number of Black and Latino faculty has taken place at Rutgers-New Brunswick since 2004. African Americans make up 2% of the University’s Full Professors, 4% of its Associate Professors, and 4.8% of its Assistant Professors; Latinos comprise 2% of Full Professors, 4% of Associate Professors, and 5.8% of Assistant Professors. Currently, Rutgers-New Brunswick ranks 8th among its peer institutions in the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) with respect to the overall percentage of African Americans on its tenured or tenure-track faculty. These numbers are a cause for concern, especially considering the fact that Rutgers-New Brunswick is located in New Jersey, one of the most diverse states in the nation, and possesses a student body that is more diverse than that of many BTAA institutions. For these reasons, diversifying the faculty should be a top priority for the University” (p. 17).
Non Tenure Track (NTT): During 1997–2017, the share of African-American NTT faculty at Rutgers rose from 2.7% to 3.4%. The share of Latino/a NTT faculty decreased from 3.7% to 3.3%. The share of Asian NTT faculty stayed steady at over 20% until about 2010. Since then there has been a decline, to 12.7% in 2017 (see pp. 87-88).
As Figure 3 shows, Whites also decreased, at an even more rapid pace, from 73.5% to 52.9%, the largest percentage drop of any group. It is notable that the declines among White and Asian NTT Faculty coincide with the increase among those identified as “Other” or those for whom data is missing. The missing data go from 2% in 2010 to 15.7% in 2017, which is three times that of TT faculty as noted above. Similarly, in the IPEDs data Whites were 54% of all NTT faculty in 2016. Asians are 16%, African Americans 5% and Latino/as 2%. 16% are “race unknown, 7% are “resident alien” and 1% are “other” (see p. 9 of this report). It is not clear why “resident alien” is a race/ethnicity category.
Part-Time Lecturers (PTLs): Among PTL faculty, the percentage of African American, Asian, Latino/a, and Other categories have all remained under 10% each as seen in Figure 4. Whites declined in number from 2011 to 2017; this coincides with the rise of the “Missing” category, which in 2017 represents the majority of PTL faculty at 58.6%. Such a large amount of missing data makes distribution unreliable and makes it hard to identify PTLs by race (see pp. 89–90).
In the IPEDs data, PTLs are listed as Part-Time Instructors and Part-Time Researchers. Among PT Instructors the “race unknown” category was 41% in 2016, and 55% among PT Researchers in the same year (see p. 13 of the IPEDs report). In 2016, Asians were 6%, African Americans were 4% and Latino/as 2%. Non-resident aliens were 7% and whites 39%.
Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants (TA/GAs): The missing data is even greater for TA/GAs at 75% (see pp. 91-92). The number of TA/GAs with missing data rose from 0.4% in 1997 to 75% in 2017. It is therefore not possible to provide meaningful data on TA/GAs. The report finds that in the remaining 25%, the share of African American TAs decreased from 3.2% in 1997 to 1.1% in 2017. The share of Latino/a TA/GAs decreased from 3.0% in 1997 to 2.6% in 2017. Asian TA/GAs went from 36% in 1997 to 7% in 2017. From 1997 to 2017, the share of TA/GA identified as White decreased from 57.2% to 6.6%. It is important to note the effect of changing norms for identifying faculty after 2011, which resulted in an increase in those classified as “Other” or those without information (“Missing”). A majority, 82.8% of the TA/GA population in 2017 falls under one of these two categories.
In 2016 IPEDs data 37% of graduate teachers and 37% of graduate researchers were listed as “unknown race.” Among TAs, 3% are Asian, 2% are African American and 2% Latino/a or Hispanic. Among RAs, 2% are Asian, 1% are African American and 2% Latino/a or Hispanic. 45% of TAs and 50% of RAs are non-resident aliens (see p. 13).
Tenured and Tenure Track (TT): In 1997, 29.2% of TT faculty were women; by 2017 38.5% were female (see pp. 32-33 of the Demographics report). Thus, across a 20 year span on all campuses of Rutgers (Camden, Newark, New Brunswick), TT women faculty have increased by just under 10%, as illustrated in Figure 5. While there has been progress, it has been slow. The IPEDs data, which include the medical school (see Bunsis report p. 3) show that in 2016, only 33% of faculty members were female.
When broken down by rank, we find that among Assistant Professors, in 1997, 64.8% were male. In 2017, that margin had closed with female and male Assistant Professors both around 50% as illustrated in Figure 6 (see pp. 40–41). The same is true of Associate Professors. In 1997 only 35.2% were female. In 2017, male and female were around 50% each (see pp. 42-43).
The same cannot be said of full professors. At the P-I level, in 1997 78.7% were male, and in 2017 that figure is 70.3%, with barely a 7% difference across twenty years despite the tremendous steps towards equality at the lower faculty ranks. Among P-IIs, 89.8% were male in 1997 and in 2017 the figure is 80.2% (see pp. 44–47). The IPEDs data shows 74% of full professors are male (see p. 8), confirming that the same disparity against females at the highest ranks exists at the medical school. As you will see in the promotion part of this report, female faculty members encounter various hurdles in achieving these ranks. Further, a disproportionate number of male faculty are hired at full professor rank in comparison to female faculty (see Table 1 in section IV on promotion). In the IPEDs data, 67% of tenured faculty members were males in 2016. While tenure track faculty members are 54% men and 46% women, it would appear among the tenured, male faculty are disproportionately in positions of power and in decision making roles (p. 8).
Non Tenure-Track (NTT): In this contingent faculty position, there are greater percentages of female faculty. In 1997, 46.7% of NTTs were female; by 2017 this number had risen to 52.2% female, as illustrated in Figure 7 below (see pp. 34–35). The IPEDs data similarly show that in 2016, 53% of NTT faculty members were female (see p. 4).
Part-time Lecturers (PTLs): Among PTLs, as Figure 8 shows, the percentage of women has also increased in the same period from 47.1% in 1997 to 49.2% in 2017 (see pp. 36–37). Per the IPEDs data, an even greater number 52% were indicated as female, while men constituted 48% in 2016 (see p. 5). Between 2013 and 2016, there was a 3% increase in female PTLs.
Graduate Student Assistants (TA/GAs): In 1997, 42.3% of the TA/GA faculty members were female and 57.7% were male (see pp. 38-39). By 2017, there were 44.8% females and 55.2% male. Similarly, per the IPEDs data, the female TA/GAs were at 46% and male 54% in 2016 (see p. 5). Thus, the training of future members of academia at Rutgers remains essentially unchanged in its unequal opportunity for women over the past twenty years.
If we combine race/ethnicity data with gender data we find that Rutgers continues to be dominated by white male faculty. However, this does not automatically mean that there are institutional biases against women and people of color. The picture is complex and uneven and requires more detailed and qualitative study. The Union’s Spring 2017 climate survey shows that women and underrepresented minorities reported both overt and covert discrimination in greater numbers than white males. More follow up work needs to be done.
In 2001, a study of FAS faculty in New Brunswick found that the experience of gender inequity for women faculty members was closely aligned with race inequity. The report cites an assistant professor: “when I started at [R]utgers I knew an entire group of women of color across the university at various beginning stages. Of that group of about 10 women all left. Some resigned[,] others were denied tenure” (pp. 36-7). Another respondent told the story of a ‘first-rate’ minority colleague who’d been denied tenure, then added: “This is not merely anecdotal material. I have seen statistics on junior minority women which raise questions about how we treat them.” A third respondent agreed: ‘We have [an] especially bad record on promoting and retaining women of color’” (pp. 37).
The Rutgers AAUP-AFT Spring, 2017 Climate Survey finds a range of comments. One person noted: “My Chair is a straight white male, my area dean is a straight white male, the dean of my unit is a straight white male, the NB-chancellor is a straight white male, and the RU President is a straight white male. And it’s 2017. Why is everyone at Rutgers who has some authority over me a straight white male? Looking forward to seeing more diversity in gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation in Old Queens.” Another stated: “My department has done very little to try to diversify its faculty, and this is an ongoing problem. There is also great deal of inequity in terms of promotion/salary within the ranks. It is related less to gender than to 1) one’s ability/inability to access perks/power through affiliation with affiliated institutes, particularly the institute of [deleted for anonymity] at Rutgers, overlaid upon other dynamics; 2) how well one conforms to hegemonic notions of the discipline, which are largely positivist in orientation, and which reinforce race/gender/sexual hierarchies.”
A third person noted the challenges in achieving gender and race balances: “Our department is concerned about gender balance. About 15 years ago it was 50-50, but retirements and three successive male appointments have reduced the female portion of the faculty to 25%. Our next hire is likely to be heavily weighted toward a female candidate, and fortunately the research description for the next position is for a field wherein outstanding female researchers are abundant. We are also concerned about diversity, particularly in our field. While ethnic diversity is common in our field because so many [field deleted for anonymity] are internationals, African American Ph.D.s in [this field] are almost non-existent. Hispanic American [in this field] are somewhat less rare, but only somewhat.”
And finally, one person stated that when the administration does not act promptly in response to department requests it makes it harder to recruit: “My department has been trying to increase the number of women and minorities in its ranks for many years. Unfortunately, the Dean’s commitment to this, despite many years of repeated promises, is at best erratic and at worst hypocritical. Always late to discuss or approve a move, usually too late to catch an opportunity.”
While measures have been taken by the administration to address diversity, there is lack of clarity about the execution of these plans. “The diversity of our people, ideas, and experiences contributes to making Rutgers great,” reads the 2014 Our Moment: A Strategic Plan for the New Rutgers. “Without inclusiveness, we cannot achieve diversity; without diversity, we cannot achieve excellence. Rutgers is renowned for the diversity of its student body, which has long outpaced that of its peers” (p. 43).
One year after the publication of the Strategic Plan, President Barchi published a memo to offer a solution to a nagging problem with this picture of diversity at the university. It states that although “we have been extraordinarily successful in attracting and retaining a diverse student body, the University has been less successful in hiring and retaining diverse faculty.” Then the president offered his own definition of the term:
In our goal to enhance faculty diversity, we are defining diversity very broadly. Diversity may include, but is not limited to, gender, ethnicity, race, culture, national origin, or other personal or professional characteristics that are either unrepresented or underrepresented in the particular department or unit of intended hire.
This definition of diversity thus has “inclusion” as a critical and literal component, in that the inclusion of a diversity of individuals, groups, and points of view will be stressed in faculty recruitment and retention, as opposed to the privileging of a particular group or groups over others.
One might surmise that the intention of this broad framing is to offer wiggle room to units as distinct from one another as Physics is distinct from Chemical Engineering, Pharmacy, or Classics, but it leaves too much room for inaction and lack of accountability on an entrenched structural problem.
Rutgers established a new program, which remained nameless in President Barchi’s memorandum, to “focus on creating a diverse recruitment pool, hiring excellent faculty, and mentoring and retaining those faculty by providing scholarly and career support, particularly for untenured faculty.” Unit leaders were encouraged to contact the Senior Vice President if and when they identified such candidates. In an email dated 10/24/2016, Barchi noted that he was “pleased to report that the first year of this new program has produced twenty-five new hires of diverse faculty across the university…Academic units that wish to participate in this program should contact their Chancellor or Provost for more information on the program.”
While it is laudable that we count 25 new “diverse” candidates as a result of this program, it is unclear from the administration’s public communications about this initiative how “diverse” was defined by each of the search committees. Sharing these definitions would be very helpful in educating the broader communities about how distinct considerations of diversity might be in the Business School from, say, our Cell Biology Departments or programs in Criminal Justice. How was it that the relevant units came to succeed in being viewed as eligible to this program? What impact will these hires have, and in what units at Rutgers? Who are these hires? Moreover, the Strategic plan called for one additional directive that has not yet appeared in the public face of the diversity efforts of the New Rutgers: “Develop a system to monitor the proportion of faculty and staff from underrepresented groups at each stage of the talent pipeline, including recruitment and retention; using this system, provide regular reports on a “diversity scorecard” to shared governance and University leadership” (44). A monitoring system, accessible not just to the university leadership but to various faculty governance bodies, might be a step in the right direction, but official communications about hiring and retention initiatives related to the diversity question and any accountability on this issue remain a matter more of faith in our leaders than of evidence.
Finally, Rutgers-NB created a Task Force which consisted of faculty from various department in New Brunswick to provide a report on inclusion and community values. The report was published in February, 2017, but to date it is not clear what if anything has been done to implement the Task Force recommendations. In fact, even the least time-intensive recommendation that the report itself be placed prominently on the Rutgers website has not been acted upon as far as we can tell.
We therefore provide these proposals to address the problems raised above. Most significantly we call for more intense faculty involvement in this process.
- Rutgers should keep accurate data on race and communicate that routinely to the Union. Sciwomen and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) should be tasked with collecting this data and passing on the Union (SciWomen was established in 2006 to serve faculty, post-doctoral, and graduate and undergraduate women working and studying in the science, social science, engineering, and mathematics disciplines at Rutgers).
- We should hire African American, Latino/a, Native American, and Asian (particularly Muslim Americans from the MENA region and South Asia) faculty in a manner that the faculty proportions match the NJ percentages. Departments and units should be given incentives and financial rewards for hiring and retaining a diverse faculty.
- To increase representation among our graduate students, and increase the pool of future faculty hires, we should recruit African American, Latino/a, Native American, and Asian (particularly Muslim Americans from the MENA region and South Asia) graduate students and offer them five year funded packages, with an additional fellowship year. Diversity funding for graduate students has become scarcer during the Barchi era.
- Create a faculty committee to oversee #2 and #3 and other tasks and make the results known to the Rutgers community on a yearly basis. This committee would be directly involved with various departments and schools offering guidance on how to hire and retain historically oppressed groups. This will involve workshops as well as direct guidance on how to think about a diversity plan (even down to how to write a job ad and where to publicize it in order to get sufficient pools of racially diverse candidates).
- We propose a committee on each campus since the representation of the aforementioned groups is not up to NJ averages on any of our three campuses. Newark and Camden should have at least 7 committee members each, and New Brunswick 20 faculty (these figures should be determined as a rough percentage of faculty density), with at least one NTT and one TA/GA in each committee. Rutgers will compensate each of these faculty in the following manner:
- TT faculty will be granted course releases and/or summer stipends (the chair of each committee will be released from all teaching and other service in order to coordinate this work)
- NTT faculty will be granted up to four course releases per year
- TA/GAs will have tuition waivers, stipends and health insurance
We are drawing here from the University of Michigan model and setting out to build on it. To bring about meaningful change, we need the kind of faculty involvement outlined above. Additionally, the New Brunswick committee will also work on the 2017 New Brunswick Rutgers Task Force on Inclusion and Community Values recommendations. Camden and Newark need to develop similar reports and courses of action based on their particular circumstances.
- Sciwomen should be charged with conducting yearly reports on racial demographics by rank at Rutgers (similar to that conducted by the Union). These reports should then be made available to faculty and students at Rutgers.
 See “Feminist Interventions: Creating New Institutional Spaces for Women at Rutgers” by Mary Hawkesworth et al, Doing Diversity in Higher Education: Faculty Leaders Share Challenges and Strategies, New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press.
While nominal wage growth has been low and flat in recent years for most industries, this has not been the case for all classes of workers, including postsecondary administrators and instructors. The nationwide annual mean wage of postsecondary administrators increased a modest 3.79% from $101,910 in May of 2014 to $105,770 in May of 2016, while the annual mean wage of instructors increased by a more robust 8.0% from $75,780 in May of 2014 to $81,880 in May of 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At Rutgers, by contrast, management salaries increased by 12.4% while instructor salaries actually dropped .02% over this same time frame. Among college, university, and professional school administrators, the mean wage rose only 3.1% from $106,270 in 2014 to $109,560 in 2016. This means that the increase in wages alone cannot account for the 12.4% change in management salaries, as it is fully four times the increase in the national mean. This decline coincides with a marked decrease in the number of full-time positions and their rapid replacement with part-time contingent faculty. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the higher echelons of the Rutgers administration have drastically cut the wages, benefits, and security of our instructors in pursuit of lavish raises and promotions for their own members. At least 244 top administrators have annual salaries of $250,000 or more; in fact, 38 of them make $500,000 or more.
Figure 9 below, taken from Howard Bunsis’ “Analysis of Salary Differences Between Male and Female Faculty: Rutgers vs. Big Ten Peers,” illustrates the average salary for faculty members according to rank on each of the Rutgers campuses, as they compare to other campuses within the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), based upon our own AAUP Compensation Survey, which employed data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the ultimate origin of which is Rutgers itself.
At first glance, Rutgers compares favorably to its 13 peers within the BTAA network, with Newark, New Brunswick, and Camden ranking 2nd, 4th, and 7th respectively, out of the 16 institutions, even if Assistant Professor salaries at New Brunswick and Camden are below the average for the BTAA, as are Associate Professor salaries at Camden (“Analysis of Salary Differences,” 1). However, this comparison fails to account for the high cost of living within the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas that Rutgers faculty experience. To account for the difference in real personal income across the United States, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) publishes regional price indices for these areas. Once these indices are factored in, the picture changes greatly:
“Salaries at our School are significantly below salaries at rival institutions in areas of the country that are much cheaper to live in. The starting base salary at Georgia State University, in a rival program for an Assistant Professor with fewer qualifications than our own, is $94,000 [compared to $61,786 for the same rank at Rutgers]” – A Rutgers faculty member
After the cost of living is considered, Newark, Camden, and New Brunswick, drop to 7th, 14th, and 16th respectively. On average, Camden and New Brunswick faculty at the rank of Professor (P-I and P-II)
earn less than their peers within the BTAA, as do Associate and Assistant faculty across all three campuses. This disparity becomes even more pronounced when faculty are divided by gender as well as rank. Across the board, female faculty members at BTAA institutions earn roughly 9% less than their male counterparts, and this holds true for Rutgers as well. Figure 11 illustrates the gender gap across campuses and ranks at Rutgers. What emerges from this survey is that male Professors (P-I and P-II) at Camden earn 13.6% more than their female colleagues at the same rank. In this regard, female Professors (P-I and P-II) on all three campuses have two significant deficits: one with respect to their male colleagues, and a second with respect to their colleagues of the same rank at other peer institutions, due to the proportionately higher cost of living.
When we conducted our own analysis with AAUP-AFT data, we similarly found a significant gender-based
disparity at New Brunswick, and that this disparity is not a historical artifact stemming from Rutgers’ past employment practices, and that it has actually grown in recent years. A regression analysis was performed on data from all three campuses, controlling for faculty with the same number of years at Rutgers, and working within the same divisions. This analysis demonstrated that among otherwise similar male and female faculty, there is an aggregate annual difference of $9,890.17 (or 7.62%) to $12,197.61 (or 8.51%), from academic year 2013/14 to academic year 2016/17. In part, this disparity results from the considerably higher proportion of men at better-paying higher ranks; only 30% of full Professors (P-I) are women, and only 20% at the rank of Distinguished Professor (P-II) are. When controlled for rank, as well as division and years of service, the range of difference decreases to $2,730.51 (or 1.74%) to $3,648.12 (to 2.71%), but does not entirely disappear.
At the level of the individual units, a 2001 analysis of the then New Brunswick Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), conducted by the FAS Gender Equity Team, discovered that these disparities “virtually disappear once one looks within each academic rank: for example, for Assistant Professors, pay of female and male faculty is virtually identical” (p. 13). When examining the Humanities, which had the most equitable distribution of men to women at each rank, the average disparity in salaries within that unit was only $83, or 0.16%, and the team found that “most of the sex difference in average salary is a function of the greater representation of men, relative to women, in higher-paid academic ranks” (p. 13). While men still predominate in higher-paid academic ranks, it is no longer true that the pay of female and male faculty is virtually identical; in fact, the gap has grown significantly since 2001, and continues to widen.
Our survey also reveals that the salary disparity between men and women is much less pronounced at the rank of Associate Professor across all three Rutgers campuses. Nonetheless, the gender gap starts to widen once again at the rank of Assistant Professor, albeit not to the same degree as the gap for full Professors and Distinguished Professor (see pp. 4-5). This gap is definitively perceptible to the average faculty member. Our climate survey conducted in the spring of 2017 showed that women were less likely than men to perceive their compensation as being comparable with similar colleagues in their departments and schools. The quotes inserted in this text are from faculty discussing salary disparities by gender.
“Two of my male colleagues at a similar rank make MUCH more money than me or my female colleagues. One holds a technical position. My own technical expertise is on par with this colleague, yet I make $26,000 less.” – A Rutgers faculty member
At 14.3%, full-time non-tenure track (NTT) faculty are a growing portion of the Rutgers faculty, rising from 8% of the faculty in 1997, even if this growth has plateaued in recent years as the numbers of part-time faculty has exploded, nearly doubling from 16.3% to 29.7% in the last decade. While it is difficult to derive an accurate account of salary disparities between different racial groups, given the large proportion of faculty members for whom any information on race is missing, our data makes it clear that New Brunswick is the site of a significant and growing salary gap, at least in terms of gender. Since 2009, the gender gap in NTT salaries in New Brunswick has grown from $3,141, or 5.15%, to $6,944, or 7.63%, once again to the detriment of women. An even more profound gap, albeit one that has narrowed in recent years, exists between Asian and white NTT faculty on the same campus: during that same time period, that difference increased from $6,701 to $7,312, although the gap has proportionately shrunk from 12.25% to 9.04%.
Clearly, action must be taken to address the disparities at this level, lest they recapitulate and render permanent the disparities between women and men across ranks, as well as those between white faculty and faculty of different races and ethnicities.
- Gender based inequities at NB for NTT faculty should be addressed with a one-time increase in female NTT salaries.
- Asian American NTT faculty at NB should also see a similar one-time salary increase.
- Female TT faculty should get a one-time equity correction.
- To address individual cases which do not show up in statistical analysis (due to low numbers or other reasons) we set out a path for equity out-of-cycle raises. What follows from this is that female full professors who earn considerably less than their male colleagues can submit a packet comparing themselves with their colleagues and request an equity correction. We have chosen this method since the levels of seniority and years in rank range widely at the full professor level and the only way to fairly address gender inequities at this rank is to do it on a case-by-case basis. Female full professors will need to demonstrate that with similar accomplishments in service, teaching and research their salaries are lower than their male colleagues in order to obtain an out-of-cycle correction.
In 2015, women held slightly more than 45% of all full time faculty positions at colleges and universities nationally. They occupied a majority of positions at the lowest ranks while they were proportionally represented at the rank of associate professor. However, at the level of full professor women are woefully underrepresented, holding only 13% of full professor positions (Britton 2017). Research conducted by the American Association of University Professors showed that men were twice as likely to be full professors and held more than three-quarters of all full professorships in the United States (AAUP 2011). A Modern Language Association study showed that the average time to promotion for women was 8.2 years, or 24.2% longer than their male counterparts and that, on average, it took women from 1 to 3.5 years longer than men to attain the rank of professor (MLA 2014).
An analysis of full professors at Rutgers shows similar results. The National AAUP 2011 study reported that only 25% of full professors were female. Rutgers in 2017 is slightly ahead of that average, at 30%. However at the P-II level, only 20% are women. Our September 2017 analysis of the 711 current full professors at Rutgers also shows parallels with studies by Britton and others referenced herein. This analysis appears in the table below.
Table 1: Professor (P-I) by Gender and Years within Rank. Source: Union Data Base.
|Appointed as Prof (0 year prior service)||149||76%||45||24%|
|1-6 Years as Associate||171||72%||67||28%|
|12 + Years||39||61%||25||39%|
Two conclusions flow from these data. First, men are overrepresented among those hired as full professors (i.e., they are 70% of all full professors, but 76% of those who were initially appointed at this rank). Second, among those not appointed at full professor, it is clear that women have taken longer to achieve this rank. Men are slightly overrepresented among full professors who were promoted “on time,” after one to six years in rank. Men are underrepresented, however, among long term Associate Professors, both at 7-12 years and 12+ years (64% and 61%, respectively).
There are multiple reasons why women stay in rank longer than their male counterparts. Three of these reasons are addressed below:
- Women faculty spend more time on service and are asked to take on a broader range of service responsibilities.
Multiple studies have shown that women spend more time on service and teaching than men. Women’s service is also more likely to be considered as “institutional housekeeping,” and involves more interaction with students as well as taking on of lower level administrative posts like undergraduate directors (Britton 2017; O’Meara et al 2017). O’Meara’s study found that in a four week period women faculty consistently received a significantly higher number of work requests from administration — on average 3.4 more requests per week than men. Of those requests, 27.8% were related to professional service, 29% to campus service, and, 20.7% related to student advising — only 4.8% were requests related to research. (O’Meara et al 2017).
Women reported campus service levels as follows: 72.4% (vs. 64.6% men) department; 32.8% (vs. 27.8% men) university; and, 10.3% (vs. 6.7% men) mentoring (University of Maryland Advance Research Brief 2013). Women were also more likely than men to Chair master’s theses and supervise and advise students working on comps papers or undergraduate capstone projects. Men were more likely to provide external service such as serving as an editor or associate editor of a journal. In weekly reported activities, men reported spending more hours per week on lab, field work and general research preparation.
At Rutgers, our Spring 2017 climate survey shows that in virtually every type of service (not including chairs of departments) female faculty stated that they took on a greater share while male faculty believed they contributed equally. One female faculty member stated: “The gender discrimination I have faced is largely covert, and in some senses intractable. And I have surely collaborated in the unfair distribution of administrative work; I could have refused to do this service. But our promotion standards are still geared to a norm of book production that rewards scholars who do not invest their energies in the department and university. Until this changes, we will continue to have many women “stalled” at the Associate level. Neither domestic care-giving responsibilities nor departmental stewardship is equally shared across the gender divide, and women of color bear an extra burden.”
Another female faculty member who tied salary to service stated: “The biggest mistake I have made is being loyal to Rutgers and doing too much service that got in the way of publishing my second book. The bumps in salary that faculty have received have come from outside offers.” Echoing this sentiment, another faculty member stated: “A male colleague at the same level as me who received an outside offer has a significantly higher salary, while his service in the department and the university is inadequate. Myself and others are constantly making up for his errors and oversights when it comes to service. It is frustrating and unfair that the only way to get a significant salary increase is to get an outside offer.”
- Male faculty tend to make more concrete and research-beneficial connections with other male faculty members.
Men are more likely to cultivate contacts with other men within a department, both in networks of support and in encouraging and identifying collaborative research areas. Especially problematic are departments with only one female faculty member or where the ratio of men to women is significantly skewed. Women also tend to spend fewer hours in a lab than their male counterparts. Women reported spending more time in all areas of service with the exception of faculty advising. This time spent in other areas can take away from time for research and related activities, including professional conversations with colleagues (O’Meara et al 2017). Surveys done by the AAUP show that “women felt particularly pressured by the demands of service, mentoring, and teaching.” One participant of the survey said, “There’s a contradiction between the pressure for service at the associate level and the devaluing of service for promotion to full. People who do a lot of service for their departments and schools have difficulty going up for full because they just don’t get enough time to do their research.” Women in this survey viewed their service responsibilities as a hindrance to their ability to do the research they perceived as more valued by their universities (AAUP 2011). The lack of lab time and research-related interactions with colleagues directly affects promotion opportunities for women in academia. Women are also less likely than white men, in particular, to have access to informal networks to help navigate obscure promotion processes and expectations. This is especially apparent in the STEM disciplines.
In her 2017 research Britton tells the story of a female professor in rank for over seven years. This professor was continually told she was not ready for promotion despite having published more than most in her department. There are similar examples at Rutgers. For instance, one faculty member wrote: “I was denied promotion to Full Professor. . .for reasons that I believe are connected to a characteristically female career pattern–in other words, my dossier had more than most Full Professors in my School. . . Although a lawyer and I agreed that the discrimination was probably not actionable, it still seems probable that my sort of pattern is one of many reasons that there are far fewer female Full Professors than male ones.” These and other such cases point to the problem with not having clear markers or guidelines. Without such clarity, promotion opportunities rest too heavily on networks. A male associate professor’s comment to Britton captures this point well: “requirements for promotion aren’t specified very clearly, at least for us… What I took to be the requirements were all done by word of mouth.” Most of the people interviewed by Britton stated that the department chair was the “key gatekeeper” regarding promotions. Most chairs are men and, again, tend to have deeper connections with the other men in their department. The ratio of male to female Chairs at Rutgers is 82 to 33.
- The lack of clarity in promotion guidelines and an undervaluing of service and teaching-related responsibilities takes a heavy toll on female faculty who shoulder a significant burden in these areas.
A recent AAUP study of tenured and tenure track women faculty in STEM fields at the Georgia Institute of Technology show that while most faculty members could easily identify expectations needed for tenure, few could do the same for promotion to full professor. There are no clear guidelines at Rutgers and at most other institutions regarding what is essential and/or constitutes prerequisites for promotion. Women tend to apply for promotion when they perceive their application as a “slam dunk” (Britton 2017). When service is devalued and the emphasis placed overwhelmingly on research and publication, women are greatly harmed. This also creates an atmosphere where competition and selfishness rather than collaboration are the choices that people are asked to make. Often women step in to meet institutional needs (tasks required for the health and good of the institution) which out of necessity takes time away from research and scholarship.
Women are particularly disadvantaged by the lack of clarity found in overly broad statements of criteria and little guidance is given on how to prioritize and meet expectations in research and scholarship in the face of what can be overwhelming demands in teaching and university service. Research shows that women are more likely to devote time to these two aspects of their careers. In addition, women who are serving in service positions that are perceived as “lower status,” like undergraduate chairs, should have that service appropriately counted. AAUP research done at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst shows that a third of women faculty members have served as undergraduate directors as compared with 17% of men. Women who served as an undergraduate directors or chairs took up to 12 years after receiving tenure to be promoted to full professor.
Faculty who have appointments that straddle different departments are especially vulnerable to having contributions to service and teaching negatively assessed. That is, although they may have appointments that are 51% in one department and 49% in another, faculty in these positions report unfair perceptions of providing “less than” their colleagues with 100% appointments in one department. They often feel pressed to provide more service than faculty who hold appointments in a single department.
The protection of promotional opportunities for women at Rutgers may be well served by changes to the Promotion Instructions and/or other policy statements and guidelines. Third year reviews before tenure provide explicit guidance as to what is required for tenure. The same kind of clarity is needed for promotion to full professor. Additionally, service contributions to a department, school and University need to be appropriately valued and weighted in the evaluation process.
The above overview does not address obvious issues related to childbirth and family responsibilities that fall primarily on women. Women more often have unusual career patterns owing, in part, to starting families early in their academic careers. Men are more likely to have seamless careers, e.g., tenure in six years and promotion to full professor in another seven years or so. This is (slowly) changing as family responsibilities are being shared and as men take advantage of paternity leave benefits. Biases remain, however, in evaluators’ assessments of records vis a vis “time in” and these biases disproportionately disadvantage women.
- Clearer and more transparent criteria for promotion to address the problems faced by female faculty
- Involvement of the NB, Camden and Newark diversity committee in providing guidance to individual faculty
The current family leave policy is confusing and involves departments trying to find ways to accommodate requests through a closed rank policy whereby colleagues take on the duties of the parent on family leave. At our chairs meeting in summer, 2017 this was raised as an important issue and one that chairs wanted to see addressed. We therefore propose that the family leave policy be changed to one semester for both male and female faculty (plus six weeks recuperative leave for birth mothers) without closed ranks and funded by central administration.
If Rutgers is to be a truly equitable employer offering all its employees a dignified experience at work, issues of salary and healthcare are crucially important but obviously not enough on their own. In order to make Rutgers a welcoming workplace for women employees and families, the administration should take steps to ensure that our university is in compliance with recent provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which stipulate that employers provide reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom space for nursing mothers who express breast milk during the workday for up to one year after the birth of a child.
Many other universities have used the provisions of the ACA to update and modernize their policies regarding private lactation spaces on campus. In a survey and report generated by the College and University Work-Life Family Association (an organization of representative HR professionals employed at member colleges and universities across US higher education), many of Rutgers’ aspirational peer institutions provide spaces to breastfeeding mothers.
For example, Peers at the University of Michigan, Penn State and the University of Iowa report significantly more resources on their campuses, such as multiple private spaces available, a centralized office overseeing operation of lactation spaces, internal education and orientation for employees and a standing mandate that all new building construction must contain private lactation spaces written into their construction plans.
After a 2016 survey of the Rutgers faculty workforce, we found that:
- Over 83% of faculty respondents were unaware of a designated lactation space in their workplace building.
- Over 88% of faculty respondents were unaware of a designated lactation space on their campus.
- In the spaces that were provided, respondents reported a shortage of necessary equipment, like a functioning table, comfortable furniture, refrigerators or even electrical outlets.
- 58% of respondents personally knew of other employees who would have taken advantage of a designated lactation space, had they had access to one.
Moving forward, Rutgers should come into compliance with the law and take the opportunity to modernize its workforce policies to:
- Provide multiple and convenient clean, private lactation spaces on all campuses available to all mothers for the purposes of expressing.
- Appoint a centralized office to oversee maintenance of the spaces and internal education for employees who need access, including through websites, collaboration with Human Resources, information at employee orientations, etc,
- Include provisions in all new building construction plans of a certain size to mandate private lactation spaces in all future building additions.
Furthermore, we call on the Rutgers Administration to make these facilities accessible to all students, undergraduate and graduate. Without lactation spaces, nursing mothers can hardly succeed as students or as parents. The difficulties of scheduling breastfeeding and expressing milk often cripple their studies and lead them to drop out. As matter of basic gender equity, Rutgers should provide such facilities to everyone who needs them.
To assess the climate for all faculty, the Union undertook an online survey of members during the spring of 2017. 1,765 responded, with overall response rate of about 23%. The sample approximates proportions of the population by rank, but contains a significant overrepresentation of women (63%). Questions focused on three general areas: experiences of sexism/racism, perceptions of working conditions and rewards, and assessment of the climate around diversity in hiring and curriculum.
The summary of the survey as well the full results can be found here:
This report is available to download as a PDF here.
Acknowledgements: This report was written by Prof. Chuck Haberl and Prof. Deepa Kumar with substantial parts contributed by Prof. Carlos Decena, Victoria Pacheco and Joe Richard. It brings together the work of several faculty and Union staff: Prof. Zaire Dinzey, Prof. Dana Britton, Prof. Mark Killingsworth, Prof. Howard Bunsis, Prof. Rudy Bell, Laura Callejas and Galina Moser. The Center for Women and Work helped with the climate survey; we thank Elaine Zundl for her work. We also thank Prof. Melike Baykal-Gürsoy for her help with the survey. We drew from a previous survey conducted by the School of Engineering at the New Brunswick campus by her in 2008-2009. Prof. Pat Roos shared her experiences with us early on and offered guidance based on her experiences with the FAS Gender Equity Committee and NSF Advance. Many faculty and Union staff, too numerous to list here, were involved in ways big and small over the last two years and we are deeply grateful for all they have done in support of gender and race equity at Rutgers.