Female professors at TCU earn, on average, 83 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make, a fact the Faculty Senate discussed Thursday night.
The Faculty Senate also discussed the potential to add new minors in dance, Latin and Chinese in addition to the wage gap during its second meeting of the academic year.
“[The gender wage gap is] such a complex situation because it depends on which college you’re in, how many males are in a college and whether the average pay is fairly high,” said Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Nowell Donovan, “and it depends on individual performance, which is gender-neutral but not everybody performs at the same level as everyone else.”
Donovan said the issue he wants to address first is the salary negotiations when an incoming assistant professor is chosen to be hired.
One professor said the university needed to make strides in closing the wage gap.
“It seems to me TCU is a leader in so many areas, but this is one more area where we can step forward against the wage disparity between males and females,” said Dianna McFarland, a professor of psychology.
In addition to the discussion about the wage gap, Student Government Association House representative Chris Seekely visited the Faculty Senate session to discuss recent student input on possible new minors and classes.
“A Chinese minor would be great for the business school, especially in supply-chain management,” said Seekely, a representative for the Neeley School of Business.
Several Chinese courses are taught at TCU and only count for an Asian Studies minor.
“(Modern Language Studies) is actually now hiring a full-time assistant professor in Chinese,” said Scott Williams, an associate professor of German.
Scott said the department is focusing first on filling Chinese course sections before creating a new minor.
Seekely said there was interest in a Latin minor because students thought it would help in language study, pre-med classes and pre-law. He said there was also interest in a dance minor.
“There is a dance major but not a dance minor,” said Seekely. He also added that some students wanted to take dance classes but not become a dance major.
Seekely also said some sports broadcasting students wanted to see a course on the history and psychology behind American football’s rise to popularity.
“We just want to provide a little transparency between what we’re doing in Academic Affairs committee and what Faculty Senate is doing,” said Seekely.
In other business, Edward McNertney, an associate professor of economics and the director of the TCU Core Curriculum, announced the beginning of the annual review of the TCU core curriculum.
McNertney said this year’s review ends a six-year cycle of reviews over the core curriculum, its approved courses and its objectives.