- Author: Wendy Powers
We wrapped up the Information Sessions on Friday. Mark stayed behind in San Diego to enjoy the weekend. Each session brought about different topics for discussion during the open session. One common theme was that of the need to retain current academic and staff employees as well as a need to increase the numbers of employees focused on program delivery.
This week I will be back in San Diego on Wednesday to talk with the local office about the challenges of reduced staffing. The UCCE San Diego team isn't alone in this challenge, but we need to do some planning and brainstorming. I don't expect there will be time for the zoo or the sunset unless there is a delay in my return flight.
I'm headed to Fresno Tuesday evening to attend a local meeting to discuss the 4-H program and brainstorm how best to fund program growth. Hopefully, the attendees bring good ideas to the conversation. That program is doing such important work. Recently, the County received a $62,000 grant to pilot Work-Based Mentoring with At-Risk/Foster Youth. Congratulations to Alena and the team for their efforts to make this happen!
We are identifying new funding models for positions across the division. Considerations include County or other partner support for program staff or academic positions, endowments for program staff or academic positions, and recharge for business and research positions. All options come with challenges. Status quo has its own set of challenges.
On our way from the Kearney session to the San Luis Obispo session, we stopped at the SunMaid grower store in Selma. We discovered flavored raisins. Who would have thought that raisins, a product that has stood on its own for decades, would need to reinvent itself to keep up with changing consumers? One of our traveling group commented that the expansion in the product line did not sit well with the industry. I suspect that will change if the marketing strategy proves successful.
Thursday the Vice President's Council meets followed by the Dean's Council. At some point, I will have to identify what preparations I need to do for those meetings, but for now, I will focus on now through Wednesday.