Wednesday, May 02, 2001
University of California Office of the President

Media Contacts:
Abby Lunardini
(510) 987-0997

Provost C. Judson King's Statement on Faculty Gender Equity Audit

State Audit Report
UC Fact Sheet

The University welcomes the findings of the Bureau of State Audits with respect to faculty gender equity at UC and will make every effort to implement the steps recommended. The findings and recommendations of the audit are consistent with the University’s commitment to providing equal employment opportunity for women faculty in all of its hiring and academic personnel practices. Although the report confirms that the University hires women at a percentage close to the national adjusted female applicant pool and awards equitable salaries to men and women at hire, UC recognizes that much more needs to be done to pursue long-term solutions to the under-representation of women in many academic fields.

The University of California concurs with the findings that indicate some academic departments are doing better than others in hiring women in proportions comparable to their availability, with many having exemplary records and others lagging. In response to recent changes in State law that limited the University’s affirmative action programs, some campuses and departments have developed and implemented additional procedures designed to ensure equal opportunity and gender equity in hiring. Part of under-representation of women at UC is due to the fact that UC hires a limited number of professors in some of the academic fields dominated by women, such as education and hires a large number from male dominated fields like engineering. However, UC shares the auditors concern about the decline in the proportion of newly hired women faculty since 1995.

Faculty hiring decisions are perhaps the single most important exercise of academic judgment by our faculty and academic administration. They have helped make the University of California one of the premier institutions of higher education in the world. The University of California is committed to ensuring that our own academic personnel practices do not directly or indirectly discriminate against women faculty. The University of California also will make every effort to minimize societal barriers that may prevent women from pursuing academic careers. In pursuit of these objectives, UC has issued affirmative action guidelines for department chairs and search committees, examined the academic career path to address potential barriers for women faculty, developed programs to encourage women to enter into academic fields where they are under-represented, and engaged campus provosts and deans in the discussion of the benefits of academic diversity.

The University of California is pleased that the audit report concluded that no overall salary inequity exists between male and female new hires at the University and that any apparent differences are caused by factors other than gender. Nevertheless, the campuses will continue monitoring hiring salaries in accordance with the recommendations in order to maintain gender equity. Campuses also will implement academic career review procedures to ensure that salary equity is maintained throughout each faculty member’s career.

The audit report demonstrates that when estimates of available candidates with Ph.D.’s are adjusted to reflect the pool that the University of California actually hires from, the availability of women in this pool (33%) is only slightly higher than the rate at which the University of California hires new women professors (29%). In order to reflect the pool that the University actually hires from, the data on doctoral degree recipients must be adjusted in three ways. First, the data must be adjusted to reflect that the University of California hires from an international pool of doctoral recipients which has fewer women that the national pool. Second, the data must be adjusted to reflect that the University of California hires a significant number of senior level faculty who obtained their doctoral degrees when there were fewer women pursuing doctoral study. Third, the data must be adjusted to reflect that the University of California hires in a particular mix of disciplines which contains a higher proportion of male dominated fields such as math, science and engineering, than is reflected by the total number of doctoral degrees produced annually.

The audit confirms the University’s understanding that when the data are adjusted to reflect the percent of women in the actual pool from which UC hires, the apparent gender disparity noted at the beginning of the report diminishes substantially. However, the University will continue to work towards expanding the number of women in the pool of available faculty members by encouraging women to enter graduate study, creating a database of UC graduate students so UC can better recruit from its own potential faculty pool, promoting family-friendly academic personnel policies, and expanding campus childcare facilities.

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