In March 2015, in response to several national incidents involving the deaths of African American men, a number of off-campus incidents involving William & Mary students and racially insensitive conduct, and growing calls for the university to examine its own history and actions with regard to race, former president Taylor Reveley established a Task Force on Race and Race Relations. The charge to the Task Force was to engage with four areas of inquiry:
- the overall racial climate on campus and the experiences of the community;
- how to successfully recruit and retain a more diverse faculty and senior administration;
- how to productively educate the campus and prevent racial insensitivity and discrimination; and
- the processes by which actual or suspected instances of racial prejudice could be effectively reported for investigation and remedial action. The president requested both short-term and long-term recommendations in these areas.