Laying out goals for a smooth transition

In just the short time that I’ve been back, I’ve been quite impressed with everything Michigan State University Extension is accomplishing. There’s so much opportunity ‒ I’m excited to be back and be a part of it.

Interim associate director Ray Hammerschmidt and I would like to share with you some of our goals.

Our first mutual goal is for a smooth transition. In addition, we want to affirm that there are no plans for a massive restructure in the organization or in structural changes. While we do not plan to make significant structural or organizational changes, we are open to making improvements in functions and operations based on input from faculty, staff, citizens and partners. Ray and I encourage you to give input to us in whatever ways you feel comfortable. Send us an email whether it’s through your institute director or through district coordinators( or We will also be talking to you face to face as we visit throughout the state.

We want to support an environment where collaboration, innovation and creativity can flourish based on a timeless core set of values. When we follow values, we can collaborate and innovate; creativity is rewarded

As you are aware, I will be MSU Extension interim director for the next six months and Dr. Hammerschmidt will be interim associate director during that time. In January, I will leave the role and Ray will become the director. Dean Poston’s goal is to have the next College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) dean select the next permanent director of Extension. The college anticipates beginning the search process for the CANR dean this fall. If the new dean is in place in 2016, then he or she would begin the search for the director of Extension at some point in 2016.

Ray knows and understands a great deal about Extension so my role is really to spend time with him getting him acclimated to the role of an Extension administrator. The external search for the associate director of programs (to replace Ray) will begin in late fall. We anticipate having an associate director of operations filled internally in place by October 1. (See a map for the transition plan on the July 7 webinar at 20:18.) Ray will be leading the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute (AABI). He and I will meet with AABI work group leaders on July 18.

Listen for more organizational updates on our weekly webinars. You can download the latest webinar here:

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