January 23, 2018
Looking Forward to Seeing You, the Federal Shutdown + My Apologies
This week we will have the first two of our four annual Partnership Meetings. Today, we will be meeting in Wichita and then Lawrence on Thursday. On January 30 and 31, we will be meeting in Garden City and Hays. At these meetings, Director Floros and I will kick off the meetings with Administrative Update. Be watching and listening for some news about the future of our Annual Partnership Meetings. Wade Weber will give a 4-H update, and Dr. Peters will talk with us regarding the Grand Challenge of Health. Next, I will summarize the main issues identified in the Listening Sessions. After a bountiful and healthy lunch, we will recognize Extension Board excellence and hold elections for our State Extension Advisory Council. We will end the day by working together in an exercise designed to generate ideas about how to address the Listening Session issues. It will be a chock full day, but one we hope you will find stimulating and productive.
This weekend there was understandable concern expressed about the federal government shutdown and how it would affect us. While we do receive federal funds as due to the federal, state and local cooperative partnership that funds Extension, we are not federal employees. Thus, it is business as usual. The way our federal influxes of funds work, it would take a very long shutdown to interfere with our operations. We will keep an eye on the situation and let you know if anything changes.
Finally, I need to offer my apologies. In my zeal to move things forward, I stated a while back that I would give more detail regarding the status of my former position – the Assistant Director for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Community Development – and the structure of the Extension Administration team in this Tuesday Letter and at the Partnership Meetings. I was too optimistic. Although my plan has been vetted by different internal groups within K-State Research and Extension, there needs to be another step in the vetting process. I ask for you to stay tuned for more information in the not-so-distant future, and, once again, I apologize for my having an overly optimistic timeline.
I look forward to seeing you at the Partnership Meetings!