Faculty

Female Professors at U. of Texas-Austin Earn $9,000 Less Than Male Peers

November 05, 2008

Female professors at the University of Texas at Austin earned an average of $9,028 less than their male counterparts in 2007, and senior female faculty members there feel more isolated and less recognized for their work than do their male colleagues.

Those are among the findings of a new report on gender issues affecting the faculty that was written by a 22-member panel created by the university’s provost in 2007.

In a news release issued this week, the university said the provost, Steven W. Leslie, had accepted the panel’s recommendation that the university develop a five- to 10-year plan to reduce or eliminate gender inequity on its faculty.

The panel also found that more women than men at Texas left before winning tenure, and of those who stayed a smaller proportion of women than men achieved tenure within seven years. Thirty-six percent of women hired as assistant professors in 1997 had earned tenure and been promoted to associate professor within seven years, compared with 56 percent of men. The task force also conducted a survey of faculty members that found that 14 percent of female professors said they had been sexually harassed.

Gender inequities in the professoriate have been a major concern for other prominent universities — most notably Harvard University, which has had a poor record of offering tenure to women, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which nearly a decade ago conducted a gender-equity review like the one at Texas and found similar results. —Robin Wilson