Building a colorful future

Back at the 2014 Fall Extension Conference, Margaret Bethel, Patrick Cudney and I laid out plans to improve our organizational culture in Michigan State University Extension. We received the results of the Denison Model, saw where there were weaknesses and asked you all where you thought improvements could be made. Using all of that information, the entire administrative team determined our recommendations for what we should do in the next year to try to reach those goals and add more color to our wheel.

We have already started many of the initiatives we set out to, and some are still in the planning phases. In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions and creating smart goals, I thought it would be wise for us to revisit the goals we set at Fall Extension Conference, and see how far we’ve come. I will continue to update this page as we move forward with these initiatives, to help us all keep track of our progress.

Planning Processes

  • An action team is forming to address the issue identification process.

Reporting Processes

  • We won’t scrap the reporting system but will continue to work on simplifying and improving it.


Program Planning

Campus-Field Interaction

  • Specialists with significant assignments with Extension will be expected to be involved on a team.
  • Administration and IDs will continue to visit with faculty and department chairs on engagement opportunities.


  • We will be adding District 14, and counties that are impacted by the change have received communications about the district realignment.
  • District coordinator position for District 14 – The position has been posted and closes Jan. 11.
  • Internship program for district coordinators – The application information was sent out on Jan. 6; applications are due Jan. 19.
  • An action team has been formed to develop MSU Extension strategic connections and communications plans. We received a strong response following fall conference, and the committee convenes for their first working meeting on Feb. 6. Learn about some of the resources we already have to support your strategic communications.


Performance Evaluation

  • An action team is being formed to look at issues of accountability and effective strategies for providing team feedback on individual performance reviews.

The action teams listed above had a huge turnout rate, and the chairs of those teams are already starting to get their teams together to come up with solutions to these important issues. We will continue to update you all on the progress we are making during the next year, and hope that you will continue to be involved in building a more colorful future. Happy New Year!

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