UVA Report Finds No Pay Inequity for Black, Hispanic Profs

Adjusted salary differentials for tenure/tenure track faculty.

by James A. Bacon

The Racial Equity Task Force, a 2020 document that transformed governance at the University of Virginia, listed 12 top priorities for addressing the legacy of historical racism. One was to address “serious challenges to racial equity in staff hiring, wages, retention, promotion, and procurement” by auditing where policies and procedures might be “reinforcing entrenched inequities.”

The report cited no actual evidence of disparities in pay, and the authors did not assert that they existed. In a report that lambasted UVA as “an inaccessible, rich, ‘white’ institution,” pay inequities were just assumed to occur and needed to be documented.

Well, last year the Ryan administration hired the DCI Consulting Group to evaluate “pay equity” for UVA faculty based on gender and race. The results, based on 2022 compensation, were made available to UVA January 5 and, sure enough, pay inequities were found…. for non-tenured Asian-American faculty.

Remarkably, adjusted for their level in the academic hierarchy, seniority and other variables affecting compensation, Black professors who are tenured or on the tenure track were f0und to earn 3% more than their peers, Hispanic professors 3.4% more, and Whites 1.6% less — although DCI did not deem the differences to be “statistically significant.”

For Academic General Faculty (AGF), Blacks earned 3.4% more than their peers after adjustments, although, again, the difference was not considered statistically significant. While tenured Asians fared well, their AGF peers were found to make 4.3% less, a disparity that was considered statistically significant.

Adjusted salary differentials for academic general faculty (non-tenure track).

DCI based its analysis on 1,702 faculty, excluding deans and a handful of special cases.

Rather than publish raw pay averages, the consultants acknowledged that salaries in an academic institution are affected by many factors other than race and gender. The pay gap between tenure/tenure track professors and academic general faculty is so large that DCI conducted separate analyses for the two groups. The consultants ran a series of regression analyses that adjusted for department, academic rank academic track type (teaching, research, practice, lecturer/instructor), years spent in the current rank, and other factors.

The analysis did not adjust for scholarly reputation, teaching evaluations, research funding, publications or other measures of performance which might inform annual merit increases. Direct measures of productivity, DCI said, were not readily available.

Here is DCI’s main conclusion:

The regression analyses based on the data provided identified two salary disparities in the full model… that warrant further investigation by the University, namely the statistically significant disparities of:

  • -6.9% to the disadvantage of Asian Academic General Faculty,
  • +2.0% to the advantage of Asian Tenured or Tenure Track Faculty.

A similar study on disparities in staff pay is underway but not yet complete.

In late March Provost Ian Baucom wrote faculty members informing them of the results and providing a brief explanation of the methodology. He said that his office is working with leadership of schools where the Asian disparities were evident, adding that university deans had received school-level results for their own analysis.

Other than noting that DCI had found no disparities related to gender — in itself a finding that runs counter to the intersectional-oppression narrative — Baucom offered no commentary.

Really? Isn’t this good news? Shouldn’t it be celebrated?

The concern about racial “equity” has been the driving force of policy at UVA during the Ryan administration. Ever since the Board of Visitors adopted the recommendations of the Racial Equity Task Force, the university has been steering tens of millions of dollars to redress inequity that is alleged to persist today. Wouldn’t it be reassuring to the University community to know that pay gaps for Blacks and Hispanics do not exist?

The DCI report was based on 2022 salary data, only two years after the Racial Equity Task Force (RETF) report was published. It is plausible to suggest that (1) no pay inequities existed at the time the RETF report came out, (2) treating all racial groups fairly has been a preoccupation of University leadership for many years, long before President Jim Ryan convened the task force, and (3) indeed, if any pay disparities exist, they slightly favor Blacks and Hispanics.

Let me stress that I’m not complaining about unfair treatment toward Whites and Asians. Any disparities, if they exist, are small, within the margin of error, and probably not meaningful. My point is to acknowledge the positive message here. The supposed institutional racism of which UVA is so often declared to be guilty does not apply to the pay structure.

Can’t we just come out and say that? Or does acknowledging the obvious undermine the narrative of intersectional oppression that undergirds almost everything that the Ryan administration does?

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Thomas Gorman
Thomas Gorman
1 month ago

Wouldn’t it be more accurate to state that UVA found White Faculty was underpaid?

1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Gorman

Based on their results they are all overpaid, some more than others.

1 month ago

This very situation epitomizes the inherent Marxist insanity, based in an obsession over guilt as to fairness and equal outcomes, where guilt is conclusively assigned and prejudged to be fact only to find out it is in fact quite the opposite. With the presumed oppressor in fact being oppressed as the sin the presumed oppressor commits is to be more capable as to actual ability, more hard working, have higher grades, performance on standardized test scores, etc. Their punishment is to therefore be paid less and they can be easily identified by skin color. Blatant racism as proven in this article on the part of Ryan and his woke administration, including the DEI apparatchiks now spread throughout the various departments but especially in critical departments such as engineering and medicine where non-white or Asian are least represented. But whose graduates are most critical to a functioning nation. Utter insanity.

The “E” in DEI, code word for communism, would better stand for Evil, as communism has been acknowledged to be and proven to be throughout history.

There is good news though as we are now seeing universities awakening bit by bit from this madness as we see reported yesterday that Harvard is reinstituting standardized test scores. Which so happens while an interim head honcho is in place.

I am certain the Marxist guilt obsessed at Harvard are thus not happy and it would behoove them to act quickly. Ryan is available but they’ll have to come up with $2 million or more per year in salary as we have had a very generous Northam-appointed group of sycophants on the BOV.

Wahoo 76
Wahoo 76
1 month ago
Reply to  Clarity77

Great analysis! BTW, rest easy on Ryan’s future. I have long said that he will be gone in 2025, either lured away, fired, or having grown weary of his “DEI fights”.

1 month ago
Reply to  Wahoo 76

Thank you and as to Ryan I hope you are right as I cannot recall any other UVA president presiding over as much damage to what Jefferson envisioned. I was fortunate to attend last evening a cocktail party with current UVA faculty that opened my eyes even further as to what has happened in such a short period of time under Ryan’s watch. I won’t detail here but I look forward to so much more for the TJC to bring to light based on what I learned last evening.

1 month ago

Well, what do you know? No “systemic racism.” Another DEI-manufactured solution in search of a problem.