- Author: Wendy Powers
After a long year there's hope that accountability happens. The week started with a meeting to discuss the new DEI Advisory Council Charter. I am excited about the possibilities that the Council brings to conversations and action. Yesterday began with a small team of Extension Directors strategizing to advance change across the Cooperative Extension System through peer support, identification of best practices, and craft a developmental growth plan for the system. Small steps that may seem insignificant in isolation, but when summed across all efforts conveys that this is a movement, and not merely a moment. Yet, there is much work left to do before we can all breathe.
I am making progress on merit and promotion packages. Single digits remain to complete my first round reviews, then approximately another 40 hours of work in May to finalize decisions. I completed annual conversations with all but 2 employees so there is progress there, too. I have yet to learn the new systems for both UCOP and UC ANR review processes. Once I do, I suspect we will change to a new system. Everyone has worked so hard to adjust and advance goals; change was the norm. There is some fascinating work going on all around the state. We would need a Town Hall every day to feature all of it.
This week we celebrate Earth Day. My car will remain parked again this year. I hope travel resumes soon, even if to a lesser extent than in the past, to provide the chance to connect with new faces, see programs in action, and meet prospective partners. Later this week I have meetings to plan two separate meetings, both virtual again this year; one in late June and one in October.
The upside of staying home is that I believe we have finally gotten ahead of the yard work. In part, that may be because I seem to welcome the yard work as a nice alternative to Zoom meetings from the garage. My favorite flowers are blooming right now; ice plants. I love the orange color. However, allergy season is definitely upon us. I hear face coverings help with the allergen effects, but I haven't taken that approach. Should pollen make it difficult to breathe, I might have to test the theory. In the meantime, I will hope for rain and celebrate Earth Day weekend in the yard looking for hummingbirds. Each of us has the right to birdwatch or enjoy nature in our own way, without having to hold our breath in worry of what may come.