Toward a More Perfect Union (Part IV)

[This post was part of a series. You can read the rest here: Part I ¦ Part II ¦ Part III ¦ Part V ]

Today, we’ll look at some diversity statistics for FAU, and see how it stands up to other universities. I’ve made some pretty graphs for you.

Here’s a breakdown of student ethnicity for this semester. It’s based on figures from IEA — Institutional Effectiveness and Analysis, FAU’s stats people — from this semester’s enrollment. “Unknown” doesn’t mean aliens, it means “not reported to FAU.” And “international” means “non-resident.” These are FAU’s categories.

Of course, our multicultural groups aren’t all based on ethnicity, so this isn’t a full picture of “diversity” at FAU, but it’s the closest IEA’s statistics will get us.

So, half of FAU this semester wasn’t white. But what about the historical picture? Is FAU more white or less white than it used to be? Not surprisingly, less:

This area chart represents the same data as the one above, plus the other past 32 years. Click it for the full size. It starts with ’77 because that’s when FAU started collecting ethnicity data. In that year, 86% of FAU’s 7,329 students were white — since then, we’ve become 32% more diverse. Looking at the graph, you can see we really started to diversify around 1990.

We can also compare FAU to other universities. IEA did this already with what they consider FAU national “peer institutions,” although they only track “undergraduate underrepresented minorities.” According to their little asterisk, this means “Black, Hispanic, and Native American.” Here’s a bar graph based on that column:

Again, click for the full, more readable size. This chart is based on 2009’s data. Compared to FAU’s self-selected peers, we look pretty impressive. But then, we’re the only Florida institution on there. How about a state-wide comparison? I put together one with data from the Board of Governors site:

Here, too, FAU actually looks pretty good. We rank behind FAMU (90.7% black last year) and FIU (59.6% Hispanic last year) but are more diverse than anyone else.

So in sum: we’re half-white — a full third less white than we were 30 years ago — which is decent statewide and, at least in our peer group, nationally.


2 Responses to “Toward a More Perfect Union (Part IV)”

  1. Colonel Angus Says:


    Not to disparage your swanky pie and line graphs, but if there’s supposed to be a point contained among all those diversity statistics, I don’t see one.

    How does this tie into BSUMP reform? Thanks for the breakdown of FAU’s multicultural groups, but where’s the commentary?

    Perhaps you can address that in a future post.

  2. Brandon Says:

    Good point, “Colonel.” One thing I’d considered looking into was how some of these other universities handle multicultural programming differently and tie that to their demographics. But as you said, that’s for another entry.

    I’m also just trying to see what people are interested in talking about regarding this issue–I can’t write about everything. But I really do appreciate the comment.

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