K-State Research and Extension
SWOT Analysis

Facilitated Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats Analysis

After examining the trends influencing the future of K-State Extension, the Strategic Planning Committee focused specifically on the Kansas Extension System to identify: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the organization.

The comments generated were then reported under the topics of:

The listing of these Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats appears on this website. Again, we are not seeking to validate the observations, as much as highlight perceived S.W.O.T concepts. This activity guides the organization to take an honest look at itself to assess areas of weakness for improvement, and to capitalize and preserve things that are being done well.

Please review the S.W.O.T. listing and respond with your feedback to the question: “Did we miss anything that needs to be added to the S.W.O.T. listing?”

Constituency Development and Marketing

Facilitated Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats for Constituency Development and Marketing

Strengths

  1. Reputation in every county
  2. Unbiased research-based information (2)
  3. Good reputation/tradition (2)
  4. Tradition of quality expressing in Kansas
  5. Image
  6. Expertise
  7. Name recognition/ “Power Cat” recognition
  8. History of helping people
  9. Visible in each of 105 counties
  10. Visibility in ag industry
  11. Credibility with general public
  12. Very applied knowledge & process
  13. Historical impact
  14. Land-grant heritage
  15. Science-based (4)
  16. Broad Leadership

 

 Weaknesses 

  1. 4-H needs to be expanded to reach urban
  2. Marketing—what do others know about extension
  3. The organization is resistant to change—i.e. should be using video news to get our educational message out
  4. Not much effort is put into promotion of extension programs
  5. Inadequate message to the public about what the organization is all about (Extension)
  6. General population doesn’t see work of extension in their daily lives—don’t see it as an answer/solution
  7. Past performance in marketing extension in general and inability to target consumers
  8. Consumers are not award that extension is education, fear that they may be a regulatory agency
  9. Image—agriculture program or membership required
  10. “Well-kept secret”
  11. Lack of public awareness (2)
  12. Disconnect between university & non-ag customers 

 

Opportunities

  1. Extension can become a real presence in the state if they will move into TV. It will be an excellent way to get its message out plus promote itself.
  2. Educate public
  3. Disseminate information to more people [to entice new consumers] (5)
  4. Video program information to needed groups
  5. Communication

 

Threats

  1. Other agencies doing similar programs without cooperation (3)
  2. Inability to make clear choices as try to be everything to everyone
  3. Public questions related to our continued relevance
  4. Keeping up with technology growth & demand
  5. Internet “snooze you lose”
  6. Competing sources of information
  7. Privatization
  8. Apathy
  9. Attitudes
  10. Not changing fast enough (3)

 

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Information Development and Dissemination

Facilitated Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats for Information Development and Dissemination

 

Summary of Strengths
Top themes included:

  • Research – outreach - education continuum
  • Volunteers supporting educational delivery ... expanding impact
  • Local people engaged in identifying program priorities
  • Youth development emphasis through foundation of 4-H

View the complete list of identified strengths

 

Summary of Weaknesses
Top themes included:

  • Lack of promotion of educational programs
  • Lack of diversity in workforce and programming
  • 4-H model perceived traditional and not contemporary
  • Perception of agricultural focus and rural focus and not a focus on people, community issues and problems

View the complete list of identified weaknesses

 

Summary of Opportunities
Top themes included:

  • Adaptation of Extension models with new audiences/constituency
  • Responding to changing / non-traditional audience interests and needs
  • Use of technology for educational program delivery
  • Partnering for mutual benefit with organizations

View the complete list of identified opportunities

 

Summary of Threats
Top themes included:

  • Competition with agencies and organizations serving same audiences
  • Changing demographics and lagging organization
  • Trying to be all things to all people
  • Keeping up with technology growth and opportunities

View the complete list of identified threats

 

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Organizational Structure and Staffing

Facilitated Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats for Organizational Structure and Staffing

 

Summary of Strengths
Top themes included:

  • Statewide coverage through counties/districts
  • Recognized faculty and expertise
  • Networking and organizational structure
  • Community-based strong local connection

View the complete list of identified strengths

 

Summary of Weaknesses
Top themes included:

  • Resistant to change
  • Agent turnover and loss of positions
  • Lack of innovation / slow to change
  • Lack of diversity in workforce

View the complete list of identified weaknesses

 

Summary of Opportunities
Top themes included:

  • Partnering with other organizations
  • Ability to strengthen local programs through districting
  • New entreprenurial approaches to achieve mission
  • Grant opportunities to focus on key outcomes

View the complete list of identified opportunities

 

Summary of Threats
Top themes included:

  • Retaining quality faculty and staff
  • Changing demographics and decline of rural population
  • Viability of local delivery system
  • Lack of passion for needed change

View the complete list of identified threats

 

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Resource Development

Facilitated Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats for Resource Development

 

Summary of Strengths
Top themes included:

  • Organization of volunteer and paid people throughout the state
  • Recognized faculty with expertise
  • Local, state, and federal foundation of funding sources
  • Statewide delivery of educational programming through a research-based land-grant university

View the complete list of identified strengths

 

Summary of Weaknesses
Top themes included:

  • Funding shortfalls
  • Funding becoming more dependent on grants
  • Faculty and applied programs being cut
  • "Copout" due to budget cuts

View the complete list of identified weaknesses

 

Summary of Opportunities
Top themes included:

  • Partnering with other agencies and organizations with similar interests and values
  • New entrepreneurial approach to mission and educational programming
  • Use positive experiences where partnering with others organizations worked
  • Strengthen volunteer support

View the complete list of identified opportunities

 

Summary of Threats
Top themes included:

  • Limited financing at state/county levels
  • Competition for local tax dollars and for grant funding
  • Fee-based services dictating focus of programs
  • Loss of support from local boards and constituents

View the complete list of identified threats

 

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