VPEO Strategic Initiatives
The objectives of the VPEO Strategic Initiatives are to create opportunities to encourage innovative projects and programs which through their development will strengthen the overall portfolio of Extension and Outreach and focus on signature issues and operational efficiencies. These initiatives are primarily directed at executing sustainable improvements in our program that will
- enhance the quality and accessibility of research-based education,
- improve efficiency of implementation,
- build productive collaborations and economies of scale, and
- support programmatic success along the needs assessment, program development and design, implementation, and impact evaluation chain and professional growth of our organization.
Progress Reports for Spring 2012 Funded Projects, January-February 2013
- Innovation Workshops for Kids with Cognitive Disabilities and Autism
- Iowa Beginning and Young Livestock Producer Success Network
- Local Food System Development
- Making Iowa the Healthiest State
- Minority Business and Leadership
- Pre-Collegiate Youth Outreach and Urban STEM
- Wireless Network Upgrade for All Field Offices
2013 VPEO Strategic Initiatives
The following proposals have been selected for a total of approximately $1.4M in one-time funding.
- Destination STEM will provide infrastructure to connect ISU faculty, staff, research, and programs with the K12 community and enable two-way program development, selection, and delivery. This will extend ISU’s reach to all counties through the Extension network, the STEM Hub system, and through partnering colleges and agencies.
- The Rising Star Internship program will provide internships to educate ISU students about careers available in Iowa, particularly in rural areas, including opportunities with Extension and Outreach. The program strengthens the connections among the Extension Districts, Iowa State, and the Colleges of Design and Human Sciences.
- Communicating Economic Impact will provide stakeholders with a better understanding of the value ISU brings to the state of Iowa through Extension and Outreach economic development programs to enhance the development of external partnerships.
- Data infrastructure proposals will enhance capacity for staff and clients to understand and use key Iowa data and will develop shared indicators that inform decision-making at all levels. The proposals include working with County Extension units to provide improved and meaningful budgetary and financial management information to help make communities fiscally sustainable.
- Consumer Centered Crops webpages will develop a unified Web presence to improve the actual and perceived value of ISU Extension and Outreach among farmers, agronomists, and others seeking unbiased research information.
- A Local Food Systems project will strengthen campus/county connections as counties determine what educational programming is developed and delivered through a strategic planning process. Goals include integrating community-based programming, providing horticultural mentoring, coordinating various entities involved in horticulture, and connecting potential growers to local food entrepreneurs. It also will target beginning farmers or conventional producers who would like to add a larger scale horticultural enterprise to their farming operations.
- Bridging the Gap will utilize value added business support and student learning teams to bridge the gap between entrepreneurial education, outreach, and economic development in rural communities. It forges new partnerships among the Colleges of Design and Human Sciences, other ISU Extension units, business assistance specialists, and county Extension units who are already working with small rural businesses.
Proposal Process (Fall 2012) for the Spring 2013 funded projects
Q. Does the budget for the VP initiative need to show the source of the match funds or just the dollar amount?
A. The budget needs to show both. The source of funds can be given at a high level, for example, ANR Program Specialist NAME. If your proposal is successful, you will need to provide additional detail associated with the match.
Q: Who do I submit my proposal to if it is not applicable to the categories listed.
A: Send proposals not affiliated with a college or extension unit to Sherry Glenn.
Q. If a county paid staff member or county district would be in the proposal to receive some of the funds from the initiative, would there need to be a contract established between ISU and the district if the proposal is funded?
A. We expect agreements will be drawn up between the Ag District and ISU that will address pertinent information. This information will be provided once selections are made.
Q: Will a proposal be rejected if it includes an appendix?
A: Any information beyond the proposal page limit will not be reviewed, so there is no need to include an appendix.
Q: How will the different criteria outlined in the call for proposals be weighted in the evaluation process?
A: The weightings will be approximately the same for each question in the template (questions 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9) and will be weighted the same as items mentioned in the RFP: productive collaborations, appropriate budget, effective team, and innovation.
Q: With such diverse outcomes, how should the return on investment be described and quantified?
A: The diversity of possible outcomes will almost certainly require different ways to describe the returns that will be realized. Past evidence of outcomes associated with similar activities would be one approach. If you invested in the proposed effort, what tangible results would you expect in return?
Q: Can the funds be used to support an existing activity that needs additional funding?
A: The purpose of the funds is for strategic investment in new and innovative activities that strengthen programming and/or infrastructure in the signature issues or the two identified key priorities and allows us to do things that we would otherwise not be able to do.