Southern Region Program & Staff Development
August 1998
August 1998


Rosa Albino, PR Carolyn Reedus, AL
LaVerne Blount, AL Roger Rennekamp, KY
Leticia Colon, PR John Richardson, NC
Chinella Henderson, AL Ronald Shearon, NC
Glenn Israel, FL James Smith, AL
Margaret Johnson, SC Satish Verma, LA
Howard Ladewig, TX Paul Warner, KY
Richard Liles, NC Joe Waldrum, AR
Jim Miller, SC Bernadette Watts, NC
Bill Murphy, VA Ron White, MS
David Mustian, NC Jerry Whiteside, GA
Michael Newman, MS Ron Williams, AL


Glenn Israel, Chair
Bill Murphy, Vice-chair
Ronnie White, Secretary

Adminstrative Advisor:

Paul Warner, Kentucky

PLC Representatives:

Jerry Whiteside, 1998-2001
Margaret Johnson, 1996-1999


Paul Warner (Kentucky) discussed the Southern Region Diversity workshop sponsored by our committee. 51 participants from 12 states in the southern region participated in the program. The process of developing state plans dealing with diversity and hiring practices began at the workshop.

Satish Verma (Louisiana) presented information about specialization/certification (17 areas) for field faculty. To become certified, agents are required to have at least 15 hours of graduate work in the specialty area. Those being certified will receive monetary compensation.

Discussions were held on using competency models to assist in hiring extension employees and developing inservice training. Louisiana used a faculty self-assessment instrument (Personnel Proficiency and Interest Inventory).

Jerry Whiteside (Georgia) shared a new agent orientation/training (core curriculum) called Foundation Program for New Agents. Program elements include a mentor program, a week of program development training, and a week of specialty training.

Glenn Israel (Florida) and Howard Ladewig (Texas) presented tools used for assessing customer satisfaction. It is required in Texas that agencies provide customer satisfaction data as an indication of program quality. Both Texas and Florida report great success with the process, which is ongoing and not a one-time program activity. It was noted that customer satisfaction is one of many indicators of program quality. Extension agents have had great success in using this data with local government.

John Richardson (North Carolina), Roger Rennekamp (Kentucky), Howard Ladewig (Texas), Ronnie White (Mississippi) and Bill Murphy (Virginia) reported on State Accountability Systems. All the systems are Web-based and allow for greater flexibility in reporting program outcomes to various stakeholder groups. In addition, many of the systems emphasize the planning component of program development. The Mississippi system has allowed them to more effectively respond to the state mandate of impact budgeting.

Glen Israel reported on a GPRA Survey conducted by Glen and Howard Ladewig. Overall, states responded they would get the job done. The GPRA format is not that different from the old reporting system. The observed strength of GPRA was the integration of the three missions of teaching, research and extension. Numerical and narrative components were also recognized as a strength. A number of weaknesses identified, including how GPRA was constructed, as well as instructions detailing how you put a plan together. There was some concerns regarding Impact Indicators and their relevance, inconsistencies in definitions and language, and the loss of data regarding customer satisfaction.

In summary, GPRA allows us to develop information system regarding programs and outcome indicators that can identify behavioral changes in clientele. It will be difficult, however, to collapse data to see regional and national implications and overall accomplishments.

In a special presentation, Dr. Satish Verma (Louisiana) was acknowledged as the first recipient of the Harry Clayton Sanders, Sr. Endowed Professorship in Extension and International Education, College of Agriculture at Louisiana State University. Dave Mustian, committee chair, presented a plaque to Satish on behalf of the committee.