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​Memorial University of Newfoundland

Available Studies

  • Schrank, William E. (1974). A Report on Sex Discrimination in Faculty Salaries at Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1973-74. Memorial University of Newfoundland.
  • Schrank, William E. (1974). Sex Discrimination in Faculty Salaries at Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1973-74: A Further Analysis. Memorial University of Newfoundland.
  • Schrank, William E. (1977). Sex Discrimination in Faculty Salaries: A Case Study. The Canadian Journal of Economics, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp.411-433.  
  • Schrank, William E. (1985). Sex Discrimination in Faculty Salaries at Memorial University: A Decade Later. Memorial University.

Between 1974 and 1984, Memorial University undertook two equity studies using regression analysis, one using 1973-74 data, and the second using data from the 1982-83 academic year. These reports, done by William E. Schrank from the university's economics department, are some of the first pay equity studies done by a Canadian university using multivariate regression analysis. 

The study conducted in 1974 found a gender wage differential of $530. The paper also argues that there is evidence that women may be systematically excluded from administrative positions and senior academic rank, and accounting for this gives a gendered salary differential of $1,357. To obtain these findings, Schrank regressed salary in dollars (full-time, 12-month salary) on a variety of variables, such as sex, faculty, rank, tenure, experience, publications, administrative responsibilities, qualifications, citizenship, an indicator of locum tenens appointment, grants, leaves, and initial salary. He estimated several different models, such as separate regressions for men and women. 

As a result of the findings of the 1974 report, remedies were issued. The faculty association recommended that women's salaries be adjusted using a fund of $70,447. University administration reviewed salaries and allocated a total of $64,000 in remedies. Of this amount, two-thirds were allocated to both men and women in the "junior division" faculty, of which 42% of the amount paid to this faculty was paid to men. The remainder of the funds were allocated to female faculty members in the School of Nursing and the Faculties of Education and Science. There were no adjustments made for other faculties. The faculty association's view was that "approximately one-half of the aggregate value of sex bias in faculty salaries at Memorial had been eliminated" as a result of the remedies.1

In 1975, Schrank produced a follow-up analysis to that done in 1974. The 1975 analysis included some variations on the regressions run in the 1974 report, such as the inclusion of individual departments, a different treatment of some faculties (mainly, Nursing and Social Work), and separate regressions for different departments and ranks. The new analysis also included interaction terms between gender and other variables. These interaction terms addressed the assumption that discrimination is constant for all women across all segments (faculty, department, etc.) of the university. The findings of this subsequent analysis were congruent with the fundamental findings of the original report.

The study conducted in 1985 provides useful insight into the impact of the remedies issued by the university in the previous decade. It found that the gendered salary difference remained essentially unchanged since 1972-73. In 1983-84, the adjusted pay gap was 4.6%, while the 1973-74 data found an adjusted gap of 4.5%. Interestingly, the gender disparities were found to have dissipated in faculties where remedies were implemented due to the 1974 report but remain for those that did not receive a remedy – the Faculty of Arts and School of Physical Education, specifically.

The 1985 report also responds to critiques on the previous two reports, thus contributing meaningfully to pay equity literature as it relates to academic salaries. The study improves on the methodology employed in past studies by using a wider variety of more detailed variables, and through model specification and methodological justification. For example, it includes an analysis of probability of being a full professor to test if there is gender bias in terms of promotion. Schrank estimates a probit model where the dependent variable is a binary dummy variable denoting full professorship. He finds that promotion patterns for women do not correspond with those of men.  

1 Schrank, William E. “Sex Discrimination in Faculty Salaries at Memorial University: A Decade Later,” Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1985.