Change is in the air! In 2015, eXtension will begin a new chapter with a vision that focuses on innovation, professional development, and strategic opportunities for Cooperative Extension colleagues. The New eXtension will encourage and lead adoption of new or emerging technologies and innovations in the development and delivery of extension educational programs.
This month, the Extension Directors/Administrators nearly unanimously ended the assessment funding model which began in 2004. They also, nearly unanimously, adopted a new member-based model for eXtension. Last week 96% of directors and administrators responded to a membership poll. Nearly 80% of the Extension Directors and Administrators will be members of the new eXtension: 38 at the Premium level and 20 at the basic level for a total of 58 total members. Nineteen institutions have chosen not to be members.
In January, a newly elected Board of Directors (elected from member institutions only) will take over from the current eXtension Governing Committee. This group will develop the position description and begin the recruitment and hiring process for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position will begin. Once a new CEO is named, recruitment for a Chief Operating Officer and Chief Innovation Officer will begin.
Don’t look for these changes to slow down eXtension while these processes are underway! The staff is already working toward a unified web presence by combining extension.org and www.extension.org. Preparations are underway for presentations at USDA/NIFA, and the Ag Outlook Forum which will feature the Educational Technology Learning Network, Network Literacy, Wearable Technologies, Unmanned Aerial Systems, Oculus Rift, and Big Data. Stay tuned! 2015 is going to be an exciting year!