On May 4, I sent a memo to all CSU deans, directors, and department heads regarding a gender salary equity investigation spurred by problems in our recent salary exercise process. At that time, I mentioned some of the actions I was considering as a follow up, and over the past two weeks, I have discussed those ideas at some length with representatives of Faculty Council, the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity, the PCWGE Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty, and other members of our senior faculty. I’m writing now to share with our entire faculty community the steps we will be undertaking as a University in the coming weeks:

* By August 15, with the full involvement of the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity and the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty, we will identify the makeup of a committee of internal and external experts to look at salary equity issues, including best practices and an equitable salary model for moving forward. It is my full expectation that this model will be developed in time to be used in the next salary exercise.

Recommendations regarding whom I should appoint to this committee are welcome — please send any recommendations to, and they will receive full consideration, along with the recommendations I am soliciting from our Office of Equal Opportunity and our Human Resources team.

This committee specifically will be asked to provide an assessment of where we are now in terms of ensuring gender salary equity, what we benchmark, and what our methodology should be going forward to most effectively identify whose salaries aren’t where they should be and why.

* Also by August 15, I want us to arrive at a shared understanding of what the original analysis used in this most recent salary exercise did or didn’t say. We need consensus on what that analysis did or did not reveal as a baseline starting point for all future discussions.

Provost Rick Miranda will spearhead this analysis with the full involvement of faculty experts and leadership.

* Again by August 15, the University — through Provost Miranda and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Dan Bush — will complete an institutional assessment of all female full professor salaries, while simultaneously soliciting information from all female full professors as to whether they believe their salary is inequitable based on gender. From there, the Provost and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, working with the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, will coordinate with Deans and Department Chairs/Heads to identify those cases requiring attention. Both the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty, the PCWGE, Faculty Council Leadership, and OEO will have a voice in the criteria used in this analysis. By September 15, we will have a plan for addressing those cases, with a report back to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty and the PCWGE.

* While this first exercise will specifically focus on female full professors, the process will not end there as we will continue to conduct analyses and reviews for all faculty — women and men at all ranks. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that our salary equity study is consistently a robust, viable, and trusted tool, and that our commitment to salary equity is fully and appropriately represented by our processes.

Both the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity and the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty have significant representation of senior women faculty and formal representation from all of our academic colleges. They will be taking a lead role in this effort, and there will also be considerable opportunity for all interested members of our faculty to step up and have a voice in the process. Those who want to stay fully informed and engaged are encouraged to subscribe to a new listserv created by the Standing Committee on the Status of Women Faculty. To subscribe, go to and sign up for the list from the drop-down menu.

This list will be used as one key means of communicating about this process going forward as well as about other important activities of the Standing Committee.

As I have said previously, we must get to the point where gender-based salary inequity is something we view historically. It is long past time for us to meet this challenge and to get it right. I appreciate your support and involvement as we move forward.


Dr. Tony Frank