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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué August 24, 2011

Message from the Director - Thoughts on Leadership

-Dr. Keith Smith, director, OSU Extension

In my role as Gist Chair in Extension Education and Leadership, one of my goals is to influence Extension education and leadership practices. I work with the Gist Chair Advisory Committee, a team of Ohio State and other partners, that meets quarterly to compare notes, discuss contemporary public and university issues that affect Extension, share ideas, and provide oversight to my work as the Gist Chair. At each meeting, we also bring in an outstanding leader to discuss his or her thoughts about leadership with our committee. CFAES Dean Bobby Moser, Associate Dean Linda Martin, Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Director Jack Fisher, Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee, College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Lonnie King, and College of Education and Human Ecology Dean Cheryl Achterberg have all addressed our group previously.

Jim Patterson presented a summary of his leadership philosophy at our most recent committee meeting, and it’s been wisely suggested to me that his comments are worth sharing with our entire organization. Jim is an Ohio State graduate, he served on the OSU Board of Trustees from 1994-2003 (serving as chair 2002-2003), and he now serves on the Ohio Board of Regents. His grandchildren are the seventh generation involved with the family’s Patterson Fruit Farm. Jim and his wife Nancy have also been significantly involved with the Ohio 4-H Foundation, along with other Extension activities over the years.

Some of Jim’s thoughts about leadership include:

  • One needs to have a “mentality of leadership” – an “I can do it” attitude.
  • One builds confidence from experiences.
  • Get involved; take opportunities that are presented and be willing to learn from experience. Look for ways to learn.
  • Learn the art of compromise.
  • Keep an eye on the big picture, main goal.
  • Be conscious about building consensus without sacrificing the goal.
  • It’s about team goals versus individual glory.
  • Share responsibility.
  • Have a passion for what you do, and don’t spread yourself too thin.
  • Empower people; give people the ability to make decisions once they get involved with something.
  • Be willing to do anything you’re asking others to do.
  • Lead by example.
  • Be able to make decisions.
  • Stay credible.
  • Be proactive about developing new leadership, including your replacement.
  • Know when to step aside and bring in new leadership.
  • Give people the opportunity to have the same experiences you’ve had.
  • Respect the time commitment others are willing to make.
  • It’s important to balance personal life, job, community commitments.
  • Make sure all team members have the same goal.
  • Don’t let disappointment fester.
  • Look at things with a fresh eye; be willing to use different tactics.
  • Recognize others.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Personal integrity and credibility are most important.
  • Per John Bricker: “Get it done. Do it right. Keep the promises you have made to others.” (Bricker was governor of Ohio, a senator, and a former OSU Board of Trustees member.)

As we’re all awaiting some final decisions about our structure updates and instructions about how we’ll be moving forward, I encourage you to remember that appropriate leadership skills and thought processes are vital regardless of the position we each hold or the task at hand. We all play very important roles in carrying out the mission and vision of Extension; and I trust we can each continue to be hands-on leaders and positive role models during these next stages of updating our structure and adjusting our mode of operation.

Extension Annual Conference RFPs are Due by October 1

You are invited to attend and participate in the OSU Extension 2011 Annual Conference on December 15. This year’s conference theme is “Extension…Now, More Than Ever!”

Proposals are due by October 1. The planning committee is especially interested in proposals covering the following topics: use of tablet/iPad/smart phone, WebEx, Camtasia, Web-based surveys, social media and policy, eXtension, Microsoft Office programs, eReports, PeopleSoft, Quickbooks; time management tools; designing marketing/communications pieces; clicker technology for evaluation; and presenting information via the Pecha Kucha technique. Proposals may be submitted to present in one of the following formats: half-session, full-session, or poster. See the attached summary for an overview and submission instructions.

Note - association meetings will be held this year the evening of December 14; specific times to be determined. More information will be distributed when available.

Related Documents

Dossiers for P&T and A&P Promotion are Due by September 12

By September 12, faculty fourth-year, tenure, promotion and transfer candidates must submit an original vita and a copy to the department chair, who will send copies to the department P&T committee. First-, second-, third-, and fifth-year faculty must submit 12 copies of their vita to the department chair for department P&T committee review.

Also by September 12, A&P promotion candidates must submit an original vita and nine copies to the department chair for A&P promotion committee review.

*A review option reminder – as indicated in the A&P and faculty dossier guidelines, by this Friday, August 26, fourth-year, tenure and promotion, and A&P promotion candidates should submit two copies of their vita to the department chair for review by the POD (Procedures Oversight Designee). They will receive feedback in one week.

Universal Design Exhibit at FSR – Request for Assistance in September

You are invited to assist with the Universal Design exhibit at Farm Science Review (FSR) on September 20-22 at the McCormick Building on Friday Avenue. You can choose to work two hours, half a day, or all day. All workers will get lunch and needed breaks.

The exhibit features kitchen, bath, laundry/mud room, garage, and an educational space with ease-of-use (home accessibility) for all ages and abilities. On-site training will be provided for all volunteers who may not have worked with Universal Design at all or not very much. Check out the video at More information about FSR, including directions, is posted online at

If you are not available to help, please share this information with others in your office who might be interested. An OSU ID gets you into FSR. If you have volunteers who might be interested, a pass will likely be available for them.

Help is needed:

  • Monday, September 19 – from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to set up and sweep the exhibit
  • Tuesday, September 20 – from 10 a.m – 5 p.m. to staff the display
  • Wednesday, September 21 – from 10 a.m – 5 p.m. to staff the display
  • Thursday, September 22 – from 10 a.m – 4 p.m. to staff the display

Contact Pat Holmes, Extension FCS educator and director, Preble County, Miami Valley EERA (; 937-456-8174), if you can assist with the Universal Design display this year.

Staff Advisory Council Recognition Awards - Nominations Due by August 31

The time has come to nominate a well-deserving staff member for one of our four CFAES Staff Advisory Council recognition awards. Nominations are being received from all CFAES staff and faculty. This is a great way to recognize those who give to the college and to you personally.

Shirley Brooks Jones Award – For those who excel in providing outstanding and ongoing excellence in services to faculty, staff, students and/or others through communication, fairness, problem solving and contributions to the common good.

Key Values Award – A service award for dedication, cooperation and positive attitude in the workplace. Nominations for staff members within first three years of employment.

Innovation Award – For developing and/or participating in project initiatives and/or process operations improvements that enhance CFAES, Extension, ATI, or OARDC and its mission.

Special Recognition – For going above and beyond job duties, for having special commitment to tasks, positive customer service, and improving workplace communications.

Information about these awards and nomination forms are found on the Staff Advisory Council Web site. The deadline to submit your nomination is August 31. Any questions, contact Trina Beebe (; 614-292-6909).