Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Telemarketing: a Two Way Street

When a telemarketer calls I like to see how long I can keep them on the phone. This prevents them from calling and bugging someone else. Tonight's call was from my beloved College of Engineering. He couldn't figure out how to nicely get rid of me, since I did offer that I would love to support Engineering...on one condition.

I babbled several minutes about how I work for Extension at the Univ, and how our statewide network of offices is ideally suited for providing information from the main campus to the people and blah, blah, blah rambling here and there. He was surprised to find that 4-H is a function of Extension, right here on campus. We shared stories about new buildings and buildings to be abandoned ('bout time).

Anyway, the condition was this. I'd like to support Extension *and* Engineering. Since I graduated from one and work for the other, it'd be really nice to be able to make a donation which could be recognized by each. Nope, I'd not like to split the money between the 2 and let them each do their own thing. I'd like to support a program in Engineering which would be delivered by Extension. We have offices all over this state, especially for that purpose.

I made a similar offer/pledge several years ago and it was coded for "Outreach" when I received the contribution form. That's exactly what I told them I would not do, since I despise the idea that Land-Grant Institutions would allow the word the word "Extension" to be replaced with "Outreach." The AU Seal has special significance to me, as it bears the words "Research, Instruction, and Extension." When the official seal is changed, I'll drop my swords and accept that Extension has no right to be recognized for anything other than Agriculture. 4-H will have to carry their own flag (which would probably be easier without Extension anyway).

There is one Engineering department on campus which already is affiliated with Extension (hmm...I wonder how many Universities have an Ag Engineering major, and how many Engineering Colleges claim it). If they remember it exists I'll write the check. If they actually try to funnel research based education through Extension in something not related to Agriculture...I'll at least double my offer.

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