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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué May 25, 2011

Organizational Update - Video Communiqué Link Updated

-Dr. Keith Smith, director, OSU Extension

A reminder - a new Video Communiqué link is available for you to review online. An updated link is now available. The video is 35 minutes long and contains updates from Ken Martin, Garee Earnest and me about the budget, other funding, the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program, Extension structure overview, and Pulse Survey.

Make sure you also read the liserv messages that are being posted regularly - including the most recent updates on May 6, 16, and 23. These have been the most up-to-date, accurate information available for the entire organization. As always, if you have questions, contact me at

CFAES Voluntary Separation Incentive Program

-Dr. Bobby Moser, vice president for agricultural administration & dean, College of Food, Agricultural,
and Environmental Sciences

A Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) has been announced for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and all of its entities. The attached document describes this program, including the eligibility guidelines and requirements, the incentive offered, the timing of the program, and important dates, resources and contacts. 

It is important to note two critical dates:

  • All who are eligible and intend to pursue this offer must sign and submit the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program Request form (included on page 4 of the attachment) no later than June 27 at 5 p.m. as directed within the program description.
  • August 31 is the last day to separate if one accepts the VSIP payment.

Several question and answer sessions have already been held, but the second attachment includes information about some additional upcoming STRS webinars. For those who prefer to explore the program in confidence, specific contact names are provided on page 3 of the attachment.

Related Documents

Re-Employment of Faculty and Staff - Interim Policy

Effective April 25, a new policy governing the conditions under which faculty and staff who leave the university may be re-employed has been issued ( Individuals who are considering retirement or a separation incentive are encouraged to become familiar with the policy.

Major policy points include:

  • Individuals who accept a separation incentive or phased retirement agreement are eligible for rehire subject to the terms of the separation incentive or phased retirement program.
  • Individuals who retire through OPERS or STRS may not collect benefits from OPERS or STRS while being engaged as an independent consultant to Ohio State.
  • An outline of when a competitive selection process is or is not required.
  • OSU Extension Policy.

Pulse Survey Process Has Changed

-Dr. Ken Martin, department chair, OSU Extension and associate director, programs


We are now in the fifth year of offering participation in the Pulse Survey to all employees throughout the organization, and we have just changed to a new format. The survey will be conducted twice a year instead of monthly, and it will go to all employees each time. The first survey was conducted in April/May, and the second survey will go out in mid-October.

This survey continually assesses Extension's working climate in a timely manner. With your participation, we are better able to recognize and respond quickly to emerging concerns and issues. This is an opportunity for everyone in the organization to provide anonymous constructive feedback that can be used to help move Extension forward. A reminder:

  • Names/locations are not attached to the responses; your information remains anonymous.
  • The survey is constructed for everyone's participation - all employees are included.
  • There are no right or wrong answers.
  • You will receive a survey only twice a year – your opinions are important.
  • The survey should take no more than 5 minutes to complete.

Pulse Survey Results and Responses

Your colleagues responded to the spring pulse survey in the following ways:

*Mean scores could indicate strong agreement.

  • I am committed to OSU Extension. (mean of 8.18)

*Mean scores could indicate agreement.

  • I receive adequate support in completing my job responsibilities. (mean of 6.77)
  • I find OSU Extension a rewarding place to work. (mean of 7.79)
  • I feel like I am making progress in my Extension career. (mean of 6.75)
  • I consider myself engaged with OSU Extension. (mean of 7.69)
  • Because my work with OSU Extension is fulfilling, I plan on remaining with
    the organization. (mean of 7.69)
  • My supervisor ensures that I get all the support that I need. (mean of 6.85)
  • My supervisor gives me timely feedback. (mean of 7.02)
  • My supervisor rewards me appropriately for my efforts. (mean of 6.66)
  • The organization values the work that I do. (mean of 6.65)

*Mean scores indicate neither agreement nor disagreement.

  • OSU Extension is heading in the right direction. (mean of 5.38)
  • Employment with OSU Extension is more secure than where I might otherwise work. (mean of 5.23)
  • Extension clientele are aware of all four program areas. (mean of 5.55)

*Mean scores could indicate disagreement.

  • Extension clientele value all program areas equally. (mean of 4.06)
  • Implementation of the EERA structure has enabled OSU Extension to more effectively address the needs of Ohioans. (mean of 4.94)

Your colleagues also shared their opinions and insights in response to the open-ended question – “In what ways can OSU Extension expand its funding options/possibilities?”

  • “Seek foundation grants for EERA-wide projects addressing high-need communities.”
  • “Think outside the traditional county, state, federal structure, look for more localized sources – mayors, township trustees, etc. ‘If you want OSU Extension services here in your community, you need to pay ‘x’ dollars for these services and here’s what you will get.'”
  • “Eliminate the overlap with other social agencies. Don’t try to be everything to everybody…”
  • “Create a culture that truly values research and credible program evaluation that can be used to market the program and include pilot data in grant applications.”
  • “Reposition Extension as an organization whose resources are worth paying for instead of one whose resources are free or low-cost.”
  • “Emphasize teamwork in the EERA. Prepare grants to extend programs. Use more technology…to reach new audiences. Share support staff across county lines to help offices with less money/budgets.”
  • “Seek out more cooperative efforts with industry and commodity groups.”
  • “Partnerships with similar-minded organizations and agencies without losing our identity.”

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

Signature Program Update

A committee of Extension professionals from across the organization has reviewed the existing signature programs and drafted suggested program guidelines, including a definition and reasoning of signature programs, criteria for signature program status, and processes for adding and removing signature programs. OSUE Administrative Cabinet has approved the committee’s initial report; however, a final report and recommendations for any new action on signature programs have been put on hold until the Extension structure updates are put into place. More information will be shared as it is available.

All-Extension Internet/Phone Outage Notices

Per OSUE Administrative Cabinet decision at its May 12 meeting, please note - it is NOT necessary to post messages to the All-Extension listserv when there is an Internet or phone service outage/power restoration at a county office. While these are very important events impacting a small area, they are usually temporary and do not apply to the entire Extension system. Only messages about weather emergencies affecting local offices should be sent to the All-Extension listserv.

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 educators evaluate and reflect on 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 (614-292-2399; if you have questions or need additional information.

CCS Modernization Update

Changes to the CCS Rules on Leaves, Reclassifications, Classification Program, Applications, Appointments, Probationary Periods, and Reduction in Work Force were approved by the OSU Board of Trustees during their April 8 meeting. The major changes may be found at These policies will be updated effective June 1:

  • Staff Severance – Policy 2.40
  • Probationary Period – Policy 5.10
  • Paid Leave Programs – Policy 6.27
    (will incorporate Vacation Donation and Parental Leave)
  • Unpaid Leave – Policy 6.45
  • Corrective Action and Involuntary Termination – Policy 8.15
  • Reduction in Work Force – CCS Staff – Policy 9.20

Current CCS rules and the rules that will go into effect on June 1 can be accessed through the CCS Rules Web site at Current and historical updates about the CCS modernization process can be accessed through the CCS modernization Web site at If you have questions or concerns about the CCS modernization process, contact Eunice Hornsby (

CFAES IT Security

-Dr. Bobby Moser, vice president for agricultural administration & dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

On Sunday, April 23, we were notified by OSU’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) that a server operated by CFAES contained student name and social security number information that was available to the public.

We were able to confirm that an Excel spreadsheet containing the names and social security numbers of approximately 600 current and former CFAES students was present on the server. Apparently, the spreadsheet file was inadvertently copied to our lecture capture presentation server. As the presentation server is designed to be available to the public (it allows faculty, students, and others to view lectures captured via our Camtasia software), it is not intended to hold any restricted data. The spreadsheet file was freely accessible by anyone and could be reached via a Google search.

The offending file was removed from the server, and we verified that the data is no longer accessible by the public. This was confirmed by the OCIO IT Security Team on Sunday evening. Unfortunately, this is CFAES' fourth data exposure resulting in notification, and that is four too many. As a result, I am taking the following actions.

I am directing our CIO, Rob Luikart, to lead a project to rescan the entire college to locate, redact, or eliminate files that contain social security numbers. This was last done college-wide in 2007. All computers, servers, and storage devices owned by the college are to be scanned without exception. I ask for your cooperation during this process.

  • Scanning requires that IT technicians run a software program to examine all of the files present on a computer, server, or storage device. The scan will identify those files that may contain social security numbers. The IT technicians will assist you with this process, so you can determine if files identified by the scan should be retained or deleted.
  • Please note that this process will not examine any other aspect of your computer, server, or storage device.

In addition to the scanning activities, I am also requiring another round of mandatory training for all CFAES faculty and staff on the university's IT security and data polices. We cannot have another data exposure threat. You will receive additional information regarding this training as soon as it is available.

It is critical that the privacy of personal information included within university institutional data be protected. In that regard, each of us needs to heighten our awareness of our responsibilities and be ever vigilant in our adherence to all applicable university policies. Sensitive personal data such as social security numbers must be given the utmost protection.

University policies provide procedures and resources to help ensure the protection of the university’s institutional data from accidental or intentional unauthorized access, damage, alteration or disclosure while preserving the ability of authorized users to access and use institutional data for appropriate university purposes. As a reminder, please review the institutional data policy at the following link: Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we work to improve the IT security of our college.

Self-Disclosure of Criminal Convictions and Background Check Policy

To:       Ohio State Faculty and Staff
From:  Kimberly Shumate, interim vice president for human resources

As part of the revised Self-Disclosure of Criminal Convictions and Background Check Policy, please note that effective July 1 all current faculty, staff, graduate associates and student employees, appointees, volunteers, and staff provided by third-party vendors will be required to self-disclose criminal convictions that occur on or after July 1 within three business days of the conviction.

Auxiliary faculty who have a break in service of less than 12 months must disclose any convictions that occurred during the break within three business days of returning to university employment.

Criminal convictions will not necessarily bar continued employment. Once a conviction is disclosed, a determination regarding suitability for continued employment will be made based on the information received and collected regarding the conviction. If you have questions or want more information, contact Katie Hall (; 614-247-8079).

Current employees must self-disclose criminal convictions to their HR representatives: college/departments to Linda Riemenschneider (; 614-292-0459); OARDC to Eileen Kieffaber (; 330-263-3932); OSU Extension to Garee Earnest (; 614-292-2968).

Summer Course Offering - EDU PAES 931

Theory and Practice of Discussion in Adult Education – EDU PAES 931
Tuesday/Thursday – 10am-noon; five-week course

The discussion format is a powerful adult learning intervention useful for developing greater awareness of self, social issues, and social change. Discussion is also a teaching tool for creating a democratic classroom and for promoting democracy in the community. This course will investigate the theory and practice of dialogue, discussion, and deliberation as a teaching philosophy and learning method. Experts in community deliberation will present case studies of their work in the educational and policy-making environments. Participants will develop skills in leading and participating as members of a discussion group. Contact David Stein ( for more information.

“Agriculture is Cool” at 2011 Ohio State Fair

The Ohio Expo Center and State Fair is working with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau, and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups to host an agricultural education program at the 2011 Ohio State Fair. Pass along this information to any 4-H members who may be interested.

While any student or parent can visit the interactive educational stations, students who have completed the fourth grade (2010-2011) and one chaperone can attend the fair for free for one day! In addition, fourth-grade students who submit an essay after visiting the fair are eligible to receive one of four $500 scholarships. The introductory flier and rules are attached. More information is also available online at

Related Documents

eXtension Community of Practice National Meeting (June 28-July 1) - OSUE Scholarships are Available

Limited scholarship monies are available to help OSU Extension professionals attend the June 28- July 1 National eXtension Community of Practice (CoP) Workshop in Louisville, Kentucky.

The workshop features training sessions and speakers targeted for Extension professionals who want to use technology to work differently. It is not limited to current CoP members. If you are already in a CoP and want to be more active, this will be a great opportunity to participate and meet others.

We will award two to four scholarship reimbursements ranging from $500-$1,000 per person. We are looking for representatives from Ohio who would be able to bring back helpful information on how eXtension can benefit OSU Extension employees. Those receiving funding will be those able to best share what they have learned with the organization as a whole.

You can apply online. The application deadline is June 8. Applications will be reviewed by a sub-team of the OSU Extension Institutional Team. If you have questions, contact Jerry Thomas (; 419-306-9400)

More information about the workshop can be found at: Registration information (early registration ends June 1) is at