MSUE responds

Okay, we’ve talked a lot about being more responsive as a goal for Michigan State University Extension, but this is being responsive in a different, non-programmatic way. Sometimes our jobs require us to do something that is meant to help the administration of our organization work better. Over the past few months, we have communicated about changes in the way MSU asks us to verify that we’re doing the work for which our funding was intended. What used to be called Semester Effort Reporting was done three times per year (spring, summer and fall semesters). It was done on paper, and it had its own set of rules. One of those that folks chuckled at was the insistence that an individual must sign the form in blue – not black – ink. The reasoning was that a blue signature had to be original and a black signature could have been a photocopy of someone’s signature, imposed without his or her approval. Then color copiers came along, but oh, well…

 The new approach is called Effort Reporting. It is done online, and it is done only twice per year instead of three times per year. Not only that, but it comes with a deadline, and apparently developing the software system to manage the process took longer to develop than originally anticipated. Anyway, we all received an email from Terri Weller, fiscal analyst for MSUE, just before the December holiday period, asking us to go online, check the data relevant to our individual positions and their funding for the first half of 2011, and approve it as being correct by clicking on the “submit” button (no blue ink). And we were in hurry-up mode given the timeline that MSU had given us.

 I’m pleased to say that MSUE folks have responded extremely well. The deadline for submitting your effort report is tomorrow, January 13, and as of Wednesday evening, we’re 80 percent of the way there. Of the 484 reports we’re responsible for, all but 103 have been submitted by the responsible individuals. So as great as that is, I’d like to remind the 103 remaining colleagues to jump on board the Internet, go to, click on Effort Reporting on the left side of the screen and take it from there. And thanks to all who responded so quickly at a time of year when we’re pretty distracted.


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