From the Editor
As I look back on the last three years and think about January 1999 and beyond to a life without this responsibility, I share some professional and personal thoughts.
Jack Elliot, the Journal’s first editor, set a fine tradition of quality and timeliness. Three years ago, when he relinquished editorship, Jack praised the Association for coming of age. I think we can say the Journal has also come of age. Some achievements merit mention: three issues are published each year compared with two at the beginning; coverage of topics and country contexts has expanded; new sections – Commentary and Tools of the Trade – have been created; abstracts of articles have been translated into Spanish and efforts are being made to disseminate them to increase the Journal’s exposure and reach; and editorial and business management operations have been systematized, including the development of a guide. This issue, like past issues, is evidence of our commitment to quality. Feature, commentary, and tools sections represent a range of subjects in local country settings. Also included are a cumulative index of volumes 1-5 and announcements of a national extension conference in India, and a new web page for the Journal of Extension Systems.
The Journal has meant a lot to me, personally. I have grown with it, and learned to bring to the role of editor a caring and helping style with authors, reviewers, and readers. It has given me the chance to develop a sense of collegiality and friendship with helpful reviewers and fine authors, who have diligently worked to produce quality writing.
Emotions about letting go of a constant and steadfast companion are mixed. Almost doglike in devotion, the Journal was always present in my mind, willing to be summoned, often crowding out even other pressing things. I will miss the pleasurable routine and the intellectual challenge of the last three years. Yet, “not having to do the job” may be a relief. Perhaps, something as challenging will take that space and time.
To accomplish a task of this nature, a number of committed and well-meaning people work together. My thanks go to authors for sharing their scholarship with the Journal, to reviewers for providing insight and thoughtful critique, and to Journal readers, the Journal’s editorial board, and the AIAEE Board and members for their support. Associate editors Cathy Hamilton and Jim Long always had wise counsel, critical comments, and excellent suggestions. Sandra Sanders, administrative secretary in the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, independently cared for logistics, and literally produced the Journal on the computer.
Editing an important professional journal is so much more effective when institutional support is ungrudgingly given. Administrators in the LSU Agricultural Center and the LSU College of Agriculture never hesitated to help when asked.
The torch now passes on to Jim Connors at the University of Idaho. I wish him all the best and pledge my support.