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A fresh start for houskeeping: Darius Dixon begins work as new department director

Some University housekeepers are optimistic.

And that optimism — though fueled partly by reform in the unit — is largely thanks to the housekeeping department’s new director, who began work Monday.

Darius Dixon, who previously served as assistant director of housekeeping at N.C. State University, declined to comment, adding that he will know more about his plans in a few months.

Housekeeper and Employee Forum delegate James Holman said the unit is ready for a change.

“I hope he’s the right man for the job,” Holman said. “After some of the past managers we’ve had that didn’t make the housing department a nice place to work, hopefully the morale will get better.”

A lack of leadership has been a problem for the unit. The departure of director Bill Burston and assistant director Tonya Sell in the fall left UNC scrambling for replacements.

A report issued by PRM Consulting Group provided 45 recommendations for change in the department, centering on managerial training, better communication and a system in which more housekeepers can contribute to departmental leadership.

Holman said reform will now accelerate.

“Some of the changes could not really be made until we actually got a director on board because we have some manager training changes that are being made, and they were willing to wait for him to get here to select his own people,” Holman said.

Karol Gray, vice chancellor for finance and administration, said Dixon has a full plate.

“We’re hoping that he gets involved with the housekeeping key cleaning issues, scheduling issues, managing issues and budget-related issues,” she said.

“Communication has to be clear and consistent because it’s a diverse group of people, and some of them have limited speaking skills.”

Odessa Davis, a housekeeper and Employee Forum delegate, said she looks forward to getting to know Dixon.

“I hope that we can build a relationship with him,” she said. “We just got to get know him first.”

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