Missouri Extension Leadership Development (MELD) Program

A personal and professional development experience for University of Missouri Extension faculty and staff

MELD VII, 2018-19

The challenge

Our society is changing at an ever-increasing rate. Technology and changing demographics have changed how we learn and do business. University of Missouri Extension faculty and staff must be at the forefront of change and act as effective change agents. They must have appropriate leadership skills to effect change.

The solution

Through the Missouri Extension Leadership Development class (MELD VII), University of Missouri Extension will provide a leadership development opportunity to 20 participants during a year-long period.


  • Expand the cadre of emerging leaders in University of Missouri Extension who will be prepared to work with an organization and society that is in a constant environment of change and evolution
  • Increase the capacity of current and future MU Extension faculty and staff to examine and improve their ability to serve the people of Missouri
  • Enable MU Extension faculty and staff to embrace a shared vision of the future
  • Build the total capacity of University of Missouri Extension in providing leadership to implement MU Extension’s 21st Century Strategic Direction
  • Expose MU Extension faculty and staff to a range of experiential and research-based leadership philosophies, concepts and strategies that enhance the way they lead and teach others to lead

MELD participants will be guided by the Vision, Mission and Values of MU Extension.

Vision: University of Missouri Extension is a valued and trusted educational solution to improve the quality of life in Missouri, the nation and the world.

Mission: Our distinct land grant mission is to improve lives, communities and economies by producing relevant, reliable and responsive educational strategies that enhance access to the resources and research of the University of Missouri.


Respect: Respect for one's self and for others is the foundation of honor and the basis for integrity. A hallmark of our community is respect — for the process by which we seek truths and for those who engage in that process. Such respect is essential for nurturing the free and open discourse, exploration and creative expression that characterize a university. Respect results in dedication to individual as well as collective expressions of truth and honesty. Respect is demonstrated by a commitment to act ethically, to welcome difference, and to engage in open exchange about both ideas and decisions.

Responsibility: A sense of responsibility requires careful reflection on one's moral obligations. Being responsible imposes the duty on us and our university to make decisions by acknowledging the context and considering the consequences, both intended and unintended, of any course of action. Being responsible requires us to be thoughtful stewards of resources — accountable to ourselves, each other and the public we serve.

Discovery: Learning requires trust in the process of discovery. Discovery often fractures existing world views and requires acceptance of uncertainty and ambiguity. Therefore, the university must support all its members in this lifelong process that is both challenging and rewarding. As we seek greater understanding and wisdom, we also recognize that knowledge itself has boundaries — what we know is not all that there is.

Excellence: We aspire to an excellence that is approached through diligent effort, both individual and collective. Pursuing excellence means being satisfied with no less than the highest goals we can envision. Pursuing excellence involves being informed by regional, national and global standards as well as our personal expectations. We recognize and accept the sacrifices, risks and responsibilities involved in pursuing excellence, and so we celebrate each other's successes. We commit ourselves to this process in an ethical and moral manner.

Engagement: We are committed to being an engaged learning organization focused on greater access and inclusivity. This commitment comes with a responsibility to listen to and collaborate with our communities, participants and stakeholders. Engagement is demonstrated by a reciprocity and partnership where knowledge and its application are exchanged in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Engagement enriches scholarship, fosters relevant responses and enhances social and economic outcomes.