IPEDS Race/Ethnicity Reporting Changes

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Team ID: 
College / Administrative Unit: 
Educational Equity
Finance and Business
Date Started: 
January 2008
To comply with new federal requirements (U. S. Department of Education and the Office of Management and Budget) for the collection and reporting of racial and ethnic data by the nation’s colleges and universities, Penn State needed to make changes to its data collection, maintenance, and reporting processes before Fall 2010.

The new requirements reflect a change in the government’s data collection policy and are designed so that federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education could all similarly collect information that more accurately reflects the increasing diversity of the nation’s population. These changes impact all student, faculty, and staff data.

The Provost charged Terrell Jones, Vice Provost for Educational Equity, and Steve Curley, University Budget Officer, with ensuring that Penn State is in compliance by the designated deadline. They formed a university-wide team from impacted administrative units to work on the implementation and completion of this project. Lydia Abdullah and Karen O’Brien of the University Budget Office provided the staff support for this committee.

In order to be in compliance, all race/ethnicity data must meet the new categories and descriptions prescribed by the federal government. The federal government mandated the questions that could be used to obtain self-identified race/ethnicity data from students and employees.
To meet this objective, all data collection points for new students and employees had to be identified and revised. Additionally, current student and employee data needed to be updated. This required surveying students through eLion and employees through ESSIC.
Data storage and associated computer programs had to be revised to accommodate the changes. And lastly, the reporting of the data in the new format was required not only for federal reports but also for other external documents provided by the university. Information needed to be consistent and descriptions uniform. Additionally, internal data warehouses and reports needed to be flexible enough to adjust for historical and future data.
By the Fall 2009 reporting cycle, all student data was in compliance with the mandated changes. And by the Fall 2010 reporting cycle, all employee data will be as well.
Over the past 2 years, this project has required the intense collaboration of 20+ individuals at the u-wide level as well as a number of work groups within major units of the university, including: University Budget Office, Registrar, UG Admissions, Graduate School, Office of Human Resources, and Administrative Information Services.

Contact Person: 
Lydia Abdullah
  • Steve Curley, Co-Leader
  • Terrell Jones, Co-Leader
  • Lydia Abdullah, Member
  • Michael Bezilla, Member
  • Carmen Borges, Member
  • Alene Bowers, Member
  • Dawn Boyer, Member
  • Chris Brown, Member
  • Mike Cunningham, Member
  • Deborah Davis, Member
  • Karen Duncan, Member
  • Patty Fickes, Member
  • Cheri Gallagher, Member
  • Tom Gesell, Member
  • Janeen Grasser, Member
  • Mike Hartman, Member
  • Rich Heininger, Member
  • Brett Hoffman, Member
  • Jodi Johnson, Member
  • Susan Kelley, Member
  • Nancy LaMont, Member
  • Bobbi Lucas, Member
  • Bob Maney, Member
  • Linda Morris, Member
  • Russell Mushinsky, Member
  • Cindy Nicosia, Member
  • Karen O'Brien, Member
  • Mark Sherburne, Member
  • Stephanie Snook, Member
  • Adam Stover, Member
  • Rachel Stover, Member
  • Vince Timbers, Member
  • Clark Wagner, Member
  • Mark Weaver, Member
  • Joanne Xing, Member