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Loyola president tapped to serve on Civil Service Commission

Loyola press release - July 25, 2011

Loyola University New Orleans President the Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., is the newest member of the Civil Service Commission for the City of New Orleans. The New Orleans City Council approved Wildes’ nomination for the seat in a 4-2 vote on Thursday.

Wildes succeeds William Forrester Jr., the commission's chairman in recent years, whose term expired earlier this month. Under city law, the members of the commission serve overlapping six-year terms, with one elected by fellow employees and the others nominated by local university presidents. The presidents each deliver three recommendations in order of preference to the council. Wildes was Tulane University President Scott Cowen’s top pick.

This appointment continues Wildes’ long-time record of service for the city. Following Hurricane Katrina, Wildes played a key role in establishing the city's Ethics Review Board and in setting up an independent Office of the Inspector General. Wildes currently sits on the Public Belt Railroad Commission, which was recently restructured to address reforms needed within that agency.

“While I believe public service is always important, the challenges for post-Katrina New Orleans make public service even more vital today,” said Wildes. “New Orleans citizens are demanding, and rightly so, to live within a city government that functions transparently, efficiently and justly. I am honored to be able to assist in this effort.”

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was supportive of Wildes’ nomination, explaining that reforming the civil service system is critical to improving the quality of service for the residents of New Orleans.

“I am pleased that Dr. Cowen has recommended Father Kevin Wildes as one of his three nominees to the City Council since Mr. Forrester’s term has expired,” said Landrieu. “I strongly and enthusiastically support his nomination. Father Wildes has a distinguished record of service in the faith-based and academic communities and has taken on numerous positive reforms locally post-Katrina. I appreciate his willingness to help improve city government.”