Division of Extension Dean Karl Martin provided an update on several items including FY21 and FY22 budgets. Chancellor Blank’s October 2020 announcement estimated the impact of the pandemic on UW-Madison would be $320 million due to lower revenues and increased costs. For those units with fund 104 Extension funding, details on FY22 based cuts will be available in the coming weeks. Overall, the Extension base budget reductions to CALS as a whole are anticipated to be at a similar level of approximately 4.25 percent. UW System President Thompson proposed 20 Extension positions in the upcoming budget proposal, and there is a pending bill regarding funding for CALS state specialists. CALS state specialists were provided an opportunity for a Q&A.
Since it was not possible to gather for a social luncheon as is typical for winter meetings, CALS state specialists engaged in virtual networking and socialization opportunities.
Breakout groups discussed what would be most helpful to support specialists in their extension programming. Feedback included, but was not limited to, more resources for videos, podcasts, and graphic design; larger innovation grants; a budget for non-research extension work such as travel and conferences; and stronger connections between campus, outreach specialists, and county positions.
Breakout groups also discussed what specialists have done differently that they will continue to do after the pandemic passes, and how they can take advantage of these opportunities in the future. Feedback included, but was not limited to, an appreciation for reaching a wider audience virtually; a desire to use hybrid models of virtual/in-person for future presentations; and an observation that virtual programming did not result in decreased attendance, so continuing to offer these types of opportunities may extend the scope of one’s outreach.
Meeting attendees divided into teams for a CALS Extension trivia contest.
Nominations for the Pound Extension Award are due on February 12, 2021.
The next CALS state specialist meeting will be on Monday, May 3, 2021, from 1:00pm-2:30pm. Please send future topic ideas to Erica Flyte.