In last week’s eCALS, you read about the new programmatic and geographic administrative structures in Cooperative Extension, and saw the new organizational chart. Now you might be thinking, “How will this affect the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences?”

The answer is, “Well, not much.”

While our long-standing partnership with Cooperative Extension is pivotal to many CALS’ programs, stakeholders and to our overall brand, we continue to exist as separate academic units embedded in different UW campuses. Earlier this year, faculty, staff and college leaders provided feedback to the nEXT Generation project team. Using that feedback, Cooperative Extension found a structure that works for both sides, with minimal disruption for CALS.

The role of the CALS Associate Dean for Extension and Outreach will change. The person in that role will address Extension and outreach activities in the college, but unlike in the previous structure, will not serve as the director of Cooperative Extension’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension (ANRE) program. As was outlined last week, that program now falls under the leadership of Associate Dean Patrick Robinson in Extension.

When it comes to hiring faculty with Extension appointments, CALS will continue to have robust communication with Cooperative Extension. Discussions around program priorities, program evaluation and long-term investments will occur between the CALS Associate Dean for Extension and Outreach; Patrick Robinson, Associate Dean for the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources; and JulieAnn Stawicki, Interim Associate Dean for the Department of Youth, Family and Community Development.

Faculty and staff who deliver Cooperative Extension programs will affiliate with other subject-matter experts differently. Cooperative Extension’s structure of Departments, Institutes and Centers will organize faculty and staff around common program themes. Previously, faculty and staff were organized into teams and centers, depending on the program area. In the future, programs will be coordinated through Centers and all CALS faculty and staff with extension appointments will be affiliated with at least one center.