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UW–Madison Smart Restart: For information about fall semester instruction and campus operations, please visit smartrestart.wisc.edu. For COVID-19 news updates, see covid19.wisc.edu.

Reinemann: COVID-19 information for CALS Extension specialists

This message was sent to all Extension Specialists on 3/27/20.

You have been receiving messages from both CALS and the Division of Extension regarding operations during the virus response.  This message is to clarify issues where there may be confusion.

  1. Your appointment is in CALS so your reporting structure is through CALS.  You should complete a “lab COOP” (continuity of operations plan for your lab/group) as all other faculty/PIs are doing.  Your plan should describe both your research and extension activities and the plan to continue them should personnel get COVID-19 or not be able to work for some other reason.  These are submitted to your department chair who will then forward them to Associate Dean Bill Barker.
  2. Travel is restricted by both CALS and Division of Extension policies.  If there is any doubt about which policy to use, choose the more restrictive case.  All campus activities, regardless of if they are extension-related or not, have been suspended.  All face-to-face extension activities have also been suspended throughout the state.  As a CALS employee, your travel exceptions need to be approved by CALS (not by Extension).  Requests for exceptions are also submitted to your department chair and will be forwarded to Ag. Hall.
  3. Consult the CALS COVID-19 information page for updates on policies and forms for above submissions.
  4. The Division of Extension has launched a COVID-19 information site.  The information on this page is mainly for internal use.  All of the Extension dean’s updates are posted there if you would like to review policy statements.
    1. The Submit/Find Resources page is being used as a collector for resources that educators and specialists can use in their extension efforts.  Submit your own work or links to other educational resources that you have found useful if you have something to contribute.
    2. The Ask a Question/Find an Answer page is a place for county educators and specialists to ask questions about policies and procedures as well as programming.  The program managers will seek out specialists to provide answers so you do not need to monitor the page to answer questions.  You can also submit your questions regarding your extension work.
    3. Your work-related travel will be recorded through the CALS approval process so you do not need to enter this information into the Extension collector.
  5. The only change in reporting is a request to enter COVID-19 response activities.  You will be receiving an email in the next few days with details about how to do this. It is not required but is encouraged if you engage in a COVID-19 response activity so that Extension can answer questions about how we are responding.  It also serves as an internal coordinating function to capture synergies across the organization.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Doug Reinemann, Associate Dean for Extension and Outreach / Professor of Biological Systems Engineering