As reported on June 4, 2015, the Office of Academic Affairs undertook a comprehensive review of its faculty compensation policies and practices during the 2015-16 academic year. Specifically, two studies were conducted to alleviate concerns about salary inequities on main campus. The two studies of base salary compensation rates focused on faculty members with continuing appointments.

The first was an internal analysis to determine whether faculty are receiving comparable pay for comparable work. The second was an external comparison of UNM’s compensation rates with those of 76 other public research universities to determine whether UNM salaries are competitive — an important consideration in the University’s ability to recruit and retain faculty.

Two years ago, the Board of Regents allocated $600,000 of new recurring revenue to put toward base salary adjustments, with the goal of closing any gaps that were identified by the analyses. As a result, 27 percent of continuing faculty received adjustments. Proportionately more of the available revenue went to women and minority faculty members, as was intended. While the available revenue was insufficient to fully close all gaps, it made significant progress in the University’s efforts toward pay equity.

Senior Vice Provost Carol Parker oversaw the project. In addition to the compensation studies, Parker also led the effort to create a transparent framework for setting faculty compensation in the future. Based on the internal equity comparisons and external market data, this framework guided the salary adjustments.

“UNM is committed to the principle of comparable pay for comparable work for all of its employees, including women and members of under-represented groups,” said Parker. “The University has worked hard to identify salary inequities on the basis of gender, race or ethnicity, no matter how small, and will take all appropriate steps to remedy them.”

The University is still making progress on a number of related fronts, including an analysis of branch campus faculty salaries, a review of current main campus faculty compensation policies, and the creation of analytical “compensation dashboards” to more easily provide access to the newly-established compensation data infrastructure. The dashboards will provide the information chairs and deans need to create salary offers at hire, and to determine merit, equity and retention adjustments in the future.

Provost Chaouki Abdallah and Vice Provost Parker wished to thank President Bob Frank and the Board of Regents for their support of the studies and resulting improvement efforts.

A full report of the studies, the process followed in making the recent adjustments, ongoing initiatives related to compensation policies, project background and timeline, and a brief report or prior compensation studies and adjustments at UNM is available on the Provost’s website.