New specialists, Luiz Ferraretto and Leslie Holland and new executive assistant, Erica Flyte, were introduced. CALS award winners were recognized.
Breakout groups discussed programming during COVID-19. Specialists reflected on items that have been working well including, but not limited to, developing more proficient technology skills and becoming more comfortable using virtual tools to deliver material; reaching a wider audience, including audiences in new regions, through multiple and creative modes; and being able to attend more conferences since most/many are online and do not require travel. Specialists also reflected on items that have been challenging including, but not limited to, an interruption in the feedback route from stakeholders while programming virtually; a loss of high-touch identity in the absence of interactive and hands-on opportunities; assessing whether programming is truly reaching the stakeholders and if the message is effective and achieving the desired impact; and fatigue of virtual events for specialists and stakeholders.
Breakout groups discussed productivity and mental health during COVID-19. Constraints of working from home, including family obligations, and the missing energy from lack of personal contact were two topics shared.
University-sponsored out-of-state travel and in-state air travel remain canceled until further notice. Employees seeking an exception will need to submit an essential travel exemption form. In-state ground travel related to research is allowed and no longer requires pre-approval. Travelers should continue to follow departmental/center protocols and guidelines. In-state travel for Extension should continue to be done remotely whenever possible. UW-Madison requirements must be met for all CALS-sponsored events, regardless of location.
No budget updates are currently available.
Reporting requirements will remain the same for calendar year 2020. When reporting for calendar year 2021, CALS specialists will be asked to submit a plan of work instead of an outcome statement. Plans of work will inform forward-looking efforts and will provide opportunities to make connections between the work of specialists and county educators. Examples can be found in the Extension Planning and Reporting Portal by searching by keyword or name.
Future CALS state specialist meetings will be scheduled for January and May. Meeting dates will be forthcoming. Please send future topic ideas to Erica Flyte.