Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors
August 23, 1996
Present: Jerry Arkin, Jim Boling, D.C. Coston, Tom Helms, Verner Hurt, Richard Jones
Absent: Johnny Wynne
A meeting of the SAAESD Executive Committee was convened at 9:00 a.m. (CDT) on August 23, 1996 by Chair D.C. Coston.
Discussions centered around the need to begin to move toward implementation of the planning processes that have already been done and to find ways in which to accomplish this implementation phase. Questions and comments concerning this issue included:
- Is the strategic plan in place for 1) the Association, 2) the region’s Experiment Stations individually, or 3) the Experiment Stations as a group?
- Additional regional research projects could be developed or perhaps eliminate research projects in certain areas. A few IEGs have already been established as a result of strategic planning.
- There will continue to be strategic planning exercises through ESCOP — tied to the REE strategic plan. David MacKenzie, chair of the ESCOP effort, has raised the possibility of having the ESCOP Strategic Plan, for instance, be a “chapter” in an overall strategic plan with other groups also having “chapters”, e.g. Extension, etc. In light of a move to tie in with the overall ESCOP strategic plan, the move will probably be towards the five strategic outcomes as outlined in REE’s plan.
- How will GPRA requirements fit into these plans? The need exists to meld together all reporting processes into a more streamlined one to prevent duplication of reporting efforts.
- When regional efforts are implemented, should it be by 1) bringing larger existing programs together, or 2) bringing together smaller individual state efforts?
- Use “mini-regional” efforts (3-4 states) to initiate activities. There are several examples of these efforts already in place or that have already been done such as the dairy and beef research program initiated between Louisiana and Mississippi by Drs. Hurt and Tipton. It was noted that a missing link in this is ARS consideration. A suggestion was made to invite Floyd Horn to have all regional lab directors meet with SAAESD (he has offered to do this in the past).
- How would regional funds be looked at with joint state projects? Are the mechanics of handling the funds and/or paperwork an incentive to NOT establish regional projects?
These and additional topics would best be discussed by the full group of directors at a future meeting. Executive Committee decided that this would best be done during a called meeting at SAAS in February, 1997. About half the time during that one-day session will be devoted to this issue with the Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Richard Jones, leading the discussion. Prior to that meeting, Dr. Jones will distribute preparatory notes to all directors. Plans for this session will be finalized at the Executive Committee meeting at NASULGC in November.
Meetings of the Association
Since the number of scheduled annual SAAESD meetings has changed to two (April, July), the business traditionally handled at the other two meetings (November, February), which will now be on a called basis, must be rescheduled. With the February 1-5, 1997, SAAS meeting being a called meeting (see above), decisions can be made at that time.
In the absence of a full called meeting in November (during which deadlines, etc. would be discussed with all directors), the ED’s office will send a reminder of deadline dates for consideration of proposed/new activities to be offered to the full group in April.
The ED’s office will send a reminder of these meeting plans to SAAESD members.
Meeting with Advisory Committee Chairs
Chairs of Advisory Committees will be invited to participate in a portion of the SAAESD’s April meeting. In place of the February session which has previously been held, Dr. Helms could present a 10-20 minute report to the Department Head group’s February meeting at SAAS. Dr. Coston will visit with the Department Head’s Chair, Dale Maronek, from Oklahoma regarding this possibility.
Executive Director’s Office Annual Plan of Work
The Plan of Work will be presented to the full group at the April meeting. Then a session can be held with operating officers only to answer in-depth questions and discuss budget matters.
Image Enhancement Activity
Dr. Helms reported on this activity noting the background of this activity with leadership of Co-Chairs Bob Gilliland and Neville Clark. Preparation of “Science and Education Impact Statements” has been a key in this effort. Reference was made to two e-mail messages that had previously been distributed to the Executive Committee:
1) Conference Call report – Helms, Heil and Gilliland will draft a proposed letter to be sent to ESCOP Chair Rasmussen and ECOP Chair Luft outlining the proposal, inviting and encouraging implementation of the regional effort; and
2) Draft Proposal – A regional coordinating committee would be formed made up of ONE ag communications person from each state who will be appointed in concert by the individual states’ directors (research and extension). The committee would be advised by the Chairs of the regional research, extension, and teaching associations. Further guidance on this should be forthcoming.
NRC Recommendations – SAAESD Response
Copies of the proposed response to NRC Recommendations had been distributed prior to the conference call. Six states have sent suggestions to Helms’ strawman document that had been distributed via e-mail on August 13. Helms asked for suggestions for language change/additions. The group’s concerns will be addressed in the report which will be updated and returned to Bob Heil 8/23 with copies sent to each Director via the Clemson server. Response from our region will be incorporated with other regions’ responses to form the ESCOP response.
Dr. Coston expressed appreciation to Helms for his work in putting the strawman document together.
Operating Manual for Cooperative Regional Research
Since C-9 language is not yet removed from the draft document, Helms will wait for the next revision to review and comment to George Cooper.
ESCOP/ECOP Budget Update
As representative of regional Executive Directors, Dick Lower is coordinating a meeting in Chicago on October 17 to discuss budget planning activities. The push is to have opportunity for input on budgets before they go “behind the curtain”. In addition to Dr. Helms, invitees from the southern region to participate in these discussions are Rodney Foil, Gale Buchanan, and Milo Shult.
Meeting adjourned 10:50 a.m. (CDT).