John Lawrence’s message from Feb. 19, 2018
Who are our stakeholders? They are the people who have an interest or a share in what we do. Maybe they’ve made an investment in ISU Extension and Outreach, whether in time or money. They may have a personal or emotional concern related to our work. They may feel connected to Iowa State for any number of reasons. Whatever the case, they have a stake in our impact and outcomes. It makes good sense to keep them informed about our work.
For the public, telling our story is a way to shed the title of ISU Extension and Outreach being the “best kept secret.” Telling our story to taxpayers and the elected officials who allocate precious public resources shows them their return on investment. We’re lucky to have multiple opportunities to keep them up to date. Did you know?
- Our extension districts produce annual stakeholder reports that describe program successes in food and the environment, health and well-being, economic development and K-12 youth outreach. They are available online for download and although they look nice, the reports themselves aren’t what is most important. What really matters are the conversations that these reports can spark. If we want decision makers to understand what we do, we have to show them and tell them. At the county level, stakeholder reports often are the right tool for the job.
- On Feb. 26, several extension professionals will be in Des Moines for ISU Day at the Capitol. It’s an annual opportunity to meet face-to-face with our state legislators to showcase the impact Iowa State has on students, communities, businesses and Iowans across the state. ISU Extension and Outreach is a big part of this conversation. We’ll be sharing highlights from our 2017 annual report.
- The Iowa Extension Council Association’s annual Legislative Day is Feb. 28. IECA members will be meeting with state legislators to share extension impacts. They also will be modeling public leadership to the 4-H’ers participating in IECA’s 4-H Public Leadership Experience. Senior 4-H’ers from each county will have the opportunity to meet with legislators, tour the capitol, and learn about the legislative process and the bearing it has on ISU Extension and Outreach.
- In March, our Iowa delegates to the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) will head to Washington, D.C., to share Iowa State’s story with Congress. Kevin Ross (Underwood), Donald Latham (Alexander), Sally Stutsman (Riverside), and Robert Petrzelka (Mt. Pleasant) represent ISU Extension and Outreach as well as the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in this national grassroots organization. CARET advocates for greater national support and understanding of the land-grant university system’s food and agricultural research, extension, and teaching programs that enhance the quality of life for all people.
While these are purposeful discussions with specific stakeholders, do not be bashful about telling our story – your story – every chance you get. We strive to serve all Iowans. A key to our success is making sure people know about ISU Extension and Outreach, and how we are working to build a strong Iowa.
One more thing: Iowa State is rolling out Okta, a new application. (It reminds me of the letters left at the end of a Scrabble game.) Okta is going to change the look and feel of the login page when you sign into MyExtension, Office 365, CyBox and other Iowa State and ISU Extension and Outreach resources. Okta also gives you the ability to add (at a later date) something called multi-factor authentication to your account. Multi-factor authentication adds protection to your account by requiring a second verification in addition to your password. This second verification can be an app on your phone, a code sent via text message, a voice call or a small physical device called a Yubikey.
The look and feel portion of Okta will be rolling out on March 1. Currently, multi-factor authentication is optional and can be turned on in the settings in Okta. For more information, plan to attend a webinar with Deb Coates, EIT manager, on Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. To log in, go to https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/eit.
— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Interim Vice President for Extension and Outreach