Princeton University announced the hiring of its first dean for diversity and inclusion on Tuesday, months after student protesters demanded the removal of former university and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s name from campus, citing his segregationist views.
The university’s board of trustees named LaTanya Buck, founding director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Washington University in St. Louis, to the position. News of the creation of the position was announced the day after the board voted to retain Wilson’s name at its School of Public and International Affairs.
The controversy surrounding Wilson was at its peak in November, when the student group Black Justice League staged a 32-hour sit-in inside President Christopher Eisgruber’s office. Students demanded that Wilson’s name be removed from university programs and buildings.
However, the university’s special task force on diversity, equity, and inclusion had recommended that the university establish the position of dean for diversity and inclusion in the report it released in May 2015 — prior to students’ sit-in.
Buck will begin the new position in August. Her responsibilities will range from providing a vision to enhance campus life to merging diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. She will also oversee specific units on campus, including the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding, the LGBT Center, and the Women’s Center.
“I am elated to join the Princeton University community and campus life division to engage students and colleagues in diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts,” Buck said in a statement. “I look forward to serving in this inaugural role and collaborating with campus partners and identity-focused units to assist in creating synergy and cohesion — to have a greater impact on the overall student experience.”