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Pinching pennies, but does it come at a price?

While the recent study conducted of faculty salaries at Seton Hall demonstrates that female professors earn on average 11 percent less than their male counterparts, the fact that the study took place at all is encouraging. Taken at face value, the numbers appear shocking, but it is important not to jump to conclusions, and to appreciate the enormous complexity involved in the hiring and salary assignment process at our university.

In general, the progress made with respect to women in the workplace is ongoing, and Seton Hall should do its best to guarantee that outdated payroll trends are not allowed to resurface. The findings from the studies conducted in the 1990's at this University should serve as a cautionary tale: Even in a modern, liberal society, unintentional discrimination can slip through.

The figures that we, as students, should be most concerned about are the discrepancies between the salaries of our professors and other professors in this area and, of course, how these salaries stand up against the cost of living. Perhaps some of us have experienced the loss of a talented new professor because of a difficult commute, or because the cost of day care for their children made teaching simply unprofitable. Let's face it – living around here isn't cheap, and we could continue to lose our most capable professors if changes aren't made.

The Setonian recognizes the importance of fair salaries for our professors, both male and female. No number of new buildings or amount of advanced technologies will contribute to the quality of our education without the presence of a well-qualified faculty with solid incentives to stay. Especially in a political climate in which many are particularly sensitive to economic disparity and inequality, Seton Hall would do well to follow up on these studies.


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