The president of a small liberal arts college in Michigan apologized Wednesday after referring to minority students as "dark ones."

During an appearance before a legislative subcommittee in Lansing, Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn said the Michigan Department of Education once criticized his school for not having enough "dark" students.

"They said we violated the standards for diversity because we didn't have enough dark ones, I guess is what they meant," Arnn said

The college president was speaking out against the state’s adoption of Common Core standards in reading, writing and math. He said his experience with the Michigan Department of Education made him "skeptical about these state standards and increasing control from the state and federal government."

Hillsdale College later released a statement to the Detroit Free Press in which Arnn apologized for his "dark ones" remark.

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

Young America's Foundation considers Hillsdale to be one of the best conservative colleges.

Watch video, courtesy of WZZM, below: