April 24, 2024: Message from Jason

Dear Colleagues,

Last week was like Christmas in springtime for me as I awaited the April 15 deadline for the Catalyst Funding proposals! We received 43 proposals ranging from $100,000 to less than $10,000. The proposals cover our areas of focus, program areas, the state, and a variety of research and programmatic initiatives.

I want to thank all of you who took time to have discussions and share ideas across the organization and state, with a special thank you to those who were ready to turn those ideas and discussions into Catalyst proposals. Over the next weeks, ISU Extension and Outreach Leadership Team members will review and rank the proposals based on the criteria outlined in the RFP. We will communicate decisions with the proposal lead authors by early June and then announce the Catalyst grantees and their projects to the organization by mid-June.

In addition to reviewing your proposals, I have been encouraged by the stories I continue to hear of the discussions many of you are having about ideas for innovation that did not result in Catalyst proposals but are moving ahead in other ways. Keep those ideas flowing!

Earlier this month, I also had the opportunity to attend the Iowa Rural Development Council and share some reflections from ISU Extension and Outreach. Specifically, I shared our three areas of focus:

  • Empowering resilient and thriving people and communities
  • Promoting an entrepreneurial and innovative ag and food system
  • Fostering adaptable and sustainable natural and built environments

There is a lot embedded in these three statements. They express our purpose: to be a catalyst for growth and change, and to collaborate and partner with Iowans to make our communities resilient, thriving, entrepreneurial, innovative, adaptable, and sustainable. They reflect our external commitment to work with Iowans to address the complex issues facing our people, our communities, our industries, and our farms. And they express our external commitment to doing this work through the power of education and the power of local collaborations.

I concluded my remarks at the conference with several, “What if?” reflection questions, including one I want to share with all of you: What if we focused on how to position rural Iowa as a place for entrepreneurs to grow businesses, where people can live healthy lives, and where Iowa communities invite and retain residents with opportunities for housing, jobs, and a sustainable quality of life? What difference could we make in Iowa?

Jason Henderson
Vice President for Extension and Outreach

Human Sciences associate dean/director interviews set

From Jay Harmon and Jennifer Margrett, search committee co-chairs

Three candidates will interview for the position of Human Sciences associate dean and director for extension and outreach.

  • Candidate 1, on campus May 2-3: presentation and open forum, May 2, 1:00-3:00 p.m., 1420 Molecular Biology.
  • Candidate 2, on campus May 6 and 9: presentation and open forum, May 6, 1:00-3:00 p.m., 1445 Lagomarcino Hall.
  • Candidate 3, on campus May 13-14: presentation and open forum, May 13, 1:00-3:00 p.m., 1445 Lagomarcino Hall.

The names of candidates will be made public one business day before their visit. The open forums will be live streamed; links will be made available with the announcement of each candidate. The sessions also will be recorded and made available for viewing for 48 hours after the last campus visit. Information, when available, will be posted on the Office of the Vice President for Extension and Outreach website.

For your information

  • Our ISU Extension and Outreach Disaster Recovery website has been expanded, focusing on natural disaster as well as crisis recovery. You will find links to information on avian influenza, community tragedy, drought, fire, flooding, job loss, mental health, and severe weather. The site is linked from the ISU Extension and Outreach homepage.
  • Computer purchase fiscal deadline is April 30. Extension Information Technology says that purchase orders for computers are due by April 30 to guarantee the set-up cost will be billed before the fiscal year ends. Computers purchased after this deadline may not be billed this fiscal year. This EIT guarantee applies only to standard Iowa Board of Regents quoted machines. Please notify EIT as soon as possible regarding any large IT purchases close to the fiscal year-end deadline.
  • Real Impact: For businesses to grow, a community must recruit and retain residents – and that requires housing. That’s why Rock Valley collaborated with our Community and Economic Development unit and the Iowa Economic Development Authority to assess and address the city’s housing needs. As a result, Rock Valley has experienced an estimated $8.35 million investment in new housing construction. The full story and video will be added to our Real Impact website next week. Related resources to help you share this impact will be available from MyExtension.

Office of the Vice President for Extension and Outreach | vpeo@iastate.edu | 515-294-6675