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Gender Pay Equity Studies

"Ensuring equal pay among male and female faculty is not just a matter of equity and fairness; it is also a step toward a positive overall campus climate."
Peter Spear, Provost, UW-Madison

UW-Madison has a long standing policy that faculty salaries must be based on merit. Nevertheless, the University recognizes that inadvertent salaries inequities may occur for a wide variety of reasons.

In 1992-93, an analysis of UW-Madison salaries demonstrated a pay gap between men and women that could not be explained by age, rank, or years since degree. The administration provided funds to be distributed by individual schools and colleges to under-compensated female faculty.

Subsequent studies in 1995 and 1998 found no aggregate gender gap in salaries, but because gender inequities could still exist on an individual basis, in 2000-01 the university conducted salary reviews for 123 women (~23% of women faculty). 42 of these women (~8% of all women faculty) received merit-based pay increases.

This experience led to the current policy of regularly evaluating salaries to ensure that they are equitable rather than evaluating them only in response to campus studies or individual grievances.

Each faculty memberís salary is evaluated for equity relative to career merit at the following times:

  1. At the time of each major faculty review and evaluation
    1. promotion to associate professor
    2. promotion to full professor
    3. each five-year post-tenure review
  2. In the third year of the probationary period
  3. In response to a request from a faculty member

For more information on conducting a pay equity review see: