Two weeks ago, The Hill News published an article regarding a recent report issued by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). In the article, figures were used from StartClass, an online website unaffiliated with St. Lawrence, that stated that the average salary of full professors at SLU was $137,217.
StartClass figures also indicated that there was a difference of over 18,000 dollars between full male and female professors, with full male professors earning an alleged average of $142,360 and full female professors earning a supposed average of $123,503.
At the time of publication, official figures from the university had not yet been obtained; this generated a superficial perception of a wide disparity between the male and female faculty of St. Lawrence. The veracity of this disparity has since been explored and has been found to be erroneous.
As Ryan Deuel, Director of Media Relations and Strategic Communications, states: “St. Lawrence uses a national benchmark [when determining the salaries of professors] to ensure both equity and that we’re consistent regarding salaries at the time of employment. Gender is not a part of the equation.”
The actual figures, which have come directly from the Office of University Communications, are as follows: the university employs 27 full male professors and 14 full female professors at St. Lawrence, and they earn an average salary of $122,378 and $111,590, respectively; there are 34 male associate professors and 45 female associate professors, with males earning an average salary of $90,834 and females earning an average salary of $89,850; and there are 23 male assistant professors earning an average of $70,167 and 19 female assistant professors earning an average of $72,822. All of the aforementioned average salaries are spread out over a period of nine months; they are not annual.
It is also important to note that while there are some disparities between the salaries of professors of different genders, none of the average salaries account for either longevity or discipline. An average salary is not a weighted GPA- there is no accounting for the plethora of factors that play into computing an individual’s salary in the numbers. Both the period of time that a professor has been employed by the university, along with the field of study in which they are employed, are integral components of their salaries.
Deuel indicates as much, saying, “If you have a male and female coming into the same discipline at the same time, they would be paid the same.”
The above figures are for the 2016 academic school year, and they are the figures that the university passed on to the AAUP.
As the previous article stated, figures on St. Lawrence were not included in the report published by the AAUP earlier this year. This was due to a delay in the processing of the figures on the university’s end. Figures were in fact sent to the AAUP in March of this year, but due to the university missing the deadline, they were not included in the published report; they should be incorporated into the findings of the AAUP at a later date.
This is not to say that StartClass was purposely falsifying their figures. Ryan Deuel asserts that it is far more likely that StartClass was trying to annualize figures that were only applicable to a nine-month period. In doing so, the organization inaccurately calculated average salaries.