UA faculty women claim their raises are proving costly
Friday, October 26, 1984
Some University of Arizona women who were awarded pay equities last year by a salary-review committee are now being unfairly treated by college deans, department heads and male colleagues, several women faculty members have charged.
""Since our equity adjustments last spring, it has been taken out on us on a daily basis,"" said one faculty member, who asked not to be identified.
Almost all of the sources interviewed for this story requested anonymity, saying they feared repercussions from members in their prospective departments.
One female faculty member who is suing the university because of alleged unfair treatment said, ""Going on the record would only make matters worse—as they have since my case was filed.""
Some women who received salary-equity adjustments may not be granted merit and tenure because department heads and deans feel that the women have received a sufficient raise, when the raised were meant to correct past inequities, said Jean Williams, president of the UA chapter of the Association of Women Faculty.
One woman cited some examples of unfair treatment as being required to teach an inordinate number of lower-division classes and receiving limited research opportunities.
Some women said they were reprimanded for minor infractions for which their male counterparts were not cited. These reprimands were written up and added to personnel files, which are referred to when merit and tenure recommendations are considered.
UA Affirmative Action officials, AWF members and faculty members in a department in the College of Arts and Sciences' faculty of fine arts acknowledged that one department is know for ""notoriously"" unfair treatment of women.
The department head has removed women faculty from important committees or refused to appoint any women faculty to the committees, faculty from that department said.
For example, one woman faculty member who did not attend a department gathering received an admonishing memo and was removed from a major committee. Male faculty members who did not show up for the same function were not reprimanded. Women also have been subjected to patronizing and degrading attitudes from the department head.
""The only time he talks to us is to comment on our dress or personal attire,"" a faculty member said.
The department head refused to speak to the Arizona Daily Wildcat.
After initial denial of pay-equity salary adjustments, the five women faculty members in this department were awarded salary increases only after going through the UA's three-level review procedure and being awarded raises by the provost's office.'
Their recommendations only received approval at the final level when they were sent to Nils Hasselmo, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, the women said.
Hasselmo also heads the university's ongoing salary-review committee.
Hasselmo said yesterday he could not confirm nor deny that he was the only administrator who approved the recommendations.
""I cannot comment on the individual cases,"" he said.
Hasselmo also said the special-equity review study that is being conducted is an important step to ensure fairness and that total equity was not achieved last spring when women faculty members received salary adjustments.
The AWF distributed a survey to its members in September. Williams said, ""The results of the surveys are confidential, but as a whole—with the exception of a few isolated instances—women received favorable responses (about their salary adjustments) or no response from the administration and their colleagues.""
However, one woman in this fine-arts department said she feels there is no way of advancing her career at the UA.
She said she worries that she will not be able to obtain letters of recommendation from the department head because of differences with him.
The AWF, in coordination with university officials, is overseeing an ongoing salary review committee headed by Shirley Fahey, director of the College of Medicine's division od psychiatry, and Helen Ingram, UA political-science professor.
Williams said the committee will continue to review the salary process so the gaps that were narrowed in salaries will not reopen.
Celestino Fernandez, vice president of UA Affirmative Action said, ""We have no way to know how widespread this problem is but (we) encourage people with grievances to pursue their grievances through proper university channels.""
The Affirmative Action office holds all cases in strict confidentiality, he added.
""I don't think this is a new problem,"" said one woman faculty member, ""but I do think the equity issue has escalated unfair treatment.""