One of the students I advise needed a single credit to graduate and wanted more experience with public data sets and statistics. I had been pondering the Whitehall studies and the health of academics, so we decided to take a look at the academic salary hierarchy at WWU as a way to start. We figured this was a good training project, and hey, URM students can always use more training and mentoring.
The students guided task was to download the data set of WWU Salaries, code to add colleges and departments, then run a basic analysis for 2017. The numbers we came up with were slightly lower than the reported numbers at WWU, possibly due to discrepancies in the public set, but they do appear to parallel the Chronicle’s numbers.
To make a long story short, if faculty had two salaries listed, we used the larger one, assuming the smaller was a summer salary. Here are some visualizations.
In the future I hope to run a comparison that includes URM faculty, but that data is not public and would require an IRB (and given current experience requesting this data for another formal projet, I don’t think HR would ever release it, even for IRB approved research). But this could be a good project for a future student… not mention useful as the WWU Office of Institutional Effectiveness and WWU Diversity page do not contain reports on URM faculty salaries…. yet.