La-Tarri Canty Named Associate Dean for Community Life

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She will oversee OPAL, NAP, the Tucker Center, and student affairs inclusion efforts.

La-Tarri Canty
La-Tarri Canty has been appointed associate dean for community life and inclusivity. (Photo courtesy of La-Tarri Canty)

La-Tarri Canty, the associate dean for intercultural engagement and director of the SPXCE Intercultural Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been appointed associate dean for community life and inclusivity. She begins at Dartmouth on Sept. 12.

“Dr. Canty’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and intercultural engagement, as well as her deep expertise in student affairs, make her an invaluable addition to our team,” says Interim Dean of the College Scott C. Brown, who announced her hiring. “Her evidence-based approach will help us help students and staff of all backgrounds and identities find ways to thrive at Dartmouth.”

As associate dean, Canty will oversee the Office of Pluralism and Leadership, the Native American Program, and the William Jewett Tucker Center for Spiritual and Ethical Life. In addition, she will lead diversity, equity, and inclusivity professional development initiatives within the Office of Student Affairs.

Canty, whose last day at MIT was last week, calls the work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) “my purpose and call.”

“It is important to me that every student have the appropriate resources and opportunity to thrive while completing their degree,” she says. “My approach is to listen, build relationships, serve as a bridge to connect folks, and provide educational opportunities. I see value in all stories and perspectives and believe that all members of our community play a role in creating a sense of belonging for all students.”

Canty earned her doctorate in education from Northeastern University and her master’s in social science with concentrations in student affairs personnel and diversity from Binghamton University. She completed her bachelor’s degree in English at State University of New York at Oneonta after earning an associate’s degree in elementary education at City University of New York.

She began her career in student affairs as a residence hall director, first at SUNY Morrisville and later at SUNY Oneonta. She spent five years as assistant director of student life and engagement at the University of South Florida, where she spearheaded the creation of a multicultural center.

In 2011 she left Florida for MIT to take up the role of inaugural director of multicultural programs and assistant director of student activities. Over the past decade, she has held a variety of roles at MIT, including as interim assistant dean of student leadership and development, director of student activities, and assistant dean of multicultural programs. Appointed associate dean in 2018, she led the strategic planning process for the Office of Multicultural Programs, the Intercultural Center, and the Office of LGBTQ+ Services, among other accomplishments.

Of joining the Dartmouth community, Canty says, “I am excited to engage with a close-knit community of world changers. The campus is beautiful, and the people are thoughtful and welcoming. I am excited to join at a critically important time when DEIB is being prioritized, and I look forward to creating synergy with those leading the charge.”

Canty will be Dartmouth’s second associate dean for community life and inclusivity. The first, Bryant Ford, stepped down in March to direct the counseling center at Brown University.

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