Faculty Job Satisfaction at the UA

University of Arkansas faculty members took part in the 2009-10 edition of Harvard University’s national study, “Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education” (COACHE), a survey examining job satisfaction among tenure-track faculty members. The University also conducted a survey in the fall of 2007 to determine faculty perceptions of the general climate on the UA campus. Although these surveys are now a few years old, they are the most recent available and contain interesting results.

In the COACHE study, the UA was compared to a group of six peer institutions. coache
UA faculty members were among the most satisfied in the category “way you spend your time as a faculty member” but were least satisfied in many other categories, including tenure practices, assistance in obtaining grants, leave and child care policies, fairness of evaluations, and compensation (cf. Executive Summary, p. 18-20). Often, female faculty were even lass satisfied than men. According to both surveys, female and minority faculty reported significant deficits concerning the institutional culture of the University and its (lack of) support for diversity.

A new COACHE survey was conducted in January 2014 and the results are expected at the end of May. We’ll report.

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UA Workforce Analyses, 2005-2012

UPDATE January 22, 2014: Arkansas Blog has pointed to this post in connection with new allegations about the violation of personnel rules at the UA. As reported below, the University is obliged to perform an annual workforce analysis for equal employment compliance. As reported, the last workforce analysis is almost 2 years old and as of this writing, there has been no update. The Affirmative Action Plan also requires the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance (OEOC, formerly the Office of Affirmative Action) to “conduct an annual audit of salary awards and adjustments, by sex and race, for each academic department. The audit is to be done no later than November 30th of each year.”. These audits were requested under FOIA and none were provided by the UA. Instead, the OEOC director, Danielle Wood, stated that the workforce analysis complied with the audit requirement. Recall that the workforce analysis was not done for 2013 or 2014 and that it doesn’t include any data about salary adjustments. Further, the workforce analysis is simply a compilation of data, not an audit. There is no indication that the workforce analyses were actually ever audited, and no records reflecting any review were provided by the UA. We have to conclude that the required audits are not being conducted, in non-compliance with UA policy and federal anti-discrimination requirements.

Finally, personnel policy requires the annual conduct of what is known as an Availability Analysis to identify under-representation of women and minority for each job group. These analyses were also requested from the UA and OEOC director Wood provided one analysis for 2003 and one for 2011, stating that no other records existed. The 2011 analysis was compared with OIR data and it turned out that it vastly overstated women and minority representation among faculty. The discrepancy was pointed out to Wood and UA general counsel. Details will be published in a forthcoming post of its own. As of this writing, no accurate and up-to-date Availability Analysis was provided by the UA.

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According to the University of Arkansas’ Affirmative Action Plan (pdf) and in accordance with federal anti-discrimination law, the University of Arkansas is required to annually conduct a Workforce Analysis that lists the salaries of all employees (anonymized) by department or unit, indicating gender and minority status. The reports are an interesting source of information about the pay structure at the institution. On inspection can easily determine gender disparities, as is the case for example in many science departments (Biology p. 66, CAST, p. 68, Chemistry p. 69, Geosciences p. 77, Physics p. 86 of 2012 report).

Workforce Analysis FY2012 (pdf)
Workforce Analysis FY2011 (pdf)
Workforce Analysis FY2010 (pdf)
Workforce Analysis FY2009 (pdf)
Workforce Analysis FY2008 (pdf)
Workforce Analysis FY2007 (pdf)
Workforce Analysis FY2006 (pdf)
Workforce Analysis FY2005 (pdf)

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OFCCP Conciliation Agreement

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in 1997 found numerous violations of federal anti-discrimination law by the University of Arkansas. The Conciliation Agreement was meant to correct these issues and its provisions were incorporated into the UA’s Affirmative Action Plan. It is highly instructive to read this summary of discriminatory practices from 1997 and compare it to the present situation.

OFCCP Conciliation Agreement UA Executed 3 25 1997 (pdf)

UA Affirmative Action Plan

The University of Arkansas Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) (pdf) “is published to reaffirm the University of Arkansas’ continuing commitment to the principles of equal employment opportunity” (p. 1). The Plan itself mandates that it should be available online:aaponlineIt is not, however. The link where it should be available leads to this notice: aapnotonline It is a somewhat ironic comment on the University’s averseness to openness and transparency that even a policy that specifically dictates its own availability online is not available. Similarly, the Office of Diversity web site has a link labeled “Diversity Plans” that links to an empty page. Why is the University reluctant to make these documents publicly accessible?

University of Arkansas Affirmative Action Plan 2011