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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

May 1, 2009

New race/ethnicity form offers more options

by Paula Van Brocklin

Federal reporting mandates and the National Center for Education Statistics requirements for how employees identify their race and ethnicity have changed. This change parallels the reporting structure for the 2010 census report. A new form with broader race and ethnicity choices means existing ISU employees have the opportunity to more accurately identify themselves beginning May 1.

Iowa State is required by law to obtain race, ethnicity and gender information from all employees when they join the university. Employees hired since December 2008 already have completed the new self-identity form. All other employees now have the option to update their status, giving Iowa State a better idea of what its employee population looks like.

"The great thing about allowing people to re-identify is that everyone will have the opportunity to tell the university how they want to self-identify," said Francesca Galarraga, assistant director of equal opportunity and diversity. "People who identify as biracial or multiracial have never had that opportunity before."

How to make a change

Current employees are not required to update their race/ethnicity information. But for those who wish to, the process is pretty simple. Log onto AccessPlus, go to the "Employee" tab and click on "Self ID Update" in the left column.

"Even though it's optional, I really would like to encourage people to go to AccessPlus and just revisit how they have identified," Galarraga said. "We want to encourage people to go in and at least check."


The new race/ethnicity form (its content below) offers more choices, painting a more accurate picture of the university's employee population.

Race/Ethnic Status

[Yes] [No] Are you of Latino or Hispanic origin? A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race?

If No, please choose one or any combination of the following:

[White, not of Hispanic origin] -- A person having origins in any of the original people of Europe, North Africa or the Middle East.

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

[Native American or other Pacific Islander] -- A person having origins in any of the original people of the Hawaii, Guam, Samoa or other Pacific Islands.

[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.

[American Indian of Alaskan Native] -- A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintain cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.