News for employees, Dec. 1, 2008

Ouart: Extension to develop process for open positions

Michael Ouart, MU Vice Provost for Extension

On Nov. 17, University of Missouri President Gary Forsee announced a systemwide hiring freeze to position the University to weather the economic crisis. Following the President’s announcement, MU released guidelines for filling essential positions.

Vice Provost for Extension Michael Ouart issued the following statement on filling positions within MU Extension:


We will review open positions internally and work with Provost Brian Foster to assure that our most critical open positions are moved forward. One of the seven criteria stated by Chancellor Brady Deaton is this: “Is the position essential to the core functions of research and/or outreach?” I believe we can make a strong case for many of our open positions as essential to our core mission of serving the people of Missouri.

We will develop a process to comply with the freeze in accordance with Chancellor Deaton’s MU plan and provost’s process to fill all critical positions in Extension. Each open position will require additional scrutiny and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Having participated in Compete Missouri, I believe we are in a good position going into this hiring freeze with our staffing plan nearly complete.

As we move forward, I will keep you apprised of our progress.


Interviews begin for youth program director position

Four candidates begin interviewing for the 4-H and youth development program director position begin today, Dec. 1.

Interview Schedule

Jeff Howard, associate professor/associate state 4-H program director, Texas AgriLife Extension Service
   Public presentation: 10:30 a.m., Dec. 1, Reynolds Alumni Center, Columns D and E
   Conference call: 3 p.m., Dec. 2

Kevin Wright, state 4-H program manager and Operation: Military Kids national training director, Washington State University Extension
   Public presentation: 9:30 a.m., Dec . 3
   Conference call: 3 p.m., Dec. 4

Ina Linville, interim 4-H program director, MU Extension
   Public presentation: 9 a.m., Dec. 10, Reynolds Alumni Center, Columns D and E
    Conference call: 2 p.m., Dec. 11

Dehlia Rae Wilkinson, 4-H extension professor and Navy 4-H project director, Mississippi State University Extension
   Public presentation: 10:30 a.m., Dec. 17, S203 Memorial Union
   Conference call: 3 p.m., Dec. 18

Curriculum vitaes, presentation videos and schedules


Generated revenue becomes biggest fund source

MU Extension explores fee-based programming

University of Missouri Extension’s funding has shifted away from its traditional base ― federal, state and local appropriations ― while generated revenue has become the largest portion of the budget. This change requires a new model for funding within the organization, MU Vice Provost Michael Ouart told faculty and staff during the annual conference in late October.

Since late 2006, MU Extension's major source of funding has come from generated revenue, a major shift from its traditional base of appropriated funds.

“What has been considered soft money has become the largest component ― and fastest growing component ― of our budget,” Ouart said. “We need to clearly understand what we’ve called soft money is now the base, and this is a reality we all need to get comfortable with.”

A group led by Assistant Vice President Rhonda Gibler is expected to make recommendations on the future use of fees in extension programs by early 2009. The 10-member committee, appointed by Ouart, is charged with framing the issue, developing guiding principles, and creating an implementation timeline and communication plan and feedback process.

The group met for the first time in late October and will meet several more times in the next several weeks before presenting a plan in early 2009.

Fee-based programs were before, in 2002, when another group looked at revenue generation options for extension. The guiding principles developed by that group have provided a foundation for the new group’s work. Ouart outlined some of these principles during his conference presentation.

Mission-driven programs will remain the foundation of any new plan. “We’re not chasing money,” Ouart said. “The mission drives all our programs. Fee-based programs are no different.”

Ouart said he was confident a fee-based model would be successful. “If we have quality programs, people will pay. What we’re going to have quality programs in are things we do best.”

Educational programs must have a life cycle that allows programs to be terminated if funds are expended, needs are satisfied or higher priorities are identified, he said.

All of the costs need to be on the table, Ouart said, including direct and indirect costs, out-of-pocket expenses, faculty and staff time, and travel.

The flip side of scrutinizing costs is incentives for success, incentives shared by individuals, teams, counties and the university, he said.

Revenue generation is closely tied to staffing. “Alternatively funded positions will become a possibility if we can get those revenue sources developed,” Ouart said. “I think there will be term-limited positions to begin with, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

“We will have to vet those ideas, but I think it presents us with the first real opportunity to get more extension educators on the ground.”


Energy programming advisory group named

A 13-member advisory team for energy programming will meet in December. Earlier this fall, MU Extension launched a multidisciplinary energy education program led by Don Day.

The advisory group will provide leadership in the development, implementation and evaluation of energy-related programs. Faculty and staff are encouraged to share suggestions and ideas with advisory group members.

Energy Advisory Team:  Ed Browning, SW natural resource engineer; Barbara Buffaloe, state housing and environmental design extension associate; Jim Crawford, NW natural resource engineer; Willard Downs, state ag engineering specialist; Beverly Maltsberger, NW community development specialist; Ray Massey, state ag economist; Don Nicholson, NE 4-H youth specialist; Wayne Prewitt, Chris Shoemaker, NE business development specialist; Marie Steinwachs, Office of Waste Management director; Hank Stelzer, state forestry specialist; Max Summers; Missouri Small Business Development Centers director; and Bill Wiebold, state agronomy specialist.

Blogging from space

Sandra Magnus

Missouri Science and Technology University graduate Sandra Magnus is sharing her experiences aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor with students back on Earth. Through the blog, Magnus is answering questions from 4-H'ers and other students who participated in the 2008 Space Camp. Magnus, a flight engineer and NASA science officer on Expedition 18, will return to Earth in 2009. In an interview before the shuttle launch, Magnus talked with University radio producer Debbie Johnson about life in space and the blog.



Labor ed sponsors
toy and food drive

MU Extension’s Labor Education Program is sponsoring a toy and food drive in conjunction with Toys for Tots and the Central Missouri Food Bank. New unwrapped toys and shelf-stable food items can be dropped off at 200 Heinkel Building. Toys should be delivered by Dec. 17; food by Dec. 23. Contact Joyce Conklin for more details.


Rules for Missouri Fourth-Class Cities. Second Edition

New Publication

“Rules for Missouri Fourth-Class Cities, Second Edition” is the latest publication in MU Extension’s John Ballard Local Government Series. Ballard, who died in 2005, was well-known for his for his vast knowledge of state, city and county politics in Missouri. Copies of the book may be ordered from Extension Publications for $12.

Rules for Missouri Fourth-Class Cities, Second Edition


Dial-up access to be discontinued

Toll-free dial-up service for Internet access will be discontinued as of May 31, 2009. Given the high cost, low quality service and variety of alternatives, the cost of dial-up service outweighs the costs. Questions about the impending change should be sent to Callie Glascock, administrative manager.


Wittenberger to retire

Colleagues will host a reception to honor Judy Wittenberger from 3:30 to 5 p.m., Dec. 17, at Whitten Hall. Wittenberger, executive staff assistant to Vice Provost Michael Ouart, is retiring after 16 years with MU.



Our condolences are extended to:

Mary Leuci, community development program director, on the Nov. 24 death of her brother, John Simon.

Larry Dickerson, CM community development specialist, on the death of his father.

Bob Kelly, NW natural resources engineer, on the Nov. 25 death of his father, Charles Kelly.

MU Extension Insider is published on the 1st and 15th of each month for MU Extension faculty and staff. Send comments to Editor, Eileen Yager.