John Lawrence’s message from Sept. 17, 2018
Sometimes we have trouble communicating with each other in our complex organization, and the challenge cuts across all our programs. That’s why in spring 2018 I appointed an internal communications task force, led by Deb Sellers and Ross Wilburn, to determine how we could improve communication within all of ISU Extension and Outreach.
The task force members – Deb and Ross along with Ann Torbert, Terry Torneten, Alex Merk, Andrea Nelson, Ben Pullen and Mary Giese – began their work without preconceived notions of the outcome. Instead, this group of our colleagues has been focused on listening. They want to develop strategies we can implement within our system to help us all do a better job of carrying out our mission. Did you know?
- They are gathering information from across our system on barriers that impede, as well as ways to improve, our internal communication.
- They want to ensure all voices are heard.
- They will assess, evaluate and determine the most important issues for our system to address in the short- and long-term.
- They will provide a final report with recommendations to the leadership team.
We all have a role in this effort. The task force is offering four ways for us to provide our feedback.
- Anyone in our system may send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org from now until Oct. 29.
- Task force members will facilitate four community conversations across the state on Sept. 25, Sept. 28, Oct. 3 and Oct. 8. If you would like to participate in a conversation, please register at http://bit.ly/11131ictf. Six to 12 individuals may participate per session and these conversations will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. If more than 12 people would like to participate at any one location, the task force will create a waiting list and determine whether another session can be offered.
- Each task force member has set aside one day to be available to meet by phone, Zoom or in-person with anyone in our system who would like to engage in an individual discussion. Please see the list of opportunities and contact the task force member to schedule a time to chat.
- Anyone in our system may anonymously complete an electronic survey, which will open in early October and close Oct. 29.
Please take a few minutes and participate, in whichever way works best for you. The more people who participate, the more valuable the task force’s report and recommendations will be for our organization.
Congratulations to our extension colleagues who received university awards on Sept. 14, including:
- R.K. Bliss Extension Award, Jerry Chizek, Region 7 director.
- Award for Distinguished Service in Extension, Beth Doran, beef field specialist.
- Award for Outstanding Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice, Alison Robertson, professor and extension field pathologist.
- Award for Early Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice, Lee Schulz, assistant professor and extension economist.
- Professional and Scientific Outstanding New Professional Award, Sara Sprouse, human sciences specialist.
- Award for Achievement in Economic Development in Iowa, CED Latino Business and Entrepreneurship Team – Lisa Bates, Himar Hernandez, Victor Oyervides, Jill Sokness, Scott Timm and Jon Wolseth.
We also congratulate Ron Cox, director of CIRAS, who received an award for Achievement in Economic Development in Iowa. Many of you may know Ron, since CIRAS had been part of ISU Extension and Outreach before becoming part of the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations.
- Wendy Wintersteen will be formally installed as president of Iowa State University Sept. 21 at Stephens Auditorium. Doors will open at 9:15 a.m. and the ceremony begins at 10:15 a.m. For those unable to attend in person, the installation will be livestreamed at www.iastate.edu.
- Congratulations to Madison County, this year’s Cy Day Friday winner. They did a good job with community engagement and social media – check their Facebook page to see for yourself.
- I’m visiting two regions this week: Sept. 17, Region 10; and Sept. 18, Region 11.
— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach