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Race and ethnicity data needed from all employees

Oct. 5, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University must begin reporting new faculty and staff data on race and ethnicity to the federal government Oct. 15, but more than 50 percent of campus employees still have not provided the information needed.

The University is required under new federal guidelines to collect such information for all faculty and staff members. The U.S. Department of Education requires all universities to use a two-part question and to allow the selection of more than one race in a voluntary survey of employees. Although the survey has been available in GoWMU since April, only 49 percent of faculty and staff members had submitted information as of Sept. 15.

"Our first official report goes to Washington Oct. 15," notes Lowell Rinker, vice president for business and finance. "With so few responses, what we have now is clearly not an accurate snapshot of the diversity of our campus community. We don't know what future state and federal decisions will be affected by this data, but we do know we should be presenting as accurate a picture of who we are as possible."

To report race and ethnicity:

  1. Login to GoWMU
  2. Click Employee Self Service--the same link used to view paychecks
  3. Then, click Personal Information
  4. Finally, click Ethnic Groups

There are only two questions and it takes less than one minute to answer them.

Aggregate campus demographic data is needed for reporting requirements of federal and state agencies and civil rights laws and regulations. It also affects how prospective students and faculty and staff members view the University.

Students have been surveyed using the same new guidelines and were asked to provide their data before registering for fall classes.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400