Doctored Photo Stirs Controversy at University of Wisconsin
Hoping to illustrate its diverse enrollment, the University of Wisconsin at Madison says it doctored a photo on a brochure cover by inserting a Black student in a crowd of White football fans.
“We did it in this one instance, and it really was an error in judgment,” University publications director Al Friedman says.
Rob Seltzer, undergraduate admissions director, says his office spent the summer looking for pictures that would show the school’s diversity — but had no luck.
The staff finally settled on a 1993 photo of White Badger fans at a football game. Friedman says his office then altered the photo to add an image of senior Diallo Shabazz taken in 1994.
The university won’t discipline those involved because they admitted their mistake and apologized to Shabazz, says Patrick Strickler, a university spokesman.
Shabazz says he hopes the incident will encourage the university to work with minority students to improve the campus’ climate and recruitment process.
“It’s a symptom of a much larger problem,” he says. “Diversity on this campus is really not being dealt with. People really don’t care about the photo itself. People care about having more students of color on campus.”
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