Investigation of Gender and Race Effects on Promotion in Departments of Geography in the United States
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This study sought evidence of differences in academic promotion associated with gender or race within the discipline of geography in the United States. Professors were identified between 1991 and 2007 using the Association of American Geographers’ Guides and Directories. For each institution, males were matched to female assistant professors based on the year their PhD was granted; the ratio of males to females was about 7 to 4. A total of about 848 assistant professors were identified and traced until about 97% to 98% were promoted. The key outcome variable for these matched cohorts was years until promotion. Cox regression was used as it is designed to analyze survival data and can incorporate multiple variables. Even corrected for publications and other variables, the gender and white race coefficients were significant and demonstrated that the rate of promotion for females was about 25% slower than of males and the rate of promotion for whites was about 35% slower than that of other races. In terms of years, females were about 0.4 years slower to be promoted to become associate professors than males and associate professors of the white race were about 1.7 years slower to be promoted to become full professors than other races. This study provides evidence of that academic promotion may be influenced by both gender and race.