The University Record, April 3, 1995

Memo to the faculty:

Memo to the faculty:

The recent report by the National Education Association on gender equity issues in American higher education deserves a response about the circumstances at the University of Michigan.

Triggered by a request from the President's Advisory Commission on Women's Issues, the deans and I have recently reviewed the ongoing process of equity reviews of the salaries of the faculty of the schools and colleges. Every unit has conducted such reviews over the last several years, some every year, and each has considered the salaries of every individual for inequities that might be present, for whatever reason.

Salaries among similarly situated individuals are often different but the explanation for those differences should be attributable to performance or market issues, and not to irrelevant criteria such as race or gender. I have asked the deans to review any observed differences in salary between men and women faculty members in each of the schools and colleges. In some cases adjustments have been made, but in others adjustments were not deemed appropriate because the disparities could be accounted for. It is the sincere belief of the deans that they have addressed, or are addressing, those salary differences that warrant correction. This is a continuing process and one that they will be monitoring on a regular basis.

Nonetheless, individual faculty members who believe that differences exist in their compensation that cannot be explained by either field of study, market forces or performance factors, and who wish to have their individual cases examined should pursue this with the chairs and/or deans. Faculty who wish to have appropriate comparative salary information as the basis for such discussions may ask Sue Rasmussen (763-0236) in the Affirmative Action Office to provide data from the Personnel Data Base. The data available for individuals include such variables as rank, date of hire and salary history.


Provost Gilbert R. Whitaker, Jr.