CFAES Give Today
OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué May 9, 2012

Create Transparency – Behavior #3 of High-Trust Leaders

-Keith Smith, associate vice president, Agricultural Administration and director, OSU Extension

Covey says creating transparency “is about being open. It’s about being real and genuine and telling the truth in a way people can verify” (page 153).

I’m sure you’ve heard me say this quite often to our faculty and staff throughout the organization – I strive to be transparent. I don’t have hidden agendas, and I don’t try to hide information (although there is often sensitive personnel information I purposely don’t/can’t share).

One example I’ve mentioned a number of times is our meetings with county commissioners in May and September 2011. Covey suggests that one should err on the side of disclosure. In this case, we thoroughly discussed budget realities and the funding situations affecting both of our organizations. We also shared information about positions/shared positions and expectations of those positions. 

With commissioners, state legislators and all other stakeholders, we are very clear about how Extension is funded; federal, state and local expectations; and how we leverage funding as much as possible to provide a better return on investment. I believe we have been very transparent about what we’re trying to accomplish when we discuss funding options with stakeholders and others. 

I agree with Covey – it’s important that we “get real and be genuine. Be open and authentic.” That said, it’s also important to remember that one should be transparent with appropriate information. Transparency does NOT mean full disclosure in certain situations; some things (i.e. as mentioned above, a significant number of personnel issues) are not able to be shared. I hope everyone in our organization understands that appropriate transparency requires a balance, because there is such a thing as “irresponsible transparency.” In fact, as Covey acknowledges, “especially in public companies, there are certain things the law does not allow you to disclose to anyone unless it can be disclosed to everyone.” 

I encourage you to be transparent in how you conduct business within your office, share your expectations for yourself and others on the teams with which you work, and be accountable for responsible transparency within our organization. I also expect all of us to understand when there’s a need for privacy and respect in certain situations. 

If you haven’t read Covey’s chapter about this topic already, I encourage you to review his insight on this. He shares some significant examples of positive and negative approaches to transparency, and the outcomes of each approach. Our aim is for what Covey calls the “sweet spot” – full disclosure and clarity of information that can and should be shared.  

Research in view / OSU:pro update

Research in View (RiV), which launched on February 24, contains your OSU:pro core dossier data ONLY! It DOES NOT currently contain your Extension activities data. Since RiV-Extension did not launch on schedule, we were given access again to OSU:pro.  Please be aware the URL for OSU:pro is now, which you should use until you are told differently. DO NOT add anything into the core dossier sections of OSU:pro, the new URL is to add NON-DOSSIER Extension Activities data only! WARNING! IF you access the new OSU:pro URL and enter ANY data into ANY core dossier sections, that data will NOT be transferred into RiVYOU will be responsible for that data entry into RiV (core dossier items).  Firefox and Internet Explorer work best for

You should generate and save a core dossier document in OSU:pro so you can see what data you had entered into the system and check that data against your new RiV profile (click on “view reports” tab in OSU:pro and select “core dossier”). Use a start date for your core dossier document that makes the most sense for you (i.e., if you entered pre-2010 data into OSU:pro, use the date tied to your earliest piece of data). PLEASE NOTE: this report will only contain Extension events where you clicked on the “check to display on dossier” box.   

As previously communicated, you currently have two interfaces with which to enter your data: RiV and the OSU:pro Extension Activities module. The NEW Extension Activities section was slated to be incorporated into RiV by June 15.  The RiV team has pushed this deadline back to mid-July so we have a complete and functional product to use and time to test it. Testing of the new Extension activities section in RiV will begin in about three weeks. The Program Development & Evaluation Unit will offer training on RiV in late summer/early fall after the Extension activities section has been incorporated into RiV.

Remember that go links are CaSE senSiTive!!!

Keep your eye on the “ANNOUNCEMENTS” link on the RiV homepage (top of page before you sign in). The RiV team will put information there about system maintenance.  

If you see issues with your RIV profile, please email with specific corrections needed. If you have Extension - specific questions about RiV, please contact Debby Lewis ( or Kim Bahnsen Showalter ( in the Program Development and Evaluation Unit.

OSU CARES - Deadline May 15

OSU CARES is again making available grants to support partnerships between OSU Extension and colleagues across Ohio State University to expand our outreach and engagement work. In addition, OSU Extension administration is making available innovative grants to support new and innovative programs. The grants are being advertised jointly, with similarities in the application to streamline the process. To learn more about the grants and to apply, visit If you have questions about the OSU CARES grants, contact Karen Bruns or Terri Fisher at For the innovative grants, contact Ken Martin at

NACAA Communication Contest Winners

Congratulations to our National Association of County Agricultural Agents communications contest winners in the North Central (NC) Region competition. Ohio had a NC finalist in 10 of the 12 categories entered. Three finalists from the region are forwarded in each category onto the national competition. Congratulations to the following participants: Audio Recordings-Ed Lentz; Published Photo & Caption-Pam Bennett; Computer Generated Graphics Presentation with Script-Eric Barrett; Feature Story-Pam Bennett; Team Newsletter-Ohio Fruit ICM Newsletter (Gary Gao, Mike Ellis and Celeste Welty); Video Recordings-Dee Jepsen, Chris Dicus & Chris Zoller; Fact Sheet-Jim Jasinski, Ben Phillips, Celeste Welty, Chelsea Smith and Mary Gardiner; Publication-Jeff McCutcheon; Website/On-line Content-Ohio Ag Manager (Chris Bruynis & David Marrison); Learning Module/Notebook-Eric Barrett, Brad Bergefurd, Julie Fox, Mike Hogan, Rob Leeds, Julie Moose, and M.Welch.

County Visits are Being Scheduled

Each year, Keith Smith, Ken Martin and Garee Earnest visit several of our county offices. This is an opportunity for them to sit down with everyone in each office, and this feedback from county personnel is very important. These visits provide much firsthand insight about local needs, challenges, successes, and suggestions. Keith, Ken and Garee also follow up with the regional directors and assistant directors, if there is information that needs to be shared after these visits. Keith, Ken and Garee have expressed an interest in meeting with county commissioners if possible.

If your county is scheduled to be visited this summer, your office will be contacted soon to set up an appointment. Keith will visit Adams, Butler, Columbiana, Hamilton, Hancock, Logan, Mahoning, Pike, Sandusky, and Wood counties. Ken will visit Ashland, Coshocton, Fairfield, Fayette, Gallia, Greene, Medina, Montgomery, Summit, and Vinton counties. Garee will visit Crawford, Franklin, Guernsey, Henry, Huron, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Putnam, and Van Wert counties.

Staff Professional Development Award From CFAES Staff Advisory Council- Application Deadline May 15

Do you need assistance to offset costs associated with professional development and staff career goals? This award can be used toward expenses (up to $200).

The CFAES Staff Advisory Council (SAC) is now accepting applications for its staff professional development award. See the attached guidelines and application form. Forms are due to Shelley Whitworth by May 15. Recipients will be notified by the committee.

This award is made possible through Campus Campaign donations to the SAC Training Fund #312155.

For more information about SAC, click the following link:

Related Documents