Control of the Office Keys

Maintaining security in the County Extension Office is crucial to insuring the safety of equipment and confidentiality of information. Restricting the number of keys in circulation is vital to this security. The following procedure will help:

  1. Issue keys to only those employees who must open and close the office.
  2. Set up a procedure for others (leaders, users of meeting rooms) to sign out keys and a
    schedule for returning keys.
  3. Involve the County Extension Council in developing the policy concerning loaning keys.
  4. If possible, have meeting room separated by a locked door from the office area.
  5. Have the meeting room key different from the key(s) to the agents' offices and secretarial area.
  6. Limit the number of keys to 1 or 2 that are available to loan.
  7. Meeting room keys should be signed for with no exceptions.
  8. Do not check out a "master key" to anyone.
  9. One secretary should be designated to keep record of checked-out and returned keys.
  10. Keys should be left at a designated location in the office.
  11. If keys are not returned it may be necessary to change locks.
  12. Collect keys from employees as they leave employment. If the keys are not
    returned, change the locks.
  13. Keys to the extension office can be stamped with instructions "Do Not Duplicate." Most
    people who make keys will honor this instruction.


Facility Usage Procedures

A written policy on use of the Extension office space, meeting room(s) and equipment is recommended. The County Extension Council should be directly involved determining the policies. The following questions need to be considered:

  • Who may use the meeting room?
  • Who is responsible for cleanup and trash disposal?
  • What is the policy on food and food preparation?
  • Who handles reservations?
  • Who may have a key and when may the key be picked up and returned? Who is responsible for security?
  • What is the policy on using audio visual and other equipment?
  • Are there fees for use and are there conditions for the fees?
  • Is there a usage deposit to be made and agreement to be signed when the key is picked up?
  • Who may use the office equipment and office space?
  • Is any equipment or furnishings allowed to be borrowed and leave the office and under what circumstance?

Management of Office Facilities

Management of the office facilities can be very time consuming for agents, especially with offices that are owned by the Extension District Boards. Prior to the decision to obtain better offices, agents and the County Extension Council need to discuss maintenance, use of the meeting room(s), security, cleaning, and setting up of equipment.

The more time agents spend managing the facility, the less time is available for programming. Determining the best system for managing the facility is influenced by the following:

  • Size of the facility
  • Volume of community use
  • County budget

Some options that can be considered by the staff and the County Extension Council are:

  • Hire part-time custodians or contract for custodians to be available during evening hours. Job descriptions can include setting up tables and chairs, setting up audio visual equipment, clean up after meetings, and providing security after office hours.
  • Employ a facilities manager with duties to include some maintenance as well as the jobs listed above.
  • An office manager/head secretary can be employed to provide overall management of the facility. The job description could include:
    • Supervising secretaries
    • Coordinating custodial work
    • Office financial management
    • Arrange for equipment repair and maintenance
    • Ordering supplies
    • Assisting users of the meeting room

If the county decides to hire a janitor or additional office help, the following are considerations to make:

  • Develop a list of jobs that need to be done. All agents discuss what is needed to do a better job.
  • Anyone employed must be on the University of Kentucky payroll unless they are contract labor.
  • If the work is contracted, then the agency or individual doing the work must provide own supplies and provide own social security and other taxes.
  • A written agreement should be made with any work that is contracted.
  • Anyone employed, regardless of source of funds, must comply with U. K. employment policies and procedures.
  • Besides janitorial work, additional office help may do specialized jobs such as running office machines, setting up for meetings, stuffing envelopes, collating materials, assembling handouts for meetings, kitchen clean-up, making coffee, delivery of materials, or handling secretary duties when secretary is on leave.

If county budgets do not permit hiring additional staff, other options can be considered:

  • Charging fees for use of the meeting room will help offset expenses.
  • Each group using the facility can be responsible for setup, arrangement, and clean up.
  • Shared employment of staff with other agencies.
  • Regular users of the facility might financially support a position.



Answering Guidelines

To reflect the signage and to encompass the UK Cooperative Extension Service and KSU Cooperative Extension Programs the recommendation for answering the telephone is:

"Cooperative Extension, ____County Office, ____speaking.


Listing Guidelines

The local Cooperative Extension Service office should be listed in the white and yellow pages of your local telephone book.

The listing should be "Cooperative Extension Service." This listing can be a separate listing, under County offices, or under Government Offices.

If your office is located in an area of the state that needs additional identity, the listing can be "Cooperative Extension Service, University of Kentucky."

If individual agent's titles or programs are used in the listing under Cooperative Extension Service, use the terminology of County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources, County Extension Agent for 4-H/Youth Development, and County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences.

When advertising space is purchased for the yellow pages, use Cooperative Extension Service as the major emphasis and identify all four programs somewhere in the ad.


Office Appearance

The county Extension office (provided by the county funding partner under the annual Memorandum of Agreement) is a reflection of the University of Kentucky and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. To establish a setting for effective Extension education, county offices should look attractive, be equipped to provide efficient and adequate service, be easily accessible, and provide a welcoming atmosphere. It is expected that the location of the office will be convenient for the clientele to be served.


Office and Name Signs

An adequate and attractive sign(s) should be displayed outside each county Extension office and inside the building, if needed, to provide directions to the Extension reception office and/or agents’ offices. All signs are to be consistent with the guidelines posted on the college Marketing Resources web site. Upon entering the office, signs should give directions for office locations, meeting rooms, restrooms, etc. Names and titles of individual agents should be appropriately displayed on office doors and/or on desks.


Office Hours

Office hours should be posted in a visible, prominent place. Office hours may vary from one county to another, depending upon the local situation, but the office hours should be regular, convenient to clientele and consistent. Changes in office hours require the approval of the District Director.


Children in the Workplace

  • Children should not be brought to the workplace in lieu of daycare.

  • Children may be brought in to the workplace if they are attending programming or on a short-term, temporary, occasional basis in order to address an urgent or immediate family need, provided that doing so does not:

    • Pose risks to the child, employees and/or clientele (e.g., due to illness, safety concerns, etc.); or

    • Detract from the daily operations of the office, diminish the focus of the employee/parent or colleagues during the work shift, or disrupt programs, activities or events.