The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday February 8th

Center for Public Service in Search of Leader

The center, which opened in September 1999, aims to facilitate public service on campus.

It remains unclear when or why the center's leadership has changed, although the center Web site states that a search committee began reviewing applications for the position in July.

When asked why he left the position, Nick Didow said the position of director is an at-will position, meaning it is subject to constant review from the provost.

Didow did not comment any further on why he left the position and suggested that the provost's office be contacted for additional information.

The Daily Tar Heel attempted to contact Provost Robert Shelton, but Shelton was out of town Thursday night and could not be reached for comment.

Cindy Wolf Johnson, associate vice chancellor for student learning, also declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding Didow's departure.

Wolf Johnson, who is heading the search for the new director, said about 40 or 50 applications have been submitted for the position. She said the committee has not set a definite timeline yet but would ideally come to a final decision by early October.

Applicants will be selected for phone interviews in about one week with campus interviews to follow. "We are looking for somebody who has a passion and commitment for public service," Wolf Johnson said.

The main responsibility of the Center for Public Service is to facilitate public service on campus by creating awareness, raising funds and collaborating with other campus groups.

"I'm very proud of what we were able to do in a short period of time in getting the program off the ground," said Didow, who has directed the organization since its inception.

The center's efforts to help the victims of Hurricane Floyd included bus trips to eastern North Carolina to assist in cleanup and food and clothing drives. CPS also helped gather monetary donations to go toward the victims' recovery.

Wolf Johnson said the center provides valuable assistance to the community. She stressed the importance of the new director's ability to work within the framework of CPS while bringing fresh ideas to the center.

"The staff has been working on a strategic plan, and we want the director to work with that plan," she said.

Other criteria are the amount of work experience applicants have in higher education and their ability to work with local town programs in addition to campus groups, Wolf Johnson said.

"The mission of the center is to serve those who serve," she said. "That's why we want the director to be able to work with faculty, staff and students."

Didow said he will continue to perform public service throughout his life and that he hopes the center will continue to build on the foundation he helped lay for it.

He said, "I have only the best wishes for the success and future contributions of the center."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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