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IDEAL Dashboard FAQ

The dashboard data do not show up. What do I do?

The main IDEAL Dashboard is available to the public. Dashboards with more detailed information on students, faculty, and staff are limited to members of the Stanford community with a valid Stanford University Network Identifier (SUNet ID). In order to view the more detailed dashboards, you may need to log in using your SUNet ID.

Look for the text "If the dashboard is not loaded, please click here to automatically activate login" on the page you are trying to load and click the words "click here." If you still encounter problems, please contact

Why are some of these dashboards restricted to members of the Stanford community?

Access to certain sections of the IDEAL dashboards is limited to users in the Stanford community with a valid Stanford University Network Identifier (SUNet ID), to protect the identity of individuals associated with potentially sensitive demographic data. Stanford is providing these new, more granular views to the community in response to requests for this information and so that members of the community may benefit from seeing demographics at more local levels. We are not making the new dashboards public, however, because of potential risks associated with reidentification of individuals. Limiting views to people with SUNet IDs mitigates risk while still providing our community with information in support of our diversity goals.

Why are the diversity metrics for most populations on this dashboard limited to just sex and race/ethnicity? Shouldn't we be using a broader concept of diversity?

Stanford values diversity across a broad spectrum of differences. At present, however, the university has a very limited amount of institutional data available for many of the traits that might comprise a more inclusive set of diversity metrics. Sex and race/ethnicity are the only two data elements that are currently systematically collected and stored for all of the populations represented in these dashboards. Our hope is to add new measures of diversity in the future, as they become available through improved data collection efforts. Some kinds of information are regularly collected for students but not for faculty or staff, such as first generation status or socioeconomic status. The IDEAL student dashboard does show numbers of first generation students and Pell Grant recipients for recent undergraduate cohorts.

Why are we using these particular race/ethnicity categories? Is more detailed information available?

The race/ethnicity categories used in this dashboard are based on the requirements first introduced in 2007 and mandated for use in all of Stanford’s federal reporting (such as IPEDS and EEO) beginning in the 2010-2011 academic year. While we do collect more detailed race/ethnicity data for students, these are not systematically available across all of the populations represented in these dashboards. The IDEAL student dashboard shows the full set of race/ethnicity detail data available for Stanford’s degree-seeking student population. We recognize that the set of options available for community members to identify their race/ethnicity are not adequate, and are working to improve and refine our data collection efforts.

Why are we using sex and not gender?

Sex here refers to a binary designation. Currently, Stanford’s institutional system does not have the capacity to capture information on gender identity or expression (though this information may be collected in other, non-systematic ways such as surveys). The university is required by the government to report student, faculty, and staff numbers by sex; however, there is an awareness that this categorization is limiting. At this time, the university is currently working on upgrading official systems to record gender identity as well as sex.

Can I publish these data elsewhere, such as a department website or journal article?

The data on the main IDEAL dashboard are publicly available, and may be posted or shared without restriction. In contrast, the data on the student, faculty, and staff dashboards are only available to members of the Stanford community via SUNet login. These data may not be shared with any third party, or otherwise posted on any webpage or other location, where people without a valid SUNet ID could access it without restriction. Generalized findings or conclusions drawn from the dashboard may not be shared in any way that discloses information about an individual or enables the deductive disclosure about any individual’s identity. If you are a Stanford employee and represent a department or business unit in need of demographic information, please contact Institutional Research & Decision Support.

Why don’t the numbers I see here match the numbers I found somewhere else?

The goal of the main IDEAL dashboard is to characterize two aspects of diversity--sex and race/ethnicity--across the entire Stanford community. For this reason, every person is counted only once in each population in the main IDEAL dashboard. In some of the other dashboards, individuals may be counted in multiple places. For example, an undergraduate student who has two majors will be counted in both in the student dashboard, but only in one in the main dashboard. A faculty member who has appointments in multiple departments will be counted only once in the main dashboard, but the faculty dashboard will allow you to see both primary and secondary appointments. As a result, the numbers reported here may not match the numbers reported by an individual School or other business unit, as these other units may have different ways of defining who belongs in their populations. For more details about who is included and how individuals are counted in these dashboards, please refer to the “Definitions” page linked on each dashboard page.

Why do the data for my particular school/major/department look different than I expect?

There are many possible reasons why the data in these dashboards may not match expectations. Race/ethnicity information is self-reported, and an individual’s self-identity may not necessarily align with the assumptions of those around them. Additionally, some individuals will choose not to disclose their race/ethnicity, and so will fall into the "Unknown/Decline to state" category. It may be the case that a colleague who appears to belong to a single race/ethnicity category in fact identifies with multiple races, and may then be included in the "Two or more, not Hispanic/Latino" category. Finally, as referenced in the above question, there may be definitional differences in who is counted in these dashboards versus other data sources. We have attempted to be consistent across many sources of university-wide reporting, but individual units may have their own ways of defining and reporting on their populations.

Where are Clinician Educators in these dashboards?

The demographics of Clinician Educators are displayed by selecting the "Teaching/Non-Teaching/Clinician Educator" button, and then selecting "Clinician Educator" in the category dropdown menu, on the IDEAL staff dashboard. Clinician Educators are included in the staff headcounts in the main IDEAL dashboard. Only members of the Professoriate are included in counts of faculty in these dashboards.

Where are lecturers in these dashboards?

Lecturers with benefits-eligible positions are counted as staff. Employees who have a non-benefits-eligible lecturer appointment in addition to a regular benefits-eligible position will be counted as staff in the school or unit of their benefits-eligible position. The demographics of staff with teaching positions, including those with lecturer titles, are displayed by selecting the "Teaching/Non-Teaching/Clinician Educator" button, and then selecting "Teaching" in the category dropdown menu, in the IDEAL staff dashboard.

Why aren’t race/ethnicities reported for international students? Why are there no international faculty or staff?

The race/ethnicity categories in this dashboard are based on the requirements first introduced in 2007 and mandated for use in all of Stanford’s federal reporting (such as IPEDS and EEO) beginning in the 2010-2011 academic year. These requirements state that students who are not US citizens or permanent residents must be reported in their own category. International students are able to self-identify a race/ethnicity in Axess, and these data are included in the race/ethnicity detail section of the IDEAL student dashboard. Unlike students, citizenship is not considered when reporting race/ethnicity for faculty or staff, and therefore these groups do not have an “International” category.

Why can’t I see the demographic data for small majors?

Transparency is one of the primary goals of the IDEAL dashboards. However, this must be balanced against safety and individual privacy, particularly of our student population. The decision was made to mask the demographic data for small majors (fewer than 6 total students) to mitigate the risk of reidentification of individual students. In some cases, the user may be able to see some data for a given study field by selecting multiple degree levels (i.e. selecting both Master’s and Bachelor’s, instead of just Bachelor’s) and thus increasing the total count above 5.

Can I get the data underneath the dashboard?

The aggregate data displayed in the dashboards are available upon request by emailing

How often will the dashboards be updated?

The dashboards are scheduled to be updated annually in early December.

Where can I go to find more data about Stanford?

The university reports metrics in a number of publicly accessible places. Stanford Facts provides a range of statistics about the university as well as information on its history and organization. The Common Data Set, published by University Communications, includes data on enrollment, graduation rates, degree conferrals, financial aid, expenses, admission, instructional faculty, and student life. The Data & Findings page of the Institutional Research & Decision Support website hosts dashboards on many university data topics, including survey results. The National Center for Education Statistics hosts the IPEDS data center, which contains downloadable information collected by the federal government on a range of topics including admissions, enrollment, degree conferrals, outcomes, financial aid, and more. The appendices of the University Budget Plan contain supplementary data including  enrollment by school, tuition and financial aid, popular majors, professorial faculty numbers by school and tenure status, staff numbers, sponsored research expenses, and other financial information.

Will the data in the dashboards be used in hiring or promotion decisions?

No. It is the policy of Stanford University to provide equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees in compliance with all applicable laws, and without regard to sex, race or ethnicity. Stanford University does not discriminate on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law, in connection with any aspect of employment at Stanford. See Stanford Administrative Guide 1.7.4 for more information.