UCLA Today Staff
UCLA administrators told faculty attending a town-hall meeting on gender equity May 27 that a longitudinal database using faculty payroll data will be created to support analyses of demographics, appointments, merits and promotions, advancement rates and salary patterns.
The longitudinal electronic academic database will be developed in phases and will use data dating back to 1993, said Paula Lutomirski, associate vice chancellor for institutional planning, who has been working with the Gender Equity Data Committee, one of two panels sponsored by the Academic Senate and the administration.
A faculty group will be consulted to establish a sound methodology for a study of gender and advancement rates.
Said the associate vice chancellor: “Some of the questions we may be able to answer in the future are: Does advancement correlate with gender? Does gender make a difference in starting salaries? And if so, how do these differences affect faculty members’ lifetime earning potentials?”
Speaking for the data committee, chair Roshan Bastani, professor of public health and the Jonsson Cancer Center, strongly urged the administration to make the creation of the longitudinal database “a No. 1 priority and to indicate this commitment by allocating adequate resources toward its construction.”
The database is one of several ways the administration is responding to the recommendations of two faculty committees assessing gender equity data and the academic climate. These positive steps offer grounds for op-timism, said Anne Peplau, oversight Gender Equity Committee chair and a professor of psy-chology. “This July will mark my 30th anni-versary at UCLA. And my own personal experience is that UCLA is a better place today for women than in the ’70s when I came. I’m quite optimistic about the progress we’ve made,” she said.
Yet, there is much work to do, agreed committee members, faculty in the audience and administrators. Among nine UC campuses, UCLA hired the lowest percentage of new female ladder faculty, 20%, in 2001-02.
“UCLA hires at a much lower rate than the availability pool of women with new Ph.D.s,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Diversity Rosina Becerra, who presented data on the faculty gender gap. “The lowest percentages for new hires among women faculty at UCLA are in engineering, management and the physical sciences.”
To find out why UCLA’s hire rate is low, the administration plans to conduct pilot studies on recruitment and retention. “This is an opportunity to look at our hiring practices, at how openings are advertised and at issues that might point to why some departments are not hiring more women,” Becerra said.
To help guide departments, Becerra’s office recently published a booklet, “Affirmative Action Guidelines for Re-cruitment and Retention of Faculty,” with information on best practices for faculty recruitment, selection and retention.
It will be available, along with other important information on university policies and practices on family/work/life issues, on a new Web site: http:// faculty.diversity.ucla.edu.
“For both men and women, the most consistent need we found was for information,” said Judith Siegel, chair of a committee that did a faculty survey on the academic climate.
Other ways the administration plans to address recommendations made by the gender equity committees:
- A mini-study on service will be undertaken to address the causes underlying the perception that women faculty face a greater service load than their male counterparts;
- A new faculty committee will review the university’s family-friendly policies and recommend changes, such as “stop the tenure clock” procedures;
- A gender equity summit will be planned for the fall so that progress toward faculty diversity can be reviewed and plans made.