Program Leadership Committee
Atlanta, GA
November 30 - December 1, 2005


Nina Boston, Information Technology, University of Arkansas
Gae Broadwater, Community Development, Kentucky State University
Beverly Howell, Family and Consumer Sciences, Mississippi State University
Ed Jones, Chair of PLN-EC, North Carolina State University
Daniel Lyons, Middle Management, North Carolina A&T
Gloria Mosby, Program Director, Communications Prairie View A&M
Paul Mask, Ag and Natural Resources, Auburn University
Jon Ort, Assistant Vice Chancellor & Dir., North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
Mitch Owen, Program & Staff Dev., North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
Louie Rivers, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kentucky State University
Thelma Sanders-Hunter, PLC Chair, Family & Consumer Sciences, Tennessee State University
Joe Schaefer, Middle Management, University of Florida
Larry Turner, Advisor, Associate Dean for Extension, University of Kentucky
Dorothy Wilson, 4-H/Youth Development, FCS, CRD, Langston University
Tony Windham, Community Development, University of Arkansas
Beverly Howell, FCS, Mississippi State University


Ron Brown, ASRED
Lorenzo Lyons, Executive Administrator, Association of Extension Administrators


Mike Bratcher, Information Technology, North Carolina A&T
Frankie Gould, Communications, Louisiana State University
Lamar Nichols, 4-H Youth Development, Auburn University
Noland Williams, Associate Administrator, Kentucky State University


Welcome and Introductions

Thelma Sanders-Hunter, Chair of PLN, convened the meeting at approximately 1:00 PM, November 30, welcomed those present and initiated introductions.  The agenda was altered due to the delayed flight of Ron Brown and Beverly Howell.


Lorenzo Lyons and John Ort reported that ECOP had unanimously approved all funds above the EFNEP trigger to be funneled to the 1890 efforts.  If the current approved budget remains in tact, this could translate to approximately $1.2 or $1.3 million available to 1890 institutions.  However, if a threatened 2 – 5% budget rescission occurs, this may wipe out those funds.  The fate of the funds will not be known until after the first of the year.

The 2007 Farm Bill reauthorization will begin discussion this spring in the House of Representative, followed sometime later in the Senate.

A recently formed think tank involving the Board on Agricultural Assembly is looking at historic flat funding of federal accounts and possible remedies.  The threat of cutbacks to the Hatch Act spurred creation of the think tank.  The group will be discussing the creation of an Institute of Agriculture within USDA, whose director would be appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.  The institute will focus upon Land-Grant programs as well as intramural and extramural research programs.  Following a report to NASULGC, the think tank was expanded to include representatives from all institutions and interests involved.  John commented that the institute was offered as an enhancement to base funding, not a substitute.  There is an assessment aspect to the proposal, based upon the Board on Agriculture Assembly assessment levels.  Cornerstone will be hired to take the proposal through Congress.

The committee was also advised that, as new funding becomes available from Department of Energy, it is critical that each Extension director cultivate a strong relationship with the state energy director.


Gloria Mosby presented design suggestions developed by the communications committee.  The committee narrowed the selection to three and voted on the logo to the right.  Kathy Ibendahl and Kathy Ibendahl will asked to investigate the work required to migrate the SRPLN web site to the new design.


Ed Jones reported that EDEN was as one of the eight communities of engagement.  The hurricane disaster pushed eXtension to roll out the FAQ system earlier than anticipated. 

Lorenzo reported that eXtension received additional funding through Congress as a new line item.  A new call for proposals will be opened in February to attract areas not sufficiently covered in the last group, specifically 4-H and 1890 participation.

Thelma commented that research is underway to examine the aftermath of disasters.  She will forward the committee notes from a recent meeting on this topic.

Gae Underwood stated that the entrepreneur community of engagement members will meet in three weeks to work on the collection of frequently asked questions.

Terry Meisenbach chairs the eXtension marketing committee.  Gloria will forward the note from the last meeting to the PLC.

2006 Conference

Thelma confirmed that the location will be San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Although the costs are higher, the southern directors agreed Puerto Rico is considered a part of the region and should have the opportunity to host. Gloria stated that economic conditions in Louisiana prevented Frankie Gould from attending this meeting and may impact attendance at the conference. 

The committee opted to delay further discussion until after the arrival of Ron and Beverly.

Program Committee Reports

Most program committees had not met since the October 20 PLC conference call, but reported work on their plans of work and CECP modules. 

ANR - ANR Leaders will be meting the third week of April in Washington

Communications – POW was to be posted November 30.

CRD - An upcoming summit of Land-Grant universities will discuss how community development efforts can focus upon recovery from disasters.  Debra Tootle will take a lead role.

FCS - The committee is conducting a staffing and funding survey.  There will be a spring workshop coordinated by Judith Warren and Margaret Hale.  The committee is also working jointly with 4-H on the obesity project and all committee members are working in some way with disaster recovery efforts.

4-H -   4-H Congress was conducted in Atlanta before Thanksgiving.  4-H curriculum that has been juried, reviewed, published and pilot tested is now available to states.  The 4-H bi-annual conference will be held in Tulsa, April 9-11.

IT -      State reports were done electronically in 2005 through a web survey instrument and consolidated into one report.  The IT committee offered the same service to all other committees.  Nina will send out the link to the IT survey and a copy of the report.  Committees opting for this method will need to have reports submitted in mid-July to allow sufficient time to compile the results.

Middle Managers -   The middle manager professional development conference will be held in Blacksburg, Virginia, April 9 – 12, 2007.  There is also an urban conference in Texas next week.  Dan Lyons offered help in recruiting 1890 middle management SRPLN representatives.

PSD - There is a 2006 PSD conference planned.  The committee is focusing on getting their current CECP modules reviewed.  Lorenzo offered to assist in identifying Thelma Feaster’s replacement on the PSD committee.  Dan will include PSD in his efforts to recruit 1890 representatives.

Mitch Owen asked for a review of the PLC primary objectives.  The PLC comes together to address issues that arise from the program committees and discuss cross-committee matters.  It represents program committee concerns to the directors and targets issues as a group, looking for multi-state and national initiatives.  The PLC executive committee is the decision-making body during interims between southern directors meetings and monitors our bylaws.  The PLC is also responsible for new member orientation.

2006 Conference

Upon Ron and Beverly’s arrival, discussion resumed concerning the conference.  Ron reviewed the evaluation results from the 2005 conference.  Of primary interest were the suggestions for shorter speaking times at the general session, opportunities for multi-program groups and more interaction during the general session.  The theme for the conference will target disaster planning.  A panel will convene at the general session to discuss

  • What happened
  • What could we have done
  • What did we do
  • How should we have reacted
  • How did we react

The panel will take a broad view encompassing the disasters over the last several years and will encourage multi-program group participation.  Vincent Covello, a first responder in the 9/11 and Katrina disasters, will be approached to be the keynote to follow the panel.  Ed Jones volunteered EDEN to help put the panel and program together with Thelma, Ron and Kathy.  At the conclusion of the first general session, program committees will be given questions that they will analyze.  Each committee will select one person to report back possible actions to the entire group in a panel during a second general session scheduled later in the conference.  Suggestions included

  • Develop timeline of needs following a disaster
  • Have a facilitator in each group to conduct tabletop disaster simulations/case studies
  • Address how to deal with the psychological toll disaster work has on Extension professionals
  • Discuss how to mitigate the impacts of separation of children from parents
  • Plan what to do when you have competing disasters
  • Propose actions to get Extension to the table when decisions are being made
  • Two conversations:
    • What does each program area do?
    • What does each organization do?

The opening session will be shortened to approximately 2 hours to allow the second session to be held without seriously impacting individual committee time. 

The timing of the conference, August 27 – 30, beginning on a Sunday, is locked in for 2006.  A recommendation will be brought before ASRED and AEA to begin in 2007 with a Monday – Thursday meeting structure and to only hold the PLC conferences in hub cities to get the best rates for lodging, food and travel. 

Oientation for new attendees has become very valuable.  To ensure that new people are identified, a New Attendee box should be added to the registration form.  Since attendance at the orientation may alter travel plans, efforts should be made to communicate the schedule with directors.  Committee chairs should be required to attend the orientation.

Some committees schedule informative tours during the conference.  Each committee is responsible for making that decision and planning the activity.

It was also suggested that a map of the meeting rooms in San Juan be included in the packet.

The evaluation summary also touched on the perception that 1862 interests dominate the conference.  As many 1890 representatives may be new to the committees and uncomfortable in speaking out, each committee should be encouraged to seek out the 1890 representatives and engage their comments to add balance and value to the discussions.  Breaking program committees into small groups to discuss issues may also speed familiarity among members. 

As dynamic speakers who represent both 1862 and 1890 interests and who also celebrate our diversity are discovered, PLC members are asked to e-mail the name of the person and the event where he/she spoke to the PLC list.

Plans of Work

Ron reported that plans of work had been submitted by FCS, 4-H, IT and PSD.  Gloria mentioned that Communications should have submitted theirs on November 30.

Advisor Changes

Ron stated that Mel Garber is the new adviser for the 4-H Youth Development Committee.  John Ort was the PLC advisor replacing Paul Coreil.  Lorenzo will verify the names of the program committee 1890 advisors and send to the PLC. [Ron later reported that the Administrative Advisor for the ANR committee is Dr. Ed Smith, Texas Cooperative Extension. He replaces Charles Norman.]

Other Business

Gae noted a conflict for the February PLC conference call.  CRD representatives will be involved in another meeting.  The conference call was rescheduled for February 23.  Kathy will be consulted concerning issues in rescheduling the call.

Thelma asked for other concerns regarding the evaluations that this committee should address.  Funding for committee activities was discussed.  Committees are encouraged to seek outside funding; the FCS partnership with CDC was highlighted as an example.  John stated directors try to support individual committee members involved in projects.

Tours of Puerto Rico Extension work were suggested as beneficial activities in August.  Each committee has the option to plan such an activity if desired.  Nayda Torrez coordinated the tours FCS took during the last conference in San Juan.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 9:00 AM, December 1.

[The ASRED report from Larry Turner follows these minutes.]

Update from ASRED Administrative Advisor

Larry Turner, Director, CES, University of Kentucky

November 30, 2005


  • Paul Coreil has assumed the Chairmanship of ASRED from Ivory Lyles as of this month
  • Jon Ort is the CES representative to the Board on Ag Assembly Policy Board of Advisors
  • Plans are proceeding for spring meeting in North Carolina in April.
  • Several Southern Region Directors and our Executive Director are involved in key roles in national leadership in ECOP and elsewhere
  • US DOE has partnered with Extension in the states hit by hurricanes (MS, LA, AL) for a pilot energy program
  • Those states are still recovering from hurricane aftermath
  • A work group in the Southern Region led by personnel from TX is addressing how we account for economic and other impacts of our programs
  • See some additional key issues listed below that are being addressed nationally and by the Southern Region; Ron Brown may add comments or answer questions

ECOP (Exerpt from Linda Benning’s email of Nov 18; bold is by Turner):

Many attended a successful NASULGC Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.  Several meeting actions are highlighted below.

  • Welcome to Larry Cote, West Virginia University, as the 2005-2006 ECOP Chair. Larry has served on ECOP, in addition to the ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee.  Additionally, he is co-chair, along with Cathann Kress, CSREES-USDA, of the Managing A Changing Portfolio effort.
  • Thank you to Clyde Chesney, Tennessee State University, for his leadership in 2004-2005.  Much progress was made over the past year on the goals he laid out for the System. 
  • Four retiring ECOP members were recognized:  Doug Lantagne, University of Vermont, Jon Ort, North Carolina State University, Keith Smith, The Ohio State University, and Karen Hinton, University of Nevada.
  • Additionally, Gary Cunningham, Associate Administrator, CSREES, was recognized on his last day at the Agency before moving to the University of Nebraska December 15.
  • As you may know, Jon Ort, North Carolina State University, was elected as the new CES representative to the BAA Policy Board of Directors.  He replaces Nancy Bull, University of Connecticut, who will now be the CES second representative to what has been called the BAA "Think Tank," along with Jack Payne, Utah State University.  Nancy was recognized for her service on the Policy Board of Directors.
  • Jeff Armstrong, Michigan State University, reviewed the BAA "Think Tank proposal" for the Section.  It now has a new name, CREATE21 and more information will become available in the very near future.  Changes were made at meetings on Tuesday, this week.
    • Note that this proposal presents a new approach for funding of Research, Teaching and Extension, and would involve USDA ARS, ERS, and other entities incorporating under a larger USDA umbrella with CSREES
    • Role of Extension is important to success of this approach
  • This week, the eXtension Governing Committee selected Elbert Dickey, University of Nebraska, to replace outgoing chair Lavon Bartel, University of Maine.  She was commended for the work she has done as the first chair of the group.
  • The ECOP Benchmarking Task Force evaluation team will be meeting November 29-30, in Cincinnati, to continue their work.  Nikki Conklin, The Ohio State University, leads this effort.
  • All NASULGC related appointments change following this annual meeting so new directories, etc., will soon be available.

My Summary of Key issues being addressed by ECOP includes:

  • Benchmarking of Extension
  • Program planning and reporting with USDA
  • eXtension programming
  • EFNEP expansion to 1890’s
  • Opportunities for work with US Department of Energy and 4-H, Extension
  • 4-H Task Force and Congressional Caucus
  • Childhood Obesity
  • Diversity Task Force now the Diversity Committee under ECOP