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The Daily Tar Heel

Officials Close to Naming CCPS Director

The search committee will make its recommendation this week, and the provost will make the final decision.

The three finalists, Lynn White Blanchard, Michael Davis and John O'Sullivan, each participated in one of three public forums for candidates that has been held on campus in the last two weeks.

Blanchard is currently the vice chairwoman for community initiatives at the Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network in Allentown, Pa. Davis is the assistant director of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service in Raleigh. O'Sullivan is a farm management and marketing specialist for the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service with N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University.

Ned Brooks, interim director of the CCPS, said he was pleased with the forums.

"I think they were excellent," he said.

CCPS officials began their search for a new director for the center after Nick Didow resigned from the position almost three months ago to pursue a professorship at the Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Brooks said that at the forums, candidates spoke to the audience members about their experiences with public service and issues they felt were important.

The audience also addressed questions to the candidates.

Brooks said the attendance at the forums ranged from about 12 people to about 25 people.

Audience members were given an evaluation form, and the feedback from those forms will play a role in the decision-making process, he said.

Linda Carl, assistant provost for educational programs, said the forums were an efficient way to review the candidates.

"I think (the forums) went superbly," she said.

"We have an excellent group of candidates."

Carl said the forums were important because they gave officials an opportunity to see the candidates in a public speaking role, which is an important part of the director position.

Brooks said the future director must exhibit several qualities that are essential to the job.

"They have to engender trust and respect," he said.

"They must be the kind of person students, faculty, alumni and community members will trust and want to work with."

Cindy Wolf Johnson, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, headed the search committee that chose the three finalists. She said the search committee has not met since it interviewed the last candidate earlier this week.

But she said the committee will meet this week and make its recommendation to Provost Robert Shelton, who will make the final decision.

Shelton said he hopes to select a director by the end of the month.

Shelton said he was very impressed with the candidates.

"I met all three finalists and talked with them one-on-one," he said.

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"I had a sense that each of them had a genuine interest in the position."

Shelton said the University is proud of its public service role throughout the state and that the future director will have a major responsibility in demonstrating the totality of UNC's public service to the leaders of North Carolina.

"It's one of those positions where it's hard to overstate its value."

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

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