Well, I am long overdue in writing to all of you. I have tried to determine what is the best way to communicate on a regular basis--web, blog, email--and I have a hard time deciding. I know that everyone is so busy that it is difficult to reach everyone. So I continued to write the email feeling that it was one less webpage you needed to refer to. If you think that a blog or web page would be more appropriate, please send me your comments.
Looking forward to seeing you soon . . .
As I hope you all know and have on your calendar, we will hold our HES Faculty Update December 5-7 in Columbia. I think this will be an exciting meeting for each of you. We are trying to have both subject matter sessions as well as some cross-cutting general sessions. As we began to plan, there was so much excitement that some of our ideas have had to spill over into next year's annual conference! I want to thank Candy Gabel for coordinating the overall planning of the meeting. She and Vicki Foley are working tirelessly on all the details.
Please make sure you register for the Update. An additional session registration will be coming via email.
Out and about . . .
As in past years, I have been trying to get to regional category meetings. I was struggling to find dates to get to each region, so I am trying something new. If I am not able to make it to your category meeting, I have set aside some days to travel to different parts of the state. I am really looking forward to meeting with some of you one-on-one or in small groups. I will try to continue this practice as well as trying to attend regional meetings. I believe this keeps me in closer touch with each of your programs and the needs of the local communities.
Below has been my travel so far this year and where I expect to be in the next two months . . .
So as you can see, I have tried to stay in touch and on the road. If you have a program you would like me to see or you just want me to come by the office for a visit, please let me know. I am beginning to look for spring dates and will email those to you soon.
On the phone . . .
As many of you know, you cannot possibly travel to every meeting. As well as meeting face-to-face with many individuals, I have spent much time this year via teleconference with state agencies, Extension Program Directors/directors, USDA staff and university administrators from around the nation. I believe strongly that we must be connected to our state and national partners if we are going to continue to be successful. We can no longer function in a vacuum. Partnerships and collaboration are critical.
HEED Grants . . .
Remember HEED grants are due TODAY!! We could still use more applications.
External Funding . . .
I cannot tell you how proud I am of each of you. I continue to say that the best part of my job is sharing with others the great work that you do. Much of this in recent years has been made possible by the tremendous amount of external funding that our unit (campus and regions) receives. I believe that during FY07, HES Extension faculty will be awarded over $10M dollars in external funding. This is tremendous. It has enabled us to retain positions both in the counties as well as on campus.
I encourage you to keep up this great effort. It is allowing us to grow while many other programs are either level funded or bleeding red ink! Also please let me know how I can better support your efforts to bring in additional resources. I feel that it is my job to continue to seek large dollar, long term funding opportunities.
Time of Positive Things . . .
The past few months have been so exciting. We continue to bring in funding, develop and deliver exciting programs, and build a fantastic faculty. I am looking forward to sharing with you many of our 2006 accomplishments during our time together at the upcoming HES Update.
Until we see each other, please do not hesitate to contact me.