College of William and Mary Implements Changes to Increase On-Campus Diversity

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On Tuesday, College of William and Mary President Taylor Reveley announced that the institution will be spending $1 million to recruit a more diverse faculty.

This effort is one of several immediate steps being taken by the college based on recommendations made by its Task Force on Race and Race Relations.

Last month, the task force submitted a report to the president with a list of 51 recommendations focused on several areas, including campus climate, prevention and education, recruitment of diverse faculty and senior administration, and bias reporting and incident protocol. Reveley said he plans to take immediate action on six of the recommendations and will be reviewing the others at a later time.

“As the provost and I discussed with the task force members, we are committed to making William and Mary a stronger, more diverse, and more inclusive university for every member of our community,” Reveley said in a message to the campus community.

In addition to the allocation of $1 million to recruit diverse faculty members, the administration plans to rename campus buildings to reflect African American history at the college; develop mandatory diversity and inclusion training for faculty and staff; expand diversity education; strengthen practices for diverse hiring and the assessment of campus climate; hire an external consultant to lead the campus toward better understanding of the concerns of African American employees; and appoint a committee charged with reviewing the task force’s recommendations and developing a plan for further implementation.

According to Reveley, half of the $1 million recruiting budget will be included in next year’s budget, and another $500,000 will be instituted for the 2017-2018 academic year — as well as $100,000 for additional staffing and programming support for the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity.

Buildings that will be renamed include two Jamestown residence halls. One will become Lemon Hall, in memory of an enslaved man owned by William and Mary, while the other building will become Hardy Hall, in recognition of the late Carrol Hardy, who was a long-time student affairs administrator at the college. Hardy established the National Black Student Leadership Development Conference for college students across the country and founded the Hulon Willis Association for African American students and alumni.

The hiring of an external consultant will focus on the concerns of African American employees. The consultant will be looking at non-exempt employees in facilities and management to help the college develop a plan to improve workplace conditions, management practices, and wages.

“This is a significant step, but in my view, only a start,” Reveley said. “Last fall, when racial issues took center stage at universities across the nation, we had already formed our Task Force on Race and Race Relations. Over the course of the past year, the task force held six community forums with students, both undergraduates and graduates, faculty, and staff. These forums helped open lines of communication more fully than ever before, and we are committed to continuing that dialogue.”