Kentucky Kernel pay equity story misses the mark

Letter to the editor box

Letter to the editor box

Jay Blanton

Dear Editor,

The issue of pay equity is a critical one – for our university and across the country. It deserves thoughtful scrutiny and coverage.

To that end, I applaud the Kernel’s efforts to analyze this important, but complicated issue on our campus. 

Unfortunately, however, both the news coverage and editorial gave short shrift to the university’s efforts and rigor in addressing the topic of pay equity. 

In point of fact, despite an extensive interview on the topic, scant mention was given to extensive analysis the institution has conducted regarding pay equity issues. That analysis, moreover, controlled for several more variables than did the Kernel in its review. Specifically, the Kernel admittedly controlled for a handful of factors. The university’s analysis – conducted by the country’s leading expert on this issue – controlled for more than a dozen, yielding a more robust and complete picture of compensation.

The truth is that there are negligible differences in pay by gender among faculty at the University of Kentucky. But it would be hard to find that most salient of points in any of the Kernel’s reporting or opining on this topic. In this case, the Kernel knows better. They just chose to under-report the facts. 

To be sure, there is important work still to do when it comes to gender and equity on this campus and throughout higher education in America – ranging from tenure and promotion to advances in the administrative ranks. The Kernel’s resolve to tackle and address these issues in its coverage is important and refreshing.

But its desire to write about these issues should be matched by a desire to tell the whole story in a complete fashion. In this case, it was not.

Letter to the editor submitted by Jay Blanton, Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing.

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