The president of a Michigan school is under fire for racial comments that he made in reference to the minority students that attend his university.

While testifying at a state legislative meeting Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn called the students “dark ones” while talking about how the school meets diversity challenges.

The subcommittee hearing was held to determine if Hillsdale College would adopt Common Core State Standards, which come as an effort to standardize education across the states. Arnn was there to testify against the idea, and express his opposition to government interference in education.

The president was referencing a letter sent to the college from the Department of Education, citing that Hillsdale violated the national standards for diversity.

During his testimony Arnn said, “And they [Department of Education] said that we violated the standards for diversity because we didn’t have enough dark ones, I guess is what they meant.”

Many of the lawmakers that were at the hearing were offended by Arnn’s comments, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Arnn did not apologize at first after being criticized and instead cited the education department officials that recorded the racial demographic data at his college.

According to a Michigan news site podcast, Arnn said, “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?”

Yet, after considerable backlash, the president has now issued an apology for his racial remarks.

It reads: “No offense was intended by the use of that term except to the offending bureaucrats, and Dr. Arnn is sorry if such offense was taken honestly. But the greater concern, he believes, is the state endorsed racism the story illustrates.”