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UNC Professor Wants To Make Transition Period Easier For Incoming Administrations

Posted December 11, 2000

— People with the new administration will have their work cut out for them. The president-elect must fill 14 cabinet posts, make appointments for about 80 key government positions and hire hundreds of other employees. One UNC professor is part of an effort to speed up the process.

Making the move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is usually a 73-day ordeal, but 35 days without a president-elect means the transition period has been cut in half.

Dr. Terry Sullivan of the University of North Carolina heads upWhite House 2001, a privately funded project that helps incoming administrations make a smooth transition.

"We take the largest organization in the world and overnight, fire everybody who runs it and replace them," he says.

For the first time ever, critical transition information can be found in one place.

The group talked to former White House workers. The interviews should provide the new administration with useful information on how to do their jobs. They also helped design a program that cuts down on paperwork for nominees.

"This way, they can enter the information once, and it gets transferred to all the forms they file," says UNC student Jennifer Hora. "It makes a lot of information available to them quickly."

The handful of graduate students working on the project know they are part of election history.

"I'm very proud to be a part of this," says UNC student Todd McNoldy. "I'm making hopefully a small contribution, and it really is a small one, but I think the White House 2001 project has a great deal to offer."

Dr. Sullivan says both parties have been working on the transition for months, so they should be prepared. The only snag could be getting FBI security checks for everyone before the new administration takes over.


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