COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Texas A&M University President Robert Gates, bucking the general college trend, has announced race will not be an admission factor at his school.
The decision came as a surprise to many students, the Houston Chronicle said.
A&M has for many years been desperately trying to attract more minority students and shed its reputation as inhospitable to those groups because of its long history as an all-male military academy. This fall, 82 percent of A&M's undergraduates are white, 2 percent are black, 9 percent are Hispanic and 3 percent are Asian-American.
"Students at Texas A&M should be admitted as individuals, on personal merit -- and no other basis,." Gates said.
Gates, a former CIA director appointed to head the 45,000-student campus in 2002, said he will continue to make attracting minorities a top priority, but he intends to accomplish this through increased outreach efforts and scholarships targeting first-generation college students who come from lower-income families.