E&I Annual Report 2008-2009

Annual Report 2008-2009

Equity and Inclusion

The Committee for Equity & Inclusion started to work in fall 2008 and consists of the following faculty:

Christel Antonellis (CELOP),
Stephen Brady, (MED) – member since 2/19/2009
Yvette Cozier (SPH),
Lynn O’Brien Hallstein (CGS),
Kari Lavalli (CGS),
Sudha Seshadri (MED),
Megan Sullivan (CGS),
Peter Szende (SHA), Chair

The committee met formally five times during the academic year (11/13/08, 12/05/08, 1/16/09, 2/19/09, and 4/16/09) with additional business taking place via email or through subcommittees.
This report to Faculty Council will try to summarize the key accomplishments and activities of the committee over the past academic year (2008-09). During this time, several suggestions were brought to the attention to the committee. The following issues have been considered:

ACTION ITEMS AND STATUS

1. Salary Compression Summary

In response to a faculty member’s request the committee prepared a summary on salary compression issues.

Definition(s):

1) the hiring of lower ranked, inexperienced faculty at salaries which are above the salaries of higher-ranked faculty and have the effect of inverting the common practice of paying higher salaries to the higher ranked, more experienced faculty
2) the hiring of new faculty at higher compensation than current faculty who have better teaching, research, and service records (compensations = teaching schedules, class sizes, course preps, service requirements, research experience, office/research space facilities)
3) differences among junior and senior faculty become smaller over time without regard to productivity
4) some argue a difference between salary compression and salary inversion; others define inversion as an extreme level of compression
a. compression typically speaks only to monetary compensation and does not address aspects of compensation where senior faculty may have advantages (i.e., space, access to travel funds, better teaching schedules, new equipment, better roles in governance)
i. also does not assume that pay of lower ranked individuals is higher than that of higher ranked individuals, but suggests that the difference in compensation among ranks is very narrow
ii. delinks compensation and longevity
b. inversion speaks to the entire compensation package (reduced teaching load during first year, equal access to travel funds, summer stipends, limited committee work, start up monies for equipment/lab space in addition to higher salaries)
i. assumes that lower ranked individuals are paid more than higher ranked individuals

Caused by:

1) hiring new faculty at salaries in excess of those paid to existing faculty at same or higher ranks
a. based on an argument that the “market” demands it because otherwise the university won’t be able to hire well qualified faculty who are in short supply
b. rationalizes that starting pay must be tied to external market compensation packages and set as higher or higher to attracted qualified faculty
c. hidden knowledge is that current faculty often have limited mobility (because of mortgages, spouse’s jobs, children, etc.) so they can be retained at lower salary levels
2) administering raises that cause a given faculty member’s salary to exceed the salary of faculty at the same and higher ranks
a. depends on how raises are given at a university
i. some universities have a weighted system for raises
1. X% for merit
2. Y% for professional maturity (longevity) (typically lowest %)
3. Z% for market conditions that determine the amount of raise needed to retain faculty (dependent on discipline)
ii. discipline’s market value can have a dramatic impact in causing disparities
3) economic conditions at time of hire or time of promotion
a. “good” years may provide larger salaries increases
b. “bad” years may provide only a modest or minimal increase

Results in:

1) poor faculty morale
a. makes some faculty feel less equal than others
b. takes away a sense of belonging
c. destroys the implied promises made by the university at the time of hire (i.e., that faculty efforts would be rewarded by tenure and promotion in rank that has an implied additional reward of greater compensation)
2) lack of mentorship for younger faculty, including co-authorship on scholarly work
3) high faculty turnover, particularly of good, older, more experienced faculty
4) higher complaints levels
5) less willingness to serve on committees (i.e. less shared governance)
6) lack of trust in administrators (can be evidence of ineffective resource allocation)
a. creates cynicism and can negatively impact the reputation of the university
7) longer term faculty might begin to look out for themselves
a. might give higher grades to students to get higher evaluations
b. might have fewer assignments to improve students’ impression of their courses
c. might spend less time helping students
d. might work only at a minimal level
e. might, when serving on merit review committees, score older faculty’s accomplishments higher than younger faculty’s accomplishments
NOTE: many of these responses to salary compression or inversion actually create a vicious circle where university administrators look at the reduced performance of older, higher ranked professors and use it to argue that older professors are not as productive as younger ones and thus should be compensated less.
How to Diagnose:

1) compare salary ratios (dividing average salary for lower rank in a particular discipline by the average salary at the higher rank in same discipline) at home institution with a peer institution
a. divide first entering assistant professor average salaries by average assistant professor salaries
b. divide first entering assistant professor average salaries by average associate professor salaries
c. divide first entering assistant professor average salaries by average full professor salaries
2) compare salary ratios over a long period of time (longitudinal study) to determine if there is a trend
a. if, as university administrators may argue, differences in salary are the result of differences in productivity between younger, higher paid faculty, and older, lower paid faculty, expect the salary gap to increase over a review period rather than to remain constant
i. a constant salary gap indicates an institutionalized compression of salary
3) use regression analysis to determine relationship between total salary and independent variables of total years of service, tenure, academic rank, administration status, and college affiliation (see Toutkoushian, 1998)
a. typically use a logarithmic value of salary
b. compare predicted salaries based on the regression analysis to actual salaries to see if there is a significant difference that would be indicative of compression or inversion
i. do this by first determining the senior faculty’s regression line which becomes the baseline data
1. insert the junior faculty data into that model to see if it fits and use residual values to indicate the amount the junior faculty is being overpaid relative to what s/he would have received if paid according to the same formula as the senior faculty

How to Fix:

1) allocate more funds for salary inequities (lump-sum allocation from provosts to deans)
2) deans can submit a list of professors whom they believe have inequitable salaries for provost review
3) affected individuals can submit requests for salary adjustment to their dean who then forwards it to provost for review and approval
4) increase salary awards at promotion
5) set salary floors
6) put in cost-of-living salary adjustments that are close to prevailing market levels
7) promote more rapidly
8) allow senior faculty to make up for salary inequities by compensating them in other ways (internal grants, summer research stipends, chaired professorships, choice of offices or teaching schedules, use of research or teaching assistants, etc.)
9) request that only new graduates be hired (inexperienced)
10) base starting salaries not on external market, but on internal market
a. unionized universities already do this with fixed salary scales
b. inherent in this approach is the idea that there are other benefits to working at university beside salary and those other benefits are stressed
11) hire new faculty at market rate, but inform them that they will not be granted any salary increases for a particular time until pay equity is restored
12) obtain more named professorships to which “mature” faculty can be promoted
13) adopt a two-tiered pay system for new hires and older faculty
a. newer faculty receive more compensation but are required to meet much higher standards than older faculty in order to be retained, tenured, or promoted
i. newer faculty would be expected to meet the higher standards in teaching, research, and service and would have to pay their dues
ii. older faculty would be required to meet a different set of standards and would have more freedom to determine the relative weights placed on teaching, research, and service (i.e., exchange lower pay for freedom to do tasks they prefer)
14) sue for age discrimination
a. very difficult to prove as Age Discrimination in Employment Act requires that you can only bring a claim on the grounds of discriminatory intent, not adverse impact and university can argue lack of intent because it was simply a business necessity
i. courts may or may not consider faculty handbooks a binding contract so wording about compensation being based on merit and rank may or may not having legalistic meaning.

A Closing Note:

The CFDI Report (Boston University, 2008), published in December 2008, “recommends that the salaries of faculty with more than 20 years of service at Boston University also be reviewed, since salary compression (decreased salary with increased number of years of service) is seen at Boston University, as it is at universities nationwide”.

References

Boston University, Council on Faculty Diversity and Inclusion, (2008, December) Excellence Through Diversity: Report of the Council on Faculty Diversity and Inclusion. p. 27. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from http://www.bu.edu/diversity/report/CFDI_Report.pdf
Glassman, M. & Mcafee, R.B. (2005) Pay inversion at universities: Is it ethical? Journal of Business Ethics 56: 325-333.
O’Boyle, E.J. (2001) Salary compression and inversion in the university workplace. International Journal of Social Economics 28: 24 pps.
Synder, J.K., McLaughlin, G.W. & Montgomery, J.R. (1992) Diagnosing and dealing with salary compression. Research in Higher Education 33(1): 113-124.
Toutkoushian, R.K. (1998) Using regression analysis to determine if faculty salaries are overly compressed. Research in Higher Education 39(1): 87-100.
Twigg, N.W., Valentine, S.R., & Elias, R.Z. (2002) A comparison of salary compression models and pay allocation in academia over time. Review of Higher Education 26(1): 81-96.

2. Leadership Concerns

As a follow-up to the first Faculty Climate Survey, we sought to identify “leadership concerns” in terms of how faculty perceives their current chairpersons and deans. This summary includes findings from both the Charles River and Medical faculty.

We find a somewhat mixed picture. For the most part, faculty from across the University do not suggest chairpersons and deans are unsupportive, neither do they appear overly content with their leaders. With one exception, the largest rate of satisfaction for all questions regarding atmosphere and support hovers under 30%. Faculty report they have a fair amount of opportunity for decision-making at the department level, and less so at the college and University levels. Forty percent of Charles River faculty members say they have not received adequate mentoring at BU, while 39% said they have. On the medical campus, 43% of faculty polled felt that overall mentoring was inadequate, and 80% reported having no formal mentors at all. Additionally, 16% were very dissatisfied with the availability of start up funds for research, and 34% were somewhat dissatisfied with support for securing grants and other resources to support research.

It is not clear whether or not minority faculty are perceived as having “at least” as good an opportunity as non-minority, in part because over 30% of those who responded neither agreed nor disagreed with the question. This may represent the overall low representation of minority faculty across the university. While climate and opportunity is not overwhelmingly perceived as being as good for women as it is for men, respondents say chairpersons are trying to improve the climate for women.

If we view the issue of leadership in a larger context, there are additional concerns. The Faculty Survey clearly finds the overwhelming majority of faculty members have not served as department chairs, directors of programs, chairs of committees or deans. Furthermore, the disparity between percentages of males to females of those who have served deserves further scrutiny, as does the disparity between rates of compensation and teaching relief time for such positions. We encourage further study of the opportunities available for faculty to assume leadership roles at Boston University. We also encourage the administration of Boston University to strongly encourage a rotational schedule for all department chairs, which would provide not only opportunities for women and minorities to serve in such capacities and gain leadership skills, but would also provide the training necessary for women and minorities to move to higher administrative positions.
3. Academic Leader Assessment

The University’s Leadership (Boston University, 2008) is “committed to ensure accountability, transparency, and visibility in decision-making to the greatest degree possible”. Therefore, the Equity and Inclusion Committee has been researching if and how other universities evaluated the performance of those in leadership positions.

360 Degree feedback
Most Fortune 500 companies have been using some form of multi-rater system for over 15 years.
Unlike, the traditional top-down appraisal where a supervisor appraises the performance of their subordinate, 360 Degree feedback incorporates multiple perspectives by using feedback from a variety of sources.
The results of this type of feedback process provide an understanding how the leader is perceived from different perspectives. This process helps an individual understand how others perceive them.
Feedback is essential to facilitating performance improvements. Feedback allows people to utilize their strengths to their advantage. Feedback informs employees which actions create problems for others and to know what changes may be needed.
A study on 360-degree feedback to leaders conducted by Arizona State University has supported the hypothesis that improvement in a leader’s consideration and employee development behaviors will lead to positive changes in employees’ job satisfaction and engagement, and reduce their intent to leave.

The Academic Leader Assessment (ALA) is a 360-degree personal development tool designed specifically for academic leaders (deans, associate/assistant deans, and department chairs). It provides academic leaders with meaningful and confidential feedback on how other administrators, coworkers, faculty, and external stakeholders perceive their leadership skills.
The ALA is comprised of 30 dimensions organized into four topic areas: Foundations of Leadership; Interpersonal Competencies; Use of Business Acumen in Decision Making; and Head of the Academic Enterprise.
The ALA was developed by Stephen A. Stumpf of the Center for Responsible Leadership and Governance at Villanova University is powered by LearningBridge (www.learningbridge.com).

REFERENCES

Boston University, Council on Faculty Diversity and Inclusion. (2008, December) Excellence Through Diversity: Report of the Council on Faculty Diversity and Inclusion. p. 28. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from http://www.bu.edu/diversity/report/CFDI_Report.pdf

Brett, J. (2006). 360 Degree Feedback to Leaders. Group and Organization Management 31, 578-600.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Academic Leader Assessment (n.d.) Retrieved February 1, 2009, from http://www.aacsb.edu/knowledgeservices/ala.asp

4. FACULTY WELLNESS

Research was done on the kind of benefits that peer institutions offered their faculty (and staff) related to wellness. We first looked at the cost to faculty for use of fitness centers at peer institutions. We then compared that to what we as faculty pay at BU.

We also looked at the total number of faculty and staff at BU who used the FitRec services in hopes of making a case to BU for faculty to have free access to FitRec, like the students do. We felt that more faculty and staff would use FitRec if it were free and available to them.

Initial findings showed that
• Fitness centers were common at universities and colleges. It appears that there are major differences in how much, if anything faculty are charged for use of fitness facilities – reduced price, free, $100 for the year.
• Deciding on fees was complicated by the growing need for universities to distinguish themselves with perspective students by providing state of the art facilities. There is a large debate that’s becoming increasingly common on college campuses facing debts from new or renovated recreation and fitness centers: Who should pay for what and why?
• There was no correlation between job satisfaction and a worksite’s health promotion programs.

Boston University currently offers monthly, 6-month, and yearly membership plans for: monthly 6-month yearly
Faculty/Staff $41.95 $203 $405
Faculty/Staff plus Spouse $73.45 $355 $709
Faculty/Staff plus Dependents $52.45 $252 $504
Faculty/Staff plus
Spouse & Dependents (18 and under)
$83.95 $404 $808

Our subcommittee on Wellness Issues found that out of a total number of 8,724 faculty and staff (full/part time at Charles River & Medical School Campus combined) 1,338 use the fitness center. (http://www.bu.edu/dbin/infocenter/content/index.php?pageid=906&topicid=12)

We tried to get that total number (1,338) broken down to the number of faculty at the Charles River Campus as well as at the Medical School Campus who use the facility, and the number of staff at the Charles River Campus and at the Medical School Campus, who use the facility, but this information was not made available to us. For the moment, this issue has been tabled.

A suggestion was made that we shift our focus to getting health related services, such as blood pressure or mental health screenings and such, which are done freely and frequently on the medical school campus, also done on the Charles River Campus. This is something the Committee will work on in fall 2009.

5. SAME-SEX BENEFITS

The focus of inquiry of the committee was expanded in February 2009 to examine the status of same-sex benefits at BU.

Boston University began offering benefits to same sex couples who are married in Massachusetts in 2004. Although the Equity and Inclusion Committee applauds this inclusion there are several reasons why this benefit should extend to domestic partners. The federal government does not recognize the right to marry and there are significant tax problems associated with marrying in Massachusetts. Second, the Human Rights Campaign Fund and Immigration Equality (both premier advocacy groups lobbying on behalf of gay/lesbian issues) have recommended that gay/lesbian couples not marry if they are an international couple or hope to adopt a child. Marriage could jeopardize immigration for the non-citizen and international adoption would be adversely impacted.
Third, a number of Boston University’s faculty members do not live within the State of Massachusetts (may live in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, or Maine) and thus do not enjoy the option of same sex marriage offered to a Massachusetts residential couple.

We have been collecting information on same-sex benefits at peer or local universities and have concluded, that the large majority provide domestic partnership benefits (Princeton, NYU, Emerson, Northeastern, Duke, UCLA and USC) rather than restricting benefits for married same sex couples (Harvard and BC).

Although the law regarding gay marriage is changing rapidly the most prudent and inclusive policy pertaining to gay and lesbian faculty would be to extend benefits to couples who can demonstrate a committed domestic partnership. We have included Exhibit 1, which summarizes our finding regarding peer or local universities.

We unanimously propose sending this issue to the University’s Benefits Committee for consideration.

Exhibit 1 – Benefits for Same-Sex Couples
Boston College:
As long as the couple provides a marriage certificate issued from the state of Massachusetts; Boston College offers the same benefits for same-sex couples as heterosexual couples; including health, dental, and tuition remission. However, due to federal tax codes, the employee will be taxed for the benefits given to his/her spouse. Children are also covered as long as documentation is presented to clarify tax implications.
Princeton University:
Princeton provides the same benefits for same-sex couples and their children as long as they fill out proper documentation, claiming their partner and/or child as a dependent.
Harvard University:
Harvard extends the same benefits to employees in same-sex marriages as those in heterosexual marriages. It was one of the first institutions to provide such benefits.
New York University:
NYU provides employee benefits to same-sex couples as long as the couple agrees to be jointly responsible for each other’s common welfare and financial obligations. The couple must also live together in a long-term relationship and they must not be related by blood or a degree of closeness that is prohibited by legal marriage in the state that they currently reside.
Emerson College:
Emerson provides benefits to employee and their same-sex domestic partners who are not legally allowed to marry under state law. They are eligible to participate in health, dental, and tuition benefits as a married couple would. The same-sex couple must sign an affidavit that certifies their partner as a “spousal equivalent” in terms of residence, length of relationship, and financial interdependence.
Northeastern University:
Northeastern employees can register their same-sex relationship, which permits them to receive the same benefits as a married heterosexual couple.
Duke University:
Duke employees that are involved in a same-sex partnership can receive the same benefits as married employees upon the completion of a confidential same-sex equivalent affidavit. The partners can receive health, dental, and vision insurance as well as life insurance. Coverage also includes dependents.
UCLA:
Though the state of California permits same-sex marriages, UCLA does not require a legal marriage for same-sex couples. As long as the couple is enrolled with UCLA as a same-sex partnership, they will receive the same benefits as a legally married couple.
Columbia University:
In order to receive benefits, employees in a same-sex partnership must provide documentation showing that they have lived with their partner for at least six months and financial interdependence. After providing such documentation, same-sex couples and their dependents receive the same benefits as a married heterosexual couple.
6. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

a. It has been suggested, that we look at university-wide disability issues within the context of wellness.
b. This committee would like to contribute to the University’s efforts in developing and implementing activities and programs designed to increase faculty diversity with particular focus on racial/ethnic differences.
c. We believe that we need to strengthen mentoring as a core value among our faculty. Our committee would like outline recommendations on how to mentor junior faculty members.

Respectfully submitted,
Peter Szende (SHA)
Chair