News for employees

MU Extension Insider
Dec. 22, 2015


In the news

Dates to remember

Coming and going


MU Extension Insider is published on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month by MU Extension Communications and Marketing. Send feedback and comments to Karen Dickey.

In the news

Honoring Michael Ouart

Bench dedication

Pictured, from left: CAFNR Dean Tom Payne, Chancellor Emeritus Brady Deaton and former Director of Extension Michael Ouart.


Audience gathered to watch the unveiling of the bench.

Friends, family members and colleagues of former Vice Provost and Director of Extension Michael Ouart gathered outside Whitten Hall on Dec. 10 for the unveiling of a new bench dedicated to Ouart by the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Ouart, who became director of MU Extension in 2006, stepped down in May to take on a new role as outreach and engagement coordinator for MU.

Bench dedicationMichael Ouart, right, and his wife, Mary.


Working together and moving forward: A county perspective

From Kevin Hansen, QuickBooks coordinator

I’ve learned in my 18 years at MU Extension that communication needs to travel both ways to make an office efficient. We had 20 new secretaries in the last year, and a third of the secretaries across the state are new since I started as QuickBooks coordinator 1 1/2 years ago. Imagine the loss of experience and knowledge. If you are a CPD, know that your new secretary appreciates any guidance or references you can provide to do his or her job effectively and meet deadlines or reporting obligations.

So invest the time in each other, communicate, document everything, and ask questions of me to make sure the bookkeeping process runs smoothly all year long, and especially at year-end closeout. I am always happy to visit with each and every one of you in assisting with questions.  Happy holidays!


Changes to reimbursement rates for 2016

The university’s mileage reimbursement rate for business miles driven in 2016 will be 51 cents per mile. In addition, the university will reimburse moving expenses at 16 cents per mile.

The mileage rate change will take place automatically within the Travel & Expense system. The University of Missouri follows the State of Missouri’s practice of reimbursement for business transportation expenses at a mileage rate that is 3 cents less than the IRS standard mileage rate. The IRS rate is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The IRS announced on Dec. 17, 2015, that the standard mileage rates for business miles driven will be 54 cents per mile and for moving expenses will be 19 cents per mile effective Jan. 1, 2016, a decrease of 3 1/2 cents for the business miles rate and a decrease of 4 cents for moving expense miles compared to the rates in effect during 2015.

The university’s per diem reimbursable meal rate for overnight travel within the State of Missouri will be $46 per day, which is the Standard CONUS rate published by the General Services Administration.

The Travel & Expense system will automatically populate your per diem for the day based on the final destination for the day. For example, on day one of a trip you start in Columbia and drive to St. Louis to catch a flight to New York, where you spend the rest of the day. New York would be the location used for that day’s per diem since it is the final destination of the day. Remember, the per diem meal option is only available for overnight travel.


Pre-award grant processing

All extension proposals should be submitted through Chris Marston in the AMT Fiscal Office. If you have or know of a funding opportunity, contact Chris as early as possible to ensure that proposals meet the required guidelines and policies of the sponsor, as well as federal, state and university regulations. Chris can also facilitate parties interested in working together and assist with budget preparation. Completed proposals should be sent to Chris at least seven days before the due date to allow time for processing and review by MU Extension and OSPA.


2016 IRS contribution limits for UM voluntary retirement plans

From UM System Total Rewards

The Internal Revenue Service has announced 2016 limits for elective salary deferral contributions to 403(b) and 457(b) voluntary retirement plans. The limits remain unchanged from 2015.

The maximum salary deferral is $18,000 for each plan. Employees age 50 or over during calendar year 2016 are eligible to contribute an additional $6,000 as a catch-up contribution to each plan. Participation in these plans is available to full-time, part-time and temporary employees.

Read more.


Diversity highlight

The communities we serve are home to individuals from a variety of cultural and religious traditions. The following is a list of religious holidays that individuals in your community may observe in the coming weeks.

Dec. 20-Jan. 1, 2016: Winter solstice/Yule/Alban Arthan (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid) marks the longest night of the year, followed by the sun’s “rebirth” and lengthening of days.

Dec. 25: Christmas (Roman Catholic, Protestant) commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jan. 1, 2016: Gantan-sai (Shinto) is the annual New Year festival of the Shinto religion.

Jan. 7, 2016: Christmas (Eastern Orthodox Christian) commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

Feb. 1-2, 2016: Imbolc/Candlemas (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid) celebrates the coming of spring.

Feb. 3, 2016: Setsubum-sai (Shinto) marks the beginning of spring and is known as the “bean-throwing festival.”

Feb. 8, 2016: Chinese New Year (Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist) is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays.

Feb. 10, 2016: Ash Wednesday (Roman Catholic, Protestant) is the first day of Lent, the period of 40 days before Easter.

Feb. 22, 2016: Magha Puja Day (Buddhist) commemorates the day when 1,250 disciples traveled to join the Buddha.

March 20, 2016: Palm Sunday (Roman Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox Christian) commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

March 23-24, 2016: Purim (Jewish) commemorates the time when the Jews were living in Persia and saved by a woman named Esther.

For more information, go to


Insider reader contest

The contest returns in January.

Dates to remember

Fee-generation workshops

Workshops have been scheduled to explain additional functions and updates to the Fee-generation Worksheet-Online Tool. Register through ISE up to one week before the workshop. Sessions that do not have at least four registrants will be canceled and registrants will be asked to choose an alternative date.

CANCELED Jan. 20 10-11 a.m.
Feb. 18 2-3 p.m.
March 16 10-11 a.m.
April 21 2-3 p.m.
May 18 10-11 a.m.
June 16 2-3 p.m.
July 20 10-11 a.m.
Aug. 18 2-3 p.m.


Change how you think about eating! Enroll in Eat for Life now!

From UM System Total Rewards

Have a history of chronic dieting, or eating when stressed, bored or unhappy? Enroll in Eat for Life now. Create a healthier relationship to your food, mind and body.

In-person class starts Jan. 20, noon-1 p.m., Memorial Union S304, MU campus. Register at

Online class starts week of Jan. 22. Register at

Cost: $50 for faculty/staff/family ($25 rebate with full participation), $180 for community.

More info at

Eligible first-time participants can earn 100 points toward the 2016 Wellness Incentive, which pays up to $450 (

Sponsored by Healthy for Life: T.E. Atkins Wellness Program for employees.


Get a new lease on life: Register now for stress reduction classes

From UM System Total Rewards

Three decades of research show the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program is effective in helping people cope with job or family-related stress, medical problems, anxiety and depression. Join this eight-week program to get tools for using formal mindfulness techniques (meditation, yoga, body scan) to respond to stress.

Orientation: Jan. 27, 5:30 p.m.

Classes: Wednesdays, Feb. 3-March 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Full-day retreat: March 19, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cost: $40 for faculty/staff/retirees, which can cover you and your spouse/partner ($20 rebate if you attend seven of eight classes).


More info:

Eligible first-time participants earn 100 points toward the 2016 Wellness Incentive, which pays up to $450 (

Sponsored by myTotal Rewards T.E. Atkins Wellness Program.


Other dates to remember

Jan. 1, 2016: Deadline for extension fellowship nominations.

Jan. 7-9, 2016: Great Plains Growers Conference, St. Joseph.

Feb. 26, 2016 (noon): Deadline for Provost's Award for Creative Extension Programming by New Faculty submissions.

Feb. 26, 2016 (noon): Deadline for The Donald W. Fancher Provost Award for Outstanding Achievement in Extension and Continuing Education submissions.

June 8-10, 2016: Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors): Latinos in the Heartland, 15th annual conference, Columbia.


Coming and going

New arrival

Congratulations to Kristin Millikan, director of Osher at Mizzou, on the birth of her daughter, Maya Ki Millikan, who arrived Nov. 21, weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and measuring 19 inches.



Kathy Bondy, 4-H youth specialist, Lafayette County, NW Region.


If you have items to include in future issues, please send them to Karen Dickey, Curt Wohleber or Phil Leslie in MU Extension Communications and Marketing. If you have questions, contact Dennis Gagnon, director.