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December 22, 2000

UW Extension, UW-RF, Pierce and St. Croix Counties Review Ongoing Partnership

Kevin Reilly, the new chancellor of UW-Extension and Carl OıConnor, dean and director, came from their office in Madison on Thursday (Dec. 15) to visit with faculty at UW-River Falls and extension agents from Pierce and St. Croix counties. Their visit provided an opportunity for representatives from the Extension office and the University to exchange information, and to inform Chancellor Ann Lydecker, who joined UW-RF in August, about the partnership that exists between the two entities.

"We were exploring the ways that UW Extension and UW-River Falls work together," said Lydecker. "As the University expands its role in providing education to non-traditional students and expands its activities related to regional economic development, this cooperation becomes increasingly important."

The exchange, which took place in the morning on the campus of UW-RF and in the afternoon at the Pierce County UW-Cooperative Extension Office, focused on partnerships that are currently in place and looked to possibilities for the future.

Said Reilly, "We knew we had worked in cooperation on many different activities over the years, but they had not been quantified or summarized before. When we saw a list of them, we realized we have an incredibly strong partnership."

Reilly suggested that what Pierce County has done in compiling a list of partnership activities should be duplicated in all of Wisconsinıs 72 counties.

According to Dean Bill Anderson of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at UW-RF, UW-Extension is involved in teaching non-traditional audiences, people who are not pursuing a college degree, while UW-RF teaches traditional students, those who are pursuing a degree. Faculty members in his college have joint appointments, which means they teach both in the classroom and in the field.

It is a win/win situation. "For faculty, teaching in the field brings real-life experience back into the classroom, making them far more effective teachers," he said.

UW-Extension, with headquarters in Madison, employs 1,668 people, including county office and campus-based people (those who have joint appointments). The four divisions, Cooperative Extension, Continuing Education Extension, Broadcasting and Media Innovations Extension, and Business and Manufacturing Extension, share a common mission: to bring university resources and research to Wisconsin residents wherever they live and work.

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