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KSRE Tuesday Letter

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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

May 31, 2016

Responding to Challenges

Submitted by Daryl Buchholz

Daryl Buchholz

If challenges make us stronger, then we are truly blessed with all of the strength building opportunities we have been given. Some of the more major challenges, in addition to our ever present Grand Challenges, include the:

  • State allotment budget reduction;
  • University reallocation;
  • Upcoming county tax lid; and,
  • Fair Labor Standards Act rules announcement.

All of these challenges strain our already strained local and state level K-State Research and Extension budgets.

Fact is, we will all work together to somehow put K-State Research and Extension in a position to overcome these challenges. Be assured we are looking for the best way(s) to limit the negative effects of these challenges while continuing to:

  • Develop and deliver the high quality Extension education programming needed by the people of Kansas to improve their lives, livelihoods and communities;
  • Provide our Extension professionals with exciting, meaningful, and rewarding careers;
  • Offer our Extension volunteers an exciting environment in which to enrich their own lives and the lives of their neighbors by helping to facilitate our Extension programs and activities; and,
  • Enable K-State Research and Extension to evolve into an even better provider of Extension programs for the people of Kansas while making it more resilient to these and future challenges.

Recently, the leadership of our Extension professional associations engaged in an activity and discussions with Extension Administration. The great input they provided will be considered as we move forward. There will also be opportunities to receive input from you, our stakeholders, our local unit boards, and our State Extension Advisory Council in the future.

What can you do in the meantime? First and foremost, keep doing what you do best – providing the great Extension programs that the people of Kansas need. Second, continue to seek additional resources to fund those great programs. Third, one of the implications of these challenges is that it highlights the fiscal advantages of districts. If you are in a county-based local unit, encourage your board and commissioners to consider and pursue districting options.

Times are challenging, but our mission remains, and our work is in demand as always. We will get through this, and we will, once again, thrive!