Monday Update: Budget shortfall, COVID-19 recovery operations, and more

July 13, 2020

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

On July 10 President Wintersteen shared university plans for addressing the FY21 budget shortfall. Contributing factors to the loss of revenue include COVID-19, projected enrollment declines, reduced state appropriations, reduced indirect cost recovery, and increased costs of preparations necessary to enhance healthy outcomes for the fall semester. The President outlined several action steps to address the shortfall. Here are three with the greatest impact on ISU Extension and Outreach:

  • 5% budget reductions to the General Fund for both FY20 and FY21.
  • 2 percentage point reduction in TIAA retirement match from Sept. 1, 2020, until June 30, 2021 (from 10% to 8%).
  • Approval needed to fill faculty and staff vacancies through December 2020.

These are difficult measures in unprecedented times. By working together, we can rise above these challenges and continue to build a strong Iowa for the citizens we serve.

Additional Updates from President Wintersteen

COVID-19 Recovery Operations Committee

As a result of the work of our COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, we have named a COVID-19 Recovery Operations Committee. The committee includes some members of the task force for continuity, which was a recommendation when the report was presented.

Committee members are:

  • Donovan Olson, Region 4 director.
  • Alison DePenning, program coordinator, Professional Development.
  • Christa Hartsook, project manager, Agriculture and Natural Resources.
  • Marybeth Foster, project manager, 4-H Youth Development.
  • Lisa Bates, field specialist, Community and Economic Development.
  • RaeAnn Gordon, Linn County director.
  • Barbara Woods, project manager, Human Sciences.

Using the task force report as a foundation, the committee will decide on tactics that can be used across our system to prioritize and mobilize the following initiatives:

  • Reviving the Iowa economy.
  • Supporting Iowans in improving financial security.
  • Engaging Iowans in improving food supply, safety, and access.
  • Expanding educational opportunities for youth.
  • Engaging Iowans in addressing mental health.
  • Supporting efforts to increase access to quality childcare.

Capture images of your COVID-19 related work

The following request is from Advancement: As the pandemic continues, what changes have you made in your office? How are you delivering educational programs? How are you engaging with Iowans? Please capture action photos and video clips showing ISU Extension and Outreach at work during COVID-19. Please consider capturing small moments, such as a parent receiving a packet of extension materials, as well as larger-scale activities. These visuals will help us not just tell, but also show our story to community leaders and decision makers, the Iowa Legislature, the Board of Regents, and all Iowans. Please send your photos and video clips, along with a short description of the content, to Jed Findlay, creative manager,

More notes

  • The Open for Iowa committee is analyzing the data gathered from their survey and thanks everyone who provided input. The committee also has redesigned the Open for Iowa website so content is easier to find. Please be sure to review the recent updates. If you have questions, please contact a committee member directly or use the Virtual Suggestion Box.
  • The Crisis Communications Plan has been updated and is available on MyExtension. Please review the plan and consider how you would implement it, should a crisis arise. If you have questions, please contact Billie Koester, Advancement interim director,
  • Goodbye … and welcome, June 2020: 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.
  • Please review the July program update from the leadership team for current examples of what is happening across our programs.
  • Join Jolene McCoy, advancement specialist, and Leah Feltz, social media specialist, for DYK? Using MailChimp to Reach Your Audience, 10 a.m., Friday, July 24, at Learn the basics of MailChimp, how to get started, and the best ways to compile information. There also will be time for Q & A.

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