Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Education

Document Type



This study expands on decades of research by exploring inequities in faculty salaries between gender as well as race/ethnicity while acknowledging the complexities of the higher education labor market that influence salary. Drawing from human capital, structural, and academic capitalism theory, this analysis utilized three recent surveys administered by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics matched with aggregated institutional data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System for the years 2013, 2015, and 2017. The results indicated that the variance observed in faculty salaries is largely due to demographic and human capital variables such as experience, rank, and productivity. As expected, experience, rank, and productivity indicators related to service and research were significant and positively associated with faculty salary, which indicates the importance that institutions and administrators place on these activities. However, additional training and education to increase knowledge and skills beyond a terminal degree was not found to be significant, suggesting that institutions do not view these activities as bringing individual and institutional prestige. Furthermore, the variance in faculty salaries attributed to institution affiliation and discipline affiliation increased between 2013 and 2017 whereas the variance attributed to individual faculty decreased between 2013 and 2017.

The significance of female representation at the institution-level and discipline-level was inconsistent across survey years, yet gender at the individual level remained largely significant and negatively associated with faculty salary. On average, female faculty earned 7% less than male faculty in 2013 and 5% less than male faculty in 2015 and 2017. In contrast, there was no evidence that significant inequity exists between traditionally underrepresented faculty groups and their male counterparts after controlling for individual and structural characteristics, even after testing for interaction effects between gender and race/ethnicity. However, representation of White, Black, and Hispanic students was negatively associated with faculty salary for survey years 2013, 2015, and 2017. Finally, there was no evidence to suggest that gender inequity exists between non-tenure track instructors.



Committee Chair

Blanchard, Joy L.