Communiqué August 1, 2012

10 Inclusionist Behaviors in Leadership

During 2012, we will publish short statements by OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet members describing how they strive to incorporate inclusionist behaviors into their work. Refer to the introductory article in the January 9 issue of Communiqué for more information.

Behavior #7- Inclusionist leaders create processes that teach new employees the stated and/or written rules, regulations, and policies, but also the unwritten rules, and paths to success.

Employees can accelerate their growth and success, by understanding the cultural norms of the organization. Inclusionist leaders make a conscious effort to integrate new employees into the culture at a faster rate, than if employees learn about the culture by trial and error.  

As newly hired people are brought into an organization, they are routinely informed of policies, procedures, and standard practices basic to performing their job. Hours of work, travel policies, leave policies, office processes and equipment procedures are all examples of written rules and standard operating procedures. In general, these types of rules are well-established and become readily understood by new employees without much ambiguity. Direct conversations, policy handbooks, websites and presentations are all used during new Extension employee orientation sessions regarding these routines.

Additionally, we are all aware that within Extension, as well as within any other organization, there are also many cultural characteristics, traditions, and understandings that develop over time, which while unwritten, are commonly understood to varying extents by existing members of the organization. If left to sort out these ambiguities based on a gradual gain of understanding, it can take a new employee years to grasp them, hampering his or her initial effectiveness.  

Our leadership challenge is to also recognize that there is diversity among individuals, and learning these unwritten cultural norms may be complicated by diversity factors unique to each new employee. Kellye Whitney, managing editor at MediaTec Publishing Inc., says “Diversity is some dimension of difference, whether that’s race, ethnicity, disability, sex orientation or just diversity of thought or background.” Many diversity factors tend to be those which shape attitudes, values, and behavior and which will be of great influence to the success of the new individual as he or she navigates through the early part of an Extension career and begins to assimilate the unwritten codes.  

As an inclusionist leader, these cultural factors should be addressed early on so new employees are not left to learn all of these for themselves. An example is the value Extension places on face-to-face communication and the amount of advance notice expected when setting up a group meeting. Many times, new employees who have experience in business and industry underestimate the lead time needed to get several Extension personnel scheduled for a meeting. By discussing expectations for lead time in advance, the inclusionist leader will make the new employee more successful and better integrated into the organization in a much shorter period of time. Existing employees appreciate the knowledge shown by a new employee, who gives adequate lead time for scheduling meetings.

However, no matter how open and inclusive we try to be, there is little likelihood that any individual can fully know all of the unwritten rules. This is because the accepted rules are constantly being adapted, new ones created, and outdated ones left behind. As individuals, we all have our unique ability to adapt and change within the relatively flexible work environment of Extension. Creative new and existing employees with diverse backgrounds will constantly rewrite the rules and move the organization forward in the process. This is a hallmark of working in Extension at Ohio State; and it's one way having a diverse workforce can move us forward by helping us adapt to it's, ever-changing demands of our dynamic audiences.

- Tom Worley, director of OSU South Center

New employees often come to an organization with previous work experience. These previous experiences include the stated and written rules, as well as the unwritten rules of their previous employer. How does a leader incorporate what the new employee already knows with the written and unwritten rules of Ohio State University Extension? The simple answer is to take the time to have a conversation with the person about his or her previous experiences. The more complex answer is to delve deeper into understanding how the employee learns best, in what conditions does he or she work best, and how these can be accommodated within the confines of Extension.

In our more than 90 offices located across the state, each with a unit leader, the manner in which the unit leader operates sets the stage for a new employee’s career with Extension. While there are similarities in leadership and training, there are also differences in approach -sometimes very large differences. The goal, however, is the same: Do all one can to help an employee become successful in Extension.  Extension educators are teachers by vocation, and teaching new employees is part of the tradition that makes for good educators to serve our clientele.

Formal and informal learning about Extension’s written and unwritten rules occurs every day in the office and outside the office. Not only do the unit leaders serve as teachers, but every Extension employee a new employee comes into contact with is a teacher. Support staff, program coordinators and assistants and others all teach directly or indirectly as employees observe others perform their duties. 

The quickest path to success for a new employee is continual learning from those in the organization, both structured and unstructured.  Remember how you were trained, and what you wish you would have learned early in your career. New employees become a greater part of the organization when they know the culture and the rules. Make time to perform this critical aspect of your job; the sooner, the better. Those who are left to learn by trial and error may become frustrated, confused and potentially not as successful as those who are mentored. Someone helped you become more successful in your career. Become that someone for new employees.    

- Brian McClain, manager, OSU Extension Business Operations

Extension Annual Conference RFPs are Due by September 10

You are invited to attend and participate in the OSU Extension 2012 Annual Conference on December 5. This year’s conference theme is “Embracing the Past. Building the Future.”

Proposals are due by September 10. Proposals may be submitted present in one of the following formats: half-session, full-session, or poster. See the attached summary for an overview and submission instructions.

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Extension Annual Conference RFPs are Due by September 10

You are invited to attend and participate in the OSU Extension 2012 Annual Conference on December 5. This year’s conference theme is “Embracing the Past. Building the Future.”

Proposals are due by September 10. Proposals may be submitted present in one of the following formats: half-session, full-session, or poster. See the attached summary for an overview and submission instructions.

OSUE HR Initiates Onboarding Project to Assist New Employees

OSU Extension Human Resources has initiated a project to review and revamp the process by which new employees are brought into the organization. This project comes as a response to managing challenges previously experienced by new employees and their supervisors.

Onboarding is the strategic process of integrating new employees into their work roles and work environment, from accepting an offer through the first year or two of employment. It is a comprehensive approach focused on welcoming, engaging, equipping, and building relationships. A summary of the project can be viewed here online.

We need your help! There are lots of important partners in onboarding new employees, including all of you. As we move forward to planning, we will continue to involve employees in the process. If you have thoughts to share now regarding challenges faced by new employees or suggestions about how to improve the onboarding process, please contact Graham Cochran (cochran.99@osu.edu) or Karen Argabright (argabright.2@osu.edu). We are excited about this project and the positive impact it will have for OSU Extension.

Purchasing Applications for Tablet Devices - Policy Update

This update has been added as an appendix in the "Computer Hardware and Software Standards for OSU Extension " section of the Policy and Procedures handbook as of July 20, 2012

Purchases of tablets, such as iPads and those with the Android operating system, have increased across the University and Extension. The University has released a new, revised policy related to the purchase of applications for these devices. Part of the policy is listed below. Ohio State University Extension has the ability to be more restrictive than University policy, and has chosen to be more restrictive about the purchase of applications on University-owned tablets. 

The use of PCards is not permitted to be used to purchase any applications for University-owned devices (and should never be used to purchase applications on personally owned tablets). While the policy below mentions only iPads, it has been verified that this policy relates to all devices for which applications may be purchased – so this includes iPhones and any other smartphones.

Purchases of applications for business use may be reimbursable, and would be reimbursed using the eRequest system. A copy of the Apple or other company invoice should be attached to the eRequest (generally an e-mail confirmation).

  • An iPad should be treated like a laptop. In accordance with the University Computer Security Standards, if restricted data is going to be stored on the device, then the device must be owned by the university and encrypted. If the device is university owned, then it must be tagged and tracked. Due to the nature of how additional applications are purchased, a personal credit card must be used to support the default Apple account on the iPad. Ifan area wants the added flexibility and control of using a departmental PCard to purchase applications, a separate Apple account should be set up to enable the area’s IT Staff to make approved and password-protected purchases of applications. The password on the PCard supported account should not be shared beyond the area’s IT staff.

Food Safety Hotline

As you are aware, questions about food safety are frequently received in our county Extension offices.  For counties without Family and Consumer Sciences educators, you have often turned to a neighboring educator; Linnette Goard, our field specialist in food safety, or eXtension. Another very valuable resource is just a phone call or email away.

The Ohio State University Food Safety Hotline provides reliable, accurate information on the safe handling of food. The hotline is available Monday through Friday 9 am - 5 pm by calling 1-800-752-2751 (toll-free in Ohio). After hours, consumers can leave a message and phone number to get a response. 

The Ohio State University's Food Safety Hotline is also available by e-mail: foodsafety@osu.edu.

You can also visit The Ohio State University Extension Ohioline Web site at ohioline.osu.edu. Click on the link "Food", and then click on "Food Preservation". There are more than 25 recipes and instructions for home preservation methods.

Congratulations to 2012 OSU CARES Seed Grant Recipients

The faculty and staff projects recognized by the OSU CARES Seed Grant program illustrate how engagement is being embedded in colleges across the university. They also showcase how Ohio State is sharing expertise broadly across the entire state and deepening relationships with community partners.

Listed below are the 2012 OSU CARES/OSU Extension grants that were awarded; and a brief description of each can be found online. All of these grants support partnerships between OSU Extension and another Ohio State department to broaden the University’s engagement with communities. Visit the OSU CARES Grants Program Webpage for more information about OSU CARES grants.

OSU Extension Housing Corps – a university partnership to support a statewide AmeriCorps program.

  • PI(s): Cäzilia Loibl, associate professor and state Extension specialist, consumer sciences, Education and Human Ecology; Stephanie Moulton, assistant professor, John Glenn School of Public Affairs; Ellen Peters, associate professor, psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

Access88.

  • PI(s): Amira Shouman, coordinator of community service, Ohio Union, Office of Student Life; Sarah Graf, director of Access88, Pay It Forward, Ohio Union, Office of Student Life

Agricultural Rescue Curriculum – Increasing Response Capacity in Agricultural Communities.

  • PI(s): Dee Jepsen, assistant professor, leader: Ag Safety and Health Program, Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Bill Barks, program director, OSU Center for EMS, The OSU Medical Center; Kent McGuire, CFAES Health and Safety Coordinator, Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Science

Youth Empowerment.

  • PI(s): Cynthia Toler, Extension educator, 4-H, Ohio State University Extension, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Ralph Murphy II, program coordinator, The Young Scholars Program, Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Educating the community on best practices for purchase, storage, preservation and consumption for optimal micronutrient and phytochemical levels in local fruits and vegetables.

  • PI(s): Robin Ralston, program manager, Food Science and Technology, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Daniel Remley, assistant professor, OSU Extension County Operations

Community Approach to Preventing Abortion in Livestock and Nondomestic Ruminants.

  • PI(s): Rebecca Garabed, assistant professor, Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine; William Shulaw, professor, Preventive Medicine/ OSU Extension - Veterinary Medicine; Mark Moritz, assistant professor, Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences

Simple Suppers: A novel approach to childhood obesity prevention.

  • PI(s): Carolyn Gunther, director of research, human nutrition, College of Education and Human Ecology; Julie Kennel, dietetic internship program director, Extension and Human Nutrition, College of Education and Human Ecology; Patricia Gabbe, clinical professor, pediatrics, College of Medicine; Thelma Patrick, associate professor, nursing

Electronic Submission of IRB Documents Available Beginning July 30

Beginning July 30, 2012, all Institutional Review Board (IRB) documents can be submitted electronically using a new web site – IRB Submit. IRB Submit is an intermediate step as we continue to develop a fully-electronic protocol submission system for human subjects research.  Using IRB Submit, you will be able to upload all of your IRB documents (initial review, amendments, continuing reviews, event reports, final study reports, exempt research applications) for review by the Biomedical Sciences, Behavioral and Social Sciences, or Cancer IRBs, as well as submissions requiring WIRB pre-review. Documents can be uploaded in any file format (DOC, PDF, JPEG, etc.). Paper submissions (and duplicate copies) will no longer be required as of July 30th. Submission forms and signature requirements remain the same. Visit the Office of Responsible Research Practices (ORRP) web site for IRB Submit access (link in the left-hand menu bar) and instructions. Visit the Protocol Lookup site (http://orrp.osu.edu/plink/) to check your CITI and COI status, and for a listing of protocols for which you are associated. For more information, contact Susan Ebert at (614) 292-0184 or ebert.55@osu.edu.

From the Office of Responsible Research Practices

Tri-State Food Safety Team

Research and Extension administrative teams from Michigan State University, Purdue University, and The Ohio State University partnered last year and offered an RFP to fund interdisciplinary projects and integrated the missions of research and outreach. One of the projects funded was the “Tri-State Food Safety Initiative.” As the project title suggests, MSU, PU, and OSU have assembled a team across the three states with a focus on developing research and outreach programs related to food safety. 

The first annual Food Safety Midwest Workshop will be held on September 13 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There are nationally recognized speakers from the region, and the keynote speaker is the national program leader in food safety from USDA-ARS. 

As part of the grant, each of the three universities is offering complimentary registrations for the first 25 faculty, staff, and/or students (from each university) who register. To register, visit   http://bit.ly/fsmmeeting. Once you are in the website, you will need to create an account for yourself, and then you can enroll. If you are one of the first 25attendees from each university, select that option for a “free registration.” If you have any questions, contact Richard Linton (linton.60@osu.edu).

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