Does Rutgers pay female professors less?

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2020

According to Rutgers, yes: Does Rutgers pay its female professors less?

According to Rutgers, yes!

According to this New York Times news report, the university commissioned a study of the question in 2018. Here's what the study is said to have found:

KRAMER (10/15/20): At Rutgers, a study commissioned in 2018 by the university’s faculty union showed that when adjusted for rank, women who are tenured earned on average about 2 percent less than men. Because women make up only 30 percent of full professors and 20 percent of distinguished professors, the study also examined pay discrepancies among faculty members of different ranks.

We're puzzled by the logic of that second sentence, but let's let that go.

According to the study, tenured women earned two percent less than (tenured?) men—"when adjusted for rank."

What does it mean to "adjust for rank?" Based on the somewhat murky report, some Rutgers professors are "full professors," while others are "distinguished professors." 

Does every tenured professor fit into one group or the other? We don't know, but that seems to be the matter of "rank" to which the report refers.

Among tenured professors, that looks like a rather small wage gap. By the way, was seniority—years of service—figured into the comparison?

The Times report doesn't say. But then, what else is new?

In that first passage, Jill Kramer reported what the study showed when adjustment was made for rank. In her next paragraph, Kramer reported this:

KRAMER (continuing directly): When rank was eliminated, women’s pay lagged more than 7 percent on average to men’s salaries, according to the study.

Women comprise a smaller percentage of the "distinguished professor" group. Is that because the university's female professors are, on average, younger and/or more recently hired? Or are tenured women, all basic factors being equal, less likely to get rated as "distinguished?"

We have no idea.

Kramer cited results of the study in the context of a news report about lawsuits brought against Rutgers by five female professors. These professors allege that they're being paid less than their male counterparts by what sounds like a set of large amounts.

The liberal world likes to talk about the gender wage gap. We especially like to make claims about this gap which everyone knows to be false.

Stating the obvious, women shouldn't be paid less than comparably qualified men, not even by two percent. But doggone it! When it comes time to examine cases, we tend to get handed lazy journalistic work. 

We've made a basic point many times, with respect to many different topics:

Journalistically, statistics are hard. Human interest is easy and fun and easy to sell to  us the people, even though we're widely acknowledged to be pretty sharp.


35 comments:

  1. "When it comes time to examine cases, we tend to get handed lazy journalistic work. "

    Again, dear Bob, please drop your silly euphemisms. This is not "lazy journalistic work", it's nothing like that. It's goebbelsian propaganda.

    If it was just "lazy journalistic work", then we would expect to see the opposite studies too, studies with men being paid less than women. Have you seen any of those?

    Your cult's advocacy of identity grievances is brainwashing, zombification of human beings with the purpose of breaking communities into small segments hating and fighting each other.

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  2. “The liberal world likes to talk about the gender wage gap.”

    They’re just performing their role as shepherds of distraction, along with the conservative world. It is the well-paid role of upper-end journalists and academics--- to help our plutocracy distract the public from their stupendous and ongoing theft of wealth from the lower classes. The sole purpose of identity politics is to distract us from this world-historical theft of unprecedented scale. The well-educated, well-paid servants of the 1% are paid to ignore this massive crime. They are the shepherds of distraction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glaucon X,
      Re: identity politics

      Which of your Rights are you willing to trade for commitment to ending the plutocracy.
      Please be specific.

      BTW, mine is Freedom of Religion.

      Delete
    2. I, for one, am willing to trade ALL of Glaucon X's Civil Rights. Who needs the distraction of protecting them, when the plutocracy is ripping us off?

      Delete
    3. @5:54 So what religion would you like to become the Official US Doctrine?

      And please explain to us how that would end the plutocracy (show your work, and replacing it with a theocracy doesn't count).

      Delete
    4. 8:33,
      Satanism.

      Of course, people losing their right to choose their own religion will no more end the plutocracy than abandoning the civil rights of minorities, women, immigrants, the LGBTQ Trans community, the white working class, etc, but that doesn't stop the anti-"identity politics" crowd
      from making believe it does.

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  3. "Does every tenured professor fit into one group or the other? We don't know, but that seems to be the matter of "rank" to which the report refers."

    It goes, from lowest to highest: 1. lecturers (typically adjunct but sometimes full-time permanent, 2. assistant professor (beginning, tenure track full-time faculty), 3. associate professor (typically but not always tenured), 4. full professor, 5. distinguished professor (usually holds an endowed chair), 6. emeritus professor (retired, no pay unless performing on a grant, with academic privileges, non-teaching). Within these levels, there are different pay grades based on amount of time at that level, usually called steps.

    When there are very few women at the higher levels (full and distinguished professor) and most women are hired at lower levels, often adjunct, lecturer and assistant professor ranks, it makes no sense to compare average salary levels without grouping by rank (adjusting for rank). It is the same concept as comparing equal pay for equal work. The question of why women do not occupy the higher ranks is separate from whether they receive equal pay when they are at those ranks. For women, the question of tenure is complicated by the fact that pregnancy interferes with and delays the work needed to be promoted to Associate level with tenure. Seniority can be figured into the comparisons since there are typically "steps" within each rank, each step corresponding to typically two years of seniority.

    The AAUP publishes salary data for all public and private colleges and universities nationwide every year. All this isn't the mystery Somerby pretends it is. I do not understand why he is making such a ridiculous fuss about this.

    That 2% is only for one out of several different ways of grouping people. When only 30% of full professors are female, there is wage discrimination occurring. It is happening because of the failure to promote qualified women to higher ranks. Comparing only Associate Professors ignores the women who are stuck in adjunct and lecturer positions, who cannot get hired onto the tenure track at all.

    Somerby is a major ass if he is now asserting that women are not underpaid in the workforce, based on a specious quibble over what it means to compare equal work and using that comparison to invalidate the straight across comparison of working women and men without putting them in narrow bins that tend to eliminate the obvious differences.

    Women are forced into the child care role by physiology and culture, but they don't thereafter prefer to be paid less.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Women are good for cooking and cleaning and that's about it.

      Delete
    2. Men can't even do that much.

      Delete
    3. @5:07 PM - still can't get a date.

      Delete
    4. 5:30 PM

      Yes, men just learn to fly themselves to the moon and invent geometry and cheese. Women: cooking, cleaning, raising babies. That's about it. Occasionally, a young coquette will inspire.

      Delete
    5. @6:17 I guess you weren't paying attention when they awarded the Nobel prizes recently.

      Delete
    6. No, some do slip through the cracks. Annie Oakley, Joan of Arc, Melissa Harris Perry. And that is great. But the other 99.9 percent need to get back to the kitchen and scrub some potatoes. That's about it.

      Delete
    7. Every now and again, some man comes along who is smarter than David in Cal or Mao, but those few are outliers. When it comes to the mouth-breathing ignorance of men, it is what it is.

      Delete
    8. Maybe Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart but that's about it. Time to wash the carrots and scrub the floors ladies. It's all oatmeal north of the eyebrows with you.

      Delete
    9. If women are cooks, why are so many men chefs?

      Delete
    10. It's definitely not male privilege, but it is a mystery, nonetheless.

      Delete
  4. Before retirement, my wife was an Associate Professor at UMDNJ, which is now a part of Rutgers. She was not underpaid in comparison to her co-workers.

    ReplyDelete
  5. “The liberal world likes to talk about the gender wage gap. We especially like to make claims about this gap which everyone knows to be false.”

    This is a puzzling, yet predictable, attack from Somerby.

    The Times story is reporting on real female professors who have filed a real lawsuit against Rutgers.

    That is in the story.

    There was an actual study about a pay gap at Rutgers.

    That is in the story.

    The reporter does not make any assertion about whether the pay gap is real or actionable.

    What is Somerby’s criticism here?

    ReplyDelete
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  7. Replies
    1. Somerby doesn't care enough about his blog to weed out this kind of spam.

      Delete
  8. Why would anyone vote for a party that prioritizes power over the needs of its supporters? People are hurting but Republicans only care about packing the Supreme Court:

    "Senate Majority Mitch McConnell told his Republican colleagues Tuesday that he has privately been urging the Trump White House not to strike a coronavirus relief deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before the November 3 election, warning that an agreement could interfere with the chamber’s plan to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court early next week."

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The answer to your question is bigotry.

      Oops, I didn't realize it was a rhetorical question. Sorry about that.

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