February 2000

I. Introduction
II. Survey Methodology
III. Survey Results
IV. Conclusions


This presentation of survey results is organized around the subject areas identified on page 2. Readers of this report may refer to the frequency results in Section 2 or, for more detail, to the 26 banner-style tables in Section 6. Instructions on how to read banner tables are linked here.

In the banner tables, all survey questions were cross-tabulated with the following 19 survey questions: job satisfaction, importance scores for 7 compensation principles, importance scores for 5 compensation criteria, school/college, tenure status, academic rank, whether the respondent holds a concurrent administrative appointment, sex, and race/ethnicity. The banner data include counts and percentages for each question overall, and counts and percentages for each row and column of the cross-tabulation.

While the survey included no open-ended questions, several interviewers recorded respondents' open-ended comments. These are provided in Section 7.


Before turning to the survey's substantive results, we provide a profile of the 260 respondents in the sample and compare them to the population, in order to contextualize their answers to the survey questions.

Sex: Sixty-seven percent of the survey respondents are male (n=174) and 33% are female (n=84). Two persons refused to identify their sex.

Race/Ethnicity: The sample's racial/ethnic distribution is 80% Caucasian/white (n=207), 10% Asian/Pacific Islander (n=26), 6% "other" (n=15), and 5% refused to answer (n=12).

Academic Rank: By academic rank, the sample comprises 31% Full Professor (n=80), 32% Associate Professor (n=83), 23% Assistant Professor (n=61), 7% Senior Instructor (n=18), 5% Instructor (n=13), and 2% other (n=5).

Tenure Status: Sixty-one percent of respondents have tenure (n=159), 26% are in tenure-track positions (n=68), 12% are not in tenure-track positions (n=32), and one refused.

Administrative Appointment: Eighteen percent of respondents hold a concurrent administrative position (n=46), such as department or institute head.

School/College: Sixty percent of respondents are in the College of Arts & Sciences, including 22% Natural Sciences (n=57), 16% Social Sciences (n=42), 22% Humanities (n=57). The other two-fifths of respondents are 11% in Architecture and Allied Arts (n=29), 10% in the Lundquist College of Business (n=25), 4% in the College of Education (n=11), 4% in Journalism and Communication (n=10), 4% in Law (n=11), 4% in Music (n=10), and 3% indicated "other" or refused (n=8).

When these sample characteristics are compared to instructional faculty's population characteristics, all are within the survey's 5% margin of error and most are within 3% or less, with one exception. The exception is race/ethnicity, where, due to deliberate over-sampling of minorities, the percentage Caucasian/white is 8% less in the sample than in the population. Specifically, 88% of UO's instructional faculty population is Caucasian/white compared to 80% of the sample.


OSRL interviewers first asked respondents "How satisfied are you with your job at the University of Oregon overall?" Instructional faculty job satisfaction is moderately high, with 86% of respondents either "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" (see Figure 1). A plurality, 54%, were "somewhat satisfied," while 32% were "very satisfied." At the other end of the scale, 12% of respondents were "not very satisfied" and 2% were "not at all satisfied."

Although UO job satisfaction is generally high, it varies considerably by faculty characteristics. For example, fully 50% of respondents were "very satisfied" with their jobs in Journalism and Communication, compared to 39% in the Natural Sciences, 36% in Education, 35% in the Humanities, 34% in Architecture and Allied Arts, 30% in Music, 27% in Law, 24% in Business, and just 17% in the Social Sciences (see Figures 2).

The percentage "very satisfied" declines with professorial rank: Full Professors 36%, Associate Professors 34%, and Assistant Professors 25% (see Figure 3). Among instructors it is slightly higher: Senior Instructors 28% "very satisfied" and Instructors 31%.

Fewer tenure-track faculty were "very satisfied" than tenured, at 24% compared to 34% (see Figure 4). But the percentage "very satisfied" is highest among those not in tenure track positions, at 38%.

More men than women were "very satisfied" with their UO jobs (33% vs. 29%) and concomitantly more women than men were dissatisfied (17% vs. 13% "not very satisfied" and "not at all satisfied" combined).

Not shown in graphs, 42% of Asian/Pacific Island faculty were "very satisfied," compared to 31% of whites and 27% of "others." In addition, 44% of those who hold administrative positions are "very satisfied" compared to 29% of those who do not.

The highest levels of job dissatisfaction were among CAS's Social Science faculty (29% "not very satisfied" and "not at all satisfied" combined) and Education faculty (27%), as well as among those who think it is "very important" for UO to establish minimum salary floors (19%). The lowest levels of dissatisfaction were among Law faculty, with 0% dissatisfied, and Natural Science faculty, with 5% dissatisfied.


Next we asked respondents if they had heard about the "White Paper" that the University Senate Budget Committee sent to the faculty. If they had heard about it, we asked if they had read it, skimmed it, or not read it.

Fully 94% of survey respondents had heard about the White Paper. The faculty who had not heard of it were disproportionately concentrated in non-tenure-related positions, "other" academic ranks, "other" race/ethnicities, Humanities, and Business, and they were more satisfied with their UO jobs. Interestingly, those who had not heard of the White Paper had far fewer "don't know" answers to the difficult compensation questions that followed.

Of respondents who had heard of the White Paper at the time of the survey, just 38% had read it, 42% had skimmed it, and 21% had not read it. Thus, over the entire faculty, one quarter had either not heard of the White Paper or not read it. Overall, just 35% of the faculty had read it.

The faculty who read it were disproportionately white, in tenured positions, and in Education, Music and AAA. Those who had heard of the White Paper but not read it were disproportionately dissatisfied with their jobs, nonwhite, in Music, and instructors in non-tenure-related positions.


We next asked respondents about faculty compensation. Interviewers read the following script: "When I say 'compensation,' please think of salary and benefits combined. Various U of O faculty groups have met to discuss how to raise faculty compensation. They arrived at seven principles that could shape compensation goals. I will read you these seven principles, and for each one, please tell me if you think it is very important, somewhat important, or not important." In this analysis, we focus upon the "very important" responses.

Six of the seven compensation principles were seen as "very important" by more than half of the faculty respondents (see Figure 6). The principle most often chosen as "very important" was "Average faculty compensation should be raised to the level of comparable universities, and maintained there," at 93%. The five next principles, ranked by order of respondents who said it was "very important" were: "Faculty who perform their duties in a satisfactory manner should receive regular cost-of-living raises that are linked to Oregon's actual cost-of-living increases" - 80%. "Faculty who perform their duties in a meritorious manner should be rewarded with periodic merit increases that reflect their contributions to the University and the state" - 74%. "Merit increases for some faculty should not come at the expense of others, such as inadequate cost-of-living raises" - 60%. "Raises in faculty compensation should preferentially go to those whose salaries are inequitable" - 56%. And "Raises should be distributed to a vast majority of instructional faculty" - 53%. The only principle with less than a majority of respondents answering "very important" was "Raises in faculty compensation should preferentially go to those whose salaries are compressed" - 35%.

Even though all seven principles of faculty compensation showed high percentages of respondents who felt each was "very important," opinion varied widely by school/college (see Figure 7). For example, 100% of Music respondents said cost-of-living increases are "very important" compared to 60% in Business. The principle that merit increases should not come at the expense of others had an even greater spread: 80% of those both in Music and Journalism rated this principle as "very important" compared to only 24% in Business. However, the greatest spread among schools/colleges was on the principle that raises should preferentially go to those whose salaries are inequitable: 70% of Music respondents said this principle is "very important" compared to 20% or fewer in Natural Sciences, Business, and Journalism.

Faculty members' opinion on the seven compensation principles' importance also varied substantially by tenure status (see Figure 8). Tenured and tenure-track faculty both rated highest the idea that compensation should be raised to that of comparable universities, at 94% and 96% "very important," respectively. Faculty not in tenured positions rate cost-of-living raises highest, at 88% "very important." For tenure-track faculty cost-of-living is second highest, at 87% "very important," while 75% of tenured faculty say cost-of-living is "very important."

These results for the cost-of-living principle illustrate a general tenure status differential, namely that tenured faculty less frequently rate all principles "very important" than others do. There is, however, one important exception, namely the idea that merit should be the basis for periodic salary increases. Where 79% of tenured faculty rate merit "very important," just 69% of untenured faculty and 59% of non-tenure-track faculty say merit is "very important."

Non-tenure-track faculty also show distinct patterns by more frequently rating three principles "very important" than tenured or tenure track faculty, namely the compression principle, the idea that raises should go to the vast majority of faculty, and the idea that merit raises should not occur at others' expense.

Academic rank shows a similar story as tenure status when examining the seven compensation principles (see Figure 9). Overall, Assistant, Associate, and Full Professors give their highest percentages "very important" to the principle of raising salaries to comparable institutions' salaries. In contrast, Senior Instructors and Instructors give their highest percentages "very important" to cost-of-living raises. Associate and Assistant Professors' second highest rating of "very important" is cost of living and third is merit. Full Professors less often rate all seven principles "very important" than other ranks, except for periodic merit as a basis for raises. Full Professors' support for merit is higher than the other four groups and for them is second only after comparable compensation. Senior Instructors' and Instructors' second highest rating is comparable compensation, closely followed by the principle of merit not coming at others' expense. Senior Instructors and Instructors give much higher priority to the principles of raises going to the vast majority of faculty and raises to rectify inequity than do the three Professor categories.

Sex differences are substantial in the percentages "very important" for the seven compensation principles (see Figure 10). Women faculty tend to rate all principles "very important" more often than men do. Differences are most dramatic for merit increases not at the expense of others (women 73% "very important," men 53%); cost-of living (women 92%, men 75%); raises to go to those with inequitable salaries (women 67%, men 51%); and raises to a majority of faculty (women 63%, men 49%). The average sex difference on these four principles is 17%. There is one exception: 76% of men think periodic merit is "very important" compared to 70% of women.


After respondents rated the seven compensation principles, we asked them to judge five compensation criteria for raises. Specifically, interviewers read: "In the future, the following five criteria will potentially be used to determine raises for U of O faculty whose work is satisfactory. For each one, please tell me if you think it should be very important, somewhat important, or not important."

Two criteria for determining faculty raises stand out in the survey results (see Figure 11). Across-the-board cost-of living raises that are linked to Oregon's actual cost-of living increases was rated "very important" by 77% of respondents. Merit increases based on faculty excellence in performing their duties was rated "very important" by 73%. The remaining three criteria were rated "very important" by fewer than half the respondents. Just 45% said preferential increases to redress salary compression were "very important" and 44% said preferential increases to redress other inequities were "very important." Only 33% saw creating salary floors by rank and department as "very important."

As with compensation principles, respondents' ratings compensation criteria varied substantially by school/college (see Figure 12). To illustrate the differences, we again focus on the percentage of each group that chose "very important." Faculty in Natural Sciences, Business, Education, and Law, had the largest percentage "very important" for the merit criterion, at 81% "very important," 80%, 82%, and 91%, respectively). Education faculty tied merit and cost-of-living with both 82% "very important." The cost-of-living criterion received the highest percentage "very important" for the Social Sciences, Humanities, AAA, Journalism, and Music, at 83%, 84%, 83%, 80%, and 100%, respectively. In Journalism, Law, and Music the criterion "preferential increases to redress other inequities" had 80%, 73, 73%, and 80% "very important," respectively. In Law and Music the compression inequity criterion also rated 64% and 80%, respectively. Overall, faculty rated "minimum salary floors by rank and department" at just 33% "very important," but those in Law and the Humanities rated it 46% and 49% "very important," respectively.

Tenure status made a difference in four of the five compensation criteria faculty saw as "very important" (see Figure 13). Faculty rated the criterion for cost-of-living raises highest regardless of tenure status, at 75%-79% "very important." However, the percentage of respondents who thought merit was a "very important" raise criterion increased directly as tenure status increased: non-tenure-related faculty - 63%, tenure track faculty - 69%, tenured faculty - 77% (similar to the merit principle results, p. 10). Tenured faculty voiced somewhat more concern about criterion for reducing compression inequity (49%), than untenured faculty (47%) and non-tenure-related faculty (37%). But the biggest differences concerned minimum salary floors and redressing "other" inequities. The minimum salary floors criterion was seen as "very important" by 72% of those in non-tenure-related positions compared to 22% of tenure-track faculty and 29% of tenured faculty. Redressing "other inequity" was a criterion seen as "very important" by 59% of faculty in non-tenure-related positions, but just 41-42% of tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Academic rank also affected the level of importance faculty gave the five compensation criteria (see Figure 14). Over half of all academic ranks said merit and cost-of-living were "very important" compensation criteria, while generally less than half said compression inequity, other inequity, or minimum salary floors were "very important" criteria.

The percentage of respondents who believe merit is a "very important" compensation criterion increased directly with academic rank: Instructors - 54%, Senior Instructors - 56%, Assistant Professors - 70%, Associate Professors - 73%, and Full Professors - 81%. But the opposite occurred with the cost-of-living criterion, where 69% of Full Professors said "very important" compared to 77-82% of those in lower ranks. These patterns are very similar to those found in the "principles" section above.

Associate Professors feel strongest about redressing salary compression as a compensation criterion, at 53% "very important." Instructors and Senior Instructors compare exceptionally to Professors in their support for minimum salary floors and "other" inequities as compensation criteria (e.g., 77% of Instructors say minimum salary floors are "very important" compared to 29% of Full Professors).

Sex differences in faculty ratings of four of the five compensation criteria are pronounced (see Figure 15). As with the seven compensation principles discussed on page 11, women tended to more frequently answer "very important" than men did. Again, women rate cost-of-living "very important" more frequently than men (83% vs. 74%), and men rate merit "very important" more frequently than women did (76% vs. 66%). But the biggest sex differences concern redressing inequities. For the redressing salary compression criterion, 55% of women said "very important" compared to 45% of men. For redressing other inequities criterion, 57% of women said "very important" compared to 38% of men.


Next, survey respondents were asked to consider the compensation criteria they believed to be "very important" and rank them as "most important," "second most important," and "third most important." This task was distinct from respondents' previous interview tasks, for it required them to choose a single compensation criteria from a challenging list. Many respondents experienced this task as difficult, but markedly few could not answer. The task is analytically valuable because it produces a clear picture of which criterion is most important to various faculty subgroups.

To get the needed information, interviewers read respondents the following script: "In the previous five questions, you said that ___________ were "very important." Which one do you think is most important?" Interviewers probed from a list that OSRL's CATI system was programmed to automatically generate from the five previous answers the respondent had called "very important." For respondents who had given three or more "very important" answers, the CATI system instructed the interviewer to ask for the most important, second most important, and the third most important. For respondents who had given only two "very important" answers, the CATI system instructed the interviewer to ask only for the most important, and the second most important was logically deduced.

In the criteria group of questions, 219 respondents (84%) rated two or more criteria "very important" and were asked to pick which one they considered "most important." Altogether, 132 respondents rated three or more criteria "very important" and were asked to pick which one, to them, was "second most important." Just 73 respondents rated four or more criteria "very important" and were asked to pick a "third most important." The CATI system was programmed to automatically skip respondents past the questions that did not apply to them.

While respondents were asked second and third most important, we will, for simplicity, focus upon "most important." Note, too, that the graphs in this section have vertical axes ranging to 40% and 60% rather than to 100% as in the previous graphs, as appropriate to the data range (e.g., see Figure 16).

The compensation criterion picked as the single-most important by the largest percentage of respondents was "across-the-board cost-of-living raises that are linked to Oregon's actual cost-of-living increases," at 37%. This was followed by "merit increases based on faculty excellence in performing their duties" - 33%, "preferential increases to redress salary compression" - 13%, "preferential increases to redress other inequities" - 11%, and "creating minimum salary floors by rank and department" - 3%.

The 132 respondents who answered "second most important" gave an interesting re-ordering to the now-familiar priorities: 30% said cost-of-living, but 22% said redressing other inequities, and 20% said redressing compression. Only 17% referred to merit and 9% to minimum salary floors. The 73 respondents who answered "third most important" gave an yet another re-ordering: 26% said merit, 22% said redressing compression, 19% each said redressing other inequities and cost-of-living, and 11% said minimum salary floors.

Examining the results by school/college, it appears that the ranking task magnifies the differences seen in the preceding importance-rating task (see Figure 17). Merit is by far the most important criterion in the Natural Sciences (56%), Business (63%), and Education (64%). Cost of living is the most important criterion for the Social Sciences (45%), Humanities (52%), AAA (45%), Journalism (40%), and Music (40%).

Law School faculty show a distinctly different pattern. For them, the criterion of redressing salary compression was rated most important (36%), followed closely by the criterion of redressing other inequities (27%). This finding is hard to explain, for when Law faculty judged same criteria by importance, they rated merit as "very important" more than any other criteria.

Tenure status affected faculty ranking of the "most important" compensation criteria (see Figure 18). As tenure status increased, support for merit also increased: 37% of Full Professors said it is the "most important" criterion, 31% of tenure-track faculty, and just 19% of those not in tenure-related positions. Indeed, Full Professors rank merit highest of the five criteria at 37%, followed closely by cost of living at 35%. Both tenure track and non-tenure-related faculty give their largest percentages to cost-of-living as the "most important" criterion, at 42% and 34%, respectively. Non-tenure-related faculty also feel strongly about redressing other inequities, with 25% saying it is "most important."

Academic rank sharply distinguishes faculty opinion of the "most important" compensation criteria (see Figure 19). Again Full Professors showed strongest support for the merit criterion with 49% most important," Associate Professors just 25%, and Assistant Professors 32%. For all other ranks, the "most important" criterion was cost of living, with Associate Professors at 44%, Assistant Professors 40%, and both ranks of Instructors 39%. In addition, 28% of Senior Instructors rate redressing other inequities "most important."

Finally, sex differences were again notable, with more women picking cost-of-living as "most important" (43% compared to men 39%), and more men picking merit (39% compared to women 20%) (see Figure 20). In addition, women more often picked redressing salary compression and redressing other inequities as "most important" than men (16% compared to 12%, and 16% compared to 9%, respectively).


As mentioned at the beginning of this report, the representative telephone survey of instructional faculty was conducted simultaneously with a more extensive mail-out/mail-back survey to sent all instructional faculty. Forty-three percent returned the mail survey and, at the time of this writing, their representativeness of the entire faculty has not been ascertained. Nonetheless, we present below three graphs that compare the two surveys' key findings.

First, we compare the results of the two surveys on the seven principles of faculty compensation. Figure 21 shows that five of the seven principles were similarly regarded; for example, 93% of respondents in the telephone survey said that comparable compensation with peer institutions was "very important," compared to 90% in the mail survey. The results for cost of living increases, merit raises, redressing other inequities, and raises to a majority of instructional faculty were each within a few percentage points of each other in the two surveys.

However, the mail survey results showed substantially greater support for the principle of merit raises not coming at the expense of others (72% "very important" in the mail survey compared to 60% in the telephone survey). The mail survey also showed greater support for the principle of redressing compression inequity (48% "very important" in the mail survey compared to 35% in the telephone survey).

Next, we compare the results of the two surveys on the five compensation criteria. Figure 22 shows, again, quite similar results across the two surveys for four of the five criteria. For example, 77% in the telephone survey say the cost of living criterion is "very important" compared to 80% in the mail survey, and 45% in the telephone survey say the compression criterion is "very important" compared to 49% in the mail survey.

The exception is for the criterion of creating minimum salary floors by rank and department. In this case, just 33% in the telephone survey said it was "very important" compared to 44% in the mail survey.

Finally, we compare the results of the questions regarding which criterion respondent regard as "most important" to improving faculty compensation (see Figure 23). In the telephone survey, the cost of living and merit criteria emerged very clearly as "most important" to faculty, with percentages of 37% and 33%, respectively. The same general results occur in the mail survey, but at quite different levels. For cost of living, 42% in the mail survey said it was "most important." For merit, just 25% said it was "most important." Altogether, 86% in the telephone survey said cost of living was the first, second, or third "most important" criterion, which is fairly close to the sum of 81% for the mail survey. But for merit, the results are again rather different between the two surveys: 76% altogether said merit was first, second, or third "most important," compared to 64% in the mail survey.

Respondents to the mail survey also gave somewhat more support in this set of questions to the criterion of creating minimum salary floors than telephone survey respondents, but still at low levels compared to the cost-of-living and merit criteria. In addition, the patterns of results for the criterion of redressing other inequities were somewhat different across first, second and third levels of "most important" between the two surveys.

IV. CONCLUSIONS- UO Instructional Faculty Survey