Two hundred eleven STEM faculty responded to the online survey but 10 of those faculty did not complete the survey and were omitted from the final sample. Of the remaining 201 participants 124 (62%) were male and 77 (38%) were female. One hundred ninety-two STEM faculty provided information about their appointments at UAF: The majority of responding faculty had tenure track appointments (82%); 4 (2%) had term-funded appointments; 28 (14%) had research appointments; 2 (1%) had some other type of appointment. All four of the term-funded faculty were women working in three different colleges. Of the 188 tenure-track and research professors, 60 (32%) were Assistant Professors, 69 (37%) were Associate Professors, and 59 (31%) were Professors. Not surprisingly, the largest number of participating faculty (85 or 42%) were in the College of Natural Sciences and Math (CNSM). This was followed by the College of Engineering and Mining (CEM) with 33 respondents (16%), the School of Fish and Ocean Science (SFOS) with 30 respondents (15%), and the School of Natural Resources & Agricultural Science with 20 respondents (10%). Several faculty from the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Community and Rural Development participated (11 (5.4%) and 6 (3%) respectively).
One hundred sixteen faculty reported also being affiliated with one of the research institutes. Almost half (48%) of those faculty were affiliated with The Institute of Arctic Biology (IAB) (34 or 17%), the Institute of Northern Engineering (INE) (31 or 15%)), and the Geophysical Institute (GI) (32 or 16%). In addition, 10 faculty (5%) were affiliated with the International Arctic Research Center and 5 faculty (3%) were affiliated with the Museum of the North. One hundred and two faculty had joint appointments (i.e., a college or school and an institute).
The survey consisted of 28 statements about a variety of aspects of the academic experience including work climate, differences between men and women, salary, mentoring, and access to resources.
A majority of faculty hold TT appointments (87% men; 80% women) with equal numbers in research positions. All term-funded faculty are women. Gender and rank is shown below.
Assistant Associate Professor Men 32 (27.1%) 37 (31.4%) 49 (41.5%) women 27 (39.7%) 31 (45.6%) 10 (14.7%)
Gender Differences on the Survey
Men and women faculty disagreed on 16 of the 29 survey questions. T-tests on the survey questions indicate statistically significant differences between means on items that:
1. Relate to ability and suitability to be a scientist (Men are generally better at mathematics and sciences than women. Men and women have the same innate abilities to be successful in the sciences. Women are not suited to become academic scientists. Women are sometimes bad investments for departments to make because they are not as committed to their profession as men.).
2. Relate to what it takes to be successful as a scientist (Women have to work harder than men to have successful careers in the sciences. Women find it more difficult to balance their home and work life. Childcare and other family issues present difficulties for faculty.
3. Relate to favoratism and work climate (My Dean or Director unfairly favors men faculty [women higher]. Women and men faculty in the STEM disciplines are provided the same resources. In general, the climate for women STEM faculty is good at UAF. On average, men and women get paid equally in the STEM disciplines.).
4. Relate to the importance of gender equity on campus (UAF should be concerned about gender equity in the STEM disciplines. Some women faculty in STEM fields were hired because UAF wanted to increase faculty diversity, not because they are qualified. Hiring committees in STEM disciplines do everything they can to include women int eh initial candidate pools. Hiring and promoting more women in the STEM disciplines will have a negative impact on excellence at UAF.).
Some key items on which there was no significant disagreement between male and female faculty are:
1. Men are naturally more competitive than women.
2. Men and women have equal drive to succeed in academic science, technology, math , and engineering positions.
3. My Dean or Director is generally supportive of me.
4. I am comfortable working with male/female colleagues.
5. In general, women STEM faculty are as productive as men STEM faculty.
6. Alaska is generally a good place for women in the STEM disciplines.
Some themes emerging from the correlations between survey items include:
1. The idea that men are generally better at math and science than women was positively correlated with the notion that there are psychological differences that women less suited for a career in the sciences, that women are sometimes bad investments for departments to make because of their lack of commitment, that some women faculty have been hired merely to increase gender diversity, and that this will have a negative impact on the academic standards at UAF. In addition there is a negative correlation with the statement that UAF should be concerned about gender equity.
2. The statement that women have to work harder than men to have successful careers in the STEM disciplines was positively correlated with perception that a Dean or Director unfairly favors men and that UAF should be concerned about gender equity.
The item was negatively correlated with perceptions of fairness (men and women are provided the same resources, men and women are paid the same), the institution’s attempts to recruit women faculty, the negative effects hiring women will have on the institution, the work climate for women STEM faculty at UAF, and Alaska being a good place for women faculty.
3. Faculty who generally get along with male colleagues also tend to get along with female colleagues.
4. The notion that women can be a bad investment for a department to make was related to the perception that there are psychological differences that make women less successful, that at least some women were hired to increase diversity and that this will have a negative effect on UAF, and that UAF should not be concerned about gender equity. But respondents who thought that female faculty are as productive as their male counterparts disagreed.
5. The perception that women are provided the same resources to succeed was negatively related to Deans favoring men and positively related to Deans being supportive of women faculty.
6. Perceptions of the work climate for women STEM faculty were positively correlated with women being provided with the same resources and hiring committees doing everything they can to recruit women. The item was negatively correlated with the statement that UAF should be concerned about gender equity.
7. Alaska being a good place for women STEM faculty was mainly related to a supportive Dean/Director, being provided the same resources, having a positive work climate for women, and being comfortable with one’s colleagues (male and female).