Board Excellence Newsletter - Fall 2017
Information for Local K-State Research and Extension Board Members
Volume VII, Issue 4 — Fall 2017
I am honored to be your new associate director for extension, and I want to thank you for the work you do as extension board members. We have important work to do together as we better enable our extension professionals and volunteers to meet the educational needs of those we serve. As we look to the future, let’s promise each other that we will work together to continue improving and promoting our K-State Research and Extension system.
In this issue of the Board Excellence Newsletter, you will find information about our improved performance review system, reference resources to help your board become an even better leadership board, reminders of board responsibilities, and an example of extension’s impact.
I hope you enjoy this issue of the newsletter.
— Gregg Hadley, email@example.com
Performance Review is an Important Task
The annual agent performance review is an important opportunity to provide professional staff with feedback regarding their performance in the past year and to identify goals and professional development opportunities for the coming year. Board members are responsible for providing input into the performance review. Your input helps to make the most of agent’s talents in building a strong local educational program that reflects positively on the entire K-State Research and Extension system.
This year, board members will contribute feedback to the agent’s performance evaluation via an online survey. This method was pilot tested by several extension units last year, and feedback from local board members indicated they appreciated the ease of using the document. You will receive a link to a survey for each agent, and will have two weeks to submit feedback. The local unit or regional director will use your input when completing the performance reviews. You are encouraged to provide honest, constructive feedback. Your individual responses will not be seen by the agent, but can be identified by the local unit or regional director.
Before receiving the link to the performance reviews, you will receive either a printed or an electronic copy of each agent’s performance review documents. Please take time to review these documents before completing the survey.
A new extension board leadership video has been developed to help board members learn more about the performance evaluation process. You can access the video at https://spark.adobe.com/video/BzxYAjEqRQPpj.
Plan a New Board Member Orientation
During the next few months, new members will be elected to the local extension board. The New Board Member Orientation module is designed to be presented to new board members after their election, but before they take office. The local unit director, other agents, and current board members are the intended presenters. Depending on the number of newly elected members, it may be beneficial to include several continuing members to form a group large enough to interact productively. Allow approximately 60 to 90 minutes for the orientation. Because of the time required, the orientation may need to be scheduled outside the regular board meeting time.
Self-Assessment Leads to Effective Boards
Now is the time for each local extension board to conduct a self-assessment by completing the Excellence in Board Leadership Assessment. This is a tool to guide boards in enhancing their leadership skills. At the beginning of the year, boards set goals based on best practices to guide their work. Throughout the year, board members review their goals together, complete the self-assessment, and submit the document to the regional director by the following January 1.
Boards that achieve a standard for 2017 will be recognized for their accomplishments at the 2018 Partnership Meetings.
The self-assessment is on the Board Leadership website at: www.ksre.ksu.edu/boardleadership.
Last year, 55 of the 76 local units submitted their forms — a 72 percent completion rate. Let’s see if we can increase that to 75 percent this year!
Boards Responsible for Financial Reviews of Extension Affiliated Groups
According to Kansas Extension Law, as well as federal and state expectations, the director of extension and local boards are accountable for all funds raised and/or collected by extension related groups. This includes 4-H clubs, 4‐H councils, and Master Gardeners.
In order for the extension board to ensure compliance with financial requirements, a yearly review of accounts is to be conducted by a financial review committee of each club or group. The review process helps teach lessons of accountability, the importance of keeping good records, and assures compliance with state and federal expectations for use of non‐appropriated funds generated to support extension programs. This review is to be presented to and approved by the board and recorded in the minutes.
For more information, click on “Principles of Managing Non-Appropriated Funds” and “Financial Review Committee Responsibilities.”
Annual Meeting Highlights Extension Programming
The Extension Council Annual Meeting, held between October 1 and December 20 as required by County Extension Council Law, is an important opportunity to highlight the impact of the local extension program.
The event includes election of board members, review of outcomes of educational programming, and often the presentation of an Extension Appreciation Award. The meeting is a great opportunity to emphasize extension’s educational programming role for local decision makers — county commissioners, state legislators, media, Board of Regents members and other community stakeholders.
While not required by Extension District Law, a similar meeting to express appreciation, provide recognition, and highlight the educational program is encouraged.
Having an abundant supply of high-quality water is important to Kansans. K-State Research and Extension watershed specialists, working in conjunction with their agent colleagues, help producers determine ways to improve watersheds and enhance water quality. In northeast Kansas alone, 900 people received water quality education at 30 events, and more than 40 producers received consultative assistance to address specific water quality enhancement projects.
Volume VII, Issue 4 – Fall 2017
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Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service
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