Review and renew with our strategic plan

John Lawrence’s message from July 1, 2019

As we ring in the new state fiscal year, it’s a good time to review our ISU Extension and Outreach Strategic Plan and renew our commitment to reaching our goals. Take some time to reread the plan, consider how your own role aligns with the goals and strategies, and share your thoughts with your colleagues. Having a strategic plan doesn’t mean much if it’s only a link on a website or a downloaded and forgotten PDF. Each of us needs to act, if we’re going to achieve our goals. I hope you know:

  • The first goal in our strategic plan is to engage all Iowans with access to research-based education and information. When Iowans are engaged with us, they are fully involved in our vision and mission as we work together to solve today’s problems and prepare for a thriving future.
  • The second goal is to build capacity for council members, faculty, staff and volunteers. We need to keep developing and honing our skills and abilities, so we can continue to address Iowans’ changing needs.
  • The third goal is to enhance our efforts in programming, operations and staffing to reach diverse and underrepresented populations. We want our faculty, staff, students and everyone we serve to know they are welcomed, supported and valued. We are dedicated to serving all Iowans.

Our strategic plan aligns with Iowa State’s strategic plan and sets the framework for what we do. It also gives us something to report against. ISU Extension and Outreach is a dynamic organization of dedicated people who love the work they do. Together we can build a strong Iowa.

Improved Service Delivery

Our Human Resources transition to Improved Service Delivery begins today. The first few days will be new for everyone, so please be patient, professional and polite. We will get through this transition and we will build new working relationships with the members of the Pine Team assigned to ISU Extension and Outreach.

Field specialists and county staff may be asking how this impacts them. Probably very little, but if you ever called Kaela Black or Jessica Stolee with HR questions, you will have a new contact. Although she isn’t our daily contact, we still have a connection to Jessica, who now is senior HR partner for the Pine team, serving ISU Extension and Outreach as well as the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. However, we say good-bye to Kaela, who now is the HR partner serving the College of Human Sciences and Office of the Vice President for Research.

You now may begin working with our new HR contacts:

  • Brad Kerr, HR partner (bkerr@iastate.edu, 515-294-1482), is here to work with and help ISU’s leaders succeed.
  • Malissa Tritsch, HR coordinator, (tritschm@iastate.edu, 515-294-3283) is the first point of contact and local HR representative for supervisors or employees.
  • Betsy Happe, recruitment specialist (betsykh@iastate.edu, 515-294-8646), is here to streamline the staff hiring process and get us the right talent for staff and post doc positions.
  • Recruitment specialist Jamie Wilson will begin July 12.

Review this ISD-HR document to learn more about the responsibilities of each of these new HR roles. If you have questions or comments about human resources service delivery, send them to hr_delivery@iastate.edu.

More notes

  • On June 27 I sent all extension staff a message about Workday (Subject: Workday and ISD Extension Need to Know). Your head probably is still spinning from all the details, announcements and attachments. But do keep the information where you can easily find it and refer to it often as you get used to the new system. Watch for a Workday email in your inbox on July 2. It will provide the link and sign-in instructions.
  • Congratulations to our eAccessibility team, who received the Team Excellence Award from the National Extension Technology Community at the 2019 NETC conference last week. The award honors outstanding effort, encourages workplace creativity and innovation, and celebrates the achievements of extension information technology professionals. The award confirms what we already know: Our eAccessibility Team is a national leader in bringing extension resources into compliance with digital accessibility rules, regulations and best practices.
  • I hope that you take time during the Fourth of July holiday to relax with family and friends and to celebrate our nation’s birthday. Be careful around any fireworks you may be lighting or watching and have a happy Fourth of July.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

A new council year

John Lawrence’s message from Jan. 7, 2018

This month our 100 county extension councils are organizing for a new year of providing access to ISU Extension and Outreach education and resources through our 99 county campus. When they get together for their first meeting, they will make motions and take actions to ensure they have fulfilled the requirements of Iowa’s extension law. Did you know?

  • Councils will adopt Robert’s Rules of Order, elect officers, appoint standing committees, adopt new personnel and fiscal policies, and set fiscal procedures.
  • They also will accept their county’s list of approved volunteers, and establish meeting dates and times in accordance with Iowa’s Open Meeting Law.
  • After they complete their organizational work, they’ll continue with regular council business, approving monthly financial transactions, and beginning work on the 2020 fiscal budget for the district.
  • They also will review and update the calendar of educational programs.

Five hundred Iowans were elected to their county extension councils in 2018. They, along with 400 returning council members, bring their understanding of local issues to important decisions about extension educational opportunities in their counties. We wish them well as they organize and establish important working relationships to operate effectively throughout the year.

Moving Forward. Together.

Our ISU Extension and Outreach annual conference is Feb. 28. We’ll start the day in Benton Auditorium, Scheman Building, reflecting on what we heard during listening sessions with 62 different audiences over the past year. I know, that adds up to a lot of conversations for reflection. Remember, these sessions were just the first step in our overall needs assessment process. Coming together Feb. 28 is an opportunity to share and discuss what we heard and learned, and continue to keep everyone involved in the process. Later in the day, we’ll recognize our length of service and award recipients, before heading to the Sukup End Zone at Jack Trice Stadium for a reception, a message from Athletic Director Jamie Pollard, and dinner followed by a keynote address from President Wendy Wintersteen. Take a few minutes to check out the agenda and register.

More notes

  • ISU P&S and Merit staff will receive a survey Jan. 9 about their interest in applying for a position in the Improved Service Delivery (ISD) model. Those on campus who have HR or Finance responsibilities should be familiar with ISD, the Job Showcase and the interest survey. (Those of you off campus may not be aware of ISD.) Those working in HR and Finance are encouraged to complete the survey. If you are not currently working in HR or Finance, but have some skills or education in those areas and would like to be considered for one of these positions on campus in the new ISD model, you are welcome and encouraged to complete the survey. If you have questions about ISD or the survey, please let me know.
  • Changes in IRS mileage reimbursement rates took effect Jan. 1. The default rate now is 29 cents/mile for ISU travelers who use a personal vehicle when a vehicle is available from Transportation Services. The 2019 full IRS rate is increasing to 58 cents/mile, which applies to travelers who are permanently based off-campus, and also to certain travel situations. For more information, contact John Flickinger, Extension Finance Office, jeflick@iastate.edu.
  • Office Clean Up Day is Jan. 10. It’s important to take time to create a safe and efficient office environment – from public spaces to individual desks and computer files.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

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