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Thoughts to Ponder

Issue 6/4/03

Jo Britt-Rankin, M.S., Ph.D., Associate Dean, University of Missouri Extension

Summer is Upon Us
Gwynn Hall is much quieter and the streets of Columbia are much less congested as students left for the summer about two weeks ago. There remain a few but not the large numbers we are used to. You begin to miss the hustle and bustle, however, there is still much activity within each Extension office here on campus.

I wanted to write all of you to share some of the great news within HES Extension. I hope this finds each of you happy and healthy and enjoying a bright sunny day. I think we often forget in these hectic times, to look around and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us.

HES Spring Meeting Follow-up
I want to thank each of you who attended. This was my first annual meeting to "organize" and we took some liberties in changing the schedule. It is my privilege to work with each of you and I did so enjoy talking with each of you during those two days.

I have taken the time to read each evaluation that was submitted. I feel that if you took the time to write down your thoughts, it is my job to read each one and take the comments to heart. I would agree with many of you that we had a very tight schedule. It did not allow for much free time, but we were there to do business and that we did. Many of you liked the sharing times within your disciplines. We wish to continue this at future meetings. One thing that I hear repeatedly is the need for more interaction with our colleagues. We tried to design this year's format to allow for the exchange of ideas.

I have also noted that we need to host a meeting, at least, annually. I have to admit that I wanted to put another option on the list but I goofed and wrote the wrong thing. My goal was to ask if we needed 1 or 2 meetings per year. I believe I asked instead if you wanted to meet once a year or every other year. However, your opinions were very resounding that an annual meeting is what you desire.

We are looking at the possibility of having next years meeting be focused on in-service opportunities. Many of you noted that you needed either to be trained or retrained on various curricula. We will do all in our power to provide those opportunities during the Spring of 2004.

In conclusion, I want to publicly thank Art for his offer to assist in hosting the event in Boonville. Art, if I am not directly involved with the planning, I am passing your note along to the person who is. I think it would be a wonderful opportunity to have you involved and we would gladly accept your offer to assist.

Performance Evaluations & PRLLs
I know each of you will be meeting with your RD soon if you have not already. I have printed each PRLL you have submitted to the public folders. I want you to know that HES faculty have submitted over 300 of the 500 PRLLs. These reports do report the impact you are making. I know many of them are only a snapshot of the overall programming efforts each of you have. I do want you to know that I will be going through these reports. I would like to feature as many of these as possible in the near future. I would like to publish a piece similar to the "Impact" that Barb Froke once did featuring work within HES Extension. I hope to be able to bring that to you by the end of summer.

Missouri Saves Website Debuts
I want to thank Sandra McKinnon, Suzi McGarvey, Jeanne Bintzer, and Brenda Procter for working on this site. Some of you saw the message from Sandra earlier today sharing news of the site. If you did not receive the earlier message, please check out the information at This site is still being populated but it is off to a great start. I thank each of these individuals for their hard work and dedication. This is another example of the great programming we have occurring throughout the state.

Candidate Searches Continue
Spring has been filled with candidate searches both on campus and in the region. We are very fortunate to have only a few vacancies compared to total regional specialist vacancies and we are trying to fill many of those currently. As of today, we have eight regional vacancies. We have been able to fill two of those positions since January.

Tom Fuhrman and Caezilia Loibl (pronounced Cecilia Libel) have or will be joining us as HES specialists in the regions. Tom is now a HDFS specialist in Randolph County and Caezilia will be a CFE specialist in Iron County. The remaining vacancies are 5 nutrition specialists, 2 HDFS specialists, and 1 CFE specialist. I continue to work to fill, at least, four of these positions before the end of the year.

On campus, we have 3 state specialist vacancies--CFE, EDn, and HDFS. We have extended an offer on the EDn position which would begin June 15, 2003. We will be announcing more details as soon as the offer letter is returned but we are hopeful. The CFE search committee has interviewed one candidate to date. The HDFS search committee has scheduled two interviews to date. These will be June 3-4 and June 18-19. We are hopeful to fill all of our state specialist positions soon.

Of course, there have been two interviews for the Associate Dean position. Thanks to each of you who participated in that process. The search process is moving forward and we are hopeful to fill that position as well. No additional information is available as I write to you. We will share information as it would become available.

In closing . . .
There are so many things to share, I am sure I have forgotten some things. I will be in contact soon. Please always know that you can contact me. My door is always open. Let me close by saying Thank You for all you do



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