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Business Board releases reports on financial statements, university operations

Alternative funding, gender pay gap equity also discussed

Business Board releases reports on financial statements, university operations

U of T’s 2018–2019 financial statements were approved and alternative sources of funding discussed in the the June 18 meeting of Governing Council’s Business Board. The meeting included reports on university operations and real estate holdings, human resources and equity, and faculty gender pay equity.

Chief Financial Officer Sheila Brown presented U of T’s financial statements to the board, saying that the university had achieved better financial results than what it had projected in January.

The university’s net assets grew by $507 million to a total of $6.5 billion. U of T has $809 million in reserves for necessary capital projects and infrastructure over the next few years. Its contractual obligations with external builders are valued at $576 million.

Brown called the university’s preference to fund capital projects with its own assets rather than through financing “very prudent.”

University operations

In his annual report, Vice-President Operations and Real Estate Partnerships Scott Mabury discussed the successes of his department, which encompasses several offices including Ancillary Services, Facilities & Services, and Information Technology Services. He also emphasized U of T’s ongoing work on the Greenhouse Gas Retrofits Program and cybersecurity, briefly floating the idea of working together with other universities to build a Canadian Security Operations Centre, not to “win the war,” but to “stay ahead” of bad cyber actors.

Mabury specifically highlighted the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre, a future hub for artificial intelligence and biomedical innovation created through a $100 million donation in March. He referred to this as an achievement that showcased all aspects of the operations department, calling the media rollout a “beautiful example of managing a narrative.”

Mabury also discussed the development of the new student residence to be built at Spadina Avenue and Sussex Avenue, which he said exhibited how challenging the development process can be at times. U of T reached an agreement with the City of Toronto last year to develop the residence, after first proposing it in 2013. Mabury said that the period from the beginning of the project to occupancy of the building will have been approximately 12 years.

Alternative funding

Vice-President & Provost Cheryl Regehr presented a report of the Alternative Funding Sources Advisory Group. The group’s work is structured around what Regehr referred to as U of T’s core strengths: knowledge, real estate and physical infrastructure, and financial resources.

The report contains numerous recommendations for diversifying U of T’s income stream, ranging from developing joint undergraduate programs with a peer university, to investing in U of T startups. Regehr focused on recommendations related to the pillar of real estate and physical infrastructure, including expanding on the Four Corners approach to physical infrastructure that guides U of T’s expansion on all three campuses.

Gender pay equity

Regehr and Hannah-Moffat elaborated on the report of the Provostial Advisory Group on Faculty Gender Pay Equity, which was convened in fall 2016. One of the major findings of the report was that “on average, tenured and tenure stream women faculty at [U of T] earn 1.3% less than comparably situated faculty who are men, after controlling for experience, field of study, seniority, and other relevant factors.”

Analysis suggests that U of T’s 12 per cent raw overall difference between tenure-stream men and women is explained by the fact that, on average, these women have fewer years of experience and work in lower-paying fields of study. There is no statistically significant difference between salaries for male and female teaching stream faculty.

In her administrative response, Regehr announced that all female faculty who are tenured or tenure-stream at U of T will receive a 1.3 per cent increase to their base salary, effective July 1. U of T’s 834 eligible faculty were personally informed of this increase, which will cost U of T $1.8 million in the 2019–2020 fiscal year. This will be taken from the university’s central funds.

Other items

Vice-President Human Resources & Equity Kelly Hannah-Moffat discussed U of T’s smoke-free campus policy, noting that there have been no significant incidents since its implementation on January 1. She added that smoking on campus is not policed vigorously, contrary to previous concerns about enforcement of the policy.

The board also discussed the progress of the Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre, which opened in 2017. There was discussion of the difference between disclosures and reports of sexual violence. Regehr noted that disclosures of sexual violence made to the centre are often incidents that do not involve a second member of the U of T community, and thus do not fall under university jurisdiction. According to the interim report on human resources and equity, the centre took steps to address 56 reports of sexual violence in the last year under university policy.

Disclosure: Reut Cohen served as the 2018–2019 Managing Editor at The Varsity.

Tenured female professors at U of T earn 1.3 per cent less than male counterparts: report

University to correct difference, boost salaries of over 800 female faculty

Tenured female professors at U of T earn 1.3 per cent less than male counterparts: report

Tenured and tenure stream female faculty earn on average 1.3 per cent less than their male counterparts, according to the findings of a committee convened by U of T Vice-President & Provost, Cheryl Regehr.

In response to the committee’s findings, the university has announced that it will increase the salaries of “all women faculty members who are tenured or in the tenure stream” — around 800 women — by 1.3 per cent.

The pay bump builds on previous university initiatives, including the increased hiring of women into the tenure stream, providing bias training for faculty and tenure appointment committees, and support for starting salary equity.

The report was carried out by the Provostial Advisory Group, a committee of staff, faculty, and educational administrators convened in 2016 as the product of a pre-grievance mediation between the university and the University of Toronto Faculty Association.

The report was carried out by faculty members specializing in statistics, one staff member, and a graduate student. In addition to analyzing salary differences among tenured professors, the group examined the male-female divide in professorships and calculated pay gaps for teaching stream faculty.

Men drastically outnumber women in professorships

Using numbers from 2015–2016, the group found that of the 965 tenured or tenure stream professors then employed at U of T, only 27 per cent were female. The numbers increased for associate professors and assistant professors, with women respectively accounting for 45 per cent and 43 per cent.

The “raw” salary difference within this group was 12 per cent, meaning that the average tenured or tenure stream male made 12 per cent more than his female counterpart. However, after considering academic rank, years since highest degree, and field of study, that difference was lowered to 1.1 per cent.

This large initial difference of 12 per cent was chalked-up to the tendency for women to hold junior positions and specialize in lower paying fields. In the relatively high-paying Economics faculty, for example, there is only one woman for every eight men.

The final model incorporated three more variables, including whether the person had received a Canada Research Chair, and if the person was holding, or had held, an administrative position. Taking these into account with the original model, they determined that gender was responsible for roughly 1.3 per cent of the salary gap.

Working by percentage, the corresponding increase will affect salaries differently. A woman earning $350,000 will receive an extra $4,550 per year, while a woman earning $100,000 will only take in an extra $1,300.

Ratio even, salaries equal in teaching stream

The committee also investigated pay differences within the teaching stream faculty, comprised of professors who are expected to exclusively teach. The data, taken from 2016–2017, showed that women accounted for 50 per cent of the 336 full-time teaching stream faculty.

Unlike the 1.3 per cent divide within the tenured and tenure stream, the committee found no discernible gap between male and female salaries within the teaching stream.

Still more to come, promises Regehr

According to Regehr, U of T will be “conducting a similar analysis for librarians in continuing appointments.”

In an interview with U of T News, Regehr also recommended that the university check in on salaries periodically “to ensure that a gender-based pay gap does not reappear over time.”

The Varsity’s own analysis of professors who earned over $100,000 in 2017 showed that women were not only largely under-represented in high-paying positions but also faced various pay gaps.