Paula Noonan

Paula Noonan

With Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the cup measuring advantage for U.S. persons at education institutions receiving money from U.S. taxpayers ranges from full to mostly empty, depending on implementation of different consequences of the Act. The victory of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team shows the full cup part. The equal pay for women reveals the comparatively empty cup.

Two Colorado U.S. national team women soccer players, Lindsey Horan from Golden and Mallory Pugh from Highlands Ranch, launched their careers on successful public school administration of Title IX. Other team members honed their skills at universities across the country offering Division 1 sports to women that were unavailable before 1972 when the Education Amendments Act was passed.

So, for the Colorado women soccer players, or “persons” under Title IX, Colorado’s k-12 public schools prepared them to be awesome athletes. To be clear, the “persons” in the Act includes Colorado’s boys and men, and they too have an equal opportunity to be awesome soccer player athletes.

The Title IX measuring cup is mostly full when assessing non discrimination admission of students to colleges and universities. Cornell University, the first Ivy League college to have women students, was roughly 75% male to 25% female before 1972. The class of 2018 is 46% male to 54% female. Princeton University, an all-male institution before Title IX, is now 51% male to 49% female.

The University of Colorado-Boulder is 55.7% male to 44.3% female. Colorado State University breaks down 49% men to 51% women. All to the good.

Title IX’s cup trends toward empty when looking at higher education faculty demographics and salaries at these institutions. After 47 years of Title IX, academic faculties tend to be majority male and salaries for male sport’s coaches are dramatically higher than for female sport’s coaches.

Here’s data from university websites at Cornell University and the University of Colorado. English Departments have generally had equality by sex of undergraduates. The University of Colorado has 52 English department members, with 28 women faculty and 24 men. Cornell has 57 English department members with 28 women and 29 men. All’s good by the numbers.

Equality heads south in other humanities. Cornell has 50 history faculty, of whom 19 are women. The University of Colorado has 34 history faculty, with 16 women. Cornell’s government faculty has 22 men and 12 women. CU political science has 22 men and 12 women. Economics at Cornell has 40 men and 9 women. CU has 26 men faculty in economics and 7 women.

In math and the sciences, the numbers are more unequal. Computer science at Cornell has 89 men and 18 women. CU has 48 men and 14 women. Cornell math has 37 men and eight women. CU math has 20 men and seven women. Cornell physics has 43 men and eight women. CU physics has 83 men and 14 women.

Coaching salaries for men and women show stark disparities. Cornell has 16 head coaches for women’s sports making an average of $98,288. Cornell has 15 head coaches for men’s sports making on average $154,397. CU has five head coaches for men’s sports making on average $1,413,189. It has 8 head coaches for women’s sports making on average $212,792. CSU pays its men’s sports head coaches $779,654 on average and its women’s sports head coaches $120,643. Princeton is closest to equity at $152,525 for 18 men’s sports coaches on average and $135,540 for 17 women’s sports on average.

The American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Perry, also a faculty member at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus, argues that Title IX has gone too far in accepting women as undergraduate students. Today, women students earn 57% of college degrees. Perry does not comment on the imbalance in the men-to-women ratio among faculty teaching those students.

Sourpussing aside, the demographics for student admissions look good in relation to Title IX. But at 47 years in practice, Title IX’s mission still has a long way to go for gender equality among those teaching and coaching those undergraduate “persons.”

Paula Noonan owns Colorado Capitol Watch, the state’s premier legislature tracking platform.

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