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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué April 12, 2011

OSU Extension Organizational Update

-Dr. Keith Smith, director, OSU Extension


As you know, we are still awaiting more concrete information about the federal, state, and local budgets. There remain many unknowns this spring, including several items beyond our control – federal budget resolution for this year and next, final state budget results, and local ability to respond to the proposed local government fund cuts. We are also still waiting on official notification about the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program details in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

I’ve mentioned earlier this year – OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet is following closely these budget challenges, as well as actively planning ahead for ways our organization could operate more effectively and efficiently using the funds we do have.

Cabinet has met in several all-day sessions and small-group discussions to discuss various options, pros and cons, and logistics for updating our organizational structure. As some of you may be aware of by now, in late March, we asked a small group of your peer representatives to join Cabinet members in a discussion about some key elements of an updated Extension model. Those folks were: Steve Boyles, Jeff Fisher, Carolyn Hall, Ron Hendrick, Marcia Jess, Lisa McCutcheon, Joyce McDowell, Sherry Nickles, Brian Raison, and Treva Williams. They have been collecting input informally, and will be reporting back for another discussion with Cabinet on April 20. We will also be connecting with county commissioners and other supporters throughout the month of May.

The updated plan is based on the philosophy of the OSU Extension operating model
(as updated and approved by Extension Administrative Cabinet recently):

Nearing its 100th anniversary, Ohio State University Extension is strategically preparing for the second century of Extension. We extend the resources of The Ohio State University to address critical issues and meet the needs of Ohioans.

To have the most educational impact throughout the State of Ohio, OSU Extension will:

  1. Address issues from a cross-disciplinary research-based approach involving volunteers and partners.
  2. Support focused and specialized educators who have subject matter expertise
    that can be utilized statewide.
  3. Seek efficiency in staffing across the organization.
  4. Capitalize on the synergies of Extension professionals working in teams.
  5. Respond to the needs of citizens throughout the state and local level via creative arrangements with existing and new funding partners.

Some key elements of what has been proposed for this “updated” Extension model are:

  • Regardless of federal, state or local funding issues, updating our structure is the right thing to do.
  • Our efforts thus far have been consistent with the OSU Extension strategic plan (spring 2008). This model continues to expand on a number of goals within the strategic plan.
  • The EERAs are making considerable progress in functioning as intended.
  • We are focused on mission-critical components; we have added/expanded specialization.
  • Services will be menu-driven.
  • We will have a 4-H presence in every county.
  • We will implement field offices for family and consumer sciences (FCS), agriculture and natural resources (ANR), and community development (CD).
    • This will strengthen the connection between department and field.
    • Faculty will have high clientele participation, teaching, applied research.
    • Educators and field specialists will work in groups/high-functioning teams; deep in subject matter area.
  • We will have options for ANR, CD, and FCS on the county/EERA level.
  • Field specialists will be connected to academic departments by courtesy appointments.
  • There will be opportunity for community nutrition in every county.

All of the details for this plan are still being worked out; with so many unknowns, some details simply cannot be put into place just yet. However, our entire organization and our supporters will be updated as soon as possible.

State Budget Reminder

To: CFAES department chairs and OSU Extension county directors
From: Bobby Moser, dean, CFAES; and Gwen Wolford, director, Government Relations

The Executive Branch of Ohio government released their budget proposal on March 15. The proposed lines for OSU Extension and OARDC are a 10% reduction from current funding levels for the first year of the biennium and stay at that level for the second year. The Local Government Fund, which provides money to counties and other entities, is reduced by 25% per year in this document.

This information is intended for internal use only. You may feel free to answer the question – how is your budget – with the facts when anyone asks; and feel free to share the numbers with your staff. Please do not initiate contacts with elected officials or distribute the information widely at this time. Remember that this is the beginning of a budget process that will continue until June 30, and the proposal is by no means a final outcome on how funds will be distributed. We need to work with university leadership and other key partners to determine the message that will best serve us; and developing that strategy will take some time as everyone digests the many proposed changes in funding.

We understand that everyone is concerned about this year’s budget, but we want to make sure everyone approaches the subject in a way that ensures the best possible outcome for the organization and all of its employees. If you have questions about how to address budget questions, contact Gwen at or 614-292-0877.

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 8.48)

*Mean scores could indicate agreement.

  • I receive adequate support in completing my job responsibilities. (mean of 7.00)
  • The use of technology has allowed me to accelerate my performance.
    (mean of 7.58)
  • OSU:pro will help Extension programming staff in their reporting efforts.
    (mean of 7.39)
  • eXtension technology is helping OSU Extension expand its programming reach. (mean of 6.67)
  • I have no concerns about CFAES IT personnel accessing my computer whenever I am online. (6.78)
  • The ability of our employees to effectively use technology is hampered by not having a full suite of software resources. (mean of 6.99)
  • If I were making decisions about how to spend resources, I would address the technology needs first. (mean of 6.41)
  • A wide range of technology is available to most Extension clientele. (mean of 6.26)

*Mean scores indicate neither agreement nor disagreement.

  • OSU Extension is heading in the right direction. (mean of 5.95)
  • The use of GIS technologies would enhance the delivery of “local foods” educational programming to Extension clientele. (mean of 5.79)

*Mean scores could indicate disagreement.

  • Current investments in technology are adequate. (mean of 4.35)

Your colleagues also shared their opinions and insights in response to the open-ended question in the same pulse survey – “How would greater access to technology support help you in the performance of your Extension work?”

  • “Reach new audiences; social media programs will allow us to reach consumers that have computers at home and like to use that type of technology to reach Extension and other people who share an interest in a particular topic. Would allow for updates and the posting of classes. Offices and EERAs need to talk about what is best for their county clientele.”
  • …”By learning how to use new technologies, it may be possible to become more efficient and perhaps provide more effective programs.”
  • “It would enable me to create materials and courses for the Web that would, in turn, allow me to increase cost recovery (through course registrations), reach a broader audience (particularly geographically…), at a lower cost (reduced travel costs, room rental).”
  • “It could expand Web-based outreach to clientele. It could expand the generation of funds through charging for Web-based educational offerings. We lag far behind the educational outreach technology that is currently being applied by other educational organizations…”
  • “It would enable me to be more productive and more efficient.”

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

OSUE Computer Hardware and Software Standards - New Policy

As we announced via e-mail in mid-March, OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet approved a new policy on Computer Hardware and Software Standards for OSU Extension in mid-February. The standards are attached, as well as two appendices about recommended mobile devices and best practices for using mobile devices. These documents are also posted online in the Policy and Procedures Handbook – Administration Policies section.

Please review the Computer Hardware and Software Standards for OSU Extension carefully, and send any questions to Rob Luikart, CIO for CFAES, via e-mail ( Rob will track the most frequently asked questions and make additional information available when it is applicable.

Related Documents

Self-Disclosure of Convictions and Criminal Background Checks

Please be advised that the revised OSU Policy 4.15 Self Disclosure of Convictions and Criminal Background Checks ( means changes for OSU Extension. In addition to a fingerprint background check all internal and external applicants must complete a Web-based (Lexis Nexis) background check. For individuals who may be a returning employee, a new fingerprint check and a Web-based check (Lexis Nexis) are required; we are no longer able to accept previous reports. The procedures are located in the OSU Extension Policy and Procedures Handbook.

All background checks are coordinated through Kathy Lechman. If you have questions, contact Kathy at 614-247-7176;

Director's Internal Advisory Committee

The Director’s Internal Advisory Committee met on March 30. New members were introduced to the group, and the total group now includes the following individuals: Mary Beth Albright, Masa Alman, Maureen Austin, Kathy Booher, Steve Boyles, Steve Brady, Holly Brooks, Jill Clark, Martha Filipic, Amanda Forquer, John Grimes, Patricia Holmes, Christine Kendle, Jane Keyser, Clif Little, Gene McCluer, Myra Moss, Vicki Myers, Becky Nesbitt, and Michelle Treber.

The members introduced themselves and also shared a major program that they were very excited about in their county and/or state. This included Marcellus Shale, livestock care standards, Real Money Real World, EFNEP and SNAP Ed programs, energy and outreach plan for the Department of Development, Small Farm Conference, juvenile court and gardens, horse bowl contest, Volunteer and Teen Conference, road trip life, and quilt barn project. There are excellent programs going on throughout the state. We talked about these and other projects.

Keith shared an update on the budget --- federal, state and local; how legislative visits were going; the testimony downtown with the House; a little more information on restructuring which included how Extension Administrative Cabinet is using the report of the Refinement Committee; a little information on the May meetings with commissioners and where we are in process with the voluntary separation incentive proposal. We talked about the Progressive Farmer article that was distributed throughout the system and its implications. We also discussed the pulse survey and questions about county cost share. There was excellent discussion by the group, as Keith is finding out more information about what is going on in the counties and sharing with them information coming out of the state.

The next meeting is set for Friday, June 24, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Room 111, Ag Administration Building. We look forward to further discussion especially after we find out more about the budget, etc.

Urgent Reminder to Renew Your Extension Programs in OSU:pro

-Debby Lewis, leader, Program Development & Evaluation

As communicated by e-mail on March 17, you will have until April 18 to renew your Extension programs in OSU:pro. Any programs you have NOT renewed by 5 pm on Monday, April 18 will be DELETED from your 2011 list of programs and you will be starting from scratch. Please remember to renew your continuing programs! For those of you who entered 2011 Extension EVENTS or PROGRAMS before March 18 or without using the renew button, you must contact John Votino ( at OSU:pro for assistance.

An excerpt from the March 17 e-mail follows. If you would like to view the full e-mail with detailed instructions, visit

“The deadline to enter 2010 Program/Event data into the system for this ‘first year’ of the Program Module will be 04/18/2011. This means that the “Renew button” for your Extension Programs will appear on 03/18/2011. If you will be continuing a Program from 2010 into 2011, you will need to select the “Renew” button next to the program title for that particular program. Once the renew button is selected, the system will display a popup message that says, “Please note that when you ‘Renew’ this Program it will be Archived and you will no longer be able to edit the information for this current Program, or the Events tied to it. You will, however, still be able to generate reports on this archived data.” You will then either select “Ok” to renew the program, or “Cancel” if you do not want to renew the program yet. Once the Program is indeed renewed, the past year’s program will be removed from the Extension Program Module list in OSU:pro and the next year’s version of the Program will take its place.”

Pre-Retirement Workshop - November 1

The Pre-Retirement Workshop will be held on Tuesday, November 1, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center in Columbus. If you have questions, contact Terri Gustafson, 614-292-2399 or for more information.

Action Leadership Retreat - November 16-17

Participants are currently being recruited for a professional development opportunity in 2011 called Action Leadership Retreat (ALR). Designed for Extension educators (or others with similar responsibilities) with 18 months to three years of experience, the ALR is a professional development opportunity built around simulated on-the-job experiences. Led by a facilitator and two experienced Extension professionals who are trained as observers, ALR is designed to help you evaluate and reflect on your skills in 12 key areas (e.g., conflict management, communication, and interpersonal skills) important for success as an Extension professional.

This year, we will offer Action Leadership Retreat on November 16-17. Space is limited to seven participants. Registrations will be accepted on a first come, first-served basis. For additional information, go to: Contact Terri Gustafson at 614-292-2399 or if you have questions or need additional information.

2011 Excellence in Extension Awards - Nominations Open

The 2011 nomination guidelines for the Excellence in Extension Awards are now available. Each year, one national and five regional winners, as well as a diversity award winner, are recognized during the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) annual meeting, scheduled this year for November 13-15 at the San Francisco Marriott. A PDF of the nomination information is attached, and the Web link is available.

Related Documents

Extension Involvement Needed in Hispanic/Women Outreach

-Catherine E. Woteki, Ph.D., undersecretary and chief scientist, USDA

On February 25, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced publicly the opportunity for Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who may have experienced discrimination during the general periods of 1981-2000, to have an optional, voluntary avenue to have their claims against USDA addressed. This program will involve a non-adversarial process of determining claims. Individuals could be entitled to up to $50,000 in monetary relief, plus debt relief and tax relief.

Secretary Vilsack’s announcement is part of overall efforts at USDA to transform the department’s civil rights problems of the past and create a model place of employment and a service-oriented “people’s department” focused on delivering programs in a fair and equitable manner to all those who seek to farm in the United States. In addition to the efforts announced to address claims of Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers, the Secretary had previously announced in 2010 settlements in the Pigford II case and the Keepseagle case, involving African-American and Native American farmers and ranchers, respectively.

During the weeks following the Secretary’s announcement, a series of webinars and teleconferences were offered to ensure USDA field staff and those working with Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers throughout the country, had the necessary information they needed to “get the word out” to the communities in which they live and work. Extension agents and specialists around the country, because you are located in such close proximity to these communities of producers, are a critical link to extending outreach on the claims process. USDA is offering webinars and teleconferences again to ensure Extension professionals are well informed.

Please join representatives of USDA on the following dates/times to learn about the claims process and the role Extension can play. It is important that Extension professionals are informed about protocol, providing accurate direction on where and how to access information and refraining from sharing opinions about whether or not someone should participate.

Webinars (45-60 min): April 14 (1 pm); April 15 (1 pm); April 21 (1 pm); April 22 (1 pm)

To join the webinar, follow these steps:

  1. Copy this address and paste it into your Web browser:
  2. Copy and paste the required information:
    Meeting ID: TS69KT; location:\
  3. The audio portion of the meeting can be accessed with the following telephone number and pass code: conference line: 1-866-685-0116; participant code: 4744105.

Bill Williams Diversity Award - Nominations Due April 18

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) will be awarding the Bill Williams Diversity Award. There are two awards, one for students and/or student groups, and one for faculty/staff. Each award is $1,000 along with a plaque and recognition at the CFAES Annual Banquet. Bill Williams was co-founder of Glory Foods Inc. His product lines began in the Department of Food Science and Technology, with OSU students actively involved in product development, marketing, and product rollout. From 1992 until his death in 2001, Bill Williams contributed financial support annually to minority students in the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The attached document contains the award criteria and nomination form. The deadline for nominations is April 18.

Related Documents

2011 OARDC Annual Research Conference - April 28

 -Dr. Steve Slack, associate vice president for agricultural administration and director, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center

The 2011 OARDC Annual Research Conference will be held on April 28 at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center in Columbus. This year we are changing the format for our conference. Based on issues related to the tornado and other related circumstances, the OARDC directors felt it was best to reduce the conference to a half-day (9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.), but would like to continue the annual tradition of giving out faculty and student awards, and a new award this year for staff in the poster competition.

9:00     Registration and poster set-up
9:30     Dr. Bobby Moser, vice president and dean, CFAES
9:40     Dr. Steven Slack, director, OARDC
10:00   Poster session and viewing
11:30   Hors d’oeuvres
11:30   Awards ceremony

  1. Distinguished Research Award for Top Junior Faculty and Top Senior Faculty
  2. Innovator of the Year Award
  3. Krauss Award recognizing the best student research paper
  4. Poster competition on Graduate Student Research Projects and Research Staff

All attendees must register online for the conference at: Conference registration is required by 5 p.m. on April 15.

NCORE 2011 Conference - May 31-June 4

The National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) in American Higher Education will be held May 31 to June 4 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Launched in 1988 to address the resurgence of racist incidents in higher education, NCORE is the nation’s leading conference on race and diversity in U.S. colleges and universities. From the U.S. undersecretary of education to the leader of the ACLU and experts on race, ethnicity and gender issues, this year’s conference will leave attendees energized and full of new ideas. The conference agenda will provide rich content for preconference institutes, keynotes and breakout sessions. With issues of race, gender and ethnicity shaping the world’s news, NCORE is as relevant as ever.

For more information, visit, like NCORE on Facebook at follow NCORE on Twitter at