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Employee Letters About Compensation

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Jeremy Haefner

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In keeping with our core belief in equity and inclusion, DU formed a pay equity committee of faculty and staff in 2019.  After a competitive RFP process, this committee worked with a consulting firm to conduct the study, and a methodology* sub-committee comprised of quantitative-expert faculty and staff, worked to refine and further enhance the study’s methodology. This study is one piece of a much broader effort to make DU’s pay more fair and more competitive.

The study looked at compensation across the university to assess whether employees with certain identities (based on sex and race/ethnicity) tended to be paid less on average than others at DU, after taking into account various factors that impact pay. There were no findings among staff. However, there was one finding among faculty that affected a relatively small number of individuals. We worked closely with the Deans in colleges with impacted members of the faculty and have increased the salaries of those employees to respond to and remediate that finding.  To protect the confidential and personal nature of individual salary information, we will not be communicating the specific results of the study. Similarly, the adjustments to salary are a confidential matter with the individual employees and those adjustments have already been communicated to the affected faculty members.

We are deeply grateful to those who have contributed time and effort to move the University forward in this critical area. Their work has been a vital step in the University’s efforts to pay employees equitably. Through their efforts, DU now has a tool it will use going forward to monitor pay equity issues.  

Notably, this study looked at internal inequity, not market inequities. In the coming months, we will be conducting a broader market survey to assess whether our salaries are competitive with similar positions in the Denver region. We also remain committed to the ongoing efforts to promote equity in faculty workloads.

We will continue our work in this vital area and remain diligent in examining other ways in which we can prioritize pay for all DU employees, allowing DU to be competitive within a challenging market and to attract and retain the best employees to serve our deserving students.  


*Pay equity study methodology (prose added Feb. 14, 2023):

The data analysis subcommittee established a multi-step process to ensure accuracy and consistency in the data, and then used multiple statistical techniques to improve upon the original regression analysis provided by Gallagher. Three different analyses (all based on multivariate regression analysis with relevant extensions) were utilized to identify any potential areas of concern.

The core logic of regression is to explain variation in a dependent variable (e.g., salary) as the combination of a set of controls and variables of interest (protected categories, specifically race / ethnicity and gender) plus unobserved factors. The controls included years of services; position salary grade, department, and supervisory responsibilities (for staff); rank, series, division, and discipline code (for faculty).

Concerns with the initial analysis were addressed through key additional steps: using robust standard error estimates, including interaction terms, using joint hypothesis testing to prevent elimination of multicollinear regressors, and checking for robustness of results across different model specifications. Additionally, Oaxaca-Blinder Decomposition analysis was used to verify the results.



Jeremy Haefner