Talking about Extension

What's in a name? Just like your name, our organization's name is part of our brand identity. Follow these simple guidelines for referencing University of Illinois Extension.

  • When using University of Illinois or University of Illinois Extension as a noun, don't put "the" in front of our name. 
    Example used as a noun: University of Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans.
  • When using University of Illinois or University of Illinois Extension as an adjective, you may include "the" in front of our name.
    Example used as an adjective: The University of Illinois Extension office will open at 8 a.m. The University of Illinois campus is open for recreational use.
  • Use the full name, University of Illinois Extension, on first reference. On second reference, use Illinois Extension or Extension. Illinois Extension is preferred if there might be some confusion on which state is being referenced. 

Not sure that advice is sound? Trying substituting Purdue University for University of Illinois. The Purdue University doesn't sound correct. Same strategy applies to us!

  • He is employed by Purdue University.
  • He is employed by University of Illinois.

Spend five minutes removing stray "the's" from your documents and digital content.

How to use acronyms

Extension has a lot of programs, some with long titles. The document, Extension Acronyms and Common Terms, is a handy guide to understanding our shorthand terms within Extension.

Rules for using acronyms

  • Internally: You may know NEAFCS or IL-ACDEP like the back of your hand, but do your colleagues? Do them a favor and consider spelling out the acronym or making it clear with other context clues what you are referring to. This can be especially helpful for newer staff.
  • Externally: Do not assume the public knows our internal shorthand terms. Only use acronyms in media releases, programs, or on the website when absolutely necessary. Acronyms are jargon that can clutter up communications and make it hard for readers to understand what we're saying. Try to write around using acronyms as much as possible. On the first reference, always spell it out in full and refer to the acronym that will be used for future references. 

    Example (first reference): The Pesticide Safety Education Program, PSEP, leads pesticide applicator and operator trainings through University of Illinois Extension. 
    Example (second reference): At PSEP, Extension staff work with the public to ensure everyone who works with pesticides is safe.
    *Note the context clue of the words "Extension" and "pesticide" to gently remind the reader what PSEP is.