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Messages from the Director of Extension

Previous Extension Update Recordings 

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Past Articles from Dr. Hadley

05/05/2020: Week 8 Happenings, Potential Happenings, and Sage Advice

A special issue of K-State Today was issued Saturday afternoon, https://www.k-state.edu/today/info/announcement/?id=64753. It announced that 349 people were placed on emergency furlough. Emergency furloughs are put into place when there is no cash to pay for the work provided by the affected employees. Our colleagues who were affected served in our auxiliary operations units like Housing & Dining, Recreational Services, Center for Child Development, Lafene Health Center, and K-State Student Union. Due to the limited operations status of the campus, these important service providing units had to either refund monies to their clientele or did not have funds coming in for the foreseeable future. Please keep these colleagues and all other Kansans who have temporarily or permanently had their lives, livelihoods, and communities affected by the COVID-19 challenge in your thoughts.

I write the Tuesday Letter on Monday mornings, and an announcement regarding administrative furloughs has not been made to the university at this time. Administrative furloughs are for situations that are not due to emergency cash shortfalls. University officials need to provide 30 days' notice before an administrative furlough goes into effect.

Could we see an administrative furlough or other budget reduction plan in our future? Yes, it is possible, but I do want to assure you of two things. First, your university and system leadership will develop a plan that is fair to its faculty and staff. Second, that leadership will make sure that any such plan will minimize the negative impact to the people we serve through our three mission areas of teaching, research, and extension & engagement.

What can you do about this potential situation? Such situations can make people anxious, especially those who have never been through it before. I once had an experienced Extension professional counsel me when an anxious period in my career loomed. He said, "Gregg, what you can do in a bad situation is the same thing you do in a good situation. Focus on taking care of the people we serve. Worry about doing your job to the best of your ability. Don't worry about what you cannot control. Good things tend to happen to people who focus on the needs of the people they serve."

His words ring as true today as they did back then.

 

04/14/2020: Important "This and That" Article

I hope everyone had a wonderful, fun, and relaxing weekend with your family and loved ones. We all need relaxation and recuperation time to effectively navigate our personal and professional lives. This is especially true in these challenging times.

Provost Taber announced that the University’s summer session will be all online in Monday’s K-State Today. For those of us that normally work on campus, a decision has not been made regarding when we will be able to return to campus. The article can be viewed here: https://www.k-state.edu/today/announcement/?id=64024.

The Friday Extension Update will actually be on Friday this week and at the usual time slot of 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. We have maxed our 500 site capacity several times during the past few weeks. We have procured a 1000 site platform to avoid this problem in the future. To reduce potential Zoom bombing, we will email the Update’s Zoom address rather than list it in the Tuesday Letter.

It would be nice to stretch that 1000 site Zoom capacity to its limits at our quarterly Partnership Meeting. Remember, the primary goal of our Partnership Meetings is to enhance the communication between Extension Administration and our local unit leadership partners, our Extension Board members. This Partnership Meeting will be held Tuesday, April 21, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. The Zoom connection information will be emailed no later than Monday, April 20. For the previously noted security reasons, the connection information should not be shared via social media or on web pages.

This Partnership Meeting is particularly important. First, we want to celebrate our accomplishments in responding to the COVID-19 challenge. Second, many Extension Board members may have questions or concerns about the temporary changes that have occurred or those that may occur in our system due to our COVID-19 challenge. There is no better chance for them to ask questions or express those concerns and get answers and comments straight from the horse’s (Extension Administration’s) mouth than at this Partnership Meeting. I would like to challenge all local units to have at least three Extension Board members participate in this Partnership Meeting.

I will leave you with this. Thank you for working so diligently at finding new ways to reach out to the people we serve. The additional work you have put in to follow the old Extension motto of “meeting people where they are and when they need it” is even more important in this challenging time than ever before. The people you serve, your colleagues, K-State Research and Extension, and I appreciate your effort and your successes. Keep it up!

03/31/2020: Week Three of COVID-19 Work Protocols Bits and Pieces

As we move into week three of our COVID-19 work protocols, I hope everyone is healthy and is adjusting well to our new work life. I am very proud of how much many of you have done in so little time, and I am very impressed by what I see many of you doing on social media. An Extension professional educates, and you seem to be doing a great job of discovering innovative ways of educating the people we serve. And, it’s only been two weeks under this new paradigm.

If you haven’t found your groove, yet, that is okay, too. You will. These all are very big adjustments. I am not concerned about counting the number of hours an Extension professional has worked right now. Just make positive steps forward in reaching out to the people you serve. Stuck on what to do? How about calling, emailing, or messaging some of your loyal program participants and see how they are doing? I bet such conversations will trigger some thoughts about how you can move forward.

Following up on an idea put forward during Taylor Kennedy’s March 20 Every Third Friday discussion on social media use in Extension, and more fully discussed during our March 27 Friday Extension Update, we will also be reaching out to the public and assisting you with determining programming needs. The “How Can K-State Research and Extension Help?” survey initiative will go out this Thursday, April 2, via a social media blast. This initiative enables participants to indicate their current top three concerns from eleven issues areas, explain more fully why those three issues concern them, and it allows them to indicate how they would prefer to receive educational information about those issues. The survey also allows participants to indicate their county of residence, so we will be able to provide results by county.

As I noted in an email distributed Saturday night, Governor Kelly ordered a statewide stay-at-home order. This order makes the COVID-19 response actions more uniform across the state. I believe that our current COVID-19 protocols, including those in place for currently open offices, are in alignment with those outlined by the governor. If we find out otherwise or if stricter protocols are placed on our operations, you will be informed via email.

Your participation in the recent State of Extension, Every Third Friday, and the new Friday Extension Update has been incredible. Keep it up! We have to keep the communication lines going during these challenging times. At last Friday’s Friday Extension Update, we had over 350 sites logged on. Considering that K-State Research and Extension funds 380 Full Time Equivalent Extension positions, this was great participation!

Join us this Friday from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. for the second Friday Extension Update to receive some updates from the Extension Administration Team, a professional development teaser or two, and a programming highlight. A more detailed agenda will be circulated later this week. 

Until then, keep up the good work, and take care of yourself, your family, and each other!

03/28/2020: The Governor’s Statewide Stay-at-Home Order and Extension Local Units

Colleagues,

    Earlier today Governor Kelly issued a statewide stay-at-home order for Kansas. The order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 30. The measure will be in place at least until Sunday, April 19. It is my understanding that this order was put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Kansas, and to make the state’s disease suppression efforts more uniform.

    I was asked by a colleague about what the order means for the physical Extension offices that have been deemed essential and remain open due to their local authority’s wishes. The latter part of this email describes my perspective of such decisions.

    If you examine the Kansas Essential Function Framework, the KEFF 300 Manage section says that those that educate and train essential functions personnel are deemed essential. Under KEFF 400 Supply, those that produce, transport, and manufacture food are deemed essential. From all we do in the food sector, I do believe that this connection, among others, enables local authorities to deem the Extension office an essential function and allows them to keep the physical office open.

    This is NOT a message of my endorsement to keep local physical offices open during the COVID-19 challenge.  Members of your Extension Administration Team and I want to keep our colleagues safe and healthy. In cases where local authorities deem that the local Extension office will remain open, the physical office should be as minimally staffed as possible. The majority of the personnel associated with that office can and should adopt work-from-home practices. At the physical Extension office, strict social distancing and all of our other safeguards need to be strictly observed.

    Remember, we can do a lot of our work from home using our virtual office and communication technologies. We need to do this as much as possible in these challenging times.

    Also remember, things can and do change quickly as we learn more about challenging situations. When our COVID-19 compliance response needs to change, either I or members of the Extension Administration Team will let you know as soon as we can.

 

Sincerely,

Gregg

 

Gregg Hadley, PhD.

Director for Extension

03/26/2020: Friday Extension Updates

Colleagues:

This Friday from 3:00 to 4:00 P.M. we will host our first Friday Extension Updates. With COVID-19, we are all having to adjust to and find new ways of working, collaborating together, and educating the people of Kansas. These updates are designed to help us better serve the people of Kansas as we navigate through this COVID-19 crisis.

Each session will include a short Extension administrative update, one or two professional development opportunity teasers/discussions, and a discussion on a highlighted program. Remember, even if a highlighted program is not in your programming area, you need to sign on and listen because you may pick up good ideas for how to develop and conduct programs in this challenging time!

This week’s topics list will be:

  1. Extension Administrative Update with members of the Extension Administration Team
  2. Professional Development Spotlight #1:  Microsoft Teams Platform for Mobilizing KSRE Resources with Jennifer Wilson
  3. Professional Development Spotlight #2:  KSRE Digital Delivery Course Update with Dr. Cheryl Boyer
  4. Programming Spotlight: Digital Babysitting with Becky Reid

The Zoom link appears below this message. As a reminder, when you join the meeting, please be sure your audio is on mute and your video is turned off to preserve bandwidth.

I look forward to seeing you, at least virtually, at the Friday Extension Update.

 

Gregg

 

Gregg Hadley, PhD.

Director for Extension 

  

Gregg Hadley is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Gregg Hadley’s Zoom Meeting

Time: Mar 27, 2020 03:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: https://ksu.zoom.us/j/889222834
Meeting ID: 889 222 834

03/24/2020: As We Enter Week Two...

Attachments:

Last week we were quickly adapting our personal and professional lives to the COVID-19 challenge. I want to thank all of you for so quickly adapting to our new workstyle, protocols, and guidelines. Just like every livestock producer needs to pay even more attention to their bio-security protocols during an infectious livestock disease outbreak, we need to be extra vigilant with regard to honoring our COVID-19 protocols.

One of the most important things to do during times like these is to take care of yourself first. After all, how can you take care of others if you do not stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy? This week the Rural Stress Transdisciplinary Team is doling out helpful advice to do just that. Please check out their all new Tuesday Health and Wellness Tidbits and look for it in upcoming Tuesday Letters!

Another important thing to do is to be understanding and supportive of each other under this new life and work paradigm. President Myers expressed the importance of this when he unveiled the new #kstatestrong initiative in a video distributed in this Monday's K-State Today. You definitely should watch it. It can be viewed by clicking on this link.

Have you noticed the COVID-19 link located in the Employee Resources section of our K-State Research and Extension website? This is our INTERNAL COVID-19 site. It has many useful resources for Extension professionals and volunteers regarding COVID-19 and overcoming the educational challenges it places upon us. It can be found at https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/employee_resources/covid-19/covid19.html. More resources will be added to the website as they become available.

One new resource on this internal COVID-19 page and in an article below is an official memorandum directed to our Extension Councils, collaborating partners, and our clientele. This communication was requested by a few of our local unit directors. The memorandum explains our current COVID-19 internal and client engagement protocols.

If you have gone to our K-State Research and Extension home page, you will have noticed that our new banner displays "COVID-19 Extension Resources." If a member of the public clicks on the link it takes them to our COVID-19 webpage for EXTERNAL AUDIENCES. You may also find it by following this link. This site offers the public several of our and other research-based resources that will be useful to them as they address their personal COVID-19 challenges. More resources will be added to this website as they become available.

Last week we had over 370 colleagues watch our two State of Extension events on Thursday and Friday afternoon. Why two presentations? Well, somehow I switched the original Thursday presentation from my larger 500 site Zoom program to the normal 300 site Zoom program. I apologize to those that could not get on Thursday, and hope you were able to get on Friday's presentation. If you were unable to watch either or if you want to show it to your Extension Council members or volunteers, the presentation can be found and viewed by going to the COVID-19 Resources page found at this link.

On last week's Every Third Friday, we had more than 150 sites (a new Every Third Friday record) participate in Taylor Kennedy's seminar on helpful social media tips. The importance of this seminar, which was planned and scheduled way in advance of our COVID-19 challenge, became even more important due to our postponement of face-to-face activities with our public. A recording of Taylor's seminar can be found here.

The attendance at last week's State of Extension and Every Third Friday was very encouraging. We realize that during times like these we need more communication. Because of this, we will start a new series of one hour Zoom conferences called the Friday Extension Update. The Friday Extension Update will feature the latest updates from our Extension Administration Team, suggestions for engaging our constituents during this challenging time, and we will hear from some of our colleagues as they tell of their successes as they continue to serve the education, research, and facilitation needs of the people of Kansas. The Friday Extension Update will be held every Friday from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. until we have beaten the COVID-19 challenge and our normal operations resume. The connection information will be distributed via email later this week. We will use our larger 500 site Zoom platform for these updates, and we will record them and post them on our internal COVID-19 site.

I have been amazed at the level of cooperation and how quickly K-State Research and Extension, our Kansas State University colleagues, and the entire United States Cooperative Extension System have come together to address COVID-19 and the programmatic challenges it causes. We are currently evaluating two programs that our colleagues at eXtension have developed to help Extension professionals develop better distance education skills and improve our ability to deliver educational content via distance technology. We are also in the initial stages of conversation with our College of Education and Global Campus colleagues to make their educator and education delivery resources available to us, too. It is amazing what we can do when we come together.
News about COVID-19 or the professional tools we can use to help us continue the Extension mission in this challenging time can be found on our internal COVID-19 page. Once again, this site can be found by clicking on the following link: https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/employee_resources/covid-19/covid19.html.

Until next week, stay healthy, stay vigilant, and keep finding new and exciting ways to serve the people of Kansas in this challenging time!

View this message in the Tuesday Letter Archives

03/17/2020: An Updated COVID-19 Response Protocols Clarification

Colleagues:

I was asked about agents and specialists working/attending a non-Extension face-to-face event in a professional capacity (either speaking at, working at, or as a participant in a professional development activity). Based on the fact that we are not sponsoring face-to-face events and refraining from face-to-face internal meetings, we should not work in a professional capacity at a face-to-face event sponsored by an outside entity.

 

Gregg

 

Gregg Hadley, PhD.

Director for Extension

03/15/2020: Extension COVID-19 Response

Attachments:

Dear Colleagues:

Today at 3:00 PM, President Myers distributed an updates message regarding our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That announcement can be found at https://www.k-state.edu/today/info/announcement/?id=63059.

What does President Myer's update mean for K-State Research and Extension's Division of Cooperative Extension?

First, this update does not overrule any of the COVID-19 response protocols I presented in my 3/14/20 email.

Second, this update directly involves Kansas State University and K-State Research and Extension employees who work at the Manhattan campus of Kansas State University, K-State Olathe, K-State Polytechnic in Salina, our Research and Extension Centers, and all of our research farms. Workplaces governed by local unit Extension Boards and Kansas Farm Management Association Boards are outside the purview of this update.

Third, some of these employees, including me, will be working at home for an undetermined amount of time. Others will continue to work at their normal stations. Members in this latter group would be those involved in keeping facilities maintained and operating, those involved in caring for plants and animals, and, possibly, a small number of office staff. If you are an employee on one of the facilities listed above, you should check with your supervisor regarding where your work location will be.

Fourth, our telephone systems vary widely concerning how easily telephone calls can be forwarded to those working out of the office. If you need to contact an employee who normally works at one of the affected facilities listed above, we recommend contacting that employee by email.

Fifth, in Dean and Director Minton's email to the College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension leaders that followed President Myer's update, Dr. Minton discussed what would happen if an employee was not able to work at their normal workplace, but they also were unable to work at home. Dr. Minton wrote, "All employees (including student employees) will continue to get paid at regular rates during this emergency period."

Sixth, many are wondering how local units will be affected by the current situation. The attached list of FAQs has been compiled to help local units determine how to handle local unit situations. A sample continuity of operations is also attached and is discussed in the FAQs.

Finally, I anticipate that tomorrow and possibly the day after will be a transition day for employees at the facilities listed above. They will need time to transition from their current workplace environment to their work-at-home environment. We ask for your patience as they make this transition.

Will there be more changes to come? This situation is very fluid. There very well could be more changes to come. You will be apprised of them via email, K-State Today updates, and the Tuesday Letter.

How will our system and we as Extension professionals and volunteers respond to these challenges? I believe we will respond as we always have to challenges. We will need to look at the challenges as opportunities. Opportunities that involve helping the people we serve to adjust and overcome the challenges they are encountering. Opportunities that involve embracing new ways of delivering our programs to the people we serve. Opportunities to explore new ways to meet with and communicate to our colleagues. In short, we will not let this COVID-19 situation get the better of us. We will become better because of it!

 

Stay healthy, my friends!

Gregg

 

Gregg Hadley, PhD.

Director for Extension

 

03/15/2020: COVID-19 Response Update

Good afternoon,

We've just received another Special Edition of K-State Today with a letter from President Myers. You may read the announcement here.

The Extension Administrative Team will be meeting via Zoom at 4:30 pm today, 3/15/2020, to discuss the implications for Extension. A subsequent email will be sent following this meeting explaining how we will comply. This update does not change any protocols put into place yesterday.

Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Sincerely,

Gregg

 

Gregg Hadley, PhD.

Director for Extension

03/14/2020: Updated Local, Regional and State COVID-19 Response Protocols

Colleagues:
Recently, a K-State Alert and K-State Today Special Update (texted and emailed today, 3/14/20 at approximately 4:30 PM) was disseminated to the system. It contained updates to three areas of the campus COVID-19 response protocols. These three announcements can be found here:

In order for the extension division of K-State Research and Extension to be in alignment with the campus protocols, we will also be adjusting our K-State Research and Extension response protocols:

  1. ALL local, regional, state, national, and international K-State Research face-to-face events (for example: workshops, club meetings, shows, etc) conducted by Extension employees or our volunteers and targeted for our constituents and stakeholders between March 15 and April 4 must be cancelled, postponed, or held via Zoom or other distance technology.
  2. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE that all local, regional, and state internal K-State Research and Extension meetings (for example: staff, Program Development Committee, Program Focus Team, Extension Board, task force, professional development, program planning, volunteer training meetings, etc) that are scheduled between March 15 and April 4 should be held via Zoom or other distance technology. If a meeting has to be conducted in a face-to-face manner, it needs to be conducted in a manner that every individual can practice sound social distancing practices. For example, every member at the meeting needs to be a minimum of 6 feet away from each other. If social distancing practices cannot be maintained, the meeting must be held via Zoom or some other distance technology.
  3. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE all K-State Research and Extension employees and volunteers to work via telecommuting (work-from-home) whenever possible between March 15 and April 4. Employees should seek the guidance of their supervisor to determine if telecommuting is appropriate for their position. If it is not appropriate, work needs to be conducted in a manner that conforms to social distancing.

Do not ignore or try to find ways to circumvent these protocols. If you have questions regarding these COVID-19 response protocols, please consult your supervisor.

It is unfortunate that we have to adjust our programs, meetings, and preferred work styles because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, this is a very serious and dynamic issue, and it is our obligation to the public good to respond in the appropriate manner. We may see further refinements to our COVID-19 response protocols as we gain more information.

 

Sincerely,

Gregg

 

Gregg Hadley, PhD.

Director for Extension