• Home
  • Campus Climate Study

Campus Climate Study

Equity Study Committee Report March 2001


Report Index
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Table 1: Faculty Response Rate by Sex, Ethnicity and Unit
Table 2: Unclassified Staff Response Rate by Sex, Ethnicity and Unit
Table 3: Faculty: Comparison of Mean Responses for Male – Female and Minority – White Faculty
Table 4: Female Faculty: Mean Responses in Descending Order of Perceived Inequity
Table 5: Faculty of Color: Mean Item Responses in Descending Order of Perceived Inequity
Table 6: Faculty: Top Five Issues of Concern and Five Issues of Least Concern
Table 7: Unclassified Staff Mean Item Responses by Sex and Race/Ethnicity
Table 8: Unclassified Staff: Female Item Means in Descending Order of Perceived Inequity
Table 9: Minority Unclassified Staff Item Means in Descending Order of Perceived
Responses to the Equity Study


In October of 1999, the Board of Regents asked each university under its purview to conduct a salary equity study. At KU, the Office of Institutional Research and Planning conducted a salary equity study for faculty. To complement the salary equity initiative, Provost Shulenburger appointed a committee to study other equity issues on KU's campus. He asked the committee to survey faculty and unclassified staff on the Lawrence Campus to "identify the issues of greatest concern to members of affected classes."

The committee met throughout the fall and spring semesters to construct and administer surveys (Appendix A) to all faculty and unclassified staff—male and female—on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses. To make interpretation of the forced-choice items manageable, respondents were asked to consider only inequities based on sex or race/ethnicity. We relied on open-ended questions to learn about inequities attributed to other characteristics, such as disability or sexual orientation, and to obtain a better understanding of the nature of inequities. Surveys were administered in April, 2000 to all tenure-track faculty and unclassified staff on the Human Resources database in the spring 2000 semester. We received overall response rates of 33.4% (N=359) from faculty and 36.8% (N=556) from unclassified staff, which are quite good for campus surveys. Not surprisingly, response rates were greater for women than for men, but they were somewhat lower than average for faculty of color. Detailed response rates are reported in Tables 1 and 2. We analyzed survey data by sex, by race/ethnicity and by unit, but because no clear issues emerged by unit, we do not discuss unit differences for either faculty or unclassified staff. A complete description of the procedures used for analyzing the survey data and open-ended comments is reported in Appendix B. Item mean scores by unit, sex and race/ethnicity are reported in Appendix C.

Because the issues affecting faculty and staff are somewhat different, separate questionnaires were constructed. Survey results are reported separately for faculty and unclassified staff.


It is important to read this section with the understanding that female faculty constituted 26.3% of the entire tenured and tenure-track faculty in 1999-2000 and faculty of color were 12.6%.[1] Also, it is possible that the most disaffected faculty have left the university.

Overall Conclusions for Faculty

  • The KU-Lawrence and Edwards campuses are relatively equitable places to work. Although some individuals have experienced incidents of severe inequity, on average faculty indicate no to mild inequities in most areas.
  • Perceptions of inequity are not uniform across campus. Women perceive greater inequities than men and faculty of color report greater inequities than whites. On all but a very few items, these differences are statistically significant (Table 3). For women, the top five issues are annual raise, voice in unit, formal recognition, respect from students in the classroom, and unit climate (Table 4). Of these, annual raise was the only one having a mean rating over 3 suggesting that women, on the whole, perceive mild inequities at best.[2]
  • Perceptions of inequities are greater for faculty of color than for whites or women. For faculty of color 15 items received average ratings of 3.0 or higher suggesting that faculty of color experience mild to moderate inequities in these areas (Table 5). The top five issues of concern to this group are: annual raise, annual merit salary process, formal recognition, mentoring junior faculty, and awarding of university teaching awards.
  • Four of the top areas of concern for women and faculty of color are also top areas of concern for men. These areas are: annual raise, formal recognition, unit merit salary process and awarding of university teaching awards.
  • Other areas of inequity captured by open-ended survey items include: inequities based on parental status (knowledge and implementation of maternity leave policy and work load), sexual orientation, reverse discrimination and what we call micro-inequities.

The KU-Lawrence and Edwards campuses are relatively equitable places to work.

Faculty at KU report no to mild inequities in most areas of university practices, unit climate, resources and working conditions, and individual considerations. Even when we look only at responses of women faculty, we find that the issue of most concern (amount of annual raise) received a mean rating of "3" or mild inequity. For faculty of color there are a greater number of issues on which there is higher perceived inequity but the issue of greatest concern—amount of annual raise—falls slightly on the side of moderate inequity. We do not mean to suggest that the University can not improve in many areas and we will touch on some of those areas, but on the whole, the survey results do not suggest a pattern of systemic and pervasive inequities.

Women perceive greater inequities than men and these inequities are often subtle.

One hundred and eleven, or 39%, of the 283 female faculty responded to the survey. Women are statistically more likely then men to report higher degrees of inequity than men on all but a few items. The issues of most concern for women (Table 4) can be grouped into larger categories of rewards and recognition (university recognition, specifically for teaching and annual raise); unit evaluation processes for merit salary and promotion; unit climate including voice in unit, mentoring of junior faculty, committee assignments, and unit commitment to research. Additionally, respect (or rather, lack thereof) from students in the classroom was among the top five issues of concern for women. Two of the top issues deal with university practices for recognizing achievement in general and teaching specifically. The others are unit or departmental issues. Women and faculty of color perceive greater inequity with unit/departmental merit and promotion processes than they do with university processes. It is important to note that the standard deviations on the top items for women are consistently about 1.0 which suggests some women reported no inequity while some reported moderate or severe inequities.

Because inequities experienced by female faculty are often subtle, they are better understood through written comments. The overarching theme of these comments is summarized by the woman who wrote, "I think there are equity issues at KU but they are usually manifested in subtle ways." For example, women's work is reported to valued less highly as that of their male colleagues, which impacts the annual merit process. One comment expresses this theme well: "I have observed that men and women are held to different standards during the merit evaluation process—but of course, people are too smart to say it is due to gender. Is it pure coincidence that research that is not in the absolute mainstream is ‘innovative, creative, cutting edge' when a man is involved and ‘marginal, fringe' when it is done by a woman?" These double standards may also influence women associate professors who may not be encouraged to submit their dossiers for promotion. Many women complained of being expected and asked to do stereotypically women's work, e.g., teaching and advising, and committee assignments, and to do more of it. On the other hand, some believe women are shut out of important committees. The good news is that KU female faculty rarely reported recent instances of severe inequities. Some indicated that the climate had gotten better. The bad news is that women apparently continue to be subjected to, what we call micro-inequities or subtle, culturally ingrained stereotypes about women's roles, abilities, and interests that affect the overall work environment. These types of inequities are much more difficult to "fix" than obvious discrimination and tend to have a double effect as they may impact both assessment of work and opportunities.

Faculty of color perceive greater inequities than whites or women

Thirty-nine, or 29%, of the 136 faculty of color at KU in 1999-2000 responded to the survey.[3] On fifteen items, faculty of color reported mild to moderate inequities, or mean scores of 3.0 or above (Table 5). For each of these items, the differences in mean scores between faculty of color and whites are statistically significant. In each case, faculty of color report higher degrees of inequity than whites. Recognition, including annual merit salary, formal recognition, awarding of teaching university research awards are among the top issues of concern. Also, various evaluation processes are important areas of perceived inequity for faculty of color: unit evaluation methods for promotion and tenure, the unit annual evaluation and merit salary process at the unit level and the hiring process. These are followed closely by a variety of unit climate issues such as commitment to research, number of committee assignments, and work environment. Faculty of color are also more concerned about unit evaluation processes than they are about university promotion and tenure practices. The standard deviations for the top items for faculty of color are quite high suggesting wide diversity of opinions within this group.

Faculty of color described incidences of both blatant and subtle inequities. For example, one faculty member wrote, "Just because I am ‘brown' gives students the impression that I cannot speak English." Another commented that "The experiences are both blatant and subtle, and they are numerous. Most of the experiences have to do with lack of support from unit and university leadership, especially in terms of professional development and merit increases." One of the more blatant incidents was described in this manner: "The presumption during my on-site interview that I would ‘not become eligible for tenure because I would not be able to publish enough given my background' were words spoken to me by the last interviewer in private….Mainstream students under my supervision in clinicals have made blatant racist statements not only about the clients with whom they have been working but [also] about their fellow students of color." Several minority faculty members complained about inequities in the promotion and tenure process itself although few specifics were given. One did explain : "For example, during the promotion process I was told of a higher hurdle to scale/climb than other people." Several others wrote about the need for promotion and tenure guidelines to be more transparent. Some expressed concern about the process itself.

Fifteen of the 39 responses in this group came from Asian/Asian American faculty. These faculty were particularly vocal in expressing inequities they face. One Asian male reflected the specific concern of Asians when he said "[There is] lack of recognition of Asian-Americans as an important part of the KU University. ‘Diversity' seems to mean black, Hispanic or Native American. Asians are regularly overlooked for important administrative positions and committee assignments. The administration does not believe affirmative action in appointment of high administration applies to Asians. How many Asian chairs, deans or Strong Hall types are there? Asians are seen as research workhorses (and don't even get their fair rewards for that!)." Concerns of Asians and Asian Americans are not unlike those of other racial/ethnic groups and it is important for the University to recognize and include Asians/Asian Americans in their commitment to bring racial/ethnic diversity to the campus.

Many of the top areas of concern for women and minorities are also areas of concern for men.

The top areas of concern for women and minority faculty (Tables 4 and 5) are virtually identical. Notably, issues of concern to women and faculty of color are also of most concern to men (Table 6). These common areas of concern are: annual raise, formal recognition, the annual merit salary process, awarding of university teaching and research awards. Although the data do not suggest a pattern of severe inequities at KU, it is clear that these common areas of concern are ones on which the University needs to work.

Other areas of inequity

We asked respondents to report other forms of inequity in the open-ended section of the survey. Four of the most prevalent "other bases" for inequity were: sexual orientation, age, parental and marital status, and reverse discrimination. These issues cut across gender and race and ethnicity. Of these, sexual orientation was the area with the most consistent message: inequities are both subtle impacting the way people are treated on a daily basis and structural in terms of lack of partner benefits. One man captured the sentiments of the seven individuals who reported inequity based on sexual orientation: "I'm gay. Discrimination is subtle, individual and is more likely to come from co-workers than from administrators. The Central Administration is non-discriminatory and sympathetic to gay issues. The State of Kansas—the ultimate employer—is, however, quite unsympathetic to this form of discrimination." Most of the faculty who argued for the need for partner health benefits recognized that it is the State, not the University, that determines benefits. However, most argued that the University should lobby the Board of Regents to change the policy.

Equity issues related to age (7 individuals), parental and marital status (8 individuals) are not as straight forward. For almost every older faculty member who claimed inequities, there was one who claimed younger faculty get the short end of the stick. The same proved true for many of the concerns about marital and parental status. Both single faculty with no children and those with children claimed inequities, such as higher teaching loads, and lower salary. One single woman reported, "Oddly enough, the only inequitable treatment I have experienced (in 30 years at KU) has been due to my status as a single person without children. I have had to cover work for employees who, as mothers, must miss work for child care on a regular basis…"

Faculty with children and married women described the inequities they face. One of these relates to maternity leave. As one woman said, "The issue of maternity leave, especially in relation to stopping the tenure clock, is key to addressing gender discrimination." It is not entirely clear from our survey whether the problem is lack of knowledge about the existing policy, inequitable application of it, negative attitudes toward women who want to have children or dissatisfaction with the policy itself. One male faculty member reported the informal understanding in his department: "getting pregnant was clearly not the responsible thing to do." A related issue for married women faculty is the effect of small children on their careers. Most faculty with small children simply asked for understanding about the multiple demands faced by women faculty in this situation. A few married female faculty reported inequitable treatment simply because they are married. For example, one woman reported that three years ago she had asked her chair about "the difference between my salary and two male colleagues who were hired the same year. They both made thousands more dollars than I, and I couldn't see any difference in our job responsibilities or performance. My chair simply told me that my salary was ‘fair' and that if I needed more money, I should tell my husband to get a better job!" This chair had reportedly told other female faculty the same thing.

Spousal employment was an issue of concern to faculty who needed it, a perceived inequity in the way it was administered (e.g., more help when initial hire is male) and reverse discrimination by those who felt accompanying spouses had been forced on them or that traditional criteria had been overlooked in the process of hiring.

Seventeen individuals reported some form of what we call reverse discrimination. Predictably these complaints came mostly, but not entirely, from men. Perception of differential criteria in the hiring and promotion process, particularly for spousal and opportunity hires, was the most frequent manifestation of "reverse discrimination". Specifically, there is a concern that the traditional measures of quality and merit are violated in opportunity hires or that criteria are modified in order to promote some women and minorities. Although some faculty recognize a need for opportunity and spousal hires, it appears the University has not done a good a job of laying the necessary groundwork for opportunity and spousal hires. Failure to do so may result in negative consequences for individuals hired through these avenues.


The areas of highest perceived inequity for faculty fall into general categories of recognition, evaluation processes and unit climate. Specifically, amount of annual raise, formal recognition, mentoring of junior faculty, awarding of university teaching and research awards, and voice in unit are the areas of highest concern to women and faculty of color. Perceptions of inequity are greater for faculty of color and women, but top concerns for these groups are also concerns for men. Although some faculty reported cases where policies or formal practices had been implemented unfairly much of the inequity described at KU is subtle and is based on culturally entrenched beliefs about women and peoples of color. One woman stated this well: "Instances of inequity are likely to be subtle and not due to lack of effort by the Administration to prevent such problems. Personal biases of individual faculty are difficult to deal with, but they are most likely the source of dissatisfaction among affected groups." It is often the subtle inequities that pose obstacles to women and faculty of color in their quest to meet University or departmental definitions of success.

Survey results suggest that KU has done a better job of fixing inequitable, quasi-legal, official policies and practices than it has of addressing the pervasive and subtle inequities that women and faculty of color face on a daily basis. These inequities are particularly noticeable in cases where it is difficult to disentangle quality judgments from race/ethnicity and gender. As one faculty member wrote "the institution needs to admit that such constructs as "institutional racism" and "color-blind" racism exist as salient psychological events for students, staff and faculty of color." In other areas, such as those of age, parental or marital status issues of inequity are complicated and are best addressed through creation of a work environment in which these issues are recognized as salient for everyone and are openly discussed.

Finally, it is important to emphasize that a few faculty did report incidents of more severe inequity. These situations should not be overlooked or diminished in anyway, however, the survey results suggest that cases of severe inequity are relatively rare. Results also reinforce some actions currently under way, such as efforts to make the annual unit merit and university promotion and tenure processes more transparent and identification of mentors for all junior faculty. However, the study clearly points to areas in which our work environment could be even better.

Unclassified Staff

Overall Conclusions for Unclassified Staff

  • The KU-Lawrence and Edwards campuses are relatively equitable places to work. Although some individuals have experienced incidents of severe inequity, on average, unclassified staff indicate no to mild inequities (Table 7).
  • The issues of most serious concern are fairly uniform across race, gender, and ethnicity (Table 10). In all subgroups of the unclassified staff—males, females, whites, and people of color—the issue with the highest level of concern is merit salary allocation. Three of the top five areas of concern were the same. These areas are: merit salary allocation, the amount of annual raise, and recognition of achievement.
  • Perceptions of inequity are not uniform across unclassified subgroups. Women perceive greater inequities than men. For all but a very few of these issues, the differences are statistically significant (Table 7). For women, the top five issues are merit salary allocation, amount of raise, recognition of achievement, promotion process, and voice in decision making (Table 8).
  • Staff of color perceive greater inequities than whites on several issues (Tables 7 and 9). The differences are statistically significant in following areas: promotion process, recognition of achievement, unit climate, mentoring unclassified staff, and job responsibilities.
  • Other areas of inequity, not captured by survey items, but which merit attention include: Perceived inequities in salaries across units and a belief that staff are treated as second class citizens compared to faculty.


The KU-Lawrence and Edwards campuses are relatively equitable places to work.

The unclassified staff (UCS) survey responses indicate that they have the same sorts of concerns as the faculty. The questions asked of unclassified staff and faculty members were not exactly the same, so a direct comparison of the two groups is not possible. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that the issues of most serious concern are related to evaluation processes as they are applied in the determination of merit, salary, and promotion. A couple of written comments illustrate the nature of these concerns. One male staff member wrote "there have been a number of positions at KU that became vacant and were filled by promotion from within without being advertised . . . . I was a bit frustrated for those positions where I believe I would have surfaced as a highly qualified candidate yet I was not allowed to compete for the positions." A woman reported inequities in "The way merit raises are distributed. My department head is so worried about offending anyone, she gives everyone the same percentage. It gives me no motivation to perform because I know my raise is the same as everyone else."

Issues of most serious concern are fairly similar across race, gender, and ethnicity.

In all subgroups of the unclassified staff--males, females, whites, and people of color—the issue with the highest level of concern is merit salary allocation (Table 10). In all groups, merit salary allocation, the amount of annual raise, and recognition of achievement are in the top five areas of concern.

Simply put, unclassified staff report that race or gender factors "creep in" to processes that evaluate and reward employees. Employee related policies that are administered according to clear rules/procedures are less likely to lead people to perceive inequity. For example, administration of staff benefits, family leave, and flexibility of work hours are not high levels of concern. Because these policies are administered according to objective guidelines, they are less likely to be administered in a particularistic way and people are less likely to perceive inequity.

However, similar to faculty, staff reported persistent and subtle inequities. One woman stated, "I do not believe the University has serious problems with overt discrimination. . . there does exist a subtle and very damaging attitude that is pervasive throughout the university that women are just not as ‘serious' about their careers and their work as are men, that their contributions are not worth as much as those of their male colleagues."

Another woman commented, "I do feel that the institution still hires too few persons of color in the administration, and particularly in leadership roles. It seems that people of color are only hired to fill certain roles. Significant effort to diversify the administration is needed."

Perceptions of degree of inequity are not uniform across unclassified subgroups.

Levels of perceived inequity are higher among women than men (Table 7). The differences between men and women on the top five items are statistically significant. Although the issues raised by the groups are the same, it appears that levels of concern among women are higher than men.

The overall level of concern among unclassified staff, as measured by the averages, is somewhere between "none" and "mild". The average values for unclassified staff are generally lower than the levels of concern expressed by faculty. These facts should not necessarily lead one to conclude that inequity should be a low priority for the University. Consider the "top priority" issue of inequity in merit salary allocation. On a scale between 2 ("no inequity") and 5 ("severe inequity"), the average is 2.59. Of 267 women who provided valid responses, 151 said they had experienced no inequity. The numbers who said "mild", "moderate" and "severe" were 48, 30, and 28 respectively. While inequity is not experienced by the majority of women, almost 10 percent indicated they had experienced severe inequity. This indicates that, while gender-related treatment may not be a system-wide problem, it may be a problem for some people in some departments. For example, one woman stated, "It appears that the University administration is very male dominated. As a woman, I have viewed other women, faculty, and unclassified [staff], being paid less and having to work harder for the recognition they receive. On the other hand, the fact that 10 out of 175 men (almost 6 percent) perceived severe inequity should be kept in mind.

Staff of color perceive greater inequities than whites on several issues.

The levels of perceived inequity are greater for staff of color than they are for whites (Table 7). The items on which these differences are statistically significant are: promotion process, recognition of achievement, unit climate, mentoring junior staff, and job responsibilities.

The nature of the inequities experienced are captured by the following quotes: "As a member of a protected class, I have experienced much inequity and unfairness in my eight years at KU. In my eight years, I have applied for administrative positions . . . . In several of the processes, I was qualified, but I was ‘passed [over]' in the selection process."

Another disclosed: "Often the treatment is subtle. Often I will speak with a person on the phone, and when they meet me in person, they seem surprised to find that I am a woman of color . . . . with a leadership role and the authority to make some decisions in our office." Another woman wrote, "I have experienced some direct racist treatment. For instance, in reviewing applicants as a part of the search committee, comments were made that let me know others on the committee assumed that I would vote to hire a person of color, regardless of their credentials or background….[or that my] views of an African American woman were not needed to conduct the work of the committee." A final comment concerned inequities in mentoring: "I have seen equally talented and capable young professionals, some ‘chosen' to be mentored, and some ‘not chosen'. The ‘chosen ones' are white (and usually female), and the ‘un-chosen ones' are black."

Other areas of inequity

The unclassified staff are also concerned about inequities in treatment that are not gender or race related. The open-ended responses to the survey of unclassified staff indicate significant levels of discontent about administrative issues that are not clearly within the purview of this committee. Differences in treatment across units, or in comparison with the faculty, are clearly matters of concern to many unclassified staff members. Specifically, staff are concerned about perceived structural inequities among units particularly when it comes to salaries. This concern was quite apparent among student affairs personnel but also between unclassified staff who teach and faculty.

For example, one staff member wrote, "I am very unhappy with salary increase inequities between faculty staff (5.99%) versus unclassified professional staff (2.5%). Very unfair and disheartening."

Another added, "Though I am willing to believe that occasional inequities may occur in these protected areas, it is my perception (over 25 years) that they are more often based on ‘class' or status. Unclassified personnel are increasingly treated as second-class employees, especially since faculty salaries and unclassified salaries have been separated in the merit review process."

"The unclassified professional staff are an invisible class of citizens at KU. There are very few opportunities for advancement, virtually non-existent mentoring programs, and we consistently are disadvantaged at merit salary times."

"The inequities I have observed are resource and qualification based . . . . Morale is low in the unclassified ranks. We are not valued."

One consistent message running through comments of unclassified staff, despite the diversity of their roles, is that of salary and work expectation differences across units. This was of particular concern to student affairs staff who believe they are underpaid compared to staff who perform similar duties in other units, but it also appeared among those on grant funding who may also perform similar duties to faculty members.

Unclassified staff Summary:

The areas of highest perceived inequity for unclassified staff fall into the categories of merit salary allocation, the amount of annual raise, and recognition of achievement. Specifically, recognition of achievement and promotion process are areas of highest concern to women and unclassified staff of color. Other areas of highest concern for women are merit salary allocation, amount of raise, and voice in decision in decision making. In addition, other areas of concern for unclassified staff of color are unit climate, mentoring junior staff, and job responsibilities.

In sum, the top issues of concern for UCS are consistent across subgroups and are similar to those of faculty (merit salary process, recognition, promotion process). Although UCS overall report lower degrees of inequity compared to faculty, female staff and staff of color are statistically more likely to perceive higher degrees of inequity than males or whites respectively. Inequities experienced by UCS are likely to be subtle and entangled with perceptions of ability, mentoring opportunities, and promotions. Although it was not the intention of the survey to draw conclusions about general concerns of inequity, we discovered that some of the issues of greatest concern to many unclassified staff relate to differential treatment of unclassified staff across units and as compared to faculty.


1. Evaluation procedures (promotion and tenure and annual evaluation and merit).

Because annual performance evaluation and merit salary allocation are primary sources of discontent for both faculty and staff, the University should continue efforts to regularize and clarify evaluation procedures. This is particularly important at the unit level. Some of the concerns expressed about evaluation and merit allocation are inherent in any system of evaluation where work expectations vary as much as they do in a university. No system for evaluating work and allocating raises, no matter how codified, will be totally satisfactory to everyone. However, clearly defined procedures and standards leave less room for inequities based on gender and race/ethnicity to enter into the evaluation process. Current efforts to broaden means used to assess teaching and advising are to be applauded but the committee urges the Provost to assure that such broadening does not open the door for evaluation to become more subjective and potentially inequitable. Unit evaluation plans should indicate how equity issues will be addressed.

2. Recognition (teaching and research awards).

3. Equity-related hires and salary adjustments.

The University administration must clarify and promulgate consistent policies on equity-related hires and salary adjustments, including spousal hires. Current practices are not consistent throughout the University. Because they are not universally understood or well received, they create complaints of "reverse discrimination" and favoritism.

4. Chair training and accountability.

Because many of the inequities experienced by women and minorities—and some men—are subtle and cultural, many of the most significant changes affecting quality of work life must occur at the departmental or unit level. This requires training chairs and unit directors on matters of equity—both the obvious and the subtle—and holding them accountable for assuring that the unit workplace is equitable. We recommend that issues of equity be made an overt part of every training program for unit/department administrators with responsibilities for faculty and staff. In particular, chairs must be made aware of how subtle inequities operate to adversely affect the climate for some women and faculty and staff of color.

Secondly, chairs/unit directors must be held accountable for encouraging and maintaining an equitable work climate. We recommend a two-pronged approach to this issue. First, chairs/unit directors who do a good job of encouraging an equitable unit climate should be recognized and rewarded. The chair position is an increasingly demanding one and yet continues to be poorly remunerated. Some positive encouragement to do more in the area of unit climate and equity issues must be provided. Second, some regular means for identifying chair/unit director performance and for holding them accountable must be developed. One way of doing this is through an annual evaluation of department chairs or their equivalents to be developed and funded by the Provost's Office (similar to the C&I survey) that includes specific items addressing equity/climate issues. We envision this as a formative evaluation unless problems persist. There may be other ways to accomplish accountability such as requiring chairs to include unit climate in their annual goals and then holding them accountable for achievements toward their goals and objectives. Chairs should not bear this responsibility alone. Deans set the overall tone for their units. The Provost must provide the appropriate accountability and reward mechanisms to assure that deans promote an equitable work climate in their units.

5. Communication of policies.

The University should publish a brochure of relevant family, maternity and other related policies that affect faculty and staff. This brochure should be published separately from the Faculty Handbook and given to all faculty and staff.

6. The University's practices must be consistent with its statement of non-discrimination.

The University statement of nondiscrimination includes religion, age, disability, veteran status and sexual orientation. Steps should be taken to assure that University policies and practices are consistent with this statement. Some of the "other bases" for inequity, such as those based on religion, age, parental or marital status, can and should be addressed as issues of general work climate as well as legal issues. Others, such as health benefits for same-sex partners, are more difficult to address, because they are matters of policy over which the University has little control. Lack of such benefits affects a small number of current faculty and staff but could negatively affect the University's ability to recruit and retain high quality faculty and staff. The University should conduct a study to determine appropriate benefit policies for domestic partners.

7. Further inquiry on issues raised by unclassified staff.

Many of the sources of concern expressed in the survey of unclassified staff members emanate from inequity based on gender or race/ethnicity. Other significant concerns for unclassified staff stem from perceived differences in treatment of the unclassified staff and the faculty by the state government and the university. The state's practice of awarding different percentage increases in salary to the faculty and unclassified staff members is a source of discontent, as is the university's effort to create cash awards for faculty but not for the staff. Furthermore, some members of some departments express the view that they are not treated in a way that is comparable to members of other units. Since these problems appear to be among the most significant sources of discontent among the unclassified staff (significantly more serious than racial/sex discrimination), the Provost ought to consider investigating them further, in order to ascertain the facts and propose solutions.

[1] This represents an increase from 1990 when approximately 19 percent of the faculty were women and 7 percent were faculty of color. However, the percentage of women is somewhat below the 29 percent reported by AAUP for all doctoral universities.

[2] Item values "2" (no inequity) through "5" (severe inequity) were included in calculations of means. Value "1" (don't know/don't care) was treated as a missing value. See Appendix B.

[3] Several faculty identified themselves as multiethnic and other. We included these individuals as faculty of color.


Office of the Provost
Feedback/Let Us Know

Do you have a concern, or would you like to offer your thoughts on a proposal put forward by this office?

The Provost Office offers an anonymous form so you can raise issues important to you or respond to issues and activities on campus. 

Let Us Know.

RT @KUAdvising : A big shout out to all the nominees for this year's Advisor of the Year Award. A BIG congratulations to Rosana Godinez on w…

Policy Library Search

Visit the Policy Office for more information.

Green Office

Why KU
  • One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • 44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
    —U.S. News & World Report
  • Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
  • 5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times