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Race Relations

Task Force Implementation, 2016-2020

The Task Force on Race and Race Relations submitted its holistic recommendations to President Taylor Reveley in 2016. That final report outlines systematic improvements that W&M should undertake in four areas: recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and senior administrators; campus climate; curriculum; bias reporting.

2016-2018: The university made meaningful structural changes in response, both one time and ongoing. Highlights include: the approval of a new undergraduate curricular requirement; a financial initiative to support efforts to recruit and retain diverse faculty; the naming of two residence halls for African Americans significant to the history of W&M; the administration of annual surveys to evaluate campus climate; an external review of the Facilities Management department as a response to concerns regarding work conditions; and the requirement for all academic divisions to have a robust diversity action plan.

2018-2019: When President Rowe assumed leadership of W&M in 2018, the Task Force Implementation Team prepared a status report (pdf), listing nearly 40 completed recommendations. They suggested a path forward for completing the remaining recommendations and building upon the work accomplished.

Conclusion and Status Review, 2020

President Rowe has accelerated implementation of most remaining milestones, with particular focus on the imperative to recruit and retain a diverse faculty, standardize faculty hiring guidelines across the university, implement annual implicit bias training and restructure the university Diversity & Inclusion office to increase resources. A few recommendations of the task force were not implemented: either the decision was made that they vastly exceed available resources or they are no longer best practice.

What's next? A DEI Strategic Plan, Fall 2020

W&M is joining state university peers in submitting a DEI Strategic Plan to the governor's office in Fall 2020, with a focus on system-wide initiatives that advance access, inclusion and innovation in Diversity & Inclusion.