John Lawrence’s message from March 30, 2020
Welcome to week 3 of working remotely. As we continue to adapt to an ever-changing situation, we continue to engage Iowans with research, education and extension experiences. However, did you know? We also inspire each other.
“We’re working differently,” says Janet Smith, director of Region 20. “I couldn’t be more excited and proud of the innovative, virtual education that our staff are trying, social media posts, the professional development that’s occurring and the virtual meetings. I couldn’t be prouder of the innovative, can-do spirit that’s going on. Staff are playing with the cards they were dealt, and even staff who have been hesitant to try new technology are jumping in. We really are ‘open’ for business — but in a different way.”
I agree with Janet 100 percent! I am inspired by every example of extension professionals finding new ways to serve Iowans during this pandemic. A friend and colleague in North Dakota shared a Charles Darwin quote and said that he thought it also applies to extension: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.” I agree. Our people are adapting and taking care of ongoing business, innovating to solve problems and creating new ways to engage and educating Iowans.
Only the doors are closed on our offices. ISU Extension and Outreach is open for business, just a bit differently. By the way, Advancement has posted some new sign templates on MyExtension so everyone understands that we are continuing to serve Iowans.
Internal Communications update:
Last week we launched a new homepage in MyExtension where you will find what you need to know about issues affecting our organization. This is in response to a recommendation from the Internal Communications Task Force. The task force recommended we develop a centralized (internal) website or “front page” for leadership communications. Here you will find links to my daily updates, announcements, other news for staff, newsletters, and (coming soon) meeting agendas and notes from the Leadership Team.
- County staff who are considering ISU benefits programs should review the new County Extension Benefits webpage for more information. There also will be an optional benefits webcast 1 p.m., April 1 for interested county staff.
- April 15 is the last day you can order computers and have them billed for this fiscal year. This allows EIT time to receive the computer from Dell, set it up and complete the billing. You can still order a computer after April 15, but EIT cannot promise that it will be billed this fiscal year.
- Advancement is launching a new Did You Know? staff training video series. Three videos are now available on MyExtension, and more will be added in the coming weeks. Advancement also will offer a webinar for all staff at 10 a.m., April 3 on Did You Know? Creating Videos for Facebook. It’s a deeper dive into the lessons in one of the new videos, and will include suggestions for additional tools and equipment, as well as Q&A. The link for the webinar is https://iastate.zoom.us/j/344060951.
I look forward to “seeing” you at our virtual Annual Conference on Wednesday.
— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach