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Coates Connection Spring/Summer 2012

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S c h o o l o f G o v e r n m e n t , U N C - C h a p e l H i l l H undreds of students, local government o!cials, and university colleagues will a"est that few individuals in North Carolina have done as much to contribute to excellence in public service as Gordon Whitaker, professor of public administration, who retires from the School this summer a#er four decades in the classroom. A#er a"ending Cornell College, Whitaker served with the Peace Corps in Somalia. He subsequently earned an MA and PhD from Indiana University. He joined the Institute of Government in 1997, but he has worked with Institute faculty since coming to UNC-Chapel Hill as a political science professor in 1973. He directed the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program from 1980 to 1992, while it was part of the UNC Department of Political Science. "We are doing important work at the School of Government," Whitaker says. "$e [MPA] students want to learn, and I like ge"ing people to think about how to organize and manage organizations." Whitaker created the Public Intersection Project to improve working relationships among governments and local businesses, nonpro%t organizations, philanthropies, and faith communities. "$e boundaries between government, business, and nonpro%ts are more blurred, as there is not a sense that government needs to produce all things," he explains. Whitaker believes civic engagement is a continuing practice throughout one's life. "$e great thing about living in a democracy," he says, is that "people are engaged in governing themselves, le"ing government know what they need, and working with government to get things done." HIGHLIGHTS OF A PUBLIC SERVICE CAREER r$SFBUFE.BOBHJOHJO/PSUI$BSPMJOBXFCTJUFGPSDJUZBOEDPVOUZ managers (www.sog.unc.edu/node/143) r0SHBOJ[FEUIF.BOBHFST#VEHFU'PSVN r8SPUFLocal Government in North Carolina, an introduction to civics used by North Carolina public schools r*OTUSVNFOUBMJOUIFDSFBUJPOPGUIF/$$JWJD&EVDBUJPO$POTPSUJVN r3FDFJWFEUIF*OUFSOBUJPOBM$JUZ$PVOUZ.BOBHFNFOU"TTPDJBUJPOT "XBSEGPS-PDBM(PWFSONFOU&EVDBUJPOBOEUIF$BSPMJOB$FOUFSGPS 1VCMJD4FSWJDFT/FE#SPPLT"XBSEGPS1VCMJD4FSWJDF C oates C onnection S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 2 Professor Gordon Whitaker was named a member of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in November 2011 during the Public Administration Conference in Chapel Hill. GORDON WHITAKER: TEACHER MENTOR ADVISOR

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