Faculty gender imbalance is a concern for Central Michigan University, even compared to other Michigan universities.
Out of the nine Mid-American Conference schools that had the 2013 statistics available, CMU had the third-lowest amount of female instructional faculty members, with women making up approximately 42.7 percent of total faculty members.
Slightly behind CMU is Western Michigan University with 42.1 percent and the University of Buffalo with 38.6 percent female faculty. Bowling Green State University, Ohio University, University of Toledo and Northern Illinois University did not have 2013 faculty ratio statistics available.
Phone calls and emails to the universities without available statistics were not returned before press time.
Despite the lower percentage, Provost Michael Gealt said finding a solution to the gender gap is something he personally has been working to improve. Gealt said there is hope for some measurable change in the ratio in the coming years.
“I have spoken with more than one department about the gender disparity, hoping that when they get the next open position, they make sure that they review as broad a base of candidates as they can,” he said.
One reason for the lack of women faculty in some departments on campus, Gealt added, is the low number of women actually studying the subjects taught within those departments.
How we stack up
Gealt is in the process of asking the departments that historically produce lower numbers of female students about what the university can do to recruit more women. By doing this, he hopes these females will earn their degrees and consider teaching the subject.
“We need to make sure we’re actively recruiting women, that we’re getting people into the pipeline at this point because we can control this point,” Gealt said. “It’s a much longer horizon in terms of solving the problem, but it’s one we can actually have some control over.”
While female recruitment to lagging programs is a necessary tool in closing the gap, hiring qualified females at a higher rate is also a priority for CMU.
Chad Stefaniak, chairman of the accounting department, said the department has hired two female faculty members for the 2014-15 academic year. He said the department was lucky to get the two women because of how competitive the accounting industry can be.
“There’s a disproportional amount of males to females with Ph.D.s in the accounting world,” Sefaniak said. “In a union environment like (CMU), it’s hard to take gender into account when you hire. It’s a good system.”
Stefaniak said the women he hired stood out because of their qualifications. He said faculty personnel gives the department a set salary range for new hires, so gender doesn’t play a role in the hiring process for them.
“There’s no indication of gender in how much you can pay them,” Stefaniak said. “Central (Michigan) has a pretty objective pay scale. I use that range to hire.”
Like those at CMU, officials at other top Michigan universities have also identified their gender challenges.
Michigan State University boasts a female instructional faculty percentage of 42.1, just shy of CMU’s percentage (42.7).
Jason Cody, media communications manager for MSU, said they implement a number of different strategies and programs to help with the gender gap.
“It’s a concerted effort out of our provost’s office and our research office to bring in a diverse group of researchers and faculty, just like we do with our student body,” Cody said. “We’re an AAU (Association of American Universities) school, we’re one of the top research schools in North America, so our research profile demands that we have a diverse amount of people, that’s among gender, race and ethnicity.”
Aside from new university hires, CMU professors are taking matters into their own hands by assisting the university in finding new tactics in leveling out the number of male and female faculty members.
One tactic is a common practice in battling for the rectification of social issues: Building awareness within the community.
J. Cherie Strachan, director of the Women and Gender Studies program and professor in the political science department, said the program is hosting an event in April for faculty members and administrators to learn about making CMU a more inclusive and family-friendly institution.
“The goal is to discuss cutting-edge gender and family-friendly policies that will make us more competitive,” Strachan said. “We will be discussing recommendations made by Mary Anne Mason, who is a prominent scholar in this field and who helped implement very successful reforms at UC-Berkeley.”
CMU’s highest paid department chairs, faculty are all male
As the university grapples with its gender-ratio challenges, a quick look at the highest-paid faculty members reveals an all-male slate of professors and department chairs.
In order to understand why these male professors get paid the way they do, Central Michigan Life examined salaries, years employed by CMU, and the number of classes taught within the last two years.
On average, faculty members will teach three sections of classes. They also are expected to do research in their field. Occasionally, faculty members are granted course leaves, which help lighten their course loads as they focus on research. Department chairs are also expected to teach one course a semester, on top of their other duties as an administrator.
Listed below are the top 10 highest-paid faculty members teaching courses at CMU.
1. Thomas Weirich, accounting, College of Business Administration: Weirich has been a faculty member at CMU for 44 years. He is currently on sabbatical, a leave of absence a faculty member can take every seven years to do research and visit conferences, which brings new teaching techniques back into the classroom. Weirich has taught nine classes, totaling 36 credit hours, in the last two years and has an annual salary of $183,379.
2. J. Holton Wilson, marketing and Hospitality, College of Business Administration: Wilson has been employed at CMU for 35 years. He has taught one class each semester for the last two years, totaling 11 credit hours, including one course for the Masters of Business Administration degree. Wilson has an annual salary of $167,844.
3. Philip Kintzele, accounting, College of Business Administration: Kintzele has been employed at CMU for 33 years. He was the chairman of the department until 2013. Kintzele was the instructor for a multitude of internship and independent courses. He has taught 16 courses, totaling between 36 and 48 credit hours, over the last two years. He has an annual salary of $164,582.
4. William Cron, accounting, College of Business Administration: Cron has been a faculty member at CMU for 32 years. He has taught nine courses, totaling 27 credit hours, over the last two years and has been granted a reduced course load before his upcoming retirement. He has also taken a pay cut. Cron’s annual salary is $163,315.
5. Roger Hayen, business information systems, College of Business Administration: Hayen has taught at CMU for 27 years. He taught six courses, totaling 18 credit hours, in the last two years and has an annual salary of $162,507.
6. Chad Stefaniak, accounting, College of Business Administration: Stefaniak is the chairman of the accounting department. He has been at CMU since 2013, when he took over for Kintzele. He too has supervised internship and independent study courses. Stefaniak taught 10 courses, totaling between 18 and 30 credit hours, since joining CMU and has an annual salary of $160,000.
7. Randall Hayes, accounting, College of Business Administration: Hayes has been with CMU for 21 years. He taught six courses, totaling 17 credit hours, over the last two years, five of which were Masters of Business Administration courses. Hayes has an annual salary of $159,782.
8. Robert Cook, marketing and hospitality, College of Business Administration: Cook has been teaching at CMU for 35 years. He taught 12 courses, totaling 36 credit hours, in the last two years and is currently on medical leave. Cook has an annual salary of $156,301.
9. Peter Orlik, broadcast and cinematic arts, College of Communication and Fine Arts: Orlik is the BCA department chairman and has been a member of the teaching faculty for 45 years. He taught 12 courses, totaling between 20 and 60 credit hours, over the last two years, including a practicum course and independent study course each semester. Orlik has an annual salary of $151,373.
10. Terry Beehr, psychology, College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences: Beehr has been at CMU for 36 years. He taught 10 courses, totaling 33 credit hours, in the past two years, including practicum courses and internship courses. Beehr has an annual salary of $149,849.