March 12, 2024: Message from Jason

Dear Colleagues,

Last week more than 500 extension colleagues from across the state met in Ames at ISU Extension and Outreach’s Annual Conference to learn more about the Strategic Vision and Direction, build relations, and identify priorities and next steps.

Over the last months of discussions and planning we’ve learned that there is a collective desire to collaborate more, make a difference and do something “big.”

To do something big, we need to utilize all the tools and resources of the land grant university – education (learning), research (discovery), and outreach (engagement.) As we deliver high quality, relevant education, we also need to focus on the environment, systems, and policies that people live and work in. This is how we will have a greater impact, by addressing the complex, broader context facing our families, communities and farmers.

We also need to turn the lens inward on us as an organization and ask, “What do we need to do differently to make this vision a reality?” That is what we did during our morning work session. Participants were invited to work in small groups to pick a commitment and strategy of their choice and identify current reality, success in 3-5 years, and first-year actions. The five commitments that the 65 small group chose to work on are listed below:

  1. Focus on impacts that make a difference (3 groups)
  2. Embrace the land grant mission of engagement, discovery, and learning (12 groups)
  3. Take an interdisciplinary and systems approach to complex issues (3 groups)
  4. Invest in people and partnerships (46 groups)
  5. Diversify sources of funding in alignment with our purpose (1 group)

Clearly, investing in people and partnerships is a top priority for our employees, especially as it relates to turnover. Several groups asked for an employee survey to find out more about what employees want and need. Over the next weeks, the leadership team will review the notes from the work sessions, create a summary report, identify next steps, and make the notes and report available to the organization. In addition, you will be invited to have similar conversations in your units and teams.

For those who were not able to attend annual conference, there is a recording of the presentation and copies of the worksheets in the Strategic Vision and Direction CyBox folder and on MyExtension.

Jason Henderson
Vice President for Extension and Outreach

Regenea Hurte resigns

With bittersweet emotions, I announce that Regenea Hurte, diversity, equity, and inclusion officer, has submitted her resignation effective Friday, March 15, 2024. As a true catalyst for growth and change, Regenea will be deeply missed.

During her time with ISU Extension and Outreach, Regenea has been instrumental in strengthening our ability to reach all Iowans and fulfill our civil rights requirements by revamping our reporting structure, expanding our translation service opportunities, enhancing our professional development, and championing our ability to reach new audiences in our communities, among so many other impacts.

Regenea will not be a stranger moving forward, as she will be working with USDA and we will continue to benefit from her leadership. Please join me in congratulating Regenea Hurte on her new journey.

Over the coming weeks, I will be working with the leadership team to identify next steps to fill the position and address this vital work in extension.

Jason Henderson
Vice President for Extension and Outreach

What we learned from Karl Bradley

Karl Bradley, leadership and team development specialist with the Extension Foundation, provided the keynote at our 2024 Annual Conference last week. He encouraged us to be a whole lot more of who we already are, because leadership is influence. Our influence is felt by others through our behaviors. Our behaviors are driven by our core values. He asked us to consider these questions:

  • What would you like to do more of?
  • What would you like to do differently?
  • What will you do to pump fear out of the room?
  • What is the most unique contribution you can make to this organization?
  • How will you help others be successful?

He closed his remarks with this key message for our organization: If you want to go fast go alone; if you want to go far go together!

Brenda Allen
Operations Associate Director

For your information

  • Everyone who attended the 2024 Annual Conference received a link to the evaluation survey in a message from Brenda Allen, Operations associate director. This is your opportunity to share your thoughts about the event and your ideas for future conferences.
  • Goodbye … and welcome, February 2024: Please review this list of individuals who left ISU Extension and Outreach in the past month, as well as those who have joined our organization.
  • Dr. Karina Silva is our new professional development manager. She joined ISU Extension and Outreach on March 11, having previously served in Iowa State’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. She can be reached at Welcome, Karina!
  • ISU Extension and Outreach Week is April 15-20. Updated resources to help you plan and implement activities will be available soon on MyExtension.
  • Conference Planning and Management and Registration Services have moved. They now are located at 2121 State Ave., Ames, IA 50011.

Office of the Vice President for Extension and Outreach | | 515-294-6675