Doctor of Philosophy
Public Policy & Administration
Ralph S. Hambrick, Jr.
The primary research question is: What changes have occurred in the status of women faculty members in higher education in the United States from 1974 to 1995. Status is determined by evaluating differences by sex in: the number of faculty, the tenure status, the average salary, the average salary by faculty rank, the percent of faculty to percent of earned doctoral degrees, and the percent of faculty to percent of enrolled students in higher education. The period since the enactment of equality legislation in the 19705 in the United States provides a time frame for this research. The ongoing legislative changes that occurred coincide with an increase in the presence of women faculty in higher education. These legislative changes redefined the role of women in the general work place and specifically in higher education.
This research used secondary data to evaluate the status of women faculty over this time period. The data were collected from many published and unpublished Department of Education documents and several unpublished Equal Employment Opportunity Commission documents. Other federal government resources were used to verify the consistency over time of these reported data observations. The data were analyzed by determining percentage changes, plotting the data, and using linear regression when appropriate to determine if over time (1974-1995) the status of women faculty members in the United States have improved. The compilation of the data in one source provides a research source for future researchers.
The data analysis for the time period 1974-1995 resulted in these general conclusions. a) The percent of female faculty to total faculty increased 10.9 percent. b) Female faculty salary as a percent of all faculty salary was 86.23 percent in 1974 and 86.94 percent in 1995. Average salary compensation for female faculty as a percent of average compensation for all faculty members did not improve over this time period. c) The average salary for female faculty as a percent of average salary for all faculty members experienced a decrease or showed a minimal increase over the time period 1974-1995 at each of the following ranks: assistant professor (96.7 percent to 96.6 percent), associate professor (95.9 percent to 95.5 percent), and full professor (89.4 percent to 90.4 percent). The average salary for female faculty at the rank of instructor as a percent of average salary for all faculty members increased over this time period from 92.5 percent in 1974 to 98.7 percent in 1995. d) The percent of women faculty with tenure increased (41 percent to 51 percent), but the percent of male faculty with tenure increased more (58.2 percent to 71.8 percent) over the 22-year time period 1974 - 1995. e) The increase in the percent of female doctoral recipients (21.3 percent in 1974 to 38.8 percent in 1995) exceeded the increase in the percent of female faculty members (23.7 percent in 1974 to 34.6 percent in 1995) for each year after 1977. f) The percent of enrolled female students (45 percent in 1974 to 55.5 percent in 1995) continued to exceed the percent of female faculty members (23.7 percent in 1974 to 34.6 percent in 1995) for each year over this time period. The overall increase in the percent of female faculty members (10.9 percent) slightly exceeded the increase in the percent of enrolled female students (10.3 percent).
Based on the criteria deﬁned to determine if the status of women faculty have changed in the United States over the time period 1974 to 1995, this research conc|udes that moderate changes have occurred in the number of female faculty and the pool for female faculty. Overall female faculty as a group are paid less then male faculty. When compared to male faculty, fewer women proportionally have tenure, women are proportionally in lower rank positions, and fewer women with doctoral degrees proportionally are employed in faculty positions.
Research to monitor the status of women faculty should be ongoing. Knowledge of sex-based inequities in education must be shared and publicized to make administrators, politicians, and women faculty conscious of these conditions.
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