Monday Update: Budget, RIO, more notes and a hearty welcome

July 20, 2020

Message from Debra Sellers, on behalf of the Office of the Vice President

Thank you for continuing to submit comments on issues of concern via the virtual suggestion box. Vice President Lawrence has provided the following responses to questions regarding President Wintersteen’s July 10 statement:

  • First, I’d like to address the budget reduction. The combination of a cut to the Regents, declining tuition revenue, and COVID-19 costs led to the cut to the ISU General Fund for this year and next. About 7-8% of the ISU Extension and Outreach budget comes from the ISU General Fund. As such, our current cut was not significant, but not zero. The leadership team will revisit the budget reductions we made before seeing the final numbers from the state and university. Given the continued slowdown in the economy, I believe that we can anticipate additional budget reductions in FY22 and possibly even mid-year cuts in this fiscal year. Stay tuned.
  • The President also announced that a new Retirement Incentive Option will be presented to the Board of Regents for approval at their next meeting. The details have not been announced and when they are, individuals will have time to review their options. Until we see the details, we cannot estimate how many of our colleagues may be interested or how individual units and teams may be impacted. Keep in mind the reason that Iowa State is offering the RIO is to give leaders an additional tool to manage their budgets while developing and delivering programming to all Iowans.  

More notes

  • Iowa 4-H’s Access, Equity, and Belonging Committee encourages you to subscribe to the Access, Equity, and Belonging Newsletter. You’ll learn about the access, equity, and belonging efforts and impact of all Iowa 4-H Champion groups. You’ll also receive updates on events, webinars, and resources that align with these topics from the perspective of diverse and “untapped” youth. You must subscribe to receive the newsletter, per university policy. Please share the link with peers, partners, and collaborators. For more information, contact Anindita Das,
  • The Data for Decision Makers reports have been updated to reflect the new ISU Extension and Outreach regions. You can download a multi-county report for each region. For more information, contact
  • The COVID-19 Recovery Task Force Facilitation Report is available for your review.
  • All Advancement COVID-19 resources now are available on one page on MyExtension. If you have questions, contact Jolene McCoy,
  • The July 13 Second Monday Live archive is available. The session featured updates related to professional development and STEM.
  • The new date for the northwest area-wide, in-person meeting is Nov. 30. Check the Area-wide Meetings webpage to see all upcoming virtual and in-person meeting dates.
  • Did you know? The July 24, 1914, edition of Wallaces Farmer reported that R.K. Bliss had been hired to lead Iowa Agricultural College’s extension department. The article said Bliss would receive “a most hearty welcome” when he returned to Iowa State from Nebraska Agricultural College, where he led animal husbandry. I’d like to thank Mitch Hoyer, 4-H program specialist, for sharing the article he found when reviewing and cleaning files. I’d also like to offer “a most hearty welcome” to all our extension professionals. As you return to campus or reopen your county office to the public or continue to balance remote work and staggered schedules, thank you for everything you do to ensure a healthy and safe return to ISU Extension and Outreach.

Debra M. Sellers
Associate Dean, College of Human Sciences
Director, Human Sciences Extension and Outreach