UW-Madison UW-Madison

Staff Paper No. 521 - Abstract

The Specialist in Today’s University of Wisconsin – Extension

Steven Deller [scdeller@wisc.edu]
John Preissing

Staff Paper No. 521, January 2008, 31p.


As part of a comprehensive strategic planning effort undertaken by the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension Service (UWEX-CES), a web-based survey of state specialists was undertaken in the fall of 2007. This manuscript represents the “reporting-out” of the survey results. Based on the work of the strategic planning committee this survey covers a range of issues, but focuses on the role of the specialist in today’s UW-Extension as well as the notion of scholarship. Specialists in general reported that they felt comfortable in their own roles but expressed concern that non-Extension colleagues lacked an appreciation for Extension work and notions of scholarship. While specialists general enjoy wearing numerous “hats” they expressed concern that an increasingly smaller resource pool is pulling them in too many different directions. Specialists strongly subscribe to the idea that Extension educational programming is research based and that research must stand the test of peer review. There is disagreement, however, on what constitutes peer review. Many specialists have the opinion that publishing their work in appropriate scholarly journals is the standard barer of peer review while others disagree. Many noted in written and verbal comments, however, because of the wide heterogeneity of specialists it is difficult if not dangerous to talk about the “representative” specialist. Yet, the survey results suggest that on a range of issues, the specialists are generally in agreement.
Last updated on Tue, Jan 15, 2008 2:12pm