Faculty Meeting News and Notes: Nov. 17, 2022

By Katie Oglesby, Editor-in-Chief

Thursday’s faculty meeting began with a discussion of the “Tired of white cis men?” poster that garnered national attention earlier this week before leading into conversation about the proposed curriculum changes and a presentation from the Faculty Finance Committee about faculty salaries.

 

President Iuliano’s Remarks on the Poster

President Bob Iuliano spoke briefly at the beginning of the meeting to address the “Tired of white cis men?” poster that news outlets like Fox News, The New York Post, and the Washington Examiner picked up earlier this week. 

He said that the original event planned (which has since been canceled) was part of an independent study project. Space had been reserved in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC), he said, but no one from the GSRC was aware of the poster or its content. He said the same could be said for faculty.

Iuliano explained that the original intent of the event was to reflect on events that had happened this fall semester. When the College was made aware of the posters, the Provost’s Office acted quickly, he said, to remove them. He explained that faculty will work with the student to reflect on what has happened. 

He said the poster is not consistent with the values of the College.

 

Special Guest

Iuliano then welcomed Jamila Bookwala, who will serve as the next Provost of the College, beginning in July 2023. Bookwala gave a brief words about her experience in higher education, and the work she is excited to do on campus.

She said she seeks to build an inclusive campus, and that this is an “intentional act” rather than an “accidental” one. She said this will be a collective campus effort.

 

Proposed Curriculum Changes

Associate Professor of English Stefanie Sobelle led discussion into the “modes of inquiry” section of the proposed curriculum. This portion proposes that all students must take one distinct course in each of these five disciplines: the arts, formal sciences, humanities, lab-based natural sciences, and social sciences. These courses may be used to satisfy major requirements.

Chairperson and Ronald J. Smith Professor of Applied Physics Bret Crawford said that a number of the science faculty met and their general consensus was that the proposed curriculum should be amended to include two science courses focusing on science literacy. He said one should be a scientific methods course, emphasizing experimentation, observation, and theory, and the second should be a scientific impacts course, looking at the relationships science has with society and ethical questions. 

Physics Professor Kurt Andresen seconded Crawford’s opinion, also adding that these proposed courses from the department would be critical to understanding global conversations about the pandemic, vaccines, and climate change. He emphasized the need for students to understand the relation of science to policy, and explained that the vision is these requirements would not be the same as the data requirement the proposed curriculum includes for first-year students. 

 

Faculty Finance Committee Presentation

As conversation slowed on the curriculum, the meeting shifted for a presentation from the Faculty Finance Committee (FFC). Chairperson and Associate Professor of Economics, as well as member of the FFC, Linus Nyiwul introduced the presentation on the 2022 Faculty Salary Report with data from the annual AAUP Faculty Compensation Survey.

This presentation compared Gettysburg College’s faculty salaries to that of reach, like, and watch institutions, with an emphasis on those in the “like” category. 

The presenters acknowledged that there is a gap between the average salaries for full professors, associate professors, and assistant professors with “like” institutions.

Over time, the salary trends track closely with peers, but in the past couple years, there has been a gap in approximately $2,300. 

The committee said that the long term trend suggest full professors at Gettysburg College are paid less than peers, with that gap increasing over time. They also acknowledged that the salary at Gettysburg College has not been keeping up with cost of living increases, especially in recent years.

The focus then shifted to conversation about the gender wage gap on campus. 

At the assistant professor rank, females make on average $1,015 more than males. However, at the associate professor rank, females make on average $3,833 less than males, and at the full professor rank, females make on average $5,830 less than males. 

Though, they said that one promotion or retirement can skew this data, especially when dividing it into the three academic divisions.

The committee showed the data for these divisions and said that while the gap is not even across divisions, in many instances, it favors males. 

The committee asked for faculty feedback. One representative said, “[We] want to do more than just point at problems” and advocated for creating a plan of action to help them advocate for professors.

Kermit O. Paxton and Renee A. Paxton Endowed Teaching Chair & Associate Professor McKinley Melton asked whether there was a breakdown for race as well (split as white and non-white). The FFC responded that they do not have that data.

Chairperson and Associate Professor of Africana Studies Scott Hancock asked whether there were plans to address the gender inequity.

Provost Chris Zappe said that they need to continue to study the gender gap, but that some explanations for it could include tenured professors not seeking full professorship, endowed positions receiving more money from gifts rather than the operating budgets, and different pay for international professors. 

Hancock expressed that this did not answer his question.

Assistant Professor of Biology Michael Caldwell said he wanted to see a commitment to parity across divisions rather than “pay into a system that reinforces existing inequities” by increasing salary based on performance.

Associate Professor of Biology István A. Urcuyo spoke at the end of the meeting, expressing disappointment in the FFC presentation from two weeks ago

He said he perceived their advocation for the proposed curriculum changes as a way to “save the financial future of the College” as fear-mongering to influence the vote on the curriculum. 

He called it “at best highly inappropriate.”

Urcuyo said that while the FFC has a good reputation amongst faculty, this presentation, to him, did not meet the objectivity typically associated with the committee. 

He asked to see clear data that supports the proposed curriculum actually bringing in more money to the College.

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Author: Katie Oglesby

Katie Oglesby ‘23 serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the Gettysburgian. She has previously served as Magazine Editor, News Editor, Assistant News Editor, and Staff Writer. She is an English with a writing concentration and political science major, hailing from San Diego, California, but now living in rural North Carolina. On campus, Katie works at the CUB information desk, is an Eisenhower Institute Fielding Fellow, and serves as secretary for the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. She spent a semester abroad in Bath, England studying British literature and politics, and spent this past summer interning with the Winston-Salem Journal in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She can usually be found perusing books in the Musselman Library browsing room.

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