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University of Minnesota Extension

From the dean - Spring 2022

Portrait of Extension Dean Bev Durgan

Dear friends,

Summer is a busy time for Extension’s faculty, staff, participants and volunteers and after two years of uncertainty and disappointment, we are looking forward to a more normal season in 2022.

This time of year also marks the beginning of a new fiscal year at the University of Minnesota and setting organizational priorities for the next few months. In Extension, these priorities include:

  • Growth of partnerships with other organizations inside and outside the University, which is a key part of both the University and Extension’s strategic plans. These new partnerships will allow Extension to expand its reach to a wider audience and to better serve the people and communities of Minnesota.
  • Over the past two years, Extension has learned a great deal about the potential of virtual meetings and programming, and about effectively connecting with employees and participants in new ways. Extension will continue to develop best practices for determining whether programs, events or other work should be conducted in person or virtually.
  • Employee recruitment and retention are extremely important. Extension is investing additional resources in filling more than 40 open positions this year, as well as developing a more comprehensive onboarding process for all new employees.
  • Providing equitable and inclusive access to educational programs that reflect and honor the increasing diversity of community partners and stakeholders is vital to Extension’s mission and future. A new diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) advisory committee and expanded staffing will help our organization create plans and programs that will help meet our DEI objectives.

These goals are ambitious, but I am confident that Extension has the resources and talent in place to achieve them. I look forward to seeing many of you at Extension’s summer events and talking with you about the bright future of Extension.

Bev Durgan

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