Some on campus can update race, ethinicity data

An email was sent out to faculty, staff and some students Tuesday, letting them know they have the opportunity to change their race and ethnicity information.

This is a one-time opportunity where people can update their information by having the option to select more than one race. It will be open for the next two weeks for employees who began working at UK before August 2008 and students who started at UK before fall 2010.

These individuals were “not given the opportunity to select more than once race on their application forms,” the email said. UK is now offering these individuals the chance to change their information in UK’s administrative system.

According to the email, the U.S. Department of Education required educational institutions to adopt new guidelines for collecting and reporting race and ethnicity information.

The new guidelines require the use of a two-question format, according to the email.

The first question asks if the person is Hispanic/Latino, and the second question asks if the person belongs to one or more races from the following list: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, White.

Roger Sugarman, the director of Institutional Research, said UK wasn’t required to resurvey its faculty, staff and students.

“I think the Department of Education was interested in changing their race/ethnicity categories, along with much of the federal government, to respond to the growing tendency on the part of individuals to report one or more race or ethnicities,” he said.

These individuals were provided with a link to update their information.

Sugarman said one person contacted him about the cut off point for determining race. He responded saying the guidelines are similar to what they were before, because it is up to the individual to decide for themselves.

“So there is no cutoff point or guidelines that ask a person to give detailed information about making judgment,” he said.

Overall, Sugarman said he thinks a number of individuals will chose to update their information.

“I’m pleased that we can give students and employees the opportunity to update their race/ethnicity information,” he said.