Xavier leads in closing wage gap for professors

By: Micah Price ~Staff Writer~

1When rying to decide which section of a class to take next year, keep in mind that choosing a class with a female professor may mean that the instructor is getting paid less than her male counterparts.

According to a new study from the Chronicle of Higher Education, the ever-present wage gap between male and female professors at universities is shrinking but is still very much a real phenomenon.

On a local level, colleges and universities in the Greater Cincinnati area are affected by the wage gap, at a rate of 13 percent in Ohio and 11 percent in Kentucky. The gap was largest at the University of Cincinnati, where female professors earn, on average, 14 percent less than their male colleagues.

In ranking local schools, the second worst was Miami at 13 percent, followed by Northern Kentucky University at 9 percent. Xavier University registered at only 2 percent, by far the best in the region.

The report also raises major questions regarding the allocation and budgeting of universities, as well as overall salaries, which for the most part have decreased locally.

But where is the money once allocated to professor’s salaries going? By some accounts, it is being transferred to bloated athletic departments that fail to stay in the black, and to what President of the Ohio Conference of the American Association of University Professors John McNay calls “Administration Bloat,” which can be defined as a “proliferation of expensive upper- level administrators and administrative activities.”

According to Benjamin Ginsberg of the (Washington Monthly), one of the most noted cases of this occurs at “The University of Maryland at College Park which employs six vice presidents, six associate vice presidents, five assistant vice presidents, six assistants to the president and six assistants to the vice presidents.”

It is possible that Xavier’s smaller wage gap in comparison to other local schools is due to proper budget allocation, meaning that a school clearly not short on cash might find it easier to ensure that all of its staff are treated equally, even if there may be an existence of superfluous positions, but there is no concrete data to support this.

Although the wage gap at Xavier is signigicantly lower tha its regional counterparts, the fact remains that universities will have to continue working toward gender- equal pay for some time in order to eventually eradicate the gap fully.