Opportunity to host Extension Reimagined forums

Extension Reimagined forum in Wautoma 2015What will the next generation of Wisconsin residents need and want from UW-Extension? That is the focus of Extension Reimagined, a project that began in 2014 with surveys of Wisconsin residents and university educators, focus groups around the state, one-on-one interviews and reviews of previous market research. The next step is underway and includes a series of forums around the state to develop plans for UW-Extension in the next 10 to 20 years.

Trained facilitators are available for those interested in coordinating and hosting a 90-minute forum this spring; contact UW-Extension Associate Vice Chancellor Greg Hutchins, greg.hutchins@uwex.edu, to express your interest.

UW-Extension Waushara County hosted the first forum March 5 in Wautoma. Program participants discussed enhancing visibility and reach through communications technology, sustainability in a world of change and re-prioritizing programming to prepare for the future. Pictured are those who attended: (front row, from left) Walt Bublitz, UW Colleges and UW-Extension;  Bernadette Krentz, Waushara County Board of Supervisors and 4-H volunteer leader, Chris Langenfeld, 4-H volunteer; Mikayla Flyte, 4-H member; Carrie Flyte, Flyte Family Farm and 4-H volunteer leader;  Rick Reyer, Wisconsin Public Radio; Michelle Soria, citizen; Shannon Myers,  Aging and Disability Resource Center; (back row) John Prindle , Cooperative Care; Kent Barnard, Patterson Memorial Public Library;  Noah Langenfeld, 4-H member; Mary Ann Schilling, UW-Extension; Ken Williams, UW-Extension; Patrick Nehring, UW-Extension,  Enrique Soria,  Land, Water and Education Committee.

The next forum will be March 27 in Madison. For additional information about the public dialog underway, visit http://www.uwex.edu/academic-affairs/reimagining.html.

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Provost Brower promotes the Wisconsin Idea

Aaron Brower

Aaron Brower

“Working shoulder-to-shoulder with Wisconsin residents to solve problems is at the heart of the Wisconsin Idea,” says UW-Extension Provost and Vice Chancellor Aaron Brower.  In “The Wisconsin Idea: Under Siege but Stronger Than Ever,” he provides examples to illustrate how UW-Extension delivers on that promise. He co-authored the article with two colleagues from UW-Madison — Jeffrey Russell and Katherine Cramer — for The Evolllution, an online higher education newspaper.

They noted what sets the Wisconsin Idea apart: “While other land-grant universities share our mission to disseminate knowledge and serve the public, the Wisconsin Idea is distinguished by its steadfast commitment to two-way engagement. We engage with local communities about issues important to their residents, businesses, and government leaders.”

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Jason Beier returns in new role

Jason Beier

Jason Beier

Jason Beier returned to UW Colleges and UW-Extension mid-February, this time as our first assistant vice chancellor for human resources. He has served in the UW System since 2000, most recently as director of human resources for UW System Administration.

Steve Wildeck, vice chancellor for administration and finance for UW Colleges and UW-Extension said, “He has deep experience in all of the major areas of human resources, and has an excellent perspective on the needs of our UW institutions. Of course, that especially applies to UW Colleges and UW-Extension, as he stepped in as acting vice chancellor for administration and finance during my absence from October 2013 to July 2014. Jason clearly has a passion for the work that UW Colleges and UW-Extension do every day, and I am very excited to have him join our team.”

Beier said, “It’s great to be working with institutions whose mission I totally believe in and want to support in any way I can.”

In announcing the appointment, Wildeck also thanked the search advisory committee, including Malcolm Brett (chair), Jackie Joseph-Silverstein, Sharon Klawitter, Jim Eagon and Donna McLaughlin, and, for their administrative support,  David Prucha, Angela Schultz and Patty Kulinski.

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Aaron Brower moves from interim status to UW-Extension provost and vice chancellor title

Chancellor Cathy Sandeen has named Aaron Brower as provost and vice chancellor of UW-Extension, noting that, “His depth of knowledge about this institution and his deliberative approach will serve UW-Extension well as we navigate our response to the upcoming budget implementation.”

Brower said, “I’m honored to be able to continue my work with UW-Extension.  We truly embody the Wisconsin Idea and there’s nowhere I’d rather be.  We have a difficult road ahead in the next several years, but we’re very strong and we’ll draw on our strengths.  Our challenge—and great opportunity—is the chance to write the next great chapter of Extension.  In 20 years, we’ll all be able to look back and say, ‘We did that!’”

The news release is posted here. For more about Brower, visit: http://www.uwex.edu/academic-affairs/

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Academy for Leadership and Innovation Presents Projects

real picture internets

Academy for Leadership and Innovation Class II representatives, introduced by program coordinator Rosemary Potter, presented their service innovation projects to the chancellor’s administrative council Monday, Jan. 26, at the Pyle Center in Madison. They are, from left in the photo, Ramona Gasper, Emily Johnson, Noah Ovshinsky, Kurt Kaspar and Colleen Merrill. Other Class II members not present include: Jayant Anand, Rose Brust, Kim Clist, Jon Fons, John Gaddo, Joni Geroux, Jason Hausler, Debra Karp, Mark C. E. Peterson, Jane Ritger, Kris Tiles, Krystal Wambold, and Sam Wiltzius.

Their projects addressed employee retention, shared governance, women’s leadership development, employee onboarding and employee retention, and internal awareness of UW Colleges and UW Extensions programs.

Referring to their projects, Chancellor Cathy Sandeen said, “I appreciate the thorough research and thoughtful reports by each of the five project teams. They offered innovative approaches that we will look at carefully – and that Class III participants may develop further.”

The first of five sessions for Class III will be Feb. 3 through 6. The class includes: Pamela Bowen, Lori Brandt, Kevin Crow, Jennifer Dargan, Theresa Islo, Neil Klemme, Aaron Knapp, Alexia Kulwiec, Christy Marsden, Dundee McNair, Angela Meidl, William Minser, Sara Nics, Jordon Ott, Jane Rotonda, Alyssa Tsagong and Idella Yamben.

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Your invitation to Martin Luther King Jr. Day state celebration

Monday, January 19, is a state (paid) holiday for UW Colleges and UW-Extension employees. You are invited to celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. at Wisconsin’s 35th annual tribute and ceremony hosted by Jonathan Overby of Wisconsin Public Radio at noon Monday in the Capitol Rotunda at the State Capitol in Madison.

You will be able to listen live or download the coverage later via Wisconsin Public Radio at http://www.wpr.org/shows/dr-martin-luther-king-jr-tribute-ceremony-2015.

You can watch live online or watch an edited broadcast at 8 p.m. Monday on Wisconsin Public Television. Details and related links are posted at http://wpt.org/black_culture.

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First UW-Extension Innovation Fund Projects Announced

We are pleased to announce the projects that will be funded through the first UW-Extension Innovation Fund. As you know, we set aside $1.5M of our one-time cash to reinvest in Extension’s future. The purpose of this fund is to create more visibility and access to the programs and services that Extension produces, thereby expanding impact and opportunities for residents of our state and beyond. The specific criteria used to evaluate proposals were as follows:

• Increase access to UW-Extension services and programs
• Build UW-Extension’s brand and expand relationships
• Increase UW-Extension’s ability to generate revenue
• Improve processes and procedures
• Demonstrate and foster cross-divisional collaboration and cooperation

A call for proposals went out in June, 2014, with the request to submit proposals up through the divisional deans and directors. Then deans and directors helped sift and winnow as we came to decision on which proposals we would fund. We want to thank all of you who submitted proposals—they were all very strong and our decisions were very difficult. Five proposals were selected among the more than twenty that were submitted.

Here is brief description of each of the projects:

1. Extending University Place: Through University Place, Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) has provides university-related content to Wisconsin and broader audiences, including presentations in Dane County such as lectures at UW-Madison and speakers at community events such as the Wisconsin Book Festival. The Extending University Place collaboration includes Cooperative Extension and Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning content from around the state that will be preserved for digital access by statewide audiences.

2. EXAMPLE: Expanding Authoring for Mobile Personal Learning Environments (EXAMPLE) provides a mobile learning environment, agnostic to mobile device or learning platform, that allows students and instructors to co-create and post content that will be made widely accessible . In this way, learners can easily connect to course content, to other students, and to instructors – and provide learning content widely to the nation. BAMI’s Instructional Communications Systems group (ICS) is the lead for this project.

3. Learn More: This is a web-based news and information service to help Wisconsin residents understand and react to urgent and emerging issues facing our state. A new digital service, this collaboration includes content provided by WPT and Wisconsin Public Radio journalists and Cooperative Extension campus- and county-based experts with direct service experience.

4. Community Data Exchange: Cooperative Extension and the Division for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development will combine various databases to create a comprehensive data exchange serving as a one-stop source for county-based educators and community organizations seeking to assess economic development options and prioritize strategies, serving as a new research platform for campus- and county-based faculty and staff and creating a subscription-based data source for sale to other states.

5. Developing Financially Sustainable Massive Online Courses: Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning is developing financially sustainable massive online courses or learning experiences (such as a massive online conference) that builds on current experimental CEOEL massive online course development. CEOEL would offer the possibility to partner with other UW-Extension divisions and lessons learned would inform other UW-Extension divisions seeking alternate revenue streams through global program expansion.

Each of these proposed projects is quite strong, and we are eager for them to get started. We will be monitoring and evaluating each one closely. We will learn a great deal from these projects, with future cohorts of Innovation Fund projects building on the successes of this cohort.

We expect that we will see impacts in the next two or three years, but the real impacts will come collectively from a stronger UW-Extension, one that’s better able to serve Wisconsin and the nation in the coming decades. In that way, the Innovation Fund dovetails nicely with the intentions of the Extension Reimagined project. (And as most of you know, we are scheduling public forums to seek input about how to best serve the next generation of Wisconsin residents. Please see details at: http://www.uwex.edu/academic-affairs/reimagining.html).

For more information contact Aaron Brower, UW-Extension Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor, at aaron.brower@uwex.edu.

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