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

February 15, 2022

Taking a Look at the Excellence in Board Leadership Assessment Results

Submitted by Laurie Chandler

From experience as a local unit director, I know that completing the Excellence in Board Leadership Assessment often comes about because of the encouragement and leadership from the local unit directors and agents. Thanks to all of you who assisted your boards in completing it!

This year we had 51 of 67 local units complete the assessment -- an impressive 76% return rate. I hope that you found the results from the assessment helpful in identifying areas where your board and staff excelled, and in areas that you want to improve upon in the next year.

A little history: The Excellence in Board Leadership Assessment was introduced at the partnership meetings in January 2011. The State Extension Advisory Council (SEAC) partnered with K-State Research and Extension to develop a tool designed to support local boards in leadership and development. Today, the assessment includes 46 indicators considered to be best management practices for extension boards.

Each year, the information from the assessment is compiled into regional and state summaries and reviewed by the extension administration team to determine what resources need to be developed or enhanced to support local boards. Here are a few of the things we picked up on this year:

  •  Board member participation in partnership meetings is low. Last August, we incorporated discussion questions for board members and agents to share ideas and concerns so that it’s a two-way dialogue between KSRE and the local units. That’s been a good step in the right direction, but to make a significant impact on the number of board members participating, we need your help! Please provide reminders of the upcoming partnership meetings and look for ways that your board can participate; maybe you can assign 1-2 board members to attend the meeting and report back at the next meeting.
  •  42% report reviewing parity statistics annually and planning efforts to reach at-risk audiences. Another 52% say they are working on it. Since the goal is to do this on an annual basis, one idea might be to set aside one board meeting or PDC meeting at the same time of year to help make this process more of a routine.
  •  68% report communicating program outcomes with stakeholders, funders and the public. The remainder are working on it. Communicating program impact can help to secure funding and increase the awareness and understanding – and hopefully involvement – in K-State Research and Extension programs to traditional and new audiences. A “Making a Difference” one-page template is available on the 'Employee Resources' page under 'Forms.' I’ve also found that local units are very willing to share the reports that they prepare for stakeholders.

If you haven’t used the Excellence in Board Leadership Assessment before, take a look and share with your board members at the February or March board meeting and select 1-2 items to work on in 2022.