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June 13, 2017



Board Members to Use New and Improved Agent Evaluation Tool

By Jim Lindquist

Last fall, eight local units piloted a new agent evaluation tool. The tool was developed to address board member concerns that the current performance review form was too complex and time consuming which resulted in many board members not participating in the process.

A committee of local unit directors, along with the Extension Administration team, developed a Qualtrics survey for board members to complete. Instead of providing written comments in six different sections, board members were asked to provide feedback on a Likert scale from “Significantly Exceeds Expectations to Below Expectations."

At the conclusion of the pilot project, we learned that the board members from the pilot counties unanimously thought the new format was easier and less time consuming. Likewise, the local unit directors reported better participation of board members and increased quality of the feedback.

With the success of the pilot project, the decision was made for all local units to use the new agent evaluation tool this fall. The Qualtrics survey will be completely embedded into the PEARS system in 2018 but for this fall, we have made arrangements for the new board member survey to work alongside the PEARS system.

Like in past years, agents will continue to use PEARS to complete impact reports, action plans and professional development plans. Board members will receive an email with instructions for completing each agent’s performance review along with a link to the new Qualtrics survey. Area directors and local unit directors with personnel responsibilities will receive a summary of the board member survey results and compile a performance review narrative to be shared with individual agents.

I want to extend my thanks to the staff and board members in those eight local units for their commitment to improving the agent performance review system. Those counties include: Douglas County, Frontier District, Marais des Cygnes District, Phillips-Rooks District, Riley County, River Valley District, Shawnee County, and Wildcat District.

Our plan is to provide more specific information this summer through the Tuesday Letter. Next week’s issue (6/20) will provide an outline of “What’s the Same?” and “What’s Different?” If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Laurie Chandler, lchandle@ksu.edu or Jennifer Wilson, jrwilson@ksu.edu.

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