Student government’s very own Dumbledore is retiring.
After more than 25 years at UNC, Jon Curtis will be trading a desk for a plane ticket as he leaves the University this July to travel the world.
Curtis is the main adviser for both student government and student organizations.
Zach De La Rosa, speaker of Student Congress, said it would be impossible to find a replacement for Curtis.
“How difficult is it to replace him? How difficult would it be to replace Dumbledore?” he said.
The associate director of student activities and organizations, Curtis has juggled his time overseeing the approval of new student groups and sharing a wealth of institutional knowledge with students.
“I’m retiring because I have the age and the number of years in, and I’m ready for a change,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Curtis was optimistic about the Student Union’s ability to find his replacement.
“Replacing me will be a difficult process,” he said. “But I think there are certainly people that have the skills and abilities that I have, and the experience will come with time.”
As part of its overall internal review, the Union is even looking at breaking up his position, he said.
Olivia Hammill, chief of staff for Student Body President Mary Cooper, said Curtis is indispensable.
“He just has so much knowledge about student government, how it’s developed over the years, how it fits in with the University and the University climate,” she said.
Curtis said his job has been both rewarding and challenging.
He said the work has required him to get to know and work with a different team of people each year, and that building relationships with new people is his most important role.
“You don’t get to elect who you work with. Every year I need to figure out what makes each individual tick, what their strengths and weaknesses are and what kind of relationship they are open to,” he said.
Curtis said throughout his career he has been impressed particularly with the students.
“The best aspect has been that UNC students are amazing to work with,” he said.
“I’m housed right in with student government. The energy is incredible and that is the thing I’m going to miss the most.”
After he retires, Curtis said he plans on seeing as much of the world as possible, a dream of his.
“I have always been one who goes to other places in the world on vacation, and it looks like I’m going to have the opportunity to do a lot of that.”
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