LaTanya N. Buck, most recently director of the Cross Cultural Center (CCC) at Saint Louis University, has been appointed director of the newly created Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Washington University in St. Louis, according to Holden Thorp, PhD, university provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, and Sharon Stahl, vice chancellor for students. The appointment, which is the result of a nationwide search, is effective July 1.
“To prepare our students as future leaders, we must provide them with the skills and experiences to succeed in a diverse, increasingly global community. They must be able to connect with people across difference of background, experience, and ideology in order to be successful in politics, business, science, and the arts,” Thorp said. “Under LaTanya’s leadership, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion will serve as a cornerstone in our efforts to further create a welcoming and collaborative community that gives students the tools and insights they need for the future.”
As the inaugural director, Buck will launch and lead the new center and direct its activities to support and advocate for students from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized populations, working to create collaborative partnerships across the Danforth Campus to promote dialogue and social change.
“LaTanya is ideally suited for this position,” Stahl said. “With her breadth of experience and keen awareness of important issues, I am highly confident that she will help us immensely as we navigate the challenges and opportunities inherent in building a more diverse and inclusive campus environment.”
Buck was selected by a search committee composed of students, staff, faculty and a member of the local community, who reviewed and interviewed candidates from across the country and recommended a finalist.
“I’m excited to welcome LaTanya Buck to Washington University,” said senior Zach Romo, a member of the selection committee. “Students have long been asking for additional staff resources to help coordinate our campus diversity work, and LaTanya will have an immediate impact. Although my four years here as a student are nearly over, I believe she brings invaluable experience to this position and feel confident leaving Washington University with her as an advocate for our minority students who are in need of greater support, and as an educator who can make these issues matter to all students, regardless of their backgrounds.”
In her former role, Buck oversaw and managed the daily operations of the CCC, providing professional support to 15 cultural student organizations and a cadre of 200 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars, selected for their leadership skills and commitment to the promotion of diversity in society. She previously served as assistant director and coordinator for minority student recruitment at Maryville University and as assistant director in the Office of Multicultural Student Services at Missouri State University.
Buck earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations and her master’s degree in college student personnel administration from Central Missouri State University. She currently is a candidate for a doctoral degree in higher education administration at Saint Louis University.