Longwood hires coordinator for debate
Published 3:09 pm Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Longwood University has hired a part-time debate coordinator to help the college prepare for the 2016 vice presidential debate.
According to Justin Pope, the president’s chief of staff at Longwood University, Jeff Chidester from the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville will aid the university in preparing for the debate.
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“He will be focused mainly on the televised debate event and site itself, but will also provide help with some of the events that will immediately surround it and which are still being planned,” said Pope.
He said although the university is bringing Chidester on board, representatives from Longwood will continue to play a role in preparing for the debate.
“One of the nice things about the debate is that it aligns nicely with the strategic goals we already have in place, such as getting out the Longwood name and attracting campus visitors. So much of the work is an extension of what we are already doing,” Pope said.
In a campuswide email to students, faculty and staff, Longwood University President W. Taylor Reveley IV said that Chidester will hold a temporary appointment at the university.
Reveley said Chidester is currently director of policy programs at The Miller Center.
“He is the author of numerous articles and co-author or editor of three books about the U.S. presidency … Jeff has also been instrumental in planning numerous large-scale events related to the presidency at the Miller Center, including debates produced by the PBS Newshour team and ABC News,” Reveley said.
He said Chidester would be working closely with the university’s vice presidents, the president’s office and the debate commission.
“I am delighted to join the extraordinary team already assembled here at Longwood,” Chidester said, “and look forward to working with people across campus and throughout the community to help all of us make the most of this special opportunity.”
“In my short time with the university, I’ve been struck by its deep commitment to teaching and cultivating the next generation of citizen-leaders,” he said. “Together we are gearing up to host a world-class debate on Oct. 4 that will shine a bright light on this region and also serve as a catalyst for thoughtful dialogue and civic engagement across the country.”
Longwood will pay Chidester roughly $30,000 during the current academic year and a comparable rate is expected next year, according to Pope.