New Academic Report Shows Discrimination Against Latino Professors in the University of Texas

UT Austin Pay Gap Latinos
Photo: Tim Warner / Getty Images, Contributor

This is not the first time that we’ve talked about the disparities faced by Latino professors in American universities. And it looks like it’s not the only time we’ll have to.

After a student movement claimed the right to have Prof. Lorgia Garcia-Peña receive her tenure from Harvard University, a report by a group of Latino professors at the University of Texas has come out showing, once again, how Hispanic-origin academics seem to remain second-class professionals, regardless of their efforts.

Under the title Hispanic Equity Report, professors Alberto A. Martinez, Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, Emilio Zamora, Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez, Francisco Gonzalez-Lima, Martha Menchaca, Fred Valdez, Jr., and Professor John Moran Gonzalez published figures that demonstrate the violation of the equal employment opportunity clauses by UT Austin.

During 2017, the authors explain, Hispanic Full Professors were paid approximately $25,342 less than White Full Professors. Similarly, “Hispanic Associate Professors were paid approximately $10,647 less than White Associate Professors. Hispanic Assistant Professors were paid approximately $19,636 less than White Assistant Professors.”

Through an analysis of the salaries and resumes of 90 faculty members at the College of Liberal Arts (CoLA), representing 27% of all full-time faculty members at the college, the academics found that “77% are paid near the bottom of the pay scales.”

“Inequity is evident since they are among the most published faculty,” the report continues, “as 54% are among the top 10 most published in their departments.”

But the disparities are not limited to monetary compensation alone.

Between 2010 and 2019, Hispanic professors received “the lowest rates of promotions to the ranks of Associate Professor with tenure and of full Professor,” a circumstance very similar to that experienced by Professor Lorgia García-Peña at Harvard.

Worse yet, almost no Hispanic professors receive the opportunity to serve as administrator, dean, or department chairs, despite their qualifications. And when one does, it is always a man.

The report, with carefully selected words, denounces “bias and discrimination against Hispanics employees” and formally alerts the university to these “unfortunate patterns.”

“We offer assistance in this connection. We ask the Provost to develop a 3-Year Hispanic Equity Plan to reduce or eliminate inequities that affect Hispanic faculty, especially in the areas of salaries, governance, promotions, and hiring,” the report concludes. “The plan should include a timeline, an annual budget, annual goals, and ongoing accountability mechanisms.”

For their part, Faculty Council spokespersons have said the institution has launched “a study of Latino teacher compensation,” finding problems similar to those raised by the report, according to the Houston Chronicle.

“There were some differences especially in interpretations of data,” said Gregory Fenves, president of UT Austin, according to an official transcript of the meeting. “But there clearly are inequity issues.” He said the council would be “working through this information very, very diligently.”

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