Monday Update: Structured for Success, Open for Iowa, Justice for All

June 1, 2020

Message from Debra Sellers, on behalf of the Office of the Vice President,  to staff, faculty and councils

In September 2018, ISU Extension and Outreach began the Structured for Success process to ensure that our organizational structure would help us in our long-term efforts to educate and serve Iowans. One month from today we will fully launch this plan for our future.

As we prepare to move forward, I’d like to share the following message from Assistant Vice President for County Services Andrea Nelson.

A structure for success needs a firm foundation, and over the next year we will be working on foundational pieces of building better working relationships, providing additional training opportunities, and, in some cases, helping new staff engage in our communities. Other building blocks include the following:

  • So far, we have received 80 signed MOU and Addendums, which take effect July 1.
  • Today counties begin implementing their transition plans, which cover June, July, and August.
  • New xregion listservs are active beginning today: through
  • This week nine new regional directors are going through orientation (Regions 2, 9, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, and 26).
  • Interviews for the Region 3 director position concluded last week.
  • Gene Mohling and Bryan Whaley, directors of field operations, began their positions May 18.
  • New regional offices will be announced June 5.
  • The Two-Way Scorecard Communication Tool will be available around July 1 for the first quarter of evaluation (July, August, September) to be taken in October.

Although we’re ready to begin implementing county transition plans, we have more work to do than the specific tasks included in those plans. ISU Extension and Outreach is beginning not only a transition, but also a transformation for our organization. We are can work together toward a culture change of better communication, shared leadership, and increasing program capacity locally. I will share more about this during Second Monday Live on June 8.

Please be a part of our launch on July 1. Vice President Lawrence will lead a presentation via Adobe Connect at 8:05 a.m. More information will be forthcoming.

Open for Iowa: Update from the committee

Guidance for a staff-friendly return to the county office has been posted on the Open for Iowa webpage to assist county leadership and councils as they plan to bring employees back. Please share plans with all employees to ensure understanding.

The Open for Iowa committee continues to review and adapt guidance from Governor Reynolds, the university, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last week the university issued guidance for large events on campus, including a requirement that these events be registered. Vice President Lawrence has noted that only events held on campus need to be registered; the requirement does not apply to extension events around the state. The Open for Iowa Committee will look at the university guidance and as per its charge, interpret and provide direction for our system.

And justice for all

On Friday, President Wintersteen shared this statement on the tragic killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Tragedies like this must end and it is important that all of us rededicate ourselves to Iowa State’s Principles of Community.

ISU Extension and Outreach is committed to serving all Iowans with justice for all. One of the strategies in our strategic plan is to strengthen our own competencies in working with diverse and underserved audiences. For help in developing this core competency, please contact our Professional Development unit for resources (such as Navigating Difference, Coming Together for Racial Understanding, and more).

More notes

  • Second Monday Live is 10 a.m., June 8 at During this special, one-hour edition we will talk about reopening ISU Extension and Outreach offices. Also, Andrea Nelson, assistant vice president for county services, will talk about Structured for Success implementation.
  • Three candidate seminars for Agriculture and Natural Resources assistant director are open to all extension staff and partners with an interest in the position. Each seminar begins at 2:30 p.m. and will be delivered via Zoom: Jamie Benning, Tuesday, June 9; Kapil Arora, Wednesday, June 10; and Amy Powell, Thursday, June 11. For more information contact Adam Janke,
  • Signage, floor decals, and other resources for reopening offices are available on MyExtension. If there are additional items you would recommend, please contact your advancement specialist.
  • Did you know? Advancement has posted Writing Done Right, a new video in the DYK series with tips to help you create clear and concise messages.
  • ISU Procurement Services has seen an increase in gift card scams in the last month. See the article about the “do me a favor” gift card scam in the Spring Procurement Services Newsletter. Being able to recognize the scam is the first step to not falling victim to it.

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