New Book Available:
George Morse, Jeanne Markell, Philip O'Brien, Adeel Ahmed, Thomas Klein, and Larry Coyle. The Minnesota Response: Cooperative Extension's Money and Mission Crisis. iUniverse, Bloomington, October 2009. 428 pages.
Available from amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com in soft cover or hard cover.
Google Books: http://books.google.com/ allows you to read some of the book. To find the book easily, enter the full title.
The Minnesota Response explains how Minnesota Extension responded to its mission and money crisis in 2004 with a sweeping reogranization. Breaking with 95 years of tradition, Minnesota Extension shifted from a county based delivery model to a regional/county delivery model. Regionalization, however, is the tip of the iceberg. Several other policies define Minnesota's new approach, including changes in funding sources, degree of specialization of the regional educators, more statewide program teams, development of business plans, increased use of market research, supervision of field educators by program specialists rather than geographic supervisors, and new scholarship and promotion expectations. The Minnesota Response details these policies and reports on thier initial impacts on program quality, scholarship, access to Extension, and public support for Extension.
The book discusses a number of the economic concepts which were the foundation of the Minnesota regional/county model. However, it is written for a general audience rather than for economists.
For a better picture of why it was written, read the "Preface."
In later blog entries, specific aspects of the book will be discussed and comments will be welcomed, especially from Minnesota stakeholders and those in other states with regional systems.