Spring 2012 Board Excellence Newsletter

Board Excellence
Information for Local K-State Research and Extension Board Members
Volume II, Issue 2 — April 2012

From the Associate Director .  .  .

It was nice to meet so many of you at the annual Partnership meetings held across the state in January. As we met I was reminded of the significance of your service as locally elected officials.  Together we have the responsibility to deliver relevant educational programming for the people of Kansas. As board members, you are the local representatives in partnership with your area director, all of whom represent K-State Research and Extension.  Several articles in this newsletter relate to upcoming business, including items on budget development and the state’s open meetings and open records acts. We trust this information will be useful.

                                         --Daryl Buchholz, dbuchhol@ksu.edu

Districting Summit: Lessons Learned
Late last year extension district board chairs and directors were invited to participate in a summit. Representatives from 13 of the 14 districts attended.  The purpose was to share how districts are functioning, lessons learned, and programming outcomes for local residents. 

Questions posed to the group included:

  • Prior to forming a district what was the greatest concern?
  • What was the motivation for forming a district?
  • What has gone well and not so well?
  • How has programming changed?
  • What still needs to happen?

For an executive summary of the summit, go to the Board Leadership website, www.ksre.ksu.edu/boardleadership. Click on “Districting” on the right

Plan for Effective Board Meetings
The following strategies are from the Excellence in Board Leadership assessment:

  • New board members are oriented.
  • Members review agenda and supporting documents before meetings.
  • Day-to-day issues are delegated to the appropriate employees.
  • Committees function outside of board meetings.
  • Members participate in local extension programs.
  • Members know each agent’s program responsibilities and outcomes.
  • PDC representatives report at board meetings.

Additional information can be found at www.ksre.ksu.edu/boardleadership. Select “Exellence in Board Leadership Assessment” in the purple box at the lower left of the center screen.

State Extension Advisory Council

Five new members of the State Extension Advisory Council (SEAC) were elected at the Partnership meetings. They are: Dean Fitzsimmons, Pratt County; Patsy Maddy, Twin Creeks District; Dan Peters, Pottawatomie County; Keala Timko, Sumner County; and Rich Barr, Douglas County. 

SEAC members must be current or past board chairs.  They serve four-year terms and serve as an advisory group to the Director of Extension. The council meets in August and February. The August meeting location rotates and features different K-State Research and Extension programs. The February meeting in Topeka includes visits with legislators.  You can learn more on the Board Leadership website:
State Extension Advisory Council (SEAC).

Budget Development
Extension boards will soon prepare 2013 budgets.  Extension councils will submit proposed budgets to county commissioners by July 15, and extension districts are to file their budgets August 25.  Budget tables, distributed at the Partnership meetings, can help boards compare their own receipts and expenditures with those of other local units that have similar programs and personnel. A document, “Budget Development for Local Extension Units” can be found on the Board Leadership website. Boards are encouraged to develop or update an equipment replacement plan during the process.  A spreadsheet to help develop this plan is available to local unit staff.

Kansas Open Meeting/Open Records Acts
Extension boards are subject to state law, including the Kansas Open Meeting Act (KOMA) and the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA). The KOMA requires boards to transact business in meetings that are open to the public, and to provide notice of the meeting and an agenda to anyone who requests that information. A board may adjourn into executive session for a limited number of reasons, with personnel matters being the most common. A motion to adjourn into executive session must contain the reason for the executive session, the time and place the meeting will resume, and the name(s) of individual(s) invited to participate. Discussion must be limited to the subject stated in the motion. No binding action can be taken during executive session.

The KORA grants members of the public the right to inspect and obtain copies of public records. There are exceptions to the act when records contain private or privileged information.

Boards should appoint an official custodian of public records. It is recommended that a request for open records be made in writing (not to include email). A nominal fee may be collected in advance to cover the cost of furnishing copies of requested records.  Additional information can be found in “Kansas Open Meeting Act: Guidelines for Extension  Boards” and “The Kansas Open Records Act” at www.ksre.ksu.edu/boardleadership. Click on “Duties of the Board,” and then “Effective Meetings.”

What is Healthy You?
Healthy You is the K-State Research and Extension Employee Wellness Program. As a result of participating in wellness activities, employees will gain knowledge and skills to lead a more active lifestyle, model healthy eating, know personal heath status, address personal health risks, and effectively manage priorities in professional and personal life.  We encourage your support for local extension employees as they work toward wellness goals, and as we strive to make healthy choices the easiest choices.  More information is available at:  www.healthyyou.ksre.ksu.edu


Volume II, Issue 2 – April 2012
Click here for a link to the weekly K-State Research and Extension Tuesday Letter