To the editor:
In the Feb. 26 edition of The Miami Student, the article “Campus Climate Forum Discusses Minority Retention” cited a decrease of “between 25 and 80 percent” in domestic minority student enrollments at Miami in recent years, based on a study by James Porter. This statement is incorrect — enrollments of domestic racial and ethnic minority students have steadily increased on the Oxford campus, from 1,610 students in 2009 (9.5 percent) to 2,286 students in 2015 (12.1 percent).
The data to which Dr. Porter refers came from our office (the Office of Institutional Research) but were incorrectly interpreted by Porter and his students. Porter reviewed five years’ worth of enrollment reporting. During that five-year period, the guidelines for reporting race/ethnicity to the federal government changed.
Beginning in 2010, students were allowed to self-identify more than one race/ethnicity. Prior to 2010, multiracial students could only identify one race/ethnicity. For federal reporting, this coding change means that multiracial students who previously identified as a single race are now included in the category multiracial.
As the result of this classification change, Miami has gone from zero multiracial students on the Oxford campus in 2009 to 568 multi racial students in 2015.
Internal reporting allows us to see that 144 of the multiracial students identified Black or African-American as one of their races, but they are not counted as Black or African American for federal reporting — they are counted as multiracial. The same is true of the other racial categories — the number of students self-identifying as a single racial category has decreased because students are now able to self-report as multiracial.
Essentially, Miami University’s enrollment of domestic minority students has increased in recent years. More students are identifying as multiracial rather than a single racial category.
I respectfully request that you print a correction indicating that enrollment of domestic minority students on the Oxford campus has actually increased in recent years, not decreased.
If you would like to review the data, detailed historical enrollment information by racial/ethnic category is publically available on our website.
Denise A. Krallman
Director, Office of Institutional Research
Andrea I. Bakker
Associate Director, Office of Institutional Research