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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Conference will focus on campuswide Extension role at NMSU

Faculty from all colleges on New Mexico State University's main campus and its community colleges are invited to the universitywide Extension conference, being hosted by NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service April 20 and 21 at the Ramada Palms de Las Cruces.



Paul Gutierrez, vice provost for outreach services at New Mexico State University, will give the keynote address at the university-wide Extension conference April 20. (NMSU photo by J. Victor Espinoza)

"This is an opportunity to mobilize the resources of the university to make a difference for folks in New Mexico, to have a greater impact on the needs of New Mexicans across the state," said Paul Gutierrez, NMSU vice provost for outreach services. "It's really about fulfilling the land-grant mission across the entire university."

Gutierrez, who also serves as associate dean and director of the Cooperative Extension Service, will give the keynote address - "A Vision for Universitywide Extension" - April 20. A panel of county agents will give their perspectives and representatives of various NMSU colleges will make presentations on reaching out to communities.

Afternoon breakout sessions April 20 will include discussions about youth; natural resources; community economic and resource development; and family, health and well-being. Reports on those discussions to the whole group will be given April 21. District Extension department heads will then lead a discussion on methods of collaboration. Gutierrez will be the final speaker, focusing on next steps and follow-up.

"We will work to identify, with the leadership and faculty at the university, major areas of engagement and priorities," Gutierrez said. He'd like to set up self-determined teams to define the university's role in those areas that are most important to communities in New Mexico, and then enlist the full participation of faculty on and off campus. Extension faculty in the counties will be critical.

"It has to be a grass-roots effort," he said. "County faculty has to play a critical role in building the relationship between campus and the communities."

The event includes a luncheon April 20. Registration is free and details are available at http://cahe.nmsu.edu/exconf06/university/. The hotel reservation deadline is April 11, and the conference registration deadline is April 19.