UACES Facebook CESP 1-69: County Agent Appointment and Promotion
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Guidelines for Appointment, Evaluation and Promotion of County Extension Agents and Staff Chairs

Policy Number CESP 1-69

Date Revised: 9-13-2016
Supersedes: 6-1-2015

SUMMARY: Establishes criteria/guidelines for County Extension Agent appointments and promotion.

The single most important factor ensuring the successful future of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service involves employing and developing personnel of the highest quality. Extension must appoint outstanding qualified agents, facilitate their professional development, and provide a thorough review of their annual performance.

The promotion system is provided to reward those county agents who demonstrate sustained professional growth and significant programmatic accomplishment through time.

The document is intended to provide guidelines for the appointment and promotion of county Extension agents consistent with the policies of the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture and the University of Arkansas System. The first section outlines the general requirements for initial appointment. Subsequent sections deal with evaluation and promotion procedures. A sample vita is included, complete with examples of the types of information called for under each category.


A job description will be developed prior to advertisement of a position. Upon appointment, non-tenured titles will be assigned to each qualified professional staff member. The selected candidate will initially be appointed to Rank I.


Annual performance evaluations are an integral part of the professional development of Extension agents. The evaluation procedure is intended as a means of assessing the agent's performance and is structured to ensure that the agent fulfills his/her potential and performs at a level commensurate with his/her rank. As such, evaluations form an important basis from which to consider an agent’s candidacy for promotion in rank.

Annually, the evaluation process for county Extension agents will be as follows:

  • September 1: Plan of Work submitted in AIMS.
  • September 30: Program year ends.
  • October 15: Submit Performance Appraisal County Extension Agent Reporting Form sent to immediate supervisor.
  • October 15: Immediate supervisors may begin holding performance appraisal conference with employee(s) to review reporting form and program documentation. Ratings are not shared with employees until approval from District Director.
  • November 15: Deadline for Staff Chairs to send rating of employee to District Director for final approval.
  • November 16: After approval from District Director, staff chair reviews Performance Appraisal Summary Form with agent.
  • December 31: Deadline to have signed performance appraisal ratings in to District Director.


EEVAL 149 - Performance Appraisal County Extension Agent Guide

EEVAL 151 - Performance Appraisal Summary Form for County Extension Agents and Staff Chairs


Promotion in rank is an important goal of Extension agents. The organization and the academic community recognize promotion in rank as a significant accomplishment. Promotion confirms recognition of a sustained high level of performance.

Promotion should not be granted based solely on satisfactory performance or length of service, but should reflect progressively higher competence and achievement. There is no fixed requirement for minimum years in rank before a faculty or staff member can be promoted. However, it is difficult to demonstrate adequate progress in less than five complete years in rank. Applications for promotion prior to five years in rank will be regarded as early action and considered only for exceptionally strong and well-documented cases. Only full-time (100 percent-appointed) employees are eligible for promotion.

Agent II

To be promoted from Agent I to Agent II, the agent must hold a Bachelor’s in an appropriate field and show evidence of establishing credibility with the clientele, analyzing clientele needs and successfully implementing programs. The Agent must have demonstrated the ability and competence necessary to:

• Provide leadership for determining the content, priorities and emphasis for programming efforts in the county
• Effectively use the program development process to address the varied educational needs of targeted audiences
• Adopt and effectively use appropriate educational methods and techniques for communicating with specific audiences
• Use specialists for technical assistance and planning
• Recruit, train, and involve volunteers to enhance education programs
• Function effectively with clientele, other Extension faculty, and representatives of local organizations and agencies
• Use evaluations to improve program impact
• Use appropriate mass media to market effectively and interpret the value and benefit of Extension educational programs
• Establish and maintain relationship with local residents, county government, agencies, and organizations
• Demonstrate ability to cooperate effectively as a team member with coworkers
• Participate in relevant professional associations and community organizations
• Demonstrate effective teaching skills

Agent III

To be promoted from Agent II to Agent III, the agent must hold a Master’s degree in an appropriate field. The agent must have demonstrated the ability and competence necessary to:

• Integrate information from a variety of sources to effectively address critical issues and educational needs of clientele
• Modify programs based on clientele needs
• Provide leadership to create partnerships and/or collaboration with external groups to plan programs to meet current and future needs
• Develop, implement, and disseminate programs, and utilizing techniques which are innovative, comprehensive, and timely to meet the needs of targeted clientele
• Use evaluations to provide evidence of long-term program impact
• Provide evidence of support for local Extension programs and activities by serving on committees, task forces, and in advisory capacities
• Effectively use appropriate communication tools to consistently market and interpret the benefit and value of Extension educational programs such as Internet, weekly radio/TV shows, and columns
• Effectively integrate volunteers into the Extension program
• Establish networks, coalitions and collaborations which further the work of Extension in serving clientele
• Effectively cooperate as a team member with co-workers and others and exhibit team building skills
• Participate and contribute to the strengthening of professional associations
• Serve in leadership positions in community organizations and professional associations
• Establish credibility within the local community as a leader and an important resource for the advancement of the community
• Demonstrate effective teaching skills

Distinguished Agent

Agents awarded the designation of Distinguished Agent must have a Master’s degree, hold the rank of Agent III, and have excelled in all areas for which they have been given responsibility. The Distinguished designation is recognized for a body of work done by an individual during the whole of his or her Extension career. They must demonstrate a record of outstanding accomplishment in program planning, delivery and evaluation, spanning a number of years. They must be recognized for their service to and leadership within their professional peer groups, the Extension Service, and the communities they have lived and worked.

The Distinguished Agent designation is not part of the standard promotion procedure and achieving Distinguished Agent status is rare. During those years when applications are solicited, the review process for Distinguished Agent will follow the same process as the promotion timeline to Agent II and III. The Associate Vice President for Agriculture - Extension will determine the number of Distinguished Agents. Only individuals ranked as Agent III may apply. The Associate Vice President for Agriculture-Extension will appoint a separate committee for reviewing and recommending the Distinguished Agent designation. After reviewing the committee’s recommendation, the Associate Vice President for Agriculture-Extension will make the final decision. There is no appeal.

Promotion Application

The evaluation for promotion shall be within the context of the position description and the stated expectations for a County Extension Agent. An application will consist of:

  • Promotion document (see sample provided);
  • Letter from the immediate supervisor;
  • Supporting materials
    • No more than 3 samples of Educational Materials (II C & D)
    • No more than 3 samples of Program Evaluation (II D)
    • No more than 3 samples of Print Media (III-A-1)
    • No more than 5 samples of Extension Publications (III-A-3)

The promotion application will cover the period since the initial appointment or the last promotion, except for Distinguished Agent. As noted above, the Distinguished designation is recognized for a body of work done by an individual during the whole of his or her Extension career. The complete promotion application must be in PDF format. Hard copies will not be considered. An applicant may withdraw the application for promotion at any step of the process.

State Peer Review Committee

The State Peer Review Committee will be appointed by the Associate Vice President for Agriculture – Extension and will consist of seven (7) members and two (2) alternates. The chair will be appointed by the AVP for Agriculture-Extension. Agents who have reached rank III or Distinguished will serve on the committee. The committee will have representation from each district and the four program areas: 4-H and Youth Development; Agriculture and Natural Resources, Community and Economic Development and Family and Consumer Sciences.

One representative from either the Division Affirmative Action Office or the Human Resources Office will train members on proper procedures, act as an advisor and attend the meeting as a non-voting member.

The alternates will serve in the absence of regular members or in the event that a committee member is under consideration for promotion. An individual committee member will serve no longer than three (3) years. Terms of the committee membership rotation plan will be staggered to ensure continuity. By accepting the assignment to a promotion review committee, members agree to attend the meeting. All promotion committee meetings must have 100% attendance and be interactive either in person or via distance technology with video capabilities. The committee will require a simple majority of “yes” votes. An “abstain” or “present” vote counts as a “no” vote.

Promotion Process Timeline



August 1

  • AVP for Ag-Extension solicits nominations for committee members from the District Directors.
  • AVP for Ag-Extension notifies District Directors of the process timetable and promotion amounts.
  • District Directors notify County Agents in writing of the promotion review schedule, criteria, procedures and requirements.

August 25

  • The AVP for Ag-Extension sends letters including directives to the State Peer Review Committee members.
  • The AVP for Ag-Extension notifies the District Directors of the name of the Committee Chair only (not entire committee).

October 15

  • The applicant submits the promotion application (submitted electronically – PDF) to the immediate supervisor (Staff Chair or District Director).

October 15 to

November 15

  • Staff Chair writes a letter for each applicant. Staff Chair submits the letter and the promotion application to the District Director.
  • District Director writes a letter for Staff Chair applicants from their district.

November 15

  • The District Director compiles the completed applications (including letters) and forwards them to the Committee Chair.

November 15 to

January 15

  • State Peer Review Committee meets to review applications.
  • Committee Chair notifies the District Directors and the AVP for Ag-Extension of the committee’s recommendation and rationale for or against promotion and forwards all promotion applications to the AVP for Ag-Extension.
  • If the committee does not recommend promotion, the District Director notifies the applicant. 

January 15 to

February 15

  • The AVP for Ag-Extension will review all promotion applications.
  • AVP for Ag-Extension will forward all promotion applications with written recommendation to the Vice President.

March 1-15

  • Vice President forwards recommended promotion applications to the Board of Trustees.


  • Board of Trustees considers and takes action on promotion recommendations.

June 1

  • Vice President sends promotion approval letters to successful applicants and regrets letters to unsuccessful applicants.
  • Vice President sends promotion approval list to the AVP for Ag-Extension and the Director of Human Resources.

July 1

  • Promotions approved by the Board of Trustees become effective.


University of Arkansas
Cooperative Extension Service
Supervisor’s Checklist
County Agent Promotion Document

To be completed by supervisor.

I. Personal Information
  A. Academic Record
  B. Employment Record
  C. Performance Evaluations
  D. Position Responsibility
II. Programmatic Accomplishments
  A. Overall program description
  B. Changes in position responsibilities
  C. Program planning
  D. Impact programs and accomplishments
  E. Other programs and accomplishments
  F. Marketing Extension
III. A. Publication and educational support materials
  B. Financial support for Extension activities
  C. University or Extension Committee service
  D. Courses and degrees
  E. Honors/Awards
  F. Professional improvement
  G. Membership/Leadership - Professional organizations and societies
  H. Management responsibility
IV. Appendix
  A. Educational materials (3 examples)
  B. Program Evaluation (3 examples)
  C. Print Media (3 examples)
  D. Extension Publications (5 examples)


The following format should be used as an outline in preparing documentation for promotion. Information should not be listed under more than one category.



Presented for Consideration
for Promotion in Rank


________________   _________________





Present Rank


Date Present Rank Was Attained


University of Arkansas
Cooperative Extension Service
Little Rock, Arkansas


I. Personal Information

A.  Academic Record

Degree College or University Date Field of Specialization

B. Employment Record

Organization, Institution, or Location Beginning Date Ending Date

C. Performance Evaluations



D. Position Responsibility:



Family and Consumer Sciences


4-H Youth Development


Community Development




Management Responsibility





II. County Program

A. Describe overall program.  (County demographics, long-term objectives, volunteer involvement, etc.)
Agriculture - Example:

Roosevelt County is located in Eastern Arkansas.  The county is mainly row crops with 18,000 acres in rice, 25,000 acres in soybeans, and 10,000 acres in wheat.  There are 2,000 head of beef cattle in the county.  Roosevelt County’s seat is Lincolnville.  The poverty level of the county is 56% below poverty with the annual income of $14,500 for a family of 4.  There are three school districts located in the county with the average enrollment of 1300 youth.  Long-term goals developed by the committees of the County Extension Council are:

• Increase yields of crops through new management practices and techniques including new technology.

• Increase number of small farmers and farmers involved with alternative crops.

• Increase number of youth involved in the 4-H program.

• Develop youth projects in the county and during the county fair.

Family and Consumer Sciences - Example:

Roosevelt County is located in Eastern Arkansas.  The county’s poverty level is 56% with the average yearly income of $14,500 for a family of four.  Sixty-three percent of families receive food stamps.  The average school enrollment of the three county districts is 1,300 with 75% on free or reduced lunch.  The major industry of Roosevelt County is farming.  The teen birth rate is 45% while the state average is 20%.  The average age of births is 16 years of age.  There is not a local hospital in the county.  The county has only one practicing doctor.  The long term goals developed by the County Extension Council are:  

• Develop a county coalition to address problems of teen births, immunizations, poverty, and health care.

• Conduct nutrition special interest workshops at local DHS, health department, and housing developments.

• Develop a mentor program for teen mothers.

• Conduct school enrichment programs at the local schools in the area of nutrition, character education, and self-esteem.

• Develop a work force readiness program for welfare recipients.

B. Describe substantial changes in position responsibilities while in current rank (if applicable.)


During the past year the percentage of time in 4-H was increased from 25% to 50% due to a grant received through the Department of Health. The grant provides money to work with disadvantage youth in an after school program.

C.  Program planning - include all work involved in planning with others to determine content, priorities and emphasis of impact program.  Include county extension councils, ad hoc committees, and community committees.

Local people assist with planning the education programs conducted in the county.  The County Extension Council and its subcommittee assist in identifying needs of the county.  Ad hoc committees assist in planning and implementing programs and workshops.  The local county coalition assists with a number of educational programs such as health day at the local elementary school and at the senior citizen center.

D.  Describe three impact programs conducted in emphasis area. Include description, evaluation method and educational method of each program area.


Beef Cattle Genetic Improvement Impact Program

This impact program was implemented to aid livestock producers in making genetic improvements in beef cattle herds, thereby increasing production and profitability.  This program effort was conducted for a 3 ½ year period from 1998 - 2001.

Educational activities conducted

13 original news articles written and published
6 production meetings, workshops and seminars
5 herds enrolled in cow herd performance testing program
Artificial insemination/embryo transfer school
3 field days on cooperating farms
2-year participation in ABIP Heifer Development Program

Evaluation Methods

Pre/post test for producer meetings
Improved performance through projects conducted
Practices implemented/adopted as a results
Participant surveys


50 county livestock producers adopted artificial insemination as a means of improved sire selection
280 bulls were performance tested, resulting in 28% increase in calf crop for 76 producers
$300,000 increase in calf sales for county producers
150 producers educated in genetic improvement with 68% adopting new practices in sire selection

E. List and describe other programs conducted including description, evaluation method and educational method used.

7- IPM training session in season with 25 farmers participated
Conducted 4 session Leadership Development course for Neighbor Action Council which resulted in a Neighbor Watch program
Conducted The Best Care program for 75 childcare providers. 
Four childcare centers implemented parent evaluation forms. 
Three centers development monthly newsletters. 
One center implemented “Parents Day."

F. Describe how Extension programming is marketed in the county.

Interpretative Event conducted with Quorum Court, Chamber of Commerce, and Rotary Club
Weekly news articles or radio program on Extension programs and recommendations
Staff serving on county committees and members of Civic clubs
Signs on demonstrations

III. Professional Accomplishments

A. Publications and Educational support materials developed

1.  News Articles

Safety with Slow Cookers
Helping Kids Develop Strong Character
4‑H Bike Safety Program is a lifesaver
Soybean crop nearly made. ‘Don’t quit now,’ agronomist advises

2.  Television presentations; radio presentations

Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Boll Weevil Eradication is Here
 4-H - A History of Leadership Development

3.  Other - list primary author first

Assisted in the development of fact sheet “Food Safety - What’s in the Refrigerator?”
Developed State Rice Budgets for 2000

B.  Financial Support of Extension Activities

1.  Grant/Contracts funded - brief title, sponsor, project duration and objectives, and funding level. Designate internal and external funding.

$2000 donations for prizes for County Bermuda Contest
$1000 grant from Department of Education for computer programs to be used in local elementary school

2. Grant/Contracts not funded - brief title, sponsor, project duration and objectives, and funding level.  Designate internal and external funding.

Applied for $25,000 match grant from Arkansas Department of Health for teen pregnancy prevention

3. Gifts - brief description, donor, funding level, and your role in acquiring.  Include “in-kind” gifts.

Secured $3000 worth of donations for the county fair kitchen.

C. List University or Extension committee service

Promotion Process Review Committee
State verification field planning committee
Best Care Planning Committee

D. Courses/degrees completed in present rank

Course Title

Credit Hours















E. Document honors and awards received while in present rank



Sponsoring Organization










F. List participation in professional improvement activities sponsored by the University or Extension.


Best Care In-Service Training
21st Century Conference
Crop Consultant Certification Program

G. Document membership and leadership roles in professional organizations and societies.


Leadership Role

Local, State, Regional, National










H. Management Responsibility

1.  Describe scope of supervisory role
2.  Leadership to county program (County Extension Council & Interpretive Event, staff development & evaluations, etc.)
3.  Financial Management (county budget, maintenance and operations budget, other)
4. Civil Rights Compliance and Review
5. Other