CFAES Give Today
OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué January 21, 2015


Budget Reminder – Guidelines Regarding Political Activity by Employees of the University

As we work through a new budget cycle and numerous legislative visits with state representatives and senators, remember to follow the university’s Guidelines Regarding Political Activity by Employees of the University.

University staff and faculty members are encouraged to fully and freely exercise our rights to vote, as well as express our personal opinions about political candidates, issues, programs, initiatives, and referendums. “However, as employees of a public institution, there are restrictions on exercising these rights in a manner that suggests university endorsement of a cause or candidate.” See the complete guidelines at

Back to Top

OSU Extension Strategic Plan Update

Needs Assessment
As part of our strategic plan, Extension is working to develop a new statewide needs assessment format. It is our desire for the format to be useful at the county level as well. To that end, a small team has drafted several possible needs assessment format options and will be moving forward over the next month or two. A group of professionals assembled in mid-November to hash out plans for the statewide assessment, and the group is charged with coming up with ideas for county-level needs assessments as well. People serving on this committee were nominated to join the discussion by at least one OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet member.

Customer Satisfaction
Kennetha Peebles and Brian Butler, members of our Program Development and Evaluation (PDE) unit are working on a plan to help OSU Extension evaluate/measure customer satisfaction. As another element of the strategic plan, training of our employees on this topic and development of tools to survey your local clientele are included in a comprehensive plan that was shared last fall with the OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet by Debby Lewis (leader, PDE).

What is Customer Satisfaction?
Customer satisfaction measures how well the expectations of a customer attending a program or receiving service provided by OSU Extension have been met. In short, it is the relationship between the clientele’s expectations in relation to the delivery of a program or service. Customer satisfaction provides valuable feedback on how participants view Extension programs and services, information on improving future programs and services, and aids in the retention of current clients and possibly leads to acquiring new clients.

Back to Top

OSU Extension Listserv Update – Reminder

Effective August 15, there are two listserv addresses that allow one-way distribution of information to all who have an Extension appointment.

All employees with an Extension appointment are automatically subscribed to the all-Extension listserv. You may NOT unsubscribe from the all-Extension listserv, which is the official communication tool for the organization.

A new Extension-misc. listserv offers employees a place to post information of a more local office nature. The new Extension-misc. listserv was populated with all Extension employees in the HR database as of August 11, 2014. You may unsubscribe from the new Extension-misc listserv at any time. New Extension employees will be given the information about both listservs during orientation; and they will be able to subscribe to the Extension-misc. listserv at any time.

  • all-Extension ( – Notices related to the overall work of Extension, the college and university; updates on policies, procedures and deadlines; communications from the director of Extension. Members of Extension Administrative Cabinet, their designated staff, and other key personnel can post to this list.
  • Extension-misc. ( – Notices about workshops, surveys, EERA- and county-level activities, professional organization announcements – as well as retirement, death and birth announcements, welcome receptions, local office information related to closures, requests for assistance. Any member of the listserv can post a notice to the Extension-misc. list. You can add or remove yourself from the Extension-Misc listserv via

If you have any questions about either listserv, contact Cheryl Buck at

Back to Top

Weather or Other Short-Term Closing Reminder

Now that we’re in the winter months, it’s a good time to share the university’s policy regarding closures due to severe weather. It is the policy of Ohio State to remain open; however, during extreme conditions due to severe weather, major utility failure, or other reasons, the university may close parts of the Columbus campus or any of its regional campuses. A decision to close the university will be done on a location-by-location basis, including the Columbus campus, regional campuses, Extension offices, research stations, or specific buildings.

To learn about any closures, check the university website (, your email address, or your local radio and television stations.

Employees may be required to report to work based on their designation as an Essential, Alternate, or Standby employee. The definition and responsibilities of each designation are as follows:

Essential employee One who has been designated as critical to the operation of the unit, whose presence is required regardless of the existence of an emergency condition, university and/or building(s) closure, canceling of classes, and whose absence from duty could endanger the safety and well-being of the campus population and/or facilities. Employees may be designated as essential on a situational basis, e.g., in the event of a snow emergency only, or in the event of a public health crisis. Depending on the nature of their work, essential employees may be required to report to work on campus or may be able to work from home. Designations can be changed at any time depending on need.
Alternate employee One who has been designated to serve as a back-up to an essential employee. Designations can be changed at any time depending on need.
Standby employee Any employee not designated as essential or alternate. Designations can be changed at any time depending on need.







If you have a question regarding your specific designation, or about anything else related to short-term closings, please contact Amy Burns ( To view the entire Weather or Other Short-Term Closing Policy, visit

Back to Top

Staff Career Development Grant Applications – due by January 31

The Staff Career Development Grant provides staff with an opportunity to further their growth and development. Eligible staff can apply for a Staff Career Development Grant of up to $1,000 for individuals and $1,500 for groups. Grants can be used for professional development, education or training costs related to job and/or career goals. Applications are being accepted until January 31. Read more at

Back to Top

Distinguished Staff Award Nominations – due by February 9

Nominations are open until February 9 for the Distinguished Staff Award, which honors 12 outstanding staff members for their significant leadership, accomplishments and service to the university. Award recipients are selected based on how they have enhanced the quality of work life for colleagues or customers; provided outstanding service to university stakeholders; developed creative solutions to increase department or university operations; or demonstrated one or more of the university’s values. Read more and submit nominations at

Back to Top

Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award Nominations – due by February 9

Nominations are open until February 9 for the Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award, which celebrates and rewards diversity efforts on the Ohio State campus. Nominees may include campus organizations, academic units or teams, students, alumni, faculty or staff who have implemented policies, procedures, or programs to enhance diversity on the basis of any diversity qualities. Read more and submit nominations at

Back to Top

Outreach and Engagement Grant Opportunities – Proposals due by February 16

OSU CARES/OSU Extension, the Service-Learning Initiative and the Office of Outreach and Engagement are pleased to offer this year’s OSU CARES/OSU Extension Seed Grants, Service-Learning Grants, and Engagement Impact Grants to support scholarly engagement efforts of university faculty and staff.

More than $300,000 is available to support programs that establish and expand innovative, creative, scholarly engagement to address compelling challenges and critical needs in communities. The proposal submission deadline is February 16 (4pm).

January 22 Information Session: An information session will be hosted on January 22 at 11am (MLK Lounge in Hale Hall). For more information, visit

Back to Top

Tri-State Diversity Conference Diversity Champion Award – Nominations due by February 16

The goal of the Tri-State Diversity Conference (to be held February 19-20) is to network and link people and resources together to better integrate diversity into programs, policies, and practices for creating community well-being. The 2015 theme is “reThinking Diversity: Addressing the Cultural Shift in America.” For more information, visit

The 2015 nomination form for the Tri-State Diversity Champion Awards is attached; the form is also available on the conference website. Please nominate yourself or others for one of these awards. The nomination deadline is January 16. Send nominations to Pat Holmes at An individual award and a team award will be presented during the Tri-State Diversity Conference luncheon on February 19.

Back to Top

What Will it be Today: Conflict, Compete, Collaborate? Workshop – February 4

There are many choices to be made in the workplace. The workplace can be a breeding ground for conflict due to different personality and communication styles. We can choose to ignore or accelerate conflict with others, or we can choose to allow conflict to make the positive changes within our organization. On the other hand, we can choose to work collaboratively or cooperatively together to further the goals of our organization. It's a choice we make, so what will it be today?

Participants will:

  • Understand why conflict in the workplace happens.
  • Identify the ways cooperation increases productivity.
  • Explore ways to collaborate together.

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop – 9am to 12pm, 105 Ag. Admin. The cost is $75 per participant. To register, go to

Back to Top

StrengthFinder Workshop – February 12

As a leader it is important to know what talents you possess, that you bring to the leadership table. Do you know what strengths you possess? Every leader possesses her/ or his own unique set of talents. According to the Gallup Organization, "we spend too much time focusing on our weaknesses, trying to make them stronger rather than recognizing our strengths." When you focus on your weaknesses, you miss out on utilizing what you do best for your organization.

Participants in this workshop will take the Clifton StrengthsFinder inventory to learn their five strongest talents. By focusing on your strengths you increase your effectiveness as a leader.

What is the Clifton StrengthsFinder inventory?
Marcus Buckingham, coauthor of the national bestseller First, Break All the Rules, and Donald O. Clifton, chair of the Gallup International Research and Education Center, have created a revolutionary program to help readers identify their talents, build them into strengths, and enjoy consistent, near-perfect performance. At the heart of the book is the Internet-based StrengthsFinder® Profile, the product of a 25-year, multimillion-dollar effort to identify the most prevalent human strengths. The program introduces 34 dominant "themes" with thousands of possible combinations, and reveals how they can best be translated into personal and career success. For more information, visit

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop – 9am to 12pm, 105 Ag. Admin. The cost is $75 per participant. To register, go to

Back to Top

The Changing Face of the Organization: Millennials in the Workplace Workshop – February 17

Who are these new employees in your workplace? How do you relate to or manage this latest generation to enter the workforce? These younger employees are technologically wired, highly educated and eager to make a difference in their workplace. This highly interactive workshop is filled with information that you can apply immediately in your organization.

Millennials were born between 1980-2000; and this generation is almost as large as the Baby Boomer generation. An achievement-oriented group, these new employees are technically connected 24/7 and use social networking to connect with their peers. This high-achieving generation wants to immediately make an impact in their career, and they are anxious to take on leadership roles.

  • Learn about the culture and events that have shaped the Millennial Generation.
  • Determine ways to improve communication and building relationships with this generation.
  • Generate ideas about how to manage and coach this generation of employees.

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop – 9am to 12pm, 105 Ag. Admin. The cost is $75 per participant. To register, go to

Back to Top

Ohio Ag Council Scholarship Applications – due February 27

The Ohio Agricultural Council is offering up to six $1,000 scholarships to assist students pursuing agricultural-related studies and to help promote agriculture and agri-business as a growing field of career opportunities. The application deadline for the 2015-2016 school year is February 27. Click here to download the 2015-2016 application.

Back to Top

Ohio Ag Hall of Fame Nominations – due March 31

Someone who wants to nominate an individual he or she believes is deserving of consideration for induction into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame may download a nomination form by clicking here. Nomination forms, and three letters of recommendation, must be submitted by March 31 to be eligible for consideration in 2015.

Back to Top

Webinar: Farmers and Ranchers: Making a Smart Choice for Health Insurance – January 28

This webinar will be presented by Dr. Roberta Riportella of the Kansas State University Extension with a panel of experts from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Small Business Association (SBA). Participants will learn how the Affordable Care Act affects farm and ranch families as individuals (consumers), as business operators, and their farmworkers. See the attached flier for more information.

Back to Top

Southern Region Middle Managers Conference – March 16-19

–Greg Davis, assistant director, Community Development

The 2015 Southern Region Middle Managers Conference Planning Committee invites you to the biennial conference being held in Charleston, South Carolina on March 16-19. Blake Lanford, Clemson University Extension, is serving as the conference coordinator and has developed the conference registration page for your review. This page is active, and reservations are being accepted. Event registration is separate from hotel reservation. Conference and hotel reservations at the block rate are required by February 13. For more information, visit the conference website.

Back to Top