Kent State lists “international students” as ethnic demographic

David Williams

Following the release of a nationwide equity report by the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center, in which Kent State received a failing grade of D for race and equity on campus, inquiry into Kent State’s 2018 enrollment statistics shed some light on how the university tracks and reports diversity.

On Kent State’s student body profile, a pie chart outlining diversity among students lists “international students” as the university’s second largest ethnic demographic at 9.5 percent, despite the demographic consisting of a mix of nationalities rather than falling into a specific race or ethnicity.

Alfreda Brown, the vice president of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at Kent State said, “(Races and ethnicities of international students) is information that would be broad in nature that DEI does not collect.”

Kent State’s Fall 2018 enrollment statistics for all eight campuses does not contain information on the ethnic backgrounds of international students, listing them instead as “F” for foreign, despite collecting information on the ethnicities of national students.

Enrollment statistics also revealed revealed a 19 percent loss in retention among International students, the highest of any demographic listed.” For comparison, while 489 white students left since Fall 2017, this only amounted to a decrease of 1.65 percent among white students. 

Neither Kent State International Admissions nor Kent State’s Office of Global Education responded to requests for comment.

David Williams is a general assignment reporter. Contact him at [email protected].