Date of Award

Summer 7-25-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Management and Policy

First Advisor

Dr. Julia E. Melkers

Second Advisor

Dr. Kaye Husbands Fealing

Third Advisor

Dr. Gregory B. Lewis

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Robert K. Toutkoushian

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Katherine G. Willoughby


This dissertation examines organizational influences on gender and racial salary equity among tenured and tenure-track faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The study argues that traditional individual and disciplinary explanations for salary inequities fail to capture the institutional variations in conditions among women and underrepresented minority faculty in STEM disciplines. A better understanding of these institutional variations is important for theory and practice as scholars continue to attempt to explain the unexplained salary gaps and policymakers target organizational change to resolve persistent gaps. The results show that individual characteristics and discipline do explain salary gaps among STEM faculty broadly; however, those results vary across organizational settings. Comparisons of gender and racial salary gaps among institutional types show that organizational mission, resources, and power influence the extent of salary parity. The results validate the importance of emphasizing and rethinking institutional categorizations to understand pay disparities among women and underrepresented minority STEM faculty.