Fox & Friends aired a live segment Thursday morning incorrectly stating that Cal Poly is “deliberately slashing the number of white students” and “moving towards a race-based admissions process.”
It was also falsely stated that Cal Poly’s goal is “to limit the number of white students to 40 percent of the campus population” while Fox News anchor Rob Schmitt was interviewing construction management senior and Campus Reform student correspondent Roberta Martin.
At the request of the university, the video was removed from the Fox News website as well as Campus Reform’s YouTube channel. The segment can still be found elsewhere.
“The claim that the university is using race/ethnicity in its admissions processes is wholly and egregiously false,” University Spokesperson Matt Lazier said in an email.
According to Lazier, the only stated diversity goal is to create a campus community that reflects the demographics of the state it serves, in compliance with state Proposition 209. It is unlawful to “limit” races in state governmental institutions. However, the U.S. Census Bureau reports California is 37.2 percent white (not Hispanic or Latino), similar to the statistic reported in the segment.
Friday morning, Fox & Friends issued an on-air apology for the error.
“We said the university is working to diversify their campus by deliberately reducing the number of white students. However, in a statement provided to us yesterday, Matt Lazier, the Media Relations Director of the University, says quote, ‘Cal Poly has not, does not, and will not use applicants’ race as a factor in admissions.’ We apologize for our factual error.”
While the California State University asks for incoming students’ information regarding race when applying, that information does not influence selection for admission to the university in any way.
“The bottom line is, Cal Poly has set a goal of reducing the number of white students on campus,” Martin said in response. “The reporter made the logical assumption that admissions would be impacted, as it’s difficult to engineer our campus according to race statistics without affecting the admission process.”
This story was updated July 13 at 5:50 p.m.