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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué January 9, 2012

10 Inclusionist Behaviors in Leadership

-Keith L. Smith, associate vice president, agricultural administration and director, OSU Extenson

To borrow a comment from OSU President E. Gordon Gee in an Excellence to Eminence note this past fall – it is important that the University “create a culture of mutual respect and inclusivity, and one in which each person is valued for who he or she is as a whole person, and his or her unique contributions.” It is important to celebrate the unique contributions and viewpoints that each person brings to the workplace.

At a meeting in fall 2011, our Administrative Cabinet members discussed the 10 inclusionist behaviors in leadership, as put forth by Simma Lieberman, an organizational consultant. The behaviors are all outlined in the attached article.

During 2012, we will publish short statements by Cabinet members describing how they strive to incorporate at least one of these behaviors into their work.

Behavior #1 -- Inclusionist leaders get to know employees every day. They don’t wait for a crisis to ask employees their names, how they are, or for ideas to improve the organization.

“Getting to know employees, especially in a distributed organization/unit can be challenging. However, it is perhaps the single most important thing leaders can do. I spent approximately 11.5 years as an employee of The Ohio State University and knew many of the people that I now work with on a regular basis. However, I would argue that I never really knew them. In my role now as director of Communications and Technology, I try to do the following to get to know my employees: (1) visit with them, in their offices or work space – not always having them come to my office; (2) spend time in the break room, visiting about non-work related topics; (3) ask about their weekends and listen to what they share; (4) engage individuals in conversations who may not always have the opportunity to be engaged; and (5) pay attention to and follow up on e-mails, communications and conversations!

“There is no doubt that it can be difficult to get to know employees when they are located on two campuses (or more). I’ve not found the perfect solution, but continue to make the effort. In the coming months, I’m committed to being in Wooster more often, as well as visiting those offices/work spaces that are not in my normal walking patterns!”
-Ryan Schmiesing, director, Communications & Technology

My experiences as an army officer taught me a lot about leadership, and how to get to know your employee team. For example, every non-commissioned officer (sergeant) in my command carried a notebook listing every soldier within their leadership chain. And, for each soldier, the sergeant recorded information about military skill level to be sure, but also personal items such as hometown, education and background experience, spouse’s name, children’s names and ages, hobbies, career aspirations, and the list goes on. These notes were accumulated over time, from information collected during breaks in training or other informal times. Knowing the people you lead is essential if you want the most from them. In turn, they gain confidence in the fact that as a leader, you will look out for their best interest and take care of them. I found in the army that if you take care of your people, they will take care of you. That has held me in good stead in civilian life too.
-Don Breece, assistant director, Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Pulse Survey Results and Responses

In October, your colleagues responded to the Pulse Survey in the following ways:

*Mean scores could indicate strong agreement:

  • I am committed to OSU Extension. (mean of 8.19)
  • Continued succession planning is critical to the future needs of the organization. (mean of 8.07)

*Mean scores could indicate agreement:

  • I receive adequate support in completing my job responsibilities. (mean of 6.69)
  • To strengthen its financial resources, Extension needs to be more aggressive in seeking and obtaining large grants and contracts. (mean of 7.37)
  • I feel the Extension employee base is reflective of the diverse population of the state of Ohio. (mean of 6.03)
  • I feel there is sufficient interaction with my supervisor to generate information for my performance review. (mean of 6.89)

*Mean scores indicate neither agreement nor disagreement.

  • OSU Extension is heading in the right direction. (mean of 5.75)
  • Employment with OSU Extension is more secure than where I might otherwise work.
    (mean of 5.29)
  • The implementation of OSU Extension’s strategic plan is on target. (mean of 5.84)
  • The Extension Web site is user friendly and easy to navigate. (mean of 5.77)

Your colleagues also shared their opinions and insights in response to the open-ended question in the same pulse survey – “What would make your job better with OSU Extension?”

  • “Opportunity for county employees to further their education online with Ohio State.”
  • “…I will say obtaining small grants and contracts (is) just as important as obtaining large grants and contracts. Please don’t leave these out. Sometimes these turn into larger opportunities!”
  • “I love my job. I love our Extension family. We must shift our thinking. We must do ‘less’ … but have more impact (help more citizens) with the things we do.”
  • “For funding to be reinstated at the county level…for all counties! Budgets are tight on all levels. We will work with what we have and hope that things turn around soon.”
  • “Until we get through these stressful budget times, it’s just going to be a rough road.”
  • “I feel that more collaboration among program staff for the greater good of our organization has to occur in order for us to make progress both programmatically and systematically…We all need to work as one TEAM in order to address the changes that will be occurring in our programs and staffing patterns…Positive progress, effectiveness and efficiency involves EVERYONE working TOGETHER.”
  • “Having some personnel (who) have the expertise to produce apps for hand-held phones and pads. We have the data and information, but can’t deliver them efficiently in this day of rapid information access!”
  • “Educational and performance support needed from others, not just my direct supervisor.”
  •  “Financial stability and fair compensation for the extremely important and extensive work we do.”

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.

New Extension IT Support Model - A Reminder

-Robert B. Luikart, chief information officer, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

At its October 2011 meeting, the Extension Administrative Cabinet adopted a new Information Technology (IT) support model in response to the changing needs of Extension's operations on campus and across the state. The new model will be capable of adapting to the future demands of a potentially smaller, more mobile workforce with increasing needs for technology services. 

The IT support technicians are conducting several tasks to implement the new support model. Their activities include:

  • An inventory of all county-based computer systems to determine a replacement schedule (assuming a four-year cycle).
  • An inventory of county office network bandwidth and identification of options where minimum bandwidth levels are not present.
  • Development of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for all offices and mobile users.
  • Exploration of service depot options (outsourcing vs. in-house) and remapping of service territories.
  • Preparation for the management of mobile computing devices.

The new support model is based on IT industry standards such as those from the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), and it places renewed emphasis on the IT Help Desk and technology training for Extension professionals. This will ultimately provide more efficient IT processing and handling, and a more efficient system for users, with lower costs and best practices implemented system-wide. Please assist the IT support staff as they work to inventory computer systems and network services at your location.

WebEx Meeting Center and WebEx Event Center Reminders/Contacts

A reminder…Extension currently owns a WebEx Event Center license. Event Center is a WebEx product designed to facilitate the hosting of online sessions with a large number of attendees, such as Web-based seminars, training sessions, and marketing events. The service offers many enhanced features for managing registration, attendance, and support for multi-event program management.

Extension's Event Center license provides for sessions with up to 500 attendees per session. Only presenters incur a charge for audio minutes; attendees connect for free. This presents a major cost savings over the use of WebEx Meeting Center for large meetings. When existing WebEx Meeting Center sessions exceed 25 people, there is an additional cost of $15 per person beyond the 25-person maximum. The Business Office will invoice for meetings that exceed 25 attendees and are not scheduled via the Event Center.

The host for Event Center scheduling is Kennetha Peebles. Please contact Kennetha to make arrangements for a session ( There is also an online request form to arrange WebEx Event Center sessions:

Please be aware that Event Center scheduling is handled on a first come, first-served basis. Check to see if the time you want is available before you publicize a particular day/time for an event using this link – – to see the current schedule of WebEx Event Center meetings. You can find out more information about Event Center online.

If the meeting for which you need to use WebEx is for 25 or fewer attendees, please see the information below:
The individuals listed below will be able to help you schedule a WebEx meeting. In an effort to distribute use across all license holders, we have noted priority contacts for each host. Any host may assist in scheduling a meeting, but first contact the individual with noted priority for your group.

Please note: We are only able to schedule one meeting per license at a specific time. Currently, we can hold up to 12 meetings at any one time across our system. By contacting one of the individuals below, you may schedule a meeting. If your requested meeting time is already allotted to another group, the scheduler/host will refer you to another contact on the list. You can browse the list of scheduled meetings by going to and clicking the “Browse Meetings” link (under “Attend a Meeting”).

When scheduling a meeting, please provide the following information: title of meeting, date, time, and length. The following hosts will assist you in scheduling a WebEx meeting for 25 or fewer participants. License holders are:

  • Cheryl Fischnich ( host for North East Region, EERA, and county meetings
  • Vickie Snyder ( host for South Central Region, EERA, and county meetings
  • Carol Bottoms ( host for West Region, EERA, and county meetings
  • Tom Archer/Lisa Jinks ( host for 4-H specialists and specialization teams
  • Kirk Bloir/Sandy Bryan ( host for FCS specialists and specialization teams
  • Sandy Odrumsky ( host for CD specialists and specialization teams
  • Teresa Funk ( host for ANR specialists and specialization teams
  • Beth Rigsby ( host for specialists and specialization teams
  • Debby Lewis ( host for Program Development & Evaluation and training efforts
  • Toni Bahnsen ( host for Human Resources and training efforts
  • Lisa Dune ( host for Administration and training efforts
  • Rob Luikart ( administrator -- questions and assistance

Best Practices for Adobe Connect - Pilot Trial Project

-Ken Martin, chair and associate director, programs, Department of Extension and interim chair, Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership

OSU Extension and CFAES, along with five other colleges at Ohio State, are participating in a pilot trial project of Adobe Connect for the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO). Adobe Connect may become the Web conferencing platform that the OCIO adopts as an enterprise-wide utility to meet the growing demands for Web conferencing at the university.

There is a high level of interest across Extension in exploring Adobe Connect for our Web conferencing platform as a possible alternative to WebEx. There would be some advantages for Extension if this were to be the case. For example, Adobe Connect is the Web conferencing tool used by eXtension; it would allow us easy integration into the role of hosting Web conferences for Communities of Practice or presenting training opportunities originating from OSU Extension. If Adobe Connect is adopted by the university, there could be a substantial cost savings to our organization. This would be obtained by leveraging the size of the university and taking advantage of its buying power and negotiating position.

The Adobe Connect Pilot Project team has arranged for two identical Web seminars for participants to view an introduction and overview of Adobe Connect and its capabilities. These sessions – titled “Best Practices for Using a Connect Room” – will take place on January 10 from 10-11 am and January 18 from 12-1 pm. Registration is free and open to all interested. The sessions will also be recorded for later viewing. If you have questions, contact Ken Kulka (614-292-2012,

These events are open for registration in the Digital Union registration system at or directly at and You can follow either link for a full description.

Adventure Central is Recognized as a National Program of Distinction

National 4-H Headquarters has announced that Adventure Central’s after-school programming received National Programs of Distinction recognition status during 2011, as determined by a multi-state team of peer reviewers. All Programs of Distinction contain certain key elements:

  • Exhibit strong program develop characteristics
  • Contribute to the body of knowledge about positive youth development
  • Convey new ideas, materials, or innovative methods
  • Demonstrate evidence of effectiveness

Adventure Central is in good company this year:

  • 4-H Fish and Forest Stewards – WA
  • 4-H on the Wild Side – CA
  • Adventure Central Afterschool – OH
  • Navigating Difference – WA
  • Regional Challenge Camps – LA
  • Youth Wetlands Education and Outreach Program – LA
  • Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program (WHEP) – multi-state

Full descriptions of the programs can be found at: For those interested in learning more about Programs of Distinction or want to submit a program for recognition, complete information can be found online. Questions can be e-mailed to

FY2013 Ohio Family Nutrition Program (SNAP-Ed) Proposal

If your county does not participate in the FY2012 Ohio Family Nutrition Program Project (also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education, SNAP-Ed) and you would like information about applying for the FY2013 project, e-mail your name and contact information to Joyce R McDowell, leader, Community Nutrition Projects (

Joyce will add you to the listserv that includes dates for training about the proposal and dates for submitting a proposal. The FY2013 Family Nutrition Program budget will not require cost share match. The Ohio Family Nutrition Program proposal is approved by Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and then by USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Approval of the OSU Extension proposal and its “unit projects” is based in part upon available Ohio SNAP-Ed funding, county Department of Job and Family Services support, and quality of the proposed project as related to the SNAP-Ed guidance.

Outreach and Engagement Grant RFP is Now Available

The latest RFP is available for Outreach and Engagement grants. The RFP and application form are attached. Up to $75,000 is available per application, and a 2:1 match is required. Consider putting a proposal together with your team, program area, and community partner(s). The deadline to apply is March 9.

If you have concerns about the matching funds provision and the required 25% cash match, contact Ken Martin (, chair and associate director, programs, about ideas on how to identify matching funds.

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Interim Entomology Chair is Announced

-Bobby Moser, vice president, agricultural administration and dean, CFAES

In follow-up to Dr. Susan Fisher’s retirement, it is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Dan Herms has agreed to serve as the interim chair for the Department of Entomology, effective January 1, pending OSU Board of Trustees approval. Please join me in thanking Dan for his willingness to take on this responsibility until a new chair is named.

CFAES Diversity Unity Community Speaker Series – January 25

Emotions drive behavior, and when people don’t know how to manage them, the results are wasteful at best and tragic at worst. The Emotional Intelligence and Diversity: Leadership Competencies for Competitive Advantage presentation by Tommie Lewis on January 25 will provide a proven skills-based strategy to help people manage their emotions effectively.

This interactive session will help participants:

  • develop the ability to deal with differences, ambiguity, and change
  • understand the "whys" behind others personal and professional behavior
  • identify practical tools and methods for building productive relationships with all stakeholders

The presentation will be held from 4-5:30 pm in room 214 at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive – with a live streaming URL also provided on the day of the session. Refreshments will be provided. If you need accommodations, contact Kathy Lechman (614-247-7176,

8th Annual Tri-State Diversity Conference – February 16-17

The eighth annual Tri-State Diversity Conference will be held February 16-17 at the Marriott, Cincinnati Airport. The event will be hosted by the Ohio State University, Purdue University, Kentucky State University, and University of Kentucky’s Extension programs.

Intended participants are school teachers, administrators, human resource personnel, social workers, college faculty and staff, government agencies, community development professionals, and anyone interested in expanding his or her diversity competence. Nearly 200 participants attend annually from 20+ states.

2012 Theme and Focus:
The conference goal is “to network and link resources to help integrate diversity into programs, policies, and practices for creating community well-being.”

This year’s theme is Diverse Communities – Common Unity. Keynote speakers Victor Lewis and Hugh Vasquez are two of the principal cast members of “The Color of Fear,” a breakthrough film about race relations in the United States today. Peer-reviewed workshops at the conference will address a variety of diversity initiatives. These include:

  • Walk One Hour in My Shoes: A Cultural Competence/Multicultural Training Program on Working with Latino Communities
  • Diverse Needs: Providing Common Ground
  • The Human Race Machine: A Tool for Generating Discussion on Campus
  • Celebrate Diversity with a 4-H Global Education Curriculum
  • Girls Gone Wild: How the Media is Destroying the Identity of Girls and Women

Register by January 23 for an early bird discount. Find more information about workshops and registration online.

eXtension Calls for New Communities of Practice

eXtension is offering an open call to form new Communities of Practice (CoPs) in areas of high interest and impact for state, regional and national programming. Those interested in forming and applying for funds to support a new community within eXtension should work with their Extension administration to identify subject areas of high impact and need for their respective Extension clientele in their state and region. All new CoPs are to be multi-state and ultimately grow to be national in scope.

eXtension also encourages state Extension administrations to identify priority areas in your state and region and then actively recruit individuals who have a vested and strong interest in the identified priority area to lead the proposed CoP. Communication and cooperation between Extension administration and subject matter specialists will result in a stronger, more cohesive application.

eXtension has appropriated funds to support four new Communities of Practice. Groups submitting applications can request start-up funds for up to $50,000. Application guidelines can be found at All applications must be submitted as one PDF file, including all appropriate application material.

All applications are to be submitted by March 1. eXtension would like to have funds awarded and communities working by July 1. Any questions can be directed to Craig H. Wood ( or Ashley Griffin (

eXtension Professional Development - January 2012

In January, several different professional development topics are offered by eXtension Communities of Practice (CoPs) and eXtension. See the list of events at For each topic, you’ll find a description, date/time and length, as well as information about how to connect to the online session.

Professional Development Topics
January 10 – 2:30pm EST; Institutional Team Web Conference
January 12 – 1pm EST; Lameness, Hoof, and Leg Issues in Dairy Cattle
January 12 – 2pm EST; Maps, Apps and Mobile Media Marketing
January 19 – 11am EST; The Health Benefits of Blueberries

All sessions are open to all Cooperative Extension faculty, staff and employees. For complete descriptions and details, visit See information for each session, an overview of upcoming eXtension professional development sessions, links to historical sessions (and recordings once they are available). Log-in with your eXtension ID to indicate your interest in and attendance of the offered sessions.

Each professional development event page has a unique URL. Use it to include your favorite session links in Twitter, Facebook and more. Any Web-based professional development sessions open to Cooperative Extension may be listed at Look there under Upcoming Events (, browse by recent tags, or search to find professional development in your areas of interest.

If you know of professional development events that are open to Cooperative Extension but not yet listed, please add them by clicking “Create a new PD Event.” Each event then has a URL that may be shared with colleagues. Each PD event page includes the title, description, presenters, link for participation and recording, as well as a check box to show your interest and/or participation in the event. If you have questions or comments, contact Beth Raney at

Personnel Update - October to December 2011

The OSU Extension personnel update for October-December 2011 is attached.

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