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KSRE Tuesday Letter

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

January 29, 2019

Smith Lever Funding

Submitted by Gregg Hadley

This Tuesday Letter is NOT about an increase or decrease in funding. It is important, nevertheless.

Our federal appropriation makes up 5.2 million dollars (9%) of our 61 million dollar K-State Research and Extension Cooperative Extension system budget. The vast majority of this federal appropriation for Cooperative Extension is from our Smith Lever funding and its related offshoots. This funding has been the least variable over the past decade. We also had great flexibility in what we funded with Smith Lever dollars. We could use Smith Lever funding to fund administrative expenses, operating expenses, and the salaries of a variety of Extension administrative and programming positions.

Although the level of Smith Lever funding has been and is stable, there have been changes in how we can use Smith Lever funding. Now, all Smith Lever funds need to be funneled more directly towards programming. While that sounds simple enough, not all program related expenses are considered programming oriented. For example, the fuel an Extension professional uses to get to a programming event is not considered a programming expense under the new rules. I do not know why.

We will need to change how some things are funded (not the level of funding) to meet the obligations of the Smith Lever rule changes. We will place Smith Lever funding on those who actually deliver programs, agents and specialists. Those of us who, like me, are currently funded by Smith Lever but should not be, will be converted over to another funding source.

Our K-State Research and Extension, departmental, and regional center financial personnel have been working hard to make this transition. This transition has been going on behind the scenes. I wish that we could say it has gone on without incident, but sometimes an expense was charged to an operating expense account before the funding source for that account could be switched from Smith Lever. The frequency of these incidents will reduce over the next couple of months.

What does this change mean for those who have or will have a part of their salaries funded by Smith Lever? There will be one change. When you fill out your quarterly effort reports in PEARS after April 1, 2019 – a screen will pop up and ask that you certify the data you supplied is true. Your part in this funding transition is to confirm that the quarterly effort report information is accurate. That’s it.

We would like to thank our financial personnel for their extra work related to this transition. We also want to thank you all for your patience to date and for being patient during these funding source transitions.

Thanks for the work you do, for the work you have done, all your work in the future!