Wallace Goode, who served as the director of the University Community Service Center (UCSC) for more than five years, left the University last month in a move that some students are calling abrupt.
University administrators sent an email to community service registered student organization (CSRSO) leaders December 10 informing recipients that Director of College Programming Lori Hurvitz would be the interim director until a permanent replacement is found.
Goode said he will continue his community service work in Woodlawn and surrounding neighborhoods, but unaffiliated with the University. He said he is looking forward to having a more hands-on role instead of an administrative one, but will also miss the benefits of working with the UCSC.
“The University has acted as a great connection to work with so many enthusiastic students,” Goode said.
During Goode’s time at the UCSC, the number of CSRSOs grew from 30 to 75. Goode, who has been the official advisor of the 75 CSRSOs, said the permanent replacement will likely take up his old role.
The announcement surprised some students. “At first I thought it was a really terrible practical joke,” said fourth-year Kristian Coerper, a Peer Health Exchange coordinator and treasurer of Best Buddies.
“His not being at Chicago is odd,” Coerper said. “With the replacement, I’m going to constantly have to compare to Wallace and say, ‘Who are you to be in this position?’”
Many students spoke of how Goode was an inspiring and influential mentor. “About five minutes into my first meeting with him, he had already convinced me to join the Peace Corps,” said fourth-year Jacqui Gurevitch, the director of CHAMP (Chicago Adolescent Mentorship Program). “Wallace is a powerful personality and he won’t be replaced any time soon. The University has lost an incredible asset.”
Around November, Wallace “disappeared from the University without word,” Tenika Handy, a student at the University of Wisconsin-–Madison who often worked with Goode when she visited her parents in Kenwood, said in an e-mail.
Neither administrators nor Goode would respond to questions regarding the nature of his departure.
Staff members at the UCSC said Goode was not in communication with the center. “He hasn’t been in touch with any of us senior staff at UCSC for many weeks,” said USCS assistant director Trudi Langendorf in an e-mail. “I know nothing about his whereabouts or what he’s doing.”
A selection committee for the permanent director is being formed by Assistant Vice President for Student Life Eleanor Daugherty, who said the committee will be a broad representation of the campus community.
“The search will last six months, and my goal will be to have a permanent director in place for the 2011–12 academic year,” Daugherty wrote in a December 10 e-mail to CSRSO leaders.