MU Extension new employee orientation

New employee frequently asked questions

1. Who will I be working for?

The first answer is University of Missouri Extension. If you are hired as a regional specialist or county program director, you are assigned a county or counties to work with, one being your headquarter county where your office is located. You report to a regional director who oversees your work and makes evaluations and considerations for salary.

2. When do I get paid?

All professional staff, with few exceptions, are paid monthly on the last day of the month. Non-exempt staff are paid every other Wednesday. You need a bank account where your salary will be direct deposited.

3. What is the relationship between the regional director and the regional specialist?

In University of Missouri Extension, the regional director is the supervisor for 30 to 40 staff members. The regional director assists staff with personal and professional issues and programs.

4. I have heard about the CPD (county program director). How does the regional specialist relate to that person in my headquarter county?

The county program director is assigned by the regional director to assist in the administration of the county. This includes meeting with and assisting the County Extension Council, supervising the office assistant/secretary, ordering supplies and general office administration. The CPD may ask you or other staff to assist with special issues as they arise. The CPD does not have authority or supervision over you or your program but may ask for your assistance in helping with items that show up on the county plan.

5. When do my benefits start?

Your University of Missouri benefits will start on your first day of employment if your paperwork is turned in to the benefits office, located in Columbia, MO at Woodrail Centre, 1000 W. Nifong, Building 7, Suite 210. Otherwise they will start as soon as our personnel office gets your paperwork to the benefits office, usually on the second or third day of employment. Learn more about MU benefits

6. How do I get reimbursed for travel?

MU Extension field faculty receive travel reimbursement from two sources ̶ the university system and the region or county. Each region operates somewhat differently, so ask your regional director where you should bill your travel.  Travel expense vouchers are completed in PeopleSoft.

7. How often should I turn in my expenses?

You can turn in your expenses any time, but the organization would prefer you have at least $25 or more before you submit your travel voucher. Expenses should be submitted within 60 days of travel; otherwise, reimbursement will be submitted through payroll and will be taxed.

8. As a regional specialist, how do I connect with my academic department? (example: youth, agriculture, etc.)

On your first day of employment, you meet for orientation in 205 Whitten Hall in Columbia. Most of the time someone from your department will be scheduled to have lunch with you and discuss how to best connect with them. There will usually be two to three days spent in the department sometime during the first six months of employment.

9. What is cohort training? What is the difference between cohort and orientation?

Orientation is offered to all new employees and provides an introduction to the workplace and an overview of organization, policies, procedures, company history, goals, culture and work rules. It is usually offered on the first day or within the first week of the new employment.

Cohort training is offered to new regional faculty. It offers further development and training opportunities particular to working in counties as a program specialist. Cohort workshops and networking opportunities are offered three to four times a year, located in different parts of the state. Learn more about cohort training

10. What are the programs in MU Extension?

MU Extension has five program areas:

  • Agriculture,

  • 4-H & Youth Development,

  • Business Development,

  • Community Development, and

  • Human Environmental Sciences.

MU Extension also includes another area of serviceContinuing Education.

11. Will I be assigned a mentor?

Yes. It is the organization's belief that new faculty can benefit from a mentor to assist the new person in getting started. Usually your regional director selects a regional specialist within your region to serve as your regional mentor and also a person from your academic department to be a state specialist mentor.

12. What if I need extra or special training?

You are given an orientation schedule where you spend time with one or more program coaches. You also can use the system's in-service training that the organization offers to all staff. And you can request special training from your regional director.

13. What are the acronyms used in MU Extension?

Sometimes the language of our organization can be confusing. If you're trying to decipher the acronyms used by University of Missouri Extension, try this helpful Web page, which can also be accessed from our staff resources page.

14. Where does University of Missouri Extension fit in the University of Missouri organization?

You are a part of the University of Missouri System, which means you relate to programs on all University of Missouri campuses (Columbia, Rolla, Kansas City and St. Louis). We also cooperate with our sister land-grant university, Lincoln University in Jefferson City.

More Questions?
If you want to know more about staff benefits, performance appraisal, penalty mail and a myriad of other things, go to the University of Missouri Extension home page and look at staff resources. The links there will help you answer your specific questions.