Cougar pride sculpture located on the northeast corner of Martin Stadium.
Cougar pride sculpture located on the northeast corner of Martin Stadium

Scot Hulbert and I are in Baltimore through Wednesday this week, attending the national annual meeting for Extension directors leaders. The sessions’ focus has been on building trust within an organization and with underrepresented or marginalized peoples. I had the opportunity to hear the speaker six years ago, just after I started my position at the University of California. Now, new at WSU, I recognize that I again need to build trust, this time with CAHNRS. I now have a better sense of the need for clarity, consistency, and connection. Hopefully, I continue to improve in those areas, having picked up a few tips during the sessions.

During the meeting I finished my term as chair of ECOP (Extension Committee on Organization and Policy. I won’t serve as past chair in order to direct my efforts towards serving CAHNRS. There is so much for us to do to secure what we need to have a bigger impact for Washington: defining and communicating the vision, building partnerships, measuring progress. In aggregate, the task is daunting, but together we can make a huge difference while supporting each other along the way.

We are looking for volunteers to serve on a task force to build a shared programmatic vision for CAHNRS. If you have interest and time to commit to this effort, please talk to a department or school chair, a research center director, or an Extension program director. Another task force is under development to review and provide advice around the CAHNRS budget and investments. The same CAHNRS leadership group identified above can share more information with anyone interested in the approach and plans to launch the effort.

I caught only the fourth quarter of the game last weekend. What a rollercoaster. I can’t decide if it is a relief the score ended up “close” or a disappointment that we were ahead for so long and lost it at the end. It was great to see the stands full. I am looking forward to the 4-H tailgate before this weekend’s game.

Even though I am less engaged with Extension on a day-to-day basis than during the last 25 years, I am grateful this new position gives me the opportunity to remain connected through other leaders. There are many more meetings to be had this week before the game. I need to trust that the airline will get me back in time for Thursday’s meeting.