Farewell Message from Dr Cathann Kress

March 9, 2017

Later this month we will gather for our 2017 Annual Conference. This will be my last annual conference with you as Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach. Effective May 1, I will begin my new position as Ohio State University Vice President for Agricultural Administration, and Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. In this role I will serve as the chief academic and administrative officer of the college and lead its education, research, service, and outreach missions. I also will lead the college’s fundraising efforts and facilitate strategic internal and external relationships.

Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert will be naming an interim vice president for extension and outreach.

As we prepare for annual conference, it’s a good time to review the progress we have made over the past five-and-a-half years. It is the direct result of the dedication, talent, and intentions of the many people who make up our system.

  • Our 2011 Leadership Summit laid the foundation for more deliberate decision-making, effective program implementation, and coordinated, planned change across our system. We agreed that our goal was to provide education and build partnerships to solve today’s problems and prepare for the future. We committed to connecting the needs of Iowans with Iowa State research and resources.
  • We’ve streamlined our administration and organized around product, partners, people, and process.
  • Our program portfolio model helps us manage fundamental programs, strategic initiatives, and emerging opportunities, as well as programs we must transition.
  • We’ve created units for the advancement of our organization and for our own professional development.
  • We’ve focused on feeding people, keeping them healthy, helping their communities prosper and thrive, and turning the world over to the next generation better than we found it.
  • We continue to explore technology: to improve access to education; to build and support meaningful partnerships; and to enhance opportunities for excellence.
  • We’re addressing Iowa’s changing demographics and broadening the role of ISU Extension and Outreach.
  • Our leading indicators show more participants and more engagement. We’re also leading on critical issues and leading growth.
  • We’ve completed one strategic plan and have begun the planning process for 2017-2022.
  • We’re working together for what we all want: a strong Iowa.

When I became vice president, we made a commitment to building a strong ISU Extension and Outreach. Because we made and carried through on that commitment, now ISU Extension and Outreach is in a better position to work in partnership with the people of this state. Extension and Outreach is all about people. Thank you for all your hard work and service. I am confident that you will continue to put the university’s research and resources to work for a strong Iowa. See you there.

Cathann A. Kress

Vice President

Director, Cooperative Extension Service

Professor, School of Education

2150 Beardshear



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