Drexel Joins NSF ADVANCE Partnership to Explore Faculty Pay Equity

A portrait of Joshua Snydert
Dean Walker

Researchers and professors are well practiced when it comes to talking at length about their areas of interest. Like many of us, though, academics often have a difficult time talking about money, specifically salary. But a new partnership is looking to educate faculty and administrative units about compensation practices to even the playing field for all.

Funded by the NSF ADVANCE program, the project brings together leaders from Drexel, Rochester Institute of Technology, Villanova, and Gallaudet to explore the factors that influence pay scale differences across the faculty spectrum.

“Historically, across all industries, women have consistently earned less than their male counterparts, and that gap increases when you consider women of color,” explains College of Engineering Dean Sharon L. Walker, PhD, Senior Personnel on the project. “Higher education is no exception. What this project hopes to do is educate folks on both sides of pay decisions about the systemic factors that go into salary offers so that they can be corrected.”

During the project, administrative units at the partner institutions — from provosts to human resources and diversity officers — will participate in workshops and coaching sessions and develop institutional plans to pursue pay equity. Ultimately, the process is designed not only to boost understanding of pay practices but also to inspire progress at the highest levels.

The NSF ADVANCE program is designed to foster gender equity through a focus on the identification and elimination of organizational barriers that impede the full participation and advancement of diverse faculty in academic institutions. Dean Walker is principal investigator on an ADVANCE-funded project to explore promotion practices for mid-career faculty women.

In This Article