COVID-19 Recovery Task Force

In April 2020, Vice President for Extension and Outreach John Lawrence established the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force for ISU Extension and Outreach. The task force will help to plan ISU Extension and Outreach’s role in Iowa’s recovery. Specifically:

  • Define challenges facing Iowans and their communities that are within our capacity to address.
  • Identify four to six programs that ISU Extension and Outreach will be known for addressing.
  • Determine who should be involved to organize, prioritize and plan program offerings.
  • Determine what training, marketing and reporting resources are needed.
  • Deliver recommendations to the Leadership team.

Task Force Members


The Vice President's Charge to the Task Force

April 24, 2020

We don’t know how, and we don’t know when, but Iowa will reopen for business after the COVID-19 pandemic, and ISU Extension and Outreach will be there to help all Iowans. It’s in our vision and mission statements:

VISION. ISU Extension and Outreach will advance land-grant values by engaging all Iowans in solving today’s problems and preparing for a thriving future.

MISSION. ISU Extension and Outreach builds a strong Iowa by engaging all Iowans in research, education and extension experiences to address current and emerging real-life challenges.

We are not health care professionals and our research base may not find the vaccine for this virus, but we can help Iowans and their communities recover from the business, income and life disruption caused by the pandemic. Ever since COVID-19 was discovered in Iowa it has not been business as usual, and we cannot simply go back to business as usual during the recovery. We adapted to working remotely and changed how we engaged and educated Iowans, and we must continue to adjust to their needs for recovering. Keep in mind that, "getting back to work" does not equate to "getting back to normal."

Iowans need and value our everyday programming that provides information and builds capacity. However, in the near term their priorities may change as they deal with the aftermath of home confinement and social distancing, closed businesses, loss of income and sharply lower commodity prices, and the learning slump of kids missing six weeks or more of school. How do we engage with them to solve today’s problems and prepare for a thriving future? A year from now, what will we tell state and federal legislators that we did to help Iowans recover? Five years from now, what will Iowans tell state and federal legislators that we did and what was the impact? How will ISU Extension and Outreach be remembered?

The COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is a cross section of ISU Extension and Outreach that I charge with helping to plan our role in Iowa’s recovery. Specifically:

  • Define challenges facing Iowans and their communities that are within our capacity to address.
  • Identify four to six programs that ISU Extension and Outreach will be known for addressing.
  • Determine who should be involved to organize, prioritize and plan program offerings.
  • Determine what training, marketing and reporting resources are needed.
  • Deliver recommendations to the Leadership team.

John D. Lawrence
Vice President for Extension and Outreach

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