Frequently Asked Questions - Reporting on Race and Ethnicity




Why are we being asked to update our demographic information?

Case Western Reserve must change the way it collects and reports data on race and ethnicity in order to comply with requirements of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). Application forms have already been modified to collect data using the new format.

What are the major changes in collection and reporting practices?

The Department of Education requires educational institutions to use a two-part question. The first question asks whether the respondent is Hispanic/Latino; the second asks the respondent to choose one or more races with which he or she identifies. Currently, the university collects information using a one-part question and does not give individuals the opportunity to identify with more than one race.

The DOE’s final guidance also requires separating the category "Asian or Pacific Islander" into two separate categories, one for "Asian" and one for "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander." It broadens the definition for "Native American and Alaska Native" to include original peoples of North and South America (including Central America).

What are the definitions for the ethnic and racial categories?

The Department of Education has provided these definitions:

Hispanic or Latino: A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

American Indian or Alaska Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment.

Asian: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Black or African American: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

How will race/ethnicity data be reported to the federal government?

Respondents who indicate that they are Hispanic/Latino will be reported to the federal government as Hispanic/Latino, regardless of their race.

Respondents who check "No" to the Hispanic/Latino question and select one racial category will be reported in that category.

Respondents who check "No" to the Hispanic/Latino question and select more than one racial category will be reported to the federal government as "two or more races."

Given these reporting rules, it is likely that the number of individuals being reported as Hispanic/Latino will increase, and the reported numbers of all other race‐specific categories will decrease.

Will internal reporting of race/ethnicity data be different?

Yes, internal and other reporting will be different from federal reporting. The university will be able to provide a maximum count for each racial/ethnic group—count that includes all individuals who selected a specific category, whether or not they are Hispanic/Latino or multi‐racial. This will allow us to show the full extent of diversity on campus.

I’m Hispanic. Why should I answer both questions?

Race and Hispanic origin are considered to be two separate and distinct categories by the federal government. Even though you’ll be reported to the federal government as Hispanic/Latino, it’s still important for the university’s non-federal reporting to have as complete a picture as possible of the racial and ethnic backgrounds of its students, faculty, and staff.

I’m in the U.S. on a temporary visa. Does it matter if I answer the questions?

You’ll be reported to the federal government as "non-resident alien," regardless of the race or ethnicity you indicate. However, it’s helpful for the university to know your racial/ethnic identification for purposes of any non-federal reporting.

What if I don’t answer the questions?

The university will report whatever demographic information it currently has available for you. If there is no information in SIS, you will be reported as "race/ethnicity unknown."

Will my name be included when reporting race and ethnicity data?

No, names are never reported. Racial/ethnic data are reported only in aggregate form.

I'm a staff member. Why is my information is grayed out? How do I update it?

Staff members who are primarily employees will not be able to update this data through SIS and should contact Human Resources with any corrections.