News for employees, Nov. 15, 2009


Vice Provost's Message

Diligence pays off with significant savings

MU Extension Faculty and Staff:

In light of recent communications from UM President Gary Forsee and MU Chancellor Brady Deaton, I want to update you on the status of expenditure and hiring constraints, and discuss where we go from here.

In January 2009, President Forsee mandated severe reductions in non-salary expenditures as well as curtailed use of overtime by non-exempt staff. At the same time, the university was under a hiring freeze announced in November 2008.

'I am happy to report that extension faculty and staff have been diligent in reducing expenditures. MU Extension has produced significant, measurable reductions in travel, equipment and supplies.'

Consequently, we made decisions on areas to reduce costs and asked faculty, staff and supervisors to use their judgment regarding the guidelines set forth for reducing expenditures in non-salary areas, such as travel and equipment.

I am happy to report that extension faculty and staff have been diligent in reducing expenditures. MU Extension has produced significant, measurable reductions in travel, equipment and supplies from January to June 2009 compared to the same period in 2008. I greatly appreciate the way you have understood the gravity of the situation and responded seriously to the effort.

With continued uncertainty in the economy and budget projections, we remain under expenditure-reduction guidelines for the foreseeable future. Therefore, we must continue to evaluate and use sound judgment on expenses for travel, business meals, printing, supplies, equipment, professional services and professional development. Approved expenses beyond normal day-to-day business needs should be documented as to the benefit to the organization and the people of the state. We cannot, however, jeopardize our ability to fulfill our mission. Expenditures necessary to provide research-based education that meets the needs of Missouri citizens must continue.

The University of Missouri remains under the hiring freeze guidelines set forth on Nov. 18, 2008. These guidelines indicate that positions funded 100 percent by external grants, contracts or gifts are given exception to the hiring freeze. In addition, work-study students, student assistants and graduate students are exceptions with some limitations. All other vacancies are considered “frozen” and will undergo a review by the extension executive cabinet, MU provost, and MU chancellor before approvals are granted to fill vacancies.

On June 15, 2009, MU Extension was granted approval to fill 35 frozen vacancies, which are primarily funded by general operation dollars. These vacancies are comprised of regional and campus-based faculty and staff positions. At this time, we have filled nearly all of the approved positions.

We are continuing to review frozen positions based on the position’s role in achieving the university’s mission of teaching, research, service and economic development. Supervisors are encouraged to inform extension HR as soon as a resignation or retirement is confirmed to ensure the vacancy is given adequate time for review.

As we live through this hiring freeze, let’s keep our county extension councils and other partners in the loop. Let’s also remember that continuing to deliver high-quality educational programs to meet local needs is "Job 1." Thank you for patience.

Michael D. Ouart
Vice Provost and Director

 

Ouart outlines challenges ahead at Galaxy

Michael Ouart, vice provost for extension, discusses the outlook for 2010 and beyond, progress, opportunities and future plans for University of Missouri Extension during the 2009 Missouri Galaxy.

Faculty, staff honored for service

University of Missouri Extension honored faculty and staff for their contributions to the university mission and service to the people of Missouri during the Missouri Galaxy, Nov. 10 and 11:

Vice Provost’s Award for Outstanding Achievement

Teamwork Award—Team Tall Fescue

Carl N. Scheneman Excellence in Teaching AwardWendy Brumbaugh, NE family financial education specialist

Pat and Tom Buchanan Professional Development AwardVirgil Woolridge, CM business development specialist

Ronald J. Turner Global Education AwardAmie Schleicher, NW livestock specialist

Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Extension Business AwardSusan Henson, SC business development specialist

Associated Industries of Missouri Extension Industry AwardGreg Tucker, St. Louis business program specialist

Missouri Farm Bureau Federation Outstanding Specialist Awards

Healthy Lifestyle Initiative invites new communities

The Healthy Lifestyle Initiative is opening participation to 12 more communities in the coming year.

The initiative, which started with four communities in 2007, is a multidisciplinary approach to health and wellness. Regional extension specialists and community leaders provide overall leadership in developing local action plans. Local efforts are supported with campus-based technical assistance and resources.

Selected communities will receive $4,000 to support a 12- to 18-month planning process as well as funds to cover some travel expenses.

Regional faculty should submit a letter of interest indicating support from extension colleagues, the regional director, community organizations and individuals. Letters also should include information about existing partnerships and potential funding sources to sustain the project after the planning phase.

Letters should be sent to Jo Britt-Rankin, associate dean-HES extension, by Dec. 18. Communities will be notified Jan. 8.

Money available for extension fellowships

Funds to attend professional development conferences are available through the Extension Loan and Fellowship Fund. These are endowed funds not subject to current restrictions placed on general operating funds.

Individual applicants must be a faculty or professional staff member with at least two years of consecutive employment. Priority will be given to first-time applicants.

Individuals may receive up to $1,000 to support a professional development experience. Applications must include a budget indentifying anticipated expenses and other sources of financial support.

Applications are reviewed monthly and should be submitted by the first the month. Individuals first must submit the application to their supervisor. Following the activity, recipients must summarize their experience and the benefits of participating in a letter to the vice provost and the Fellowship and Awards Committee.

Application Forms

Welcome

New members of the MU Extension community include:

• Patricia Carpenter and April Miller, nutrition program assistants, CM
• Timothy Hicks, 4-H youth development specialist, SE
• Jeremy Elliot-Engel and Angelia Ham, 4-H youth development specialists, SW
• Ryan Wescoat, business development specialist, WC

Fee standardization sessions continue

Faculty and staff have two more opportunities to learn about fee standardization and revenue generation before the Jan. 1 implementation. Abode Connect sessions are scheduled for 10 a.m. Dec. 11 and 2 p.m. Dec. 16.

E-mail Jeanne Miner to register.

Recognize teamwork

Nominations for the Quarterly Teamwork Award are due Dec. 1.

The award recognizes group efforts that yield results for MU Extension and the people we serve.

No parking

Avoid that pesky campus parking ticket. Don’t park in restricted lots.

County extension parking tags are not valid in CG15, CG18, RC1, RC3 and WC5, as well as levels one and two of Maryland Avenue Garage.

Animating presentations

Learn how to add animation and sound to your next PowerPoint presentation during the Nov. 24 workshop. Meridith Berry, NW regional information technology specialist, will demonstrate how to use timing tools and program a presentation to run independently at a kiosk.

The session runs from 10 a.m. to noon. Sign up by Nov. 17 by contacting one of the locations:

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