Faculty salaries at Kansas University haven't kept pace with the cost of living for 10 years and average wages of women faculty are below those of men, according to a new KU report.
"That's obvious," Mohamed El-Hodiri, economics professor and member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Salaries, told a faculty governance group on Friday.
El-Hodiri presented the committee's three recommendations and four general findings to the Faculty Executive Committee.
"These are first impressions. They need further study," he said.
THE COMMITTEE recommended that KU:
Form a permanent committee of administrators and faculty to monitor and calibrate the faculty salary structure.
Examine the University of California pay system which combines a degree of equality with flexibility to meet market forces.
Allow faculty to keep salary increases attained while serving in an administrative job when they return to full-time teaching.
El-Hodiri also proposed that university staff conduct a detailed analysis of salary issues before decisions are made on the committee's recommendations.
The committee said its review of salary data indicated the cost of living had outpaced KU faculty salaries during the past decade, he said.
While the average salary of a full professor had increased from $30,800 in fiscal 1981 to $52,800 in fiscal 1991, earning power in constant dollars had declined from $35,700 in fiscal 1981 to $34,000 in fiscal 1991.
ON FRIDAY, the Kansas House gave tentative approval to a 2.5 percent raise for faculty. KU Chancellor Gene Budig made faculty salaries his top priority this session.
"Not surprisingly . . . women on average are paid less than men," said El-Hodiri, noting it was a problem at most U.S. colleges and universities. "That doesn't make it right."
El-Hodiri said the committee also concluded that administrative salaries had increased faster than faculty salaries.
Frances Ingemann, professor of linguistics and presiding officer of University Council, a faculty-student governance group, said women in higher education tend to be concentrated in certain academic disciplines.
"I'M NOT SURE if they steer people (to departments), but once you get a large number of women in there they stop paying the salaries," she said.
El-Hodiri said the committee's review indicated there were wide differences in salaries of faculty members of the same rank in different disciplines.
The disparities shouldn't be dismissed with simple explanations about market conditions forcing the university to pay an engineer more than a historian, El-Hodiri said.
"It's more than markets," he said. "It's how a person maneuvers in a department."