News for employees

MU Extension Insider
April 15, 2011


In the news

Upcoming events

Coming and going


MU Extension Insider is published on the first and 15th of the month. Send feedback and comments to Karen Dickey.

In the news

MU Extension announces new leadership structure

From left, Rhonda Gibler, Beverly Coberly and Michael Ouart discuss changes to MU Extension's leadership structure. See video.

Management changes will trim administrative team, integrate cooperative extension and continuing education programs.

Changes to University of Missouri Extension’s leadership structure will increase efficiencies, reduce administrative overhead and better integrate MU Extension’s continuing education and cooperative extension programs, said Vice Provost and Director of Extension Michael Ouart.

“Given the continuing budget stress, there is a need to reorganize support functions within University of Missouri Extension and to seek greater efficiencies from all MU Extension support units,” Ouart said.

The reorganization will reduce the number of positions in MU Extension’s leadership cabinet, led by Ouart, from four to three.

“One goal of MU Extension is to focus on program positions and to further reduce administrative positions wherever possible,” he said. “When Associate Vice Provost Debbie Robison announced her retirement March 31, we decided this goal can be furthered by not refilling this position and by reorganizing the MU Extension leadership structure in a manner that will better integrate the entire organization.”

Robison, who led MU Extension’s continuing education and distance learning programs, has joined a special project with Jim Spain, MU interim vice provost of e-learning.

The reorganization will have two associate vice provosts serving MU Extension, one for programs and one for administrative management.

Beverly Coberly, director of off-campus operations, will become associate vice provost for programs, leading the extension program directors, regional directors and continuing education directors.

Rhonda Gibler, assistant vice provost-management, will become associate vice provost for administrative management, with leadership responsibility for budget and finance management, human resources, communications/marketing/public relations, organizational development, reporting, grant development, and extension technology and computer services.

“This structure will consolidate and integrate us into one MU Extension, and allow us to work seamlessly with our program units, our regional units and our faculty, reducing gaps between campus and off-campus locations and our support units,” Ouart said.

The restructuring plan, which is effective immediately, is part of an ongoing reorganization of MU Extension announced last November to increase efficiencies and optimize resources in response to increased budget challenges.


Shannon to lead extension NTT promotion committee

Marcia Shannon, associate professor of animal science, is newly elected chair of the extension non-tenure track (NTT) promotion committee. Other committee members include Tony Rickard, dairy specialist; Alison Copeland, state 4-H youth specialist; Tish Johnson, community development specialist; Kathy Macomber, business development specialist; and Sam White, extension assistant professor of labor education.

The voluntary NTT promotion policy is for full-time, nonregular faculty members within MU Extension. This process applies to regional faculty members and to campus faculty members in an academic unit that does not have an NTT process. Extension faculty members may apply for one of three ranked positions: assistant extension professional, associate extension professional or extension professional.

For those faculty members who elect to participate, the NTT promotion system provides a mechanism to recognize extension scholarship and professional growth.

The NTT promotion committee is reviewing the first round of applications. A number of the applications have been forwarded to Provost Brian Foster for his review. Promotions will take effect September 2011.

“Regional and campus faculty members who plan to apply for the next round should discuss their plans with their supervisors as they build their performance expectations for FY 2012,” Shannon says.

The next round of applications is due to supervisors by Nov. 1.

The NTT committee is available to answer questions and provide trainings for extension faculty on the NTT process. Contact Shannon and visit the NTT website for more information:


New eXtension wiki page shares nutrition and health resources

Ellen Schuster, associate state nutrition specialist and co-chair of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Nutrition and Health Committee for Planning and Guidance, reports the committee recently completed a national online survey about nutrition and health programming needs.

“Results from the national survey indicated a need for a one-stop website to share nutrition and health resources,” explained Schuster. “Thus, we worked as a team to design and roll out an eXtension Collaborative Wiki page:”

Schuster serves as the point of contact for extension faculty across the U.S. wishing to submit information to the wiki.


Worden named LETI director


John Worden was named director for professional programs of the MU Extension Law Enforcement Training Institute (LETI) on April 1. Worden brings 21 years of law enforcement experience with the Columbia Police Department. Over the past five years, Worden had led training and recruitment, which included curriculum development, scheduling and overseeing the construction of the Columbia Police Department Regional Training Center, which opened in 2009.

Worden plans to focus his efforts on reestablishing relationships with police and sheriff departments across the state, other extension units, and the MU campus community.

“I hope law enforcement departments in central Missouri and across the state will see LETI as the go-to place for law enforcement training, and we plan to support extension programs with trainings on personal and workplace safety,” Worden says.

Worden has a B.S and M.S. in education and plans to complete his Ph.D. in health education from Mizzou this fall.


Missouri 4-H Foundation awards


Ricketts Farm Service of Shelbina named 4-H volunteer award winner


Penny Swindler named 4-H volunteer award winner


Jim Tobin of St. Louis named 4-H volunteer award winner

Ricketts Farm Service of Shelbina, Penny Swindler of Schuyler County, and Jim Tobin of St. Louis were named 2011 Naomi Crouch 4‑H Volunteer Leadership Award winners by the Missouri 4-H Foundation, March 25. They were recognized for outstanding commitment to the University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth development program.

“It is our great pleasure to honor these volunteers with the Naomi Crouch award for their dedication to Missouri 4-H,” said Cheryl Reams, executive director of the Missouri 4-H Foundation. “Volunteers like Kim Ricketts and staff, Penny Swindler, and Jim Tobin have made Missouri 4-H the quality experience for young Missourians that it is today, and we are indebted to them for their service.”

The Naomi Crouch award is given annually to volunteers and organizations that devote their time and talents to Missouri 4-H youth development programs. The award is named for Naomi Crouch, a Plattsburg native who was an active 4-H volunteer and Missouri 4-H Foundation trustee for more than 20 years.


2011 Frank Graham 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award recipients

Last month, 23 volunteers received the 2011 Frank Graham 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award. The Graham Award recognizes leaders who work to guide our youth. The award is named for Frank Graham, who served as director of MU Extension 4-H Youth Programs from 1958 to 1975 and has served as a Missouri 4-H Foundation trustee since 1949.

The 2011 Graham Award winners were:

Matt Beach, Shelby County; Emily Bergsieker, Lafayette County; Carole Bunse, Andrew County; Sam Carneal, Andrew County; Don Carver, Jasper County; Beth Cornell, Cass County; Velda Daniel, Gentry County; Janet Daubendiek, Lafayette County; Kristy Eggleston-Wood, Scotland County; Nancy Harris, Ralls County; Pam Lappe, Cape Girardeau County; Jean Ledford, Pike County; Nancy Miller, Cass County; Charles Rosenkrans, Monroe County; Chrystal Schuerman, Lincoln County; Neva Selway, Clark County; Kristi Seyer,  Cape Girardeau County; Penny Swindler,  Schuyler County; Jim and Deann Turner, Lewis County; Laura White, Lincoln County; and Dr. Dean and Joan Windom, Harrison County.


Cass County center is moving

The Cass County Extension Center is moving to the historic courthouse on the Harrisonville town square!  The new address will be:

Cass County Extension Center
Courthouse – 3rd floor
102 E. Wall St.
Harrisonville MO 64701

Phone and fax numbers will remain the same.

During the move, phone and computer service will be limited, so April 13-19 it may be difficult to contact the center.


Upcoming events

New Council to Campus information available

Council to Campus online registration is now online at Each county is encouraged to send 12 people to Council to Campus.

The June 24-25 event is an opportunity for the partnership between MU Extension and the county extension councils to forge new relationships. County and regional councils can learn more about research and programs conducted on the MU campus, and campus and off-campus partners can become better acquainted and work together to implement extension programs across the state.


Coming and going

Please welcome

Megan Webb, nutrition specialist, Central Region HES.

Connie Neal, housing and environmental design specialist, NW Region HES.

Larry Dill, office support staff II, Small Business Development Centers.



Sandy Stegall, coordinator of constituent relations. All are welcome to her retirement celebration 4-6 p.m., Monday, May 9, in Stotler Lounge. Remarks will be at 5:15 p.m.. Please send letters for Sandy’s scrapbook to Barb Casady at 109 Whitten Hall or by April 29.

Extra!! Longtime MU Extension employee retiring!

COLUMBIA (MU) - To write a news story, you should know the "Five Ws" of journalism (okay, so it's five Ws and an H). At any rate, here's the story:


If you have items to include in future issues, please send them to Karen Dickey or Curt Wohleber in the Cooperative Media Group. If you have questions, contact Mark Stillwell, CMG interim director.