The president of a small Michigan college faces criticism for a racial slur he used during a legislative hearing on July 31.

A video posted on The Detroit Free Press web site showed Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn referencing a letter he received from the Department of Education.

“They said we violated the standards for diversity because we didn’t have enough dark ones, I guess, that’s what they meant,” Arnn said during the hearing.

Arnn was one of several panelists who attended the hearing to discuss the adoption of Common Core State Standards, an attempt to focus the efforts to standardize education. The common core has already been adopted in more than 40 states.

During the hearing Arnn was immediately criticized for his offensive remarks, however he didn’t apologize, according to The Huffington Post.

“The state of Michigan sent a group of people down to my campus, with clipboards…to look at the colors of people’s faces and write down what they saw. We don’t keep records of that information. What were they looking for besides dark ones,” Arnn said in a statement.

Hillsdale College includes approximately 1,400 undergraduates; demographic information detailing the percentage of minority students was not immediately available. Arnn has served as president of the college since 2000.

Following Arnn’s statement,, Hillsdale College issued a letter of apology stating, “No offense was intended by the use of that term except to the offending bureaucrats.”

The apology letter also stated that, “Arnn was sorry if offense was taken.”


Blair Adams

AFRO Staff Writer