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Extension Council

Section 2.A: Extension Council Relevant Legislation (December 2009)

Section 2.B: Extension Council Job Description, Responsibilities

  • Extension Council Job Description (revised September 2001)
  • Calendar of Mandatory Agenda Items
  • Referendum Authority
    • The Iowa Code empowers the county extension district to place a referendum on the general election ballot. The referendum question allows local voters to change county funding structure. See Extension Law 176A.10, subsection 6.
  • Budgetary Responsibilities
    • The council develops and approves the budget. For more information see Budget Information on the Extension Finance page.
    • The extension law requires a complete report of financial transactions to be published for the 12 month period beginning July 1 through June 30 of the following calendar year.
  • Extension Council Member Training
  • Iowa State Association of County Extension Councils
    • The Iowa State Association of County Extension Councils provides council members with opportunities to interact with members of all 100 county extension councils in Iowa.
  • Extension Council role in Program Planning
    • With the lead of the REED, the extension council will give input and evaluation into the program planning process. According to Iowa Code, extension councils are responsible for cooperative extension service's programs and policies and that they are consistent with pertinent federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, and disability. 
  • Council Members Connect . . . A Facilitated Discussion


Section 2.C: Extension Council Elections (revised April 2012)

Section 2.D: Extension Council Property (revised April 2010)

  • Extension program availability and office access
    • In the Memorandum of Understanding between Iowa State University and each county extension council, it was agreed that the council would fulfill the responsibilities outlined in the Iowa and Federal Civil Rights law. Programs are to be made available to the people of Iowa regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. County offices are subject to periodic audits to ensure compliance. These audits are called Civil Rights audits.
    • Every three years the regional extension education director completes a county civil rights audit. Every seven years a federal audit is done. Contact your REED for more information or see Section 7.A, Accessibility Policies.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Checklist for County Extension Offices
  • Affirmative Action
    • Affirmative action includes goals set for program and personnel that are representative of the population
    • "Goals and timetables" shouldn't be confused with "quotas." Goals and timetables are targets set by government contractors for the employment of minorities and women, along with time frames for achieving the targets. Employers are encouraged to make good faith efforts, but there are no legal penalties if they make good faith efforts but are unable to meet the goals.
    • Goals set for program should continue to identify unserved audiences and document efforts to reach these audiences.
  • Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
  • Disposing of Extension Council Property
  • Office Space Lease Agreements [Complete text in Appendix C]
    • It is the responsibility of the extension council to provide and maintain office space for the county extension office. A sample of the lease used by Iowa State University and Board of Regents is provided in Appendix C. This form may serve as a guideline to facilitate discussion on developing a lease agreement at the county level.
  • Owning Real Estate
    • If a county extension council is considering options for owning real estate, the council should contact the regional extension education director, the director of field operations and the associate vice provost for field operations.


Section 2.E: Extension Council as Employer (Revised 2010)

  • Employment Process
    • Office and Program Assistants
      • When an opening occurs for a county paid employee, the regional director may meet with the extension council or personnel committee to determine office needs and to review procedures for the interviewing process. A vacancy announcement is prepared by the CEED and is advertised until the position is filled. The CEED and/or the personnel committee screens the applicants and qualified candidates are interviewed. Offer of employment is extended by the CEED.

    • Steps in Hiring County Staff
  • Resignations (all employees)
    • A formal resignation should be a letter which states intent of resignation and last day of employment. ISUE/Council employed personnel should send a letter to county council,regional director and director of field operations. Council employees should send a letter of resignation to county council to be acted upon at a regular or a special meeting.

  • Termination for Cause
    • County extension council should establish a disciplinary policy consistent with the university's disciplinary policy - see P & S Handbook.
  • County Personnel Policy
  • Evaluation Process
    • Program Specialists
      • The program director and director of field operations evaluate program specialist performance. Input from council members is encouraged and may be forwarded to the program director prior to February 1. Comments are confidential and shared in summary form with the individual field specialist.
    • County-Paid Staff
      • The council has responsibility for annually reviewing performance of county paid staff. Councils should include performance review procedures in the county personnel handbook.

Section 2.F: Extension Council Support for Field Staff

Guidelines for Supporting Field Specialists (Revised April 2003)

  • Filling a Vacancy
    • When a vacancy or resignation occurs, campus program director make the following determinations:
      • If the position is to be filled, will the area served remain the same, will the counties served remain the same, is there a need for a change in the housing?
      • If any changes are to occur, the program director, area director and local extension councils need to be involved in further discussions.
    • Once the determination has been made for housing location, the position is advertised. After the selection of the field specialist, the council serving as the headquarters gives approval.

  • Guiding Principles of Housing ISU Extension Program Specialist
  • Reporting Relationships
  • Extension Council Meeting Packets
  • Evaluation Input
    • The director of field operations and program director evaluate program specialist performance. Input from council members is encouraged and may be forwarded to the program director prior to Feb. 1. Comments are confidential and shared in summary form with the individual field specialist.