News for employees

MU Extension Insider
March 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

Fee generation update

Rhonda Gibler, assistant vice provost-management, and Max Summers, business development program director, provide an update on fee generation: mms://

More information on fee generation is available at


MU Extension business development leader named to Baldrige Board


A veteran MU Extension Business Development Program leader and former northwest Missouri bank CEO has been appointed to the 11-member board of a national business-excellence standards program at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Max Summers, interim director of University of Missouri Extension’s statewide Business Development Program, was named to the Board of Overseers of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program March 1 by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

During his three-year term on the board, Summers and his fellow overseers will provide direction to the Baldrige Quality Award program, which is part of the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. The board meets twice a year in Washington, D.C.

“I am honored to be selected by Secretary Locke to be part of this vital business standards group,” says Summers. “I will offer my best advice for the Baldrige Quality Award program, which is designed to advance improvements in management and organizational processes directly related to a company’s bottom line.”

During his longtime career in business development, Summers has served as an examiner for the Missouri Quality Awards, which applies Baldrige criteria in its selection of top-quality business recipients of annual MQA honors. In addition, 10 years ago Summers served the national Association of Small Business Development Centers as head of a committee that led to ASBDC’s adoption of Baldrige excellence criteria for its more than 950 SBDC members across the nation.


Mizzou Advantage grants awarded

MU has awarded more than $1 million in grants in the second round of funding by the Mizzou Advantage initiative.

Extension faculty are involved in a number of Mizzou Advantage projects. At the risk of accidentally missing some of those people, here is a list of projects and participating extension faculty:

The Food Dialogue Center

The Food Dialogue Center, part of the Mizzou Advantage Food for the Future strategic initiative, capitalizes on the Commercial Agriculture Program’s strengths of systems-based teams addressing agricultural production goals of safe, environmentally responsible and economically sustainable food. The Food Dialogue Center will develop a national consumer-focused food center for disseminating food production information by funding agricultural, educational and journalistic collaboration, and documenting agriculture’s capacity to feed the world while preserving the environment and maintaining human health.

Lead PIs: Raymond Massey, Craig Payne and Rex Ricketts.

Others extension faculty involved: Jason Weirich, Joe Henggeler, Joe Horner, John Lory, Joseph Zulovich, Laura Sweets, Marcia Shannon, Patrick Guinan, Robert Weaber, Ronald Plain, Timothy Safranski, Vera Massey, Vern Pierce, William (Justin) Sexten.

The Impact of Federal Health Care Reform Legislation on Missouri Citizens and Institutions

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will bring about changes in health care delivery that no single department at MU is equipped to research and understand. The goal of this project is to bring to bring together faculty from diverse units to help establish MU as a leader in research and teaching issues relating to the changes in health care delivery. The project will make possible new and better research and education efforts under the One Health and Transformational Technologies initiatives.

Lead PIs: Victoria Osborne, Paul Rainsberger, Lilliard Richardson and Molly Vetter-Smith.

Others extension faculty involved: Alan St. John, Shirley Farrah, John Bangs.

MU Environmental Policy Network to Enhance the Stature and Impact of Mizzou Advantage Strategic Areas: Hank Stelzer.

Bio2Cor: The Biomass/Biofuel Corridor along the Mississippi/Missouri River: H.E. Garrett, Hank Stelzer.

Midwest Renewable-Energy Generation and Storage Solutions (Seed): Raymond Massey.

Health, Wealth & Society: Ann Cohen, Chris Fulcher.

Collaborative Portals for Interdisciplinary Working Groups: Evolutionary Studies and Science Studies:Peter Scharf.

"Ediciones Vigia" and the Aesthetics of Bricolage: Julie Middleton.  For more information about the project, see this article from the March 1 issue of the Insider.

We plan to provide updated information on Missouri Advantage projects in later issues of Insider.

A complete list of the Mizzou Advantage projects approved for funding and the principal investigators is available at


Linda Luebbering highlights state budget at Legislative Day

Budget Update February 2011 for MU Extension

More PowerPoint presentations from Michael Hicks

If you missed Missouri State Budget Director Linda Luebbering's Legislative Day budget update, here is an audio recording of her presentation with accompanying PowerPoint slides.


Budget impact on open positions

Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of extension, and Rhonda Gibler, vice-provost-management, highlight the status of the county, state and federal budgets and the impact on open positions and salaries in this video:



Health care changes

Tamra Robbins, extension retirement and benefits coordinator, reminds faculty and staff that there was a change in health care that affects the Southwest and South Central regions and could conceivably affect others. 

Effective Jan. 1, St. John’s Health System joined the UM Choice Health Care program as the southwest Missouri network-level provider. The  Cox providers will no longer be a part of the network. Individuals can access Coventry Health Care’s online services to determine if a doctor and/or hospital is in the network:  

Please address questions to Tamra at or 573 882-7755.


Upcoming events

Annual program review

The ISE for annual program review is open for registration.  See

The training, offered by Adobe Connect, will be led by Mark Stewart, CM regional director, and Mary Leuci, community development program director.

This ISE will provide information on an annual program review process for CPDs and facilitators. The annual program review will replace the five-year plan of work development process.

“CPDs are asked not to facilitate their own county,” says Stewart. “We feel in this process, councils and other stakeholders will be more comfortable being frank about some program issues if they are responding to questions asked or framed by someone other than the CPD or other faculty member they see on a regular basis.”

The facilitator is a faculty member or council member who is comfortable providing a structured framework for a group to address a set of issues, understands group process, is skilled at soliciting information from small groups and is able to help the participants synthesize the information. 

“We expect both the CPD and facilitator to participate in the Adobe ISE,” Leuci added.  “They will be 60 to 90 minutes in length.”


Cambio de Colores registration is now open!

Registration is now open for the 2011 Cambio de Colores. This conference is June 8-10 at the Holiday Inn CoCo Key Water Resort in Kansas City. For more information, see the conference website at Participants may register by mail, fax, phone or online.


Council to Campus, June 24-25

“Please alert your extension council members that June 24-25 have been confirmed for the 2011 Council to Campus (C2C),” says Tony DeLong, county council coordinator.  “The conference committee is working hard to assure another great conference.” Bookmark this Web page and watch for more information:


Coming and going

Please welcome

Joni Halley, nutrition program assistant for the Family Nutrition Education Program in Sullivan County.

Connie Neal, housing and environmental design specialist in Grundy County. Her start date is April 4.



Sandy Stegall, director of constituent relations, has announced her plans to retire on July 8. Her last day in the office will be May 27. “It has been my great pleasure to work with all of you, and I will miss you,” says Stegall.  “I believe in the land-grant mission and in the many ways MU Extension helps to fulfill that mission for the people of Missouri.”

Bob Thomas, professor of extension education and senior information specialist, Cooperative Media Group is retiring May 1.

Jamie Thompson, family financial education specialist, is retiring to South Carolina. Her last day in the office is April 29.

Debbie Wieberg, administrative assistant for FNEP in Cole County, retires on March 30. Her last day in the office was March 3.



Our sympathy goes out to:

The family of Richard L. "Dick" Lee, agricultural editor, Agriculture and Extension Information, who passed away on March 3.

To Kay Sparks and family for the loss of her father-in-law, Charles Sparks, who passed away on March 5.


New beginnings

Anderson Jeffrey, new grandson of Lori Gerke, was born at 10:35 a.m. on Friday, March 4.  He weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces.


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.