Program Leadership Committee
Conference Call
October 18, 2007

Debbie Archer, Communications, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff
Nina Boston, Information Technology, University of Arkansas
Paul Coreil, ASRED Advisor, Louisiana State University
Nelson Daniels, PLC Chair, Ag and Natural Resources, Prairie View A&M University
Gina Eubanks, AEA Advisor, Southern University Cooperative Extension
Frankie Gould, Communications, Louisiana State University
Shirley Hastings, Vice-Chair, Family and Consumer Science
Paul Mask, Ag and Natural Resources, Auburn University
Mitch Owen, Program & Staff Dev., North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
Thelma Sanders-Hunter, PLC Chair, Family & Consumer Sciences, Tennessee State University
Joe Schaefer, Middle Management, University of Florida
Gaines Smith, ASRED Representative, Auburn University
Ellen Smoak, Middle Managers, North Carolina A&T University
Dorothy Wilson, 4-H Youth Development, FCS, CRD, Langston University
Tony Windham, Community Development, University of Arkansas

Ron Brown, ASRED
L. Washington Lyons, AEA
Kathy Ibendahl, SRDC

PLC Members Absent:
Lamar Nichols, 4-H Youth Development, Auburn University
Chris Rogers, Information Technology, Southern University Research and Extension Center
Ray McKinnie, AEA Representative, North Carolina A&T State University
Bill Woodrum, Community Development, West Virginia State University


Welcome and Roll Call

Nelson Daniels welcomed everyone to the meeting. Drs. Lyons and Brown gave their reports first since they needed to leave the call early.

ASRED and AEA Reports

Dr. Lyons reported on CREATE 21. Extension is pleased that the House supported the land-grant system in the Farm Bill. Now we are dealing with the Senate’s Farm Bill markup on Tuesday. The Senate is proposing to move $600 million for integrated programs and a call to action has been distributed to the directors and administrators. 

The Extension administrators will meet during the annual NASULGC meeting in New York, November 10 – 13. Their meeting will take place on November 12th.

The administrators’ winter meeting will take place in Washington, DC January 29 and February 1, 2008. Program teams will meet with them during part of this time. They are looking forward to that meeting.

Dr. Brown said that ECOP just met and approved moving CECP to a national platform in eXtension. This movement will take place using MOODLE.  Each region has bought into this idea and named three people to form a steering committee.  They are ready to move forward. ECOP and Larry Lippke will be taking the lead with this.

The Southern Region directors will meet on November 12th during NASULGC.

Evaluations from the 2007 Joint Meeting

Nelson led the discussion of the 2007 Joint Meeting evaluation comments. Here were the main points:

  1. Many attendees felt the four-hour general session was too long.
  2. Many comments on the keynote speaker.
  3. There was a mass uproar for not having named specific nights for committee and state night outs.
  4. There were several good theme ideas.
  5. Several newcomers said they missed the Newcomers Orientation. Kathy said the SRDC will provide a button for Newcomers to check on the registration form so that we know who is new and can contact them with information prior to the meeting. 


2008 Joint Meeting Program Theme

Nelson told the group that it would be best to identify a theme during this meeting and not wait until our meeting in December to do so. During the December meeting, we should select relevant speaker ideas and finalize those details in order to begin contacting speakers. Nina stressed this as well as the planning committee had difficulty getting commitments from speakers last year and we ran close to the meeting before the program was finalized. We need to begin earlier this year.

Theme Suggestions:

  1. 4-H suggested wellness healthy lifestyle, obesity.
  2. Succession planning. Leadership training, mentoring to take on the roles as we leave.
  3. Aging society. Recasting. Next generation of audiences. Future audiences.
  4. Program delivery methods. How to get our information out to people.
  5. The changing economic landscape: Implications for Extension

The following individuals agreed to serve on the meeting planning committee:

L. Washington Lyons, Ron Brown, Nelson Daniels, Nina Boston, Dorothy Wilson, Joe Schaefer, and Kathy Ibendahl. Mitch Owen volunteered to help find speakers.

Formation of a Newcomers Orientation Committee
There were several comments on the meeting evaluations regarding the Newcomers Orientation and not getting the word out about the session to new members. Nelson and Kathy described a plan for a Newcomers Orientation Committee that would be in charge of personally contacting new members by phone, welcoming them to PLN, and inviting them to the orientation session. Committee chairs should do the same, but this would give the new members an opportunity to meet someone from another committee. Also, the Newcomers Orientation Committee would create an outline for chair’s orientation presentation--a set format to follow from year to year. This coming year, we will make sure the Joint Meeting registration form has a button for newcomers to identify themselves so we know who to contact.

Mitch said he is worried about PLC being overwhelmed with these committee tasks and perhaps the committee chairs could help take on that challenge. It would benefit our committees.

ACTION:  Kathy will put together a job description for the Newcomers Orientation Committee and will forward it to the committee chairs with a copy to PLC.

Executive Committee Discussions

Nina Boston, Executive Committee Chair, described three new items the Executive Committee is bringing to PLC for discussion.

1. Committee Chair Orientation Program. There is a need to more formally train committee chairs on their responsibilities. We saw this, particularly, when the information and action items were presented to PLC. There is confusion over what is an information and what is an action item. This training should take place prior to the August meeting, perhaps in July. Nina has volunteered to coordinate this effort.  She asked for volunteers to help her. Mitch Owen volunteered.

2. Annual Committee Accomplishment Reports.  ASRED and AEA want to hear about what the committees are doing in the meetings. It helps them answer the question, “Is PLN worthwhile?” It was suggested that we look into doing annual accomplishment reports. Even though it is one more chore for the committees, it would show that the time spent meeting is worthwhile. It would provide information to ASRED and AEA about why we are here, why we are doing what we are doing, and why it is important. The directors and administrators saw the value of PLN when we presented our action and information items. Unfortunately, we don’t have time during that presentation to share accomplishments.

Discussion followed. Other benefits of accomplishment reports were mentioned:

  1. Would provide committees with a history of accomplishments
  2. Would provide more value to the plan of work. 

The reports should be brief and provide the top two accomplishments the committee is most proud of as a result of being in PLN. They should relate to the committee’s plan of work. Committee chairs will be charged to work with their committees on these items and this could be done during the quarterly conference calls.

Gaines Smith said he thought these reports would be very helpful.

Nina said she will continue to work on this and appreciated their suggestions. 

3. PLC Representation. Sometimes there is a gap in information from PLC representatives to the committees. We are all so busy and it is difficult to communicate everything that needs to be shared.  However, the more our committees know about what we do, the better we’ll do our job. One suggestion was to make the committee chairs one of the committee reps on PLC.  However, this added responsibility could overwhelm them. It was suggested that Kathy add the committee chairs to the PLC e-mail distribution list so they see all the communications. They could be invited to the PLC meetings to attend on an optional basis.

ACTION: Nina asked PLC to take this question back to their committees or talk to their committee chairs. Do they want to be included in the PLC meetings?

ACTION:  Nina will contact the chairs and ask if they would like to be on the PLC listserv. She’ll let Kathy know and she’ll add them to the listserv.

Committees have the option to appoint their chair to PLC as a representative. For example, Shirley Hastings on FCS is currently both the chair and a PLC representative. If this is not enough, the EC can come together for further discussion.


Advisors’ Report 

Paul Coriel said they had quite a bit of action at ECOP that related to PLN. There is a staffing committee that is working on the staffing and instruction of ECOP. There is no final report, but it is always good to look at instruction and staffing needs. This is a priority right now and will continue through the meeting in New York. There may be a recommendation at the national meeting in February in San Diego.

The ECOP Communications Task Force funding was approved the day before yesterday. Doug Steele led that committee. The marketing study provided good information on the national understanding of the expectations.

A resolution was passed commending the EFNEP task force. This was a major success and we are still benefiting. There a commitment for increased funding for the 1890 institutions and small land-grants.

A major effort is underway to counter act a proposal by Congress to eliminate the IFIS funds. They are trying to remove CSREES budget money that funds IFIS.

The national eXtension launch will take place at the Ag Outlook Forum in Washington, DC, February 21- 22.  The acting secretary plans to be there to announce the launch. Over 1,500 from around the world will be there. We are happy to have this kind of platform for the launch. Over 21 Communities of Practice will be ready to go when this launch takes place.

Dr. Coreil will be finishing his term on the eXtension governing committee. Dalton McAfee will be taking over as chair. He and others will be there in DC as well.

The national directors and administrators meeting will be held in San Diego about the same time as the Ag Outlook forum.

Dr. Coriel said he appreciated what PLC and PLN have done. The meeting in Louisville was successful.


Committee Reports 


Paul Mask said that ANR has not met so far this year but should meet in the near future. There is nothing to report at this time.


Frankie Gould welcomed Debbie Archer who replaces Gloria Mosby as the 1890 PLC representative. Communications held a teleconference yesterday. They reviewed their teleconference schedule and are working on a best management practices template to address communications charges, royalties, permissions and sponsorships, etc. There is a need for guidance regarding these practices and this template will be a “boiler plate” for states to use.

CECP modules. Communications has five modules and hopes to have them ready by August. Communications is pleased with the report presented by the ECOP Task Force for Marketing and Communications. Franked thanked Larry Arrington, Paul Coreil, and Ray McKinnie for their support and service to the task force. There was a vote to proceed with the national branding and marketing research survey.


Tony Windham said CD has not held a conference call since Louisville; therefore, there is no report to make.


Shirley Hastings said the FCS conference call is scheduled for tomorrow. No report for now. Thelma is going to receive an 1890 recognition award.


Dorothy Wilson reported that 4-H held a conference call Tuesday at 8 a.m. They suggested themes for the 2008 meeting that related to healthy lifestyles, wellness, and obesity. The National Association of Extension 4-H Agents meeting will be held October 21 – 25 in Atlanta. They expect good programming and a training session for 1890 4-H professionals will be held during that time.

The National Curriculum Committee has officially disbanded. The National 4-H Counsel will be implementing that work.

4-H is moving forward on its CECP modules. Four domains have been populated. They have been reviewed and piloted and the committee is hoping for approval by January. Janet Fox will be working with a grad student to get the other domains together.

The National 4-H Congress will be taking place in Atlanta after Thanksgiving.


Nina told the group that IT held its first conference call of the year on October 12th. She was unable to attend. There is a plan of work set forward to create a module on information security in MOODLE. They are exploring more of the social networking tools and are working on a best practices document for security.

National Virtual eXtension for Instructional Designers. Larry Lippke is working on this support for instructional designers in eXtension. These will include internet-based delivery tools, graphic design, etc.

Larry has announced that he is retiring in January. We’re happy for Larry, but not for us. Larry has agreed to continue his work with eXtension after his retirement.

Joe Schaefer said the Middle Managers would like to explore the possibility for expanding our contacts, idea sharing, and discussion groups beyond the southern region. They do not have a national association. They’ve contacted their North Central region colleagues who have been very active. So far, some have expressed an interest in the professional development conference in April. They are looking to get all regions involved in Galaxy and are expanding their communication network.

The Middle Managers are working with the PSD Committee on succession training.

The Urban Task Force has been approved and the Middle Managers are working on the charge (function, etc.). The committee’s chair, Tony Roberts, will send out a message to all committee chairs asking for volunteers to help serve on this new  task force.

A dynamic discussion was held in August about the roles and responsibilities of the Middle Managers. They developed a list of brainstorming ideas to develop a template description for Middle Managers with direction, advice, and guidance for programming in urban areas.

Mitch Owen said that his committee met this week via teleconference. They have two projects going into MOODLE--Presentation and Facilitation. These were developed by different teams. They are in the midst of identifying land-grants across the nation to develop a community of staff development. We can all learn from each other.

The first annual PSD conference will be held in Atlanta next week. Ron Brown is going to be giving the “Future of Extension” as their keynote. Half of the program will be academic presentations and the other half will be small group discussion on “what are the issues, how do we work, and what are the best practices.” Four ad hoc sessions will run concurrently on succession planning/retention (talent management), advisory leadership system and how we manage volunteers, evaluation and accountability, and program development (models and how we work to assure good educational programs. Four ad hoc sessions running concurrently.

Mitch said the conference will run concurrently with the national 4-H conference. Everyone is welcome to attend.  

The PSD Committee debated on when to hold its teleconferences—before or after the PLC meetings. PLC representatives are expected to report back to the committees on what was discussed in PLC, but the committees want to get a report from PLC. He sees a paradox.

Old Business

Executive Committee Representative Yet to Be Named. Kathy told the representatives of FCS, ANR, CD, and 4-H that she has e-mailed the chairs of their committees several times asking that

they name a joint representative to the Executive Committee. She is waiting to hear back from them.

Committee Membership Updates. Kathy gave a quick overview on what has been updated and what has not. Most committees have updated their membership lists and Kathy has updated the listservs with the exception of ANR. She is not able to reach Dawn Mellion-Patton, ANR chair after numerous attempts.

Winter Meeting. We will be meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn, Atlanta Airport from 1 p.m. on Tuesday, December 11th until noon on Wednesday, December 12th. Kathy said she distributed an e-mail several days ago with the hotel reservation details. Please let her know if you are unable to attend.

The meeting adjourned at 10:45 a.m.

Submitted by Kathy Ibendahl, SRDC