Warwick Boar apologise after describing all 12 female BME professors as black, when there’s actually only one

One professor said she hopes the uni will address the actual problem of the ethnicity gap with as much as energy as correcting the error


Campus newspaper Warwick Boar have been forced to apologise after describing all BME professors at the university as black, when in fact there’s only one.

The Boar were reporting on the BBC's findings that BME professors receive 26 per cent less in wages than white professors, attributing Warwick University with the following quote: "The university also pointed out that Warwick has the largest number of black female professors in the UK, namely 12…".

This led to Warwick's only female, black professor, Akwugo Emejulu, calling this miscounting "embarrassing," after claiming she is the only black professor at the university. She went on to mistakenly accuse Warwick University of the mistake, saying using the term black as a synonym with "non-white", adding that the incident "underscores" the BBC's findings.

Warwick University told us they supplied The Boar with a correction, reading: "The largest number of female BME professors in the UK (12)".

An editor of The Warwick Boar told The Warwick Tab: "The original article stated ‘The University also pointed out that Warwick has the largest number of black female professors in the UK, namely 12, and added….’ which was corrected to ‘The University also stated that, according to a recent Runnymede trust report on Black Female Professors in the UK, Warwick was listed as having the largest number of female BME professors in the UK (12)’ as soon as the mistake was flagged up internally.

"The article was corrected last night and reposted on our social media platforms noting the mistake and correction earlier this morning. The mistake was indeed on our part, the university provided correct and accurate information while an editorial error led to the two terms being conflated.

"We are acutely aware of the importance of differentiating the two terms and the discussion as a whole, and as a result, in addition to the article being amended, emails drawing attention to the mistake as well as correcting and apologising for it were sent to the University as well as those who had tweeted about it including Rianna Croxford and Akwugo Emejulu."

After The Warwick Boar had updated their story, Ms Emejulu sent out another tweet containing a link to the updated article, saying: "I wonder whether Warwick will address the *actual problem* the ethic and gender pay gap – with as much energy as they have used to get me to tweet this updated story."

Emejulu has experienced racism during her time at Warwick, with The Warwick Tab reporting last September that the university demanded Emejulu's immigration papers, despite her residency in the UK for a decade.

Rianna Croxford, the journalist behind the initial report on wage gaps, told The Warwick Tab: "People from 'Black, Asian and minority ethnic' backgrounds are not interchangeable: there are differences in experiences between and within ethnicities, as shown by their pay. This is why the term 'BAME' is so unhelpful. There needs to be better recording of ethnicity before the government can even begin to think about making it compulsory to report these pay gaps."

Larissa Kennedy, the SU Education Officer responded to the news on Twitter, revealing similar discussions occur when speaking of the student population at Warwick University. This was before she tweeted stating that the "uni fails to take an adequate stance to racism."

The University of Warwick told The Warwick Tab: "An earlier version of this article stated 'The University also pointed out that Warwick has the largest number of black female professors in the UK, namely 12, and added….'.

"This has now been corrected to 'The University also stated that, according to a recent Runnymede trust report on Black Female Professors in the UK, Warwick was listed as having the largest number of female BME professors in the UK (12).'"

Akwugo Emejulu has been contacted for comment.