Printable Version of the Strategic Plan (Word Doc)

Western Extension Directors Association
Strategic Plan
Approved 2/7/07
Revised 11/8/10

Western Extension Directors Association

Strategic Directions

The membership in the Western Extension Directors Association (WEDA) is open to the 1862 Extension Directors and 1994 Representatives of the Land-Grant Cooperative Extension organizations in the following states and territories: Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Micronesia, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.  WEDA works on mutually beneficial programs and organizational issues in partnership with USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), as well as other regional and national organizations.


The Western Extension Directors Association (WEDA) mission is to advance Land Grant College/University Extension in member states and territories in the Western Region to assist in meeting the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century by:

  • Facilitating stakeholder input on critical issues;
  • Creating a voice on national issues for the West, including the insular areas;
  • Fostering the next generation of Extension programs;
  • Mentoring and developing Extension leadership and professionals; and
  • Developing collaborative structures for efficiency and effectiveness.


WEDA is a leader in advancing the impact of its members and partners to improve the social, economic, and environmental quality of life in the West.

Values and Operating Principles: 

Value Operating Principle
Respect Member institutions vary greatly in size and capacity; however, we value each institutions capability and respect their contributions.   We will work to assure that all Land-Grant Institutions in the West have an active voice in WEDA.
Diversity We advance inclusive, supportive, professional environments in which to live and work.  We value diverse peoples, thoughts, and approaches to addressing issues of importance in the West.
Partnerships We pursue and support national and regional partnerships that help advance the goals of WEDA and the success of Extension programs in the West.  We foster cooperation with many regional and national groups including but not limited to NIFA, APLU, and the Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors.
Vital Communities Our member’s Extension programs focus on helping to create vital sustainable communities in the West, which includes healthy people, strong economies, and sustainable environments.
Research-based Our programs and activities are based on scientific research, best practices, and other credible sources of knowledge.

Goals and Strategies:

Goal 1:  Maximize the effectiveness of Extension as an organization in its role as the primary non-credit education delivery system of Land-Grant institutions.  This includes but is not limited to reaching out to diverse and changing populations, acquisition and management of human and fiscal resources, evaluating and marketing impact and outcomes, and advancing the professional capabilities of Extension faculty, staff, and administrators in the West.


  1. Seek internal stakeholder input on approaches and organizational issues that enhances the mission and role of Extension as an organization in the West.
  2. Identify and prioritize internal organizational issues and challenges important to Extension in the West, paying particular attention to the changing populations and economies in member states/territories.
  3. Foster regional and national multi-state cooperation and collaborations by prioritizing Extension’s strategic roles, and facilitating approaches and actions that address organizational issues important to Extension in the West, and which may have national application.
  4. Engage the appropriate expertise from Universities in addressing priority organizational issues in the West.
  5. Actively encourage the recruitment, hiring, professional development, and mentoring of faculty, staff, and administrative leaders who reflect the diverse cultures in the West to assure their success with Extension.
  6. Create a mentoring and support system for new Extension Directors in the member states/territories.
  7. Identify and/or create opportunities that encourage the professional development of Directors in member states/territories.

Goal 2:  Provide a national and regional voice and visibility for Western Extension Directors and Western issues through a well functioning, supportive professional association.


  1. Appoint members to participate in multi-state, regional, and national meetings and committees including those with NIFA, APLU, and other identified priority internal and external groups.
  2. Develop WEDA meeting agendas that accommodate discussion and debate on national and regional issues of importance to the West.  Develop and communicate with appropriate groups the implications, alternatives, and consensus positions of WEDA.
  3. Advocate nationally and regionally for resolutions, positions, and issues which advance best approaches and practices for WEDA members.
  4. Provide for efficient and effective administration of the WEDA’s business, committees, programs, and activities.
  5. Create a welcoming environment and encourage participation from all Land-Grant Extension programs in the West including 1862s (states and territories) and 1994s.
  6. Contract with an Executive Director (ED), financially supported through Western state and territory assessments, and work with that person to prioritize, plan, manage, and account for the ED’s office and resources (time and fiscal) in support of the WEDA and national priorities.
  7. Maintain a repository for documents of WEDA.

Goal 3:  Enhance the quality and effectiveness of high priority Extension programs in the states and territories of the Western Region.  Assure that parity is reached or exceeded for diverse audiences through Extension programs in the West. 


  1. Seek external and internal stakeholder input to identify and prioritize major issues important to people and communities in the Western states and territories paying particular attention to address the needs of diverse audiences.
  2. Identify and prioritize Extension’s strategic roles in meeting the needs of diverse and changing communities in the West.
  3. Plan, coordinate, and/or foster regional cooperation and collaboration of multi-state Extension programs, and multi-state multi-function (Extension, Research, and Teaching) programs.
  4. Strengthen Extension’s capacity to deliver relevant, effective programming.
  5. Foster internal and external partnerships which increase available resources, and enhance the value and impact of Extension programs in the West.
  6. Engage the appropriate expertise from the whole University in addressing priority issues in the West.
  7. Identify and share program and funding opportunities that support the development and delivery of Extension programs for the diverse populations in member states/territories.
  8. Support and encourage scientifically based assessment of Extension programs which identifies consistent benchmarks against which progress can be measured.
  9. Actively recognize outstanding Extension programs and employees in the West.

WEDA Standing Committees: 

WEDA will conduct its work and advance its goals through the following standing committees:

Executive Committee: The Executive Committee is made up of the WEDA Chair, Chair elect/Secretary, immediate Past Chair, the Western representative to the ECOP Executive Committee and, as a non-voting ex-officio member, the WEDA Executive Director.  The Executive Committee, through the Chair, executes the established programs of the Association and provides oversight for the activities of the Association.

Western Extension Leadership Development Committee (WELD):  One member is appointed by each Western Extension Director to plan a two year leadership development experience for professionals in program delivery roles who are interested in enhancing their leadership skills.  The committee meets primarily through conference calls and during the on-site workshops for WELD class members.

Western Middle-Managers Committee:  One member is appointed by each Western Extension Director to plan a summer conference for Extension professionals serving in middle-management roles.  The committee meets primarily through conference calls and during the on-site annual conference.

Western Regional Program Leadership Committee (WRPLC):  One member is appointed by each Western Extension Director.  The committee works with the WEDA to identify and provide leadership for advancing multi-state programs, and addressing operational and organizational issues of importance to the West.  WRPLC may appoint special committees and/or task forces with membership internal and external to WRPLC to assist with its work.  WRPLC also conducts the selection process for the Western Extension Awards of Excellence.

Resolutions Committee: WEDA will annually appoint a resolutions committee of up to three Directors to provide special recognition and thanks to those who accomplish special tasks and assist with WEDA operations.

Nominations Committee: WEDA will annually appoint a nominations committee of up to three Directors to identify and present to WEDA people to fill the various regional and national committee and liaison appointments.

WEDA Liaisons and Task Forces:

WEDA may appoint special committees, task forces, and/or work groups to advance WEDA’s goals and/or to manage specific activities for the Western Extension Directors.

Other Related Regional and National Committees:

WEDA appoints liaisons to a number of National and Regional committees that advance the program and organizational goals of WEDA and the National Extension System.  They include:

  • Western Rural Development Center Board (WRDC)
  • Western IPM Committee and Western IPM Center
  • Western Multistate Review Committee (MRC)
  • Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (W-SARE)
  • First Americans Land-grant College Organization and Network (FALCON)
  • Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) and its committees including:
    • ECOP Executive Committee
    • ECOP Programs Committee
    • ECOP Personnel Committee
    • ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee
    • ECOP Leadership Advisory Council
    • ECOP Marketing and Communication Committee
    • ECOP Measuring Excellence in Extension Committee
    • ECOP eXtension Finance Task Force
    • ECOP Strategic Opportunities Task Force
  • eXtension and its committees including:
    • Governing Board
    • Director’s Council
    • Fund Development Advisory Committee
    • Communities of Practice Proposal Reviewer Pool
    • Progress Review Panel
    • Professional Development Steering Committee
  • DOE Energy Advisory Group
  • REE Energy Advisory Group
  • National Extension Award Review Panel
  • National 4-H Council, National 4-H Congress, 4-H Directors Working Group, and 4-H Military Partnership Network
  • Journal of Extension Board (JOE)

Federal Partners:

In addition, WEDA cooperates with our Federal partners including but not limited to the:

  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
  • Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and its various Boards, Councils, and Commissions including but not limited to the:
    • Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA)
    • Board on Human Sciences
    • Council on Engagement and Outreach (CEO)
    • Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP)
    • Office of Urban Initiatives

Other Regional Partners: 

WEDA seeks to develop supportive working relationships with other partners including but not limited to the:

  • Western Governor’s Association (WGA)
  • Western Interstate Region of the National Association of Counties (WIR-NACo)
  • Council of State Governments – West (CSG-West)

Criteria for prioritizing issues: 

 We will work on issues:

  • that are important and recognized as such by the public;
  • in which there is an opportunity for high impact;
  • if they are supported through adequate resources;
  • in which we can add significant value;
  • if they advance the values and goals of WEDA


Approved 2/7/07
Revised 11/8/10

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