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Board Leadership

Extension Board Leadership

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Board Excellence Newsletter - Fall 2012

Information for Local K-State Research and Extension Board Members
Volume II, Issue 4 — October 2012

From the Associate Director ...
K-State Research and Extension districts are accomplishing the objectives of greater effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability. Learn about district agents’ work through the District Success Stories portion of the Board Leadership website: www.ksre.ksu.edu/boardleadership
Congratulations to district boards and agents for their progress in providing focused programming to meet the educational needs of traditional — as well as new — audiences.

– Daryl Buchholz, dbuchhol@ksu.edu


New Audiences Participate in Finney County Programs
The State Extension Advisory Council recently met in Garden City. In addition to conducting its regular business, the group learned about ways K-State Research and Extension is expanding educational programming to reach new audiences. 

A former mayor of Garden City talked about how Finney County agriculture has historically depended on immigrant labor, and a recent political refugee from Ethiopia shared the challenges of adopting new cultural standards. Council members heard about the hurdles in the path to become a U.S. citizen and reviewed the results of a recent comprehensive community study. They also visited ethnic restaurants and businesses.

Faculty members discussed the effects of their programming with various ethnic groups. The council toured the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program kitchen and classroom labs. They learned that families who come to K-State Research and Extension’s nutrition education classes also study for high school diplomas and citizenship, obtain financial counseling, learn about community resources, grow a garden, try new ingredients in cooking, study ways to maximize health, and develop their parenting skills.

Schedule an Orientation Date for New Board Members
New district board members began their terms in July. New county board members will be elected this fall and will begin their terms in January. Consider scheduling an orientation for these board members.

The New Board Member Orientation can be found on the Board Leadership website: www.ksre.ksu.edu/boardleadership. Click on Board Leadership Modules. Resources include a PowerPoint presentation, presenter’s guide, sample notebook for board members, and a participant outline.

The local director and/or current board members can lead the orientation. Orientation takes 60 to 90 minutes and would need to be scheduled separately from a board meeting.


Watch for Agent Annual Reports
One of the most important responsibilities of a board member is giving input to an agent’s Action
Plans, Professional Development Plan, and Performance Review. Soon after Oct. 1, board members will receive these documents for each local agent. The Action Plan provides focus to an agent’s educational program and leads to more measurable impacts.

A Professional Development Plan is a proactive plan intended to enhance the agent’s effectiveness through participation in professional association meetings, workshops, graduate study, or in-service opportunities.

In the Performance Review, agents provide specific examples of their efforts in five categories: program development, professionalism, volunteer development, interpersonal skills, and management skills. After receiving the documents, board members review them, respond with comments, and submit them to the appropriate administrator. Feedback is shared with the agent during the annual performance review. Performance review information is confidential and not to be discussed with anyone other than the agent, board members, and the appropriate administrator.

For more information, visit: Agent Performance Review Module.

Upcoming Surveys Help Prioritize Local and Statewide Programming
In the next few months local boards and program development committees will be asked to provide input into local and statewide programming.

The Program Prioritization Project will involve
program development committee members in identifying individuals — including those from nontraditional audiences — to participate in a statewide survey regarding topics of concern to local communities. The project will help determine the relative importance Kansans place on program focus teams’ current and potential program concepts.

The program prioritization task force, a group made up of representatives from each program focus team, leads the project, which will be completed by spring 2013. Program development committees, agents, and program focus teams will be able to use the information when developing their 2013–2014 action plans.

Self-Assessment Assists in Developing Leadership
Excellence in the local extension program is a reflection of the leadership and commitment of each
board member. The Excellence in Board Leadership assessment is a tool to guide boards in leadership and development. At the beginning of the year, boards set goals based on best practices to guide their work. Throughout the year boards review their goals, complete the self-assessment, and submit the document to the area director by the following Jan. 1.

Boards that achieve a standard for 2012 will be recognized for their accomplishments at the January 2013 Partnership Meetings.

The self-assessment is on the Board Leadership website at: www.ksre.ksu.edu/boardleadership.

Focus on Outcomes

Currently about 13 percent of Kansans are age 65 or older, and by 2030, 20.2 percent will be 65 or older. The aging of the state’s population will significantly affect society.

K-State Research and Extension is making a difference by empowering individuals and families to adapt to changes associated with aging. Outcomes reported from community conferences for aging issues include the following:
  • 67 percent shared end-of-life wishes with family;
  • 48 percent increased communication regarding difficult issues;
  • 47 percent increased physical activity;
  • 28 percent indicated a better understanding of aging; and
  • 23 percent established an open dialogue with a health-care provider.
Volume II, Issue 4 - October 2012
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