Communiqué February 18, 2011

Outlook on Organizational Challenges

-Dr. Keith Smith, director, OSU Extension

I know we are going through a challenging period this spring – an extended time of “wait and see” with a lot of unknowns right now. A number of things are beyond our control at the moment – the “continuing resolution” saga at the federal level; the expected state budget which will include the university’s response to whatever is announced for the Governor’s intended budget, the impact of state budget cuts on the college, sales tax revenues at the local level; and concern regarding local government funds – and don’t forget to throw in the separation incentive package that will come out next week. The list seems to be exhaustive.

Be assured, Extension administration is listening intently to the discussions occurring with all of these budget challenges. We’re thinking through options and possible responses to various scenarios. As I said at a recent 4-H professionals in-service, Extension administration will give answers as soon as possible – when they are available to us and when we have more concrete information we can share with all of you about how Extension will be moving forward. Extension Administrative Cabinet has met a number of times recently in all-day sessions to discuss all possible options given what we know now. Unfortunately, we can’t complete these scenarios until more “puzzle parts” fall into place.

In the meantime, here’s what YOU can do…

1) Focus on what you do best. Whatever your particular duties are, now is not the time to sit and wait on decisions to be made. We all have important work that must be done, and it is imperative that we continue to be professional, carry out our tasks, and be accountable for projects already underway.

2) If you are a CED, set up your legislative meetings. Make contacts with your local legislators, so they know who you are, they know the story of Extension, and they are well-informed when it’s time for budget discussions at the state-level.

3) Keep your county commissioners informed, as well as other stakeholders. Continue to tell the story of the impact Extension makes within your county, and across your EERA whenever possible. Everyone in your office is vital to the success of our organization – make sure your local leaders know about the clientele you are reaching every day.

4) Be aware that the separation incentive guidelines will be released from the College next week. More details will be available from Dr. Moser as CFAES outlines its parameters for implementing the College’s separation incentive program, which was just approved by the OSU Board of Trustees on February 11.

5) Be patient – please, as Extension figures out how to respond to the anticipated budget challenges, as well as the other external factors that will affect our organization this year.

I realize it’s hard to wait on answers, but there are so many unknowns at the moment. Like you, Extension administrators are anxiously waiting on more definite answers. As always, I am very proud of the way our Extension professionals at all levels, in all program areas, throughout the EERAs and in academic departments are still reaching diverse audiences, making programs work well, interacting with and involving volunteers and clientele, and implementing the basics of the strategic plan during these challenging times.

Pulse Survey Results and Responses

Recently, your colleagues responded to the monthly pulse survey in the following ways:

*Mean scores could indicate strong agreement.

  • I am committed to OSU Extension. (mean of 8.51)
  • To remain relevant, Extension must continue to change its delivery methods. (mean of 8.00)
  • An Extension Web site is critical to delivery of clientele information. (mean of 8.17)

*Mean scores could indicate agreement.

  • OSU Extension is heading in the right direction. (mean of 6.06)
  • I receive adequate support in completing my job responsibilities. (mean of 6.44)
  • I feel OSU Extension provides an environment that embraces diversity.
    (mean of 7.86)
  • OSU Extension demonstrates fair treatment for all faculty and staff. (mean of 6.06)
  • I feel welcomed at Extension-sponsored events. (mean of 7.78)
  • The Pulse Survey is a helpful communication tool for the organization.
    (mean of 6.77)

*Mean scores indicate neither agreement nor disagreement.

  • I recognize how the current strategic plan continues to guide critical staffing decisions. (mean of 5.39)

*Mean scores could indicate disagreement.

  • In 2015, Extension will have more personnel than today. (mean of 3.75)

Your colleagues also shared their opinions and insights in response to the open-ended question in the same pulse survey – “The most important aspect of demonstrating effectiveness in Extension today is…”

  • Using dollar figures to document economic impact to society and justify existence; and hard evidence documenting social and/or environmental impacts.
  • Providing EXPERT knowledge rather than simply facilitation. Demonstrating ROI.
  • The strong relationships with the communities and clientele served and being able to leverage those relationships into action and support.
  • Our excellent and diverse programming along with competent, knowledgeable, dependable, and approachable staff.
  • Being at the table as critical issues are decided. Bringing unbiased, research-based information to those who need to make important decisions…
  • Providing quantitative and qualitative data that shows real and important impact in human, business/organization, and community capacity development.
  • Strategically focusing on perceived important societal needs over the next 10 years and establishing important stakeholder alliances in delivering programs.

Additional information is available online. To see a complete list of the responses shared and a distribution of the means for each survey question above, you can access this pulse survey link.

2011-2012 Department of Extension P&T Committee

Several new members have been elected to the Department of Extension’s P&T committee – Barb Brahm, Myra Moss, and Vicki Schwartz. Greg Davis has been appointed to finish Jill Nolan’s term. Joe Heimlich is the chair of the committee, and all members serve three-year terms. The other P&T committee members are Don Breece, Becky Cropper, Doris Herringshaw, and Gary Wilson. Mike Hogan and Lois Clark are serving as alternates for a one-year term (2011-2012).

Leadership for Tomorrow Conference - Registration Is Open Through March 31

Registration is now open for the 2011 Leadership for Tomorrow: Investing in Communities Conference scheduled for April 13-14 in Columbus.

The conference will focus on defining and understanding communities; building and leading partnerships and collaborations; adapting to changing community dynamics; maintaining civil conversations; utilizing technology for community networking; and refining personal leadership skills. The conference will feature dynamic speakers such as:

  • Ezra Escudero, financial advocate for 21st Century Financial
  • Curt Moody, CEO of Moody-Nolan, Inc.
  • TyKiah Wright, executive director and founder of Wright Choice, Inc.
  • Ann Fisher, radio host/executive producer, WOSU Stations

The conference schedule and descriptions of the general and concurrent sessions are now available online.

A pre-conference will be held on April 12. Investing in Community Leaders: It’s Not Black and White is dedicated to helping leaders better serve their communities by understanding and appreciating how diversity enriches any type of community. The goal of the pre-conference is to help leaders look at diversity from different perspectives, learn how to blend diverse contributions, and share challenges and best practices of diversity in community leadership. The pre-conference will feature:

  • general session led by the Honorable Laurel Beatty
  • 3 concurrent sessions
  • panel discussion entitled “Leading Past Labels”
  • closing reception and conversation

The Leadership for Tomorrow Conference is sponsored by OSU Extension; the Gist Endowed Chair for Extension Education and Leadership; the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; and Epsilon Sigma Phi – Alpha Eta Chapter. For more information, visit the Leadership for Tomorrow Conference Web site.

OSU CARES Seed Grants - 2011 RFP Now Online

The 2011 OSU CARES/OSU Extension Seed Grants are now available online. The proposal deadline is March 14. Seed Grants (up to $10,000 each) fund outreach and engagement initiatives with partners from at least two colleges (including OSU Extension). For more information about OSU CARES and to learn about past partnerships that have been supported through OSU CARES, visit http://osucares.osu.edu/. For questions or information on partnering with Extension colleagues or other colleagues on campus, contact Karen Bruns (614-292-9613; bruns.1@osu.edu).

University Outreach & Engagement - Engagement Impact Grants RFP Now Online

Proposals are being accepted until March 14 for funding through the Engagement Impact grants program. These grants are designed to establish and/or expand innovative, creative, scholarly outreach and engagement initiatives that can have a substantial impact within the university and community. Proposals for up to $80,000 to be used over a two-year period can be submitted. See outreachgrants.osu.edu for the RFP. Contact  outreach@osu.edu or 688-3041 if you have questions about applying.

ATECH Annual Report Released

-source: Melanie Baker, marketing and communications manager, ATECH

After a successful few years working with CFAES faculty and staff, the ATECH team wants to update the College on the many happenings within the program. For those who aren’t familiar with the program, ATECH is an OARDC and OSU Extension program that creates economic value by building commercial connections among industry leaders, agbioscience researchers and Extension professionals. ATECH aligns their expertise with marketplace needs. If you have a potential project, contact ATECH at 330-263-3715 (Wooster office) or 614-292-5748 (Columbus office). The ATECH team is looking forward to working with you in 2011.

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CFAES - Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering Department Chair Announcement

-from Bobby D. Moser, vice president for agricultural administration & dean, CFAES

After an extensive national search, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Scott A. Shearer to chair of the Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering. Subject to approval by the University’s Board of Trustees, his appointment will begin July 1.

An alumnus of our College, Dr. Shearer earned his bachelor’s of science (1981), master’s of science (1983) and Ph.D. (1986), all in agricultural engineering, from The Ohio State University. He began his career in the Department of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Kentucky, where he currently serves as a professor and chair of the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering.

Dr. Shearer has made great contributions to academia and agricultural engineering, and he is respected throughout the nation as a distinguished researcher, educator, mentor, administrator and professional leader – the ideal person to help us move the Department toward eminence. Please join me in welcoming Scott back to The Ohio State University. He will be a valued addition to our college’s leadership team.

Thanks to Dr. Sudhir Sastry for his tremendous leadership and service as the department’s interim chair and leading the FABE chair search committee.

CFAES - Food Science & Technology Department Chair Announcement

-from Bobby D. Moser, vice president for agricultural administration & dean, CFAES

After an extensive national search, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Richard H. Linton to chair of the Department of Food Science and Technology. Subject to approval by the University’s Board of Trustees, his appointment will begin August 15.

Dr. Linton graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in biology in 1988, a master’s of science degree in food science in 1991, and a Ph.D. in food science in 1994, all from Virginia Tech. Dr. Linton began his career in the Food Science Department at Purdue University, where he currently serves as the associate director of the Agricultural Research Program and professor of food science.

Widely recognized as a national expert in retail food safety, an effective collaborator and outstanding leader, Dr. Linton exemplifies the qualities needed to help us move the department toward eminence. I am confident he will be an outstanding addition to our College’s leadership team.

Thanks to Mike Mangino for his tremendous leadership and service as the department’s interim director. My appreciation is extended, as well, to the FST chair search committee, led by Sheryl Barringer.

Diversity - Unity - Community Presence on Facebook

Why "Diversity Unity Community"?

  • Diversity: CFAES values a welcoming and inclusive environment.
  • Unity: CFAES faculty, staff and students are committed to each other.
  • Community: CFAES offers a sense of belonging for all.

Become a fan of the CFAES Diversity – Unity – Community Facebook page. Stay up to date with recent discussions and observations. Also check out the Diversity Development site (http://extensionhr.osu.edu/diversity/diversity.htm) for updates on diversity initiatives and activities within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Ohio State University Alumni Association Diversity Award Applications Due April 7

The Ohio State University Alumni Association, Inc. has embraced diversity as one of its core values. In keeping with this idea, we have created a diversity programming award for alumni groups. Our diversity efforts focus on gender, racial/ethnic differences, and sexual orientation.

The Association’s goal with these awards is that members of the alumni clubs/societies will have an opportunity to become actively engaged in the project selected. We want to see alumni participating and learning from/with the groups they seek to benefit. All projects must be completed by February 1, 2012.

The Association welcomes applications from active, constituted alumni clubs. Five $1,000 awards for clubs and three $1,000 awards for societies will be awarded. To be considered, your group’s application must be submitted by April 7. Notifications will be made by June 2. Samples of past recipients’ application forms are attached. If you have any questions about the application form or the process, contact Craig Little, director, Alumni Societies (little@ohiostatealumni.org; or 614-292-2371).

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National Outreach Scholarship Conference - Call for Proposals

The National Outreach Scholarship Conference (NOSC) will be hosted by Michigan State University on October 2-4. The 2011 theme is Engaged Scholarship and Evidence-Based Practice, and proposals are due by March 15. The NOSC’s goal is to work collaboratively to build strong university-community partnerships anchored in the rigor of scholarship and designed to help build community capacity. More information about the conference, potential attendees, and the call for proposals is available online.

"Staying Power" Social Justice Retreat - May 12-15

-a retreat for social justice activists, artists, & educators

The work of social change can be a source of great energy, joy, and inspiration. This work can also lead to frustration and exhaustion when we experience multiple setbacks or fail to find ways to nourish our bodies and souls. If you long for rejuvenation, deeper connection with other activists, and the nurture of a beautiful natural setting, you are invited to be part of this unique retreat.

During the retreat, attendees will have time and space to:

  • Find rest and restoration for our bodies, minds, and spirits.
  • Be with others who share a deep and abiding commitment to social change.
  • Pause and reflect — with compassion and clarity — on where we have been and where we are going in our work for social justice.
  • Talk with colleagues about what is life-giving and what is depleting in this work.
  • Explore spiritual practices that help us stay grounded and centered amid the demands of working for social change.
  • Share new ideas, dreams, and resources with colleagues.

Facilitators: Monique Savage and Melanie Morrison (bios)
Dates: May 12-15, 2011
Time: Thursday, 7 pm – Sunday, 1 pm
Location: The Leaven Center in Lyons, Michigan. The main floor of the lodge and guest house are barrier-free.
Cost: $275 ($50 deposit; $225 balance due). Includes program, three nights lodging and eight meals. Partial scholarships are available.

For information about Staying Power, contact Melanie Morrison at melaniemorrison@alliesforchange.org or 517-230-6727.