The recent Kernel article entitled “UK’s Female Deans Are Paid Less” is an intentionally divisive non-sequitur when compared to its content. The data presented in the article is only a small part of the significant research that should have been undertaken for an investigative piece. The author should have discussed these serious limitations, or continued investigating until finding some comparison which is appropriate for publishing. The primary issue with the article is that the pay of the deans and their gender are completely separate topics when filtering by discipline. A well-informed discussion would have been done in the context of some national or regional comparison to similar organizations on the basis of either pay or gender within a specific discipline. This would give an “apples to apples” comparison rather than the “apples to oranges” comparison which is presented in the article. The Kernel should be careful not to follow in the footsteps of national news organizations who prefer to have a controversial headline without proof of a controversy.
-John C. Higgins
This letter to the editor originally ran in the Kernel’s Jan. 22, 2020 print edition.