Program Leadership Committee
December 2001
December 5-6, 2001

Introduction, History, Overview

PLC Chair Carolyn Nobles opened the meeting by asking each person in attendance to highlight one specific program of excellence at their institution. All PLC members were asked to review titles and addresses and make appropriate changes. Revised list of members can be found on the SPLC Website:

Bonnie Teater provided an overview of roles and responsibilities of the Southern PLC along with a short history of the PLC. Also, she reviewed the PLC Website. It was noted that the website is very user-friendly and easy to use. Someone suggested that the committee proposing a multi-state initiative be included in the guidelines. Also, it was suggested that the initiatives be dated so that an effort would be made to keep the multi-state initiatives current.

Advisors' Reports

On behalf of Lawrence Carter, Clyde Chesney reported on action taken at the 1890 Administrators' meeting. He also provided information about the NELD program that was held recently at Tennessee State University. Chesney provided minutes of the 1890 Administrators' meeting which highlighted the action taken on the Communications and Information Technology request.

David Foster reported on a task force that had been appointed by the Association of Southern Region Extension Directors and the 1890 Extension Administrators to take a very comprehensive look at the Southern PLC. The task force will examine committee structure, determine procedures, and review opportunities to strengthen the role of the Southern PLC. It is anticipated that the task force will meet March 14 and 15 and bring a proposal to the current PLC with a final recommendation going to Directors and Administrators in their September meeting.

E-Extension Committee

Ron Brown brought forward an e-Extension proposal and requested that the Southern PLC endorse the concept and help move it forward (APPENDIX A). Brown provided background, purpose, and opportunity which stimulated much discussion regarding a possible effort on e-Extension. At the conclusion of this discussion, the Southern PLC agreed to endorse the concept of e-Extension and help move the effort forward (APPROVED, Anderson/Hayes). Each committee was encouraged to provide possible committee names to Ron Brown who will be working with an ASRED committee to further pursue this effort.

Committee Reports

Agriculture and Natural Resources--Ross Love and Louie Rivers brought forward a proposal on "Computer-Based Learning System" (APPENDIX B). (Ross, please forward me an electronic version of the proposal.) The proposal was approved and will be incorporated into discussion regarding the Cooperative Extension Curriculum Project Task Force (CECP). (APPROVED, Bess/Anderson).

Communications and Information Technology--Kevin Hayes and Gloria Mosby highlighted a subcommittee that is developing a comprehensive proposal that will come to Southern PLC later. The Digital Media Assets Sharing System subcommittee is developing a database and system for sharing photo images across the Southern region. Don Hamilton is chairing that subcommittee. There was also some discussion about the standard wording for sharing documents across lines. This standard wording is being revised and will be brought forward during a future meeting.

Committee members did request that contact be made with 1890 Extension Administrators regarding an advisor from the 1890 Committee.

Community Development--Rick Maurer and Charles Shepphard brought forward no action items, but highlighted the following activities: (1) Southern Region E-Commerce Conference held in October, (2) the Southern Rural Health Institute, and (3) the National Community Resources and Economic Development (CRED). The National CRED conference will be held in February in the Southern region and it’s the first national program of this National Base team.

4-H Youth Development--Charles Cox and Robin Glenn reported of no action items. However, they did highlight planning for the Triennial meeting which would be held in San Antonio. Also, the 4-H Youth Development Committee is working on providing updates to the multi-state efforts posted to the Southern PLC website.

Family and Consumer Sciences--Carolyn Nobles and Sarah Anderson reported on the major initiatives of the FCS Committee. Those initiatives are as follows: (1) workforce; (2) welfare reform; (3) money and you; (4) baby boomers; and (5) health. These initiatives are chaired by various members of the FCS Committee.

Middle Management--Claude Bess and Helen Brooks indicated no action items; however, it was noted that a subcommittee has been appointed to begin work on the 2003 training that will be held in Virginia. Because of the changes taking place throughout the Southern region, there has been discussion regarding the direction and future of the Middle Management committee.

Program and Staff Development--In the absence of Carolyn Reedus and Joe Waldrum, Roger Rennekamp, chair of the PSD committee, provided a report (APPENDIX C). (Roger, I would really like an electronic copy to attach to the posted minutes.)

Cooperative Extension Curriculum Project (CECP) Task Force (APPENDIX D). No action was required; however, Southern PLC members discussed the CECP project in terms of the 2002 meeting scheduled for Nashville, Tennessee

Annual Meeting

Members of the Southern PLC were given time to review evaluations from the 2001 meeting held in Savannah. General consensus was that there was a desire to change the format; however, it was also noted that Committees are not willing to give up any of their committee time.

After much discussion, the following agenda was developed:

Theme: E-Extension: Strengthening Collaboration and Capacity
Dates: August 25-28, 2002
Location: Embassy Suites, Nashville, Tennessee

Sunday, August 25
Southern PLC meeting

Monday, August 26

8:00 Welcome, etc.
8:15 E-Extension
8:30 Cooperative Extension Curriculum Project (CECP)
15 minutes--Overview
10 minutes--Inventory and Pilot
10 minutes--Taxonomy
15 minutes--Learning Strategies
15 minutes--Information Technology Standards
10:00 Break
10:30 Program Committee Meetings (routine Committee business)
Noon Luncheon
1:00 General Session
"Wake 'Em Up with Wisdom" (CONFIRMED--Thanks to Kevin), Wendell H. Bailey, Jr., Chief Technologist, NBC, Inc, 1299 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 11th Floor, Washington, DC 20004
2:00 Program Committee Meetings (to discuss CCEP)
3:00 Break
3:30 Program Committee Meetings (routine Committee business)
5:00 Adjourn

(Bonnie to check about a Heavy Reception/Dinner/Exhibit fair) to take place of State Night Out

Tuesday, August 27

8:00 Breakout Groups to discuss CCEP (along lines of subcommittees)
Inventory and Pilot
Learning Strategies
Information Technology Strategies

Bo Beaulieu volunteered to check into the possibility of doing technology ranking process.

9:30 Break


Program Committees Meeting (to discuss breakout groups and routine business)


1:00 Program Committees (routine business)
3:30 Time set aside for Joint Program Committee Meetings
4:15 Time set aside for Joint Program Committee Meetings

Wednesday, August 28
8:00 Speaker (Bonnie to check on speaker at Mississippi Annual Conference)
9:00 Committee Meetings (routine business)
Noon Adjourn

Next Conference Calls

January 11, 2002
March 8, 2002
May 10, 2002
July 12, 2002

Always at 9:00 a.m. Central / 662- 325-8448

E-Extension ASRED Taskforce White Paper

Members: Charles Norman (TN), Dan Smith (SC), Margaret Hale (TX), Joe McGilberry (MS), Judith Jones (VA), Ron Brown, ex-officio (ASRED).

Purpose: On behalf of ASRED, frame a strategy related to E-Extension. More specifically, develop a brief white paper that responds to the paper by King and Boehlje, "E-Extension/USA Business Plan Development," and arrange a one-day workshop to be held early in 2002 to refine the strategy from the perspective of the Southern Region.

Summary of the King/Boehlje Proposal:

The King/Boehlje proposal is to develop a business plan for an on-line educational service that provides access to Land-Grant university expertise for an audience that is larger and more diverse than currently served. The business plan would include components that commonly comprise a corporate business plan: organizational analysis, industry analysis, customer analysis, competitor analysis, marketing plan, operations plan, management strategy, and a financial plan. If the business plan suggests moving forward, the authors propose two deliverables: an Access Platform and a Protocol. The Access platform will be designed to facilitate user/learner navigation, and the protocol is a procedure for defining what information will be accessible through the platform.

Key concepts included are:

  1. The value of information is increasing; private and public providers are refining and tailoring information and marketing it to specific audiences. The Extension Service is not a sole-source provider. Information must be provided that meets customer needs as opposed to distributing whatever information the provider has.Use technology to expand "reach" (reach a larger audience) and use the capability of information technology to increase "richness" (interactivity, personalization).With the amount of information available, sorting information and helping people navigate it is critical. Extension historically has served a navigation function.The authors raise the question, with so many recent dot com failures, is now the time to create E-Extension?Viability, defined as long-term survival and a positive impact on society, will require a broader audience base made up of individuals who place higher value on lifelong learning than current Extension audiences.The proposal evades the question of a national system or a model that can be adopted by states, and expresses the intent to address "communities of interest."Land-Grant universities have the expertise to develop content and Extension has the tradition and history of providing information and education to learners away from campus. Rather than reinventing from inside, the authors propose to create from scratch a new virtual Extension Service. They infer that the current Extension Service is a supply-oriented distribution system and that the virtual Extension Service would be a demand-oriented, anytime, anyplace, any-source access system.The new virtual Extension Service will build on the positive brand identity of the Cooperative Extension Service and will utilize Land-Grant university faculty/specialists to develop educational modules focused on identified customer needs.On-going audience analysis will pinpoint the needs of "communities of interest" beyond traditional audiences."E-Extension/USA" will be a separate, public/private joint venture, but with clear public accountability and identity.There are some parts of the proposal that suggest that E-Extension would be a consortium-based effort with a board of directors and management personnel, but this is not clear.
  2. The authors believe that the traditional Cooperative Extension system may not remain viable in its current configuration and infers that the virtual Extension Service being proposed for analysis may provide an opportunity for survival.

Southern Region Extension Opinions (from ASRED Meeting, September, 2001):

Reactions to the King/Boehlje proposal and related ideas about E-Extension have been collected from the ASRED Fall meeting, and will be collected from PLC Chairs and other PLC members, from members of PODC, and from additional review by the E-Extension Taskforce appointed by ASRED. Key points are:

  • CES needs a national E-Extension system, but with a plan that preserves and utilizes the identity of institutions and states. The general concept is that E-Extension would be a national system with agreed upon standards and protocol. In addition, states would have portals through which their respective "customers" could enter to access information from or specific to the state, as well as access "E-Extension."
  • State Extension Services could contribute by subject matter specialty/expertise
  • There is a need to show that local agents can be contacted for additional information/assistance.
  • In building a national E-Extension system, there is a need to expand to engage the total university to participate in the system with information more broad in scope than Extension may now be noted for, and to engage non-traditional audiences with the broad resources of the total Land-Grant system.
  • The plan should account for sustainability.
  • The plan should include the idea of "growing into" or increasing interactivity as the capabilities and bandwidth of users increase.
  • The needs of commercial agriculture should be recognized.
  • Different (tiered) delivery for different audiences should be planned.

Questions for Consideration

  1. Who should be invited to attend? SR Directors? 1890 Administrators? Extension Information Technology representatives? David King? Janet Poley (ADEC)? Communications and Information Technology Chair and representatives (PLC)? Southern Region members of PODC? Chairs/reps of PLC committees? Others?What dates are available for a workshop? March 5-6, 6-7, 12-13, 14-15, 19-20, 20-21, 26-27, 28-29? What location is best? Memphis? Atlanta? (Assuming a "fly-in" meeting)What should the program include? A workshop-type program where we can focus on our chore, agree on a vision, identify assumptions, set goals, develop action steps, timeline??Do we need a facilitator? Can one of us (or someone from your states) do it?Would we want someone like Jan Poley to be on the program and tell us lessons learned from ADEC?
  2. Do we need someone to brief us on the E-Commerce initiative being requested by NMSU?

ANR Proposal: "Computer-Based Learning System"

Title: A&NR Computer-Based Learning Systems

Justification: There are increasing opportunities for multi-state collaboration for the delivery of in-service professional development training of county faculty and overall extension program delivery using computer-based technologies. Much improved computer technologies are now available for the delivery of distance educational programs. Decreasing resources (personnel and monies) within Land-Grant Institutions demands that new creative and innovative methods be utilized in the training of field extension personnel and overall program delivery to guarantee effectiveness in meeting faculty and clientele needs. Extension field personnel are now being required to have/obtain expertise in several areas or be highly specialized in a focus area. Additionally, exploring innovative uses of technology to build modules for clientele education has significant merit. Shared resources throughout the Southern region would enable states to provide quality discipline training via computer-based learning systems. If resources were shared in the development of disciplined (subject matter) based general knowledge, scarce and valuable resources within the state would then be available for training and evaluation.

Objectives and Expected Outcomes:

  1. To develop Extension multi-state educational programs using computer-based learning systems to enhance A&NR program delivery. While the focus of development is on in-service training, the system will be flexible enough to incorporate clientele education. The development of computer based training modules contained within a catalogued system (library) would enhance the availability of general principles within a discipline to be available to all field personnel without duplication of efforts within individual states. There would be enhanced efficiencies of resources. Develop surveys to determine extent of materials already developed, technology available within each state, expertise available, and areas of priority. The development of computer based in-service training would be dependent upon individuals or groups of individuals within the region collaborating in providing learning "objects" to the library that could be utilized throughout the region. Materials may already be available from current in-service and/or formal courses. The other outcome of this objective will be to provide input as to what state’s highest need in certain areas may be (i.e., X state has no poultry specialist but has county faculty that need training, what state has expertise available to develop learning modules).Establish a peer review process and promote a system for rewarding authors in the development of in-service training modules. A review process of materials developed will be established and working with the directors a process of recognition of efforts will be developed. In doing so, quality materials will be available for in-service training and faculty will be willing participants knowing that their efforts will not go unnoticed as scholarly activity.Establish a clearing house/headquarters for learning data management. Some type of hardware, server is needed to where learning materials can be stored and from where they may be downloaded. Some type of tracking mechanism may need to be initiated to document training received by individuals. Initiate pilot programs.
  2. Evaluation of pilot programs.

Proposed Products: Training Materials and Curriculum for discipline oriented core competencies for extension personnel. Depending on the information obtained from the surveys, the pilot programs will be established. However, examples of learning modules that have been discussed are Risk Management, Basics of Forestry, Plant Pathology 101, How to Collect a Soil Sample.


December, 2001 – Approval from PLC

January, 2002 – Survey to be developed and mailed to A&NR Program Leaders

February, 2002 – Surveys collected, analyzed and subcommittee meet to identify potential work groups and priorities. Administrative Advisors will be assigned to each of the workgroups and timelines established for development of training materials.

April, 2002 – Provide update to A&NR Program Leaders.

August, 2002 – Have Pilot modules ready prior to August PLC meeting.

Suggested Membership: Joan Dusky, Charles McPeake, Michael Ouart, Don Hamilton, Larry Lippke

Evaluation of Planned Activities: Working with program development and evaluation specialists and evaluation of pilot learning modules will be conducted in at least four states for each pilot curriculum.

Additional Information: The Southern Region Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and the Communications and Information Technology Committees submit this proposal. During development of the project the Middle Management and Program and Staff Development Committees will also be included.

Program and Staff Development Committee Report
Prepared by Roger Rennekamp (KY), Chair

Advisory Leadership

A regional conference on Strengthening Extension Advisory Leadership (SEAL) took place May 3-5, 2001 in Charlotte, NC. Approximately 80 Extension faculty and advisory leaders from ten states attended the conference. The Southern Region Directors have approved holding a second SEAL conference September 25-27, 2002 in Roanoke, Virginia. Barbara Board (VA) and Judy Groff (NC) are providing leadership for this effort. The planning committee has met twice during the fall. The purpose of the second conference is to pilot test curriculum products that participants can use back in their state to train advisory leaders. Curricula will be developed around advisory leader proficiencies. The primary audience for the conference is advisory leaders.

MAP and EXCEL (formerly SELD)

Because of staff changes in the states involved, the Southern Region Program and Staff Development Committee approved relocation of regional leadership for the MAP and EXCEL program from Texas to Georgia. The existing MAP/EXCEL subcommittee will make arrangements to conduct a Southern Regional MAP workshop if sufficient interest is shown across the region. Since MAP and EXCEL focus on the assessment and development of managerial rather than leadership proficiencies, the group voted to discontinue the use of the SELD acronym, in favor of the more descriptive MAP and EXCEL curriculum labels.

Cooperative Extension Curriculum Project (CECP)

The Program and Staff Development Committee has endorsed a proposal made to them by faculty and staff from North Carolina State University regarding the development of learning modules for training Extension faculty and staff across the region. Southern Region Extension Directors have endorsed the project which is now known as "Cooperative Extension Curriculum Project" or CECP. The effort will be coordinated by Ron Brown, Executive Director of ASRED. A regional task force and four work groups (one to inventory current learning resources, one to validate a taxonomy of competencies, one to develop learning standards, and one to develop information technology standards) have been appointed to support the effort.

New Agent Orientation and Training

A committee composed of Jerry Gibson (VA), Bernadette Watts (NC), Julie Sexton (MS), Michelle Martin (AR), Mary Ellen Blackburn (GA), and Randol Waters (TN) has been formed to conduct an inventory of products and procedures currently used across the region to orient and train new Extension faculty and staff. This committee will maintain close linkages with the CECP task force and work groups.

Training for County Directors

Mitch Owen (NC) and Jerry Whiteside (or designee from GA) will spearhaed an effort to inventory of products and procedures currently used across the region to orient and train County Extension Directors. This committee will maintain close linkages with the CECP task force and work groups.

Evaluation and Accountability Resources

The Program and Staff Development Committee continues to maintain a web page containing links to evaluation and accountability resources developed by various states across the region. The site currently contains links to more than 50 publications, fact sheets, manuals, and guides designed to help Extension faculty and staff effectively plan and evaluate programs. The URL is

CECP Organizational Meeting
January 22-23, 2002
Embassy Suites Hotel—Atlanta Airport

Purpose of Meeting

Based upon a presentation by Richard Lyles, Mitch Owen and Barbara Stone, the ASRED has approved a Taskforce and Workgroups to develop a system for multi-state cooperation in development of Extension curricula which has consistent standards, can be shared among cooperating states and can be managed with a data management system. This organizational meeting should facilitate a consensus understanding of the nature, scope and vision of the effort; clarify how the taskforce and related workgroups will be organized and will communicate; determine responsibilities, timelines and products of the different groups; and delineate tasks to be completed in the future.

This meeting should also affirm a sense of urgency from at least two different perspectives. One is that there are groups of individuals from different states who are currently developing modular curriculum, but in the absence of standards that will ensure sharing among states. From another perspective, the national Extension system is realizing the importance of this kind of effort. Albeit in draft form at this time, the national Extension committee on "Extension in the 21st Century" has developed a report that, among other recommendations, includes the following two:

  • Work with partners to build an effective electronic technology backbone and learning information management system to expand learning choices and methodologies to serve consumers who want just-in-time information.
  • With system-wide leadership, institutions should dedicate three to five percent of Smith Lever appropriations to establish and maintain a national network to develop, organize, manage and deliver Extension curriculum using state-of-the-art technologies, methodologies and research.

Both of these point to the importance and urgency of developing a workable system for development of standards-based modules of instruction and learning objects (for both inservice training and for clientele training) and a web-based system useful in managing the products.

Agenda Topics

1. Reach a shared vision of CECP

  • Overview and update
  • Need for information technology standards to allow sharing of high quality materials
  • Need for learning standards to allow sharing of high quality materials
  • Nature of learning objects and modules
  • Instructional materials for professional development and for clientele use
  • Competency-based modules
  • Information management system-user friendly, inexpensive (ADL/SCORM?)

2. Discuss assumptions

  • Curriculum development is an important part of Extension work, and occupies a significant part of budgets.
  • Extension curriculum (some, if not most) for future users must be more sophisticated, more interactive, and more digital.
  • This type of curriculum will be more expensive to develop.
  • Significant "pieces" of curriculum can be used in any SR state (and some other states).
  • If curriculum is developed in "pieces" (modules, or smaller) and appropriately catalogued, states can "pick and choose" to customize for programs in their state.
  • Extension services in the states of the SR will participate somewhat equitably in a cooperative effort to develop and share curriculum.
  • Contributions of effort/quality by individuals comprising teams can be identified and attributed back to those individuals, as well as to the team.
  • To enable efficient teamwork, individuals who are members of teams will participate as agreed, and do so in accord with agreed upon schedules.
  • To reduce F2F meetings and travel, individuals will respond promptly to electronic communications, including e-mail, conference calls, etc. This will enable faster decision-making.
  • To minimize F2F meetings and associated expenses, some "selling" and buy-in must occur on an institutional basis.
  • Individual participants of teams will place priority on their agreed upon functions, and Directors will endorse and recognize their participation.
  • Curriculum materials developed by teams can be used and "marked" by states that contributed in development of the product. In addition the teamwork should be noted.
  • Although organizing a multi-state curriculum development effort will require some extra time and effort, it will cost the states less in time and money in the long term.
  • Once organized, almost all of this effort can be conducted electronically and at already-scheduled meetings.
  • To be successful this effort must become "part of the job" in each participating institution rather than an added responsibility. Directors and SPLs must endorse this concept.
  • This will not be a perfect process; changes and improvements will occur during the process. But it is important to begin! There is urgency because each day we wait, individual states, to varying degrees, are developing curriculum in the absence of agreed upon standards needed to ensure multi-state utility. This is not affordable!

3. Identify "questions to be answered" and "things to be done" and determine responsibility (TF, IPT Workgroup, CT Workgroup, LS Workgroup, ITS Workgroup, Other)

  • What type of organization is needed?
  • Who can participate?
  • How is level (quantity/quality) measured, recorded, relayed?
  • Who can use the products? At what cost?
  • Can additional institutions and states participate?
  • Should some team management procedures be used to record participation, identify excellence or problems related to participation, and relay information about participation for use in evaluation, promotion and/or tenure? If so, what? How?
  • Is there already a usable data management system (ADL/SCORM?)
  • When various teams begin to develop modules, what is the process for review of standards?
  • How does this relate to e-Extension?

4. Confirm names, e-mail address and phone numbers of TF, IPT Workgroup, CT Workgroup, LS Workgroup, ITS Workgroup, and any others needed

5. Determine leadership and communications protocol (chairs; list servs, conference calls), and timelines, tasks, and products for TF and Workgroups

6. Prepare for:

August 2002 PLC Meeting
IFAFs (or other) Proposal

7. Review assignments and next steps