John Lawrence’s message from April 6, 2020
When we implement Structured for Success July 1, it will be a new beginning. To continue the preparation, Andrea Nelson met with our county and regional directors in late March. The event was called Building Value and Building Trust. A committee of county and regional directors has been meeting and discussing that topic since last fall. I want to thank RaeAnn Gordan, Adriane Carlson, Carter Oliver, Rich Wrage, Cindy Gannon, Sherry Ford, Donovan Olson and Katharinna Bain for working with Andrea for all of us and for our system.
My wife often accuses me of selective hearing, but I heard three important messages in Andrea’s opening comments about building value and trust. Did you know?
- First, County Services is a large unit, with 900 council members, 484 county staff, 19 regional directors and two accountants. It accounts for 40% of the nearly 1,200 faculty and staff who are part of ISU Extension and Outreach.
- Second, the success of the County Services unit and, for that matter, our entire organization, depends on the success of all our people.
- And, third, we have to stop creating silos. Whether part of County Services or the rest of our organization who create content and support operations, we are all on the same team.
Each of us plays a different position, but we all wear the same jersey: ISU Extension and Outreach. Let’s pull together as a team to make our transition successful. Look upon this new beginning as a chance to refresh existing relationships with teammates and look for new ways to grow as individuals and as an organization. (And if your “jersey” is a bit worn, you can order new extension apparel from http://www.ISUExtApparel.com. You also can access the site through My Extension. The new site is not part of the Extension Store.)
I am extremely proud of our team. We have a legacy of service to Iowans, not just during a crisis, but every day. We provide research-based information, we are embedded in the communities and we are here for the long haul. We will help Iowans solve today’s problems and prepare for a thriving future.
Defining our success
How we define success varies across the span of our careers and as our accomplishments accumulate. In this video from Annual Conference some of our colleagues share their perspectives on success and how it is defined.
- A recording of Our Virtual Annual Conference and several of the resources are available from MyExtension.
- President Wintersteen’s April 3 COVID-19 update discusses planning for reduced campus operations and impact on frontline staff.
- The Rising Star Internship program for summer 2020 has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will announce plans for the summer 2021 program this fall.
- Please review the April program update from the leadership team for current examples of what is happening across our programs.
- Our next Second Monday Live is 10 a.m., April 13 at https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/isueo/. David Brown, behavioral health state specialist, will discuss managing stress and mental health – because working remotely can be stressful. The isolation, lack of work/home boundaries, and simple anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can impact our wellness. This short program will review tips and tools to manage stress and help improve our wellbeing in a remote working environment.
- The archive of the April 1 county benefits webinar is available: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/pc8iszgj6i71/.
- The county website transition committee has announced the first three counties to transition to the new website platform. You’ll understand why they won the contest when you watch the videos from Shelby County (first), Dallas County (second) and Linn County (third). We’d like to thank all the counties who entered the contest, and we look forward to seeing all the new county websites.
— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach