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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué March 4, 2015


OSU Extension Leadership Search Begins

-Bruce A. McPheron, vice president for Agricultural Administration and dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

I’m pleased to update all of you on our OSU Extension Director search process. The search committee, comprised of your peers and colleagues, met on February 20 to receive their charge for this effort. I greatly appreciate their willingness to serve in this important role as we seek to identify our next associate dean and director of OSU Extension.

The role of the search committee will be to review and provide input to the position description; identify ideal attributes of candidates for the position; participate in identifying candidates whose applications we might seek; review candidates and participate in pre-screening activities; and provide summary feedback on potential candidates to invite for on-campus interviews. In addition to the search committee, we have engaged the services of Greenwood/Asher and Associates, an executive search firm, to guide us as well as execute important tasks in this process. Their role will include guiding the work of the committee as outlined above, circulating the position announcement through their networks, identifying potential candidates, and assisting with the coordination of pre-screening exercises.

This is an open national search to identify an extraordinary leader who can build upon the great strengths of OSU Extension and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. I’ll count on the entire organization to make suggestions of and/or nominate exceptional individuals. I am particularly committed to ensuring that we explore diverse and non-traditional pools of candidates to ensure we have identified the best possible individual to lead us into Extension’s second century.

As the timeline and opportunities for you to engage in the process are finalized, we will communicate to the organization through email, a website, and my monthly webinars. I hope you make every effort to nominate candidates, participate in evaluation opportunities, and offer your feedback on our final candidates.

Committee members and their affiliations are below.

  • Jeff Sharp; search chair; professor and director, School of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Pat Bebo; leader, Community Nutrition Programs (EFNEP and SNAP-Ed)
  • Greg Davis; professor and assistant director, OSU Extension Community Development
  • Kevin Harris; Extension educator, 4-H Youth Development, Butler County
  • Melinda Hill; county Extension director and Extension educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Wayne County
  • Dee Jepsen; associate professor, Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and state leader, OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Program
  • Lee Ann Johnson; office administrative associate, Southeast regional Extension office
  • Jeffrey LeJeune; professor and head, Food Animal Health Research Program
  • Laura Lindsey; assistant professor, Horticulture and Crop Science
  • Carl Maresh; professor and chair, College of Education and Human Ecology, Department of Human Sciences
  • Jeff McCutcheon; associate professor and Extension educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Morrow County
  • Laquore Meadows; county Extension director, Franklin County
  • Terry Niblack; professor and chair, Department of Plant Pathology

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OSUE Position Description Template

Whether you’re creating a new Extension position or filling an existing position, you’ll need to complete a position description. The CFAES Service Center has updated the position description template that must be used whenever you’re writing a position description – and this is the only version that should be attached to an HRA.

To access this template, go to the Faculty/Staff Resources tab on the CFAES website and click Human Resources. On the left side of the Human Resources page, click HR Forms and Resources. The link for the position description can be found under Forms – Position Description/Job Opening Form.

When you have to draft a position description, always use the template found on the CFAES website. This will ensure you’re using the most up-to-date form. If you have any questions about where to find the position description or how to complete one, contact Amy Burns (; 614-292-2776).

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OSU Extension County Websites – Upcoming Training Opportunities

As you may know, the OSU Extension county websites are now based in the Drupal 7 content management system. The county website structure and content types are unique to the county sites. CFAES Communications has added monthly Drupal training sessions in 2015 for the OSU Extension county websites.

This training is open to new Extension employees, those who will be handling website responsibilities for their county, or those who would like a refresher. This training will cover the basics of Drupal 7: how to create and edit pages, news items, events, people, and the general guidelines for content placement. Any Extension employee who will be adding or updating content on your county website is required to attend a training session before he or she is given access to the county site.

The Extension county website training sessions will be held on the fourth Friday of each month from 9am to 1pm. Space is limited and the sessions will be filled on a first come, first-served basis. Email Bonnie Scranton ( about which session you would like to attend and which county site you will be editing after training. Visit for more information.

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Ohio Minimum Wage Change was Effective January 1

On January 1, 2015, an increase to Ohio’s minimum wage took effect.

  • The current hourly rate of $7.95 increased to $8.10;
  • The current hourly rate of $3.98 for tipped employees increased to $4.05; and
  • The maximum student hourly rate is now $13.00.

Click here to access an updated Ohio Minimum Wage Poster.

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Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference – Proposals due by March 20

The 2015 Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference (ESC) call for proposals is open until March 20\; and travel grants are available for those who will be presenting their work at the conference, which will be held September 29-30 at Pennsylvania State University. Proposals should inform or advance research and the practice of engaged scholarship and community-university partnerships.

Ohio State is a founding member of ESC, which is composed of higher-education institutions working collaboratively to build strong university-community partnerships anchored in the rigor of scholarship, and designed to help build community capacity. For more information, visit or contact:

Travel grants for the scholarship of engagement are available.
The offices of Service-Learning, Research, and Outreach and Engagement are offering small grants to offset the cost of travel or other expenses related to presenting at conferences or participating in workshops associated with advancing the scholarship of engagement across teaching and research activities. Funding will be offered for meetings that include the Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference, the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, and the IUPUI Service-Learning Research Institute. Apply by March 20. For more information, visit or contact:

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eXtension Announces Request for Proposals

eXtension is soliciting proposals for projects and programs from faculty at premium member institutions of eXtension that express innovation and creativity. These proposals should demonstrate futuristic thinking, ideation, and offer sparks of opportunity to multiply innovation. Innovation is applied creativity: using creativity and applying it to finding new ways to work and engage with clientele. This can include new uses of technology, new ways of organizing work, different ways of delivering program content, and experimenting with new tools and resources. An RFA for innovation projects is attached. This RFA closes at 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on April 17.

The eXtension Foundation is seeking a premium member to serve as a web conference provider – to provide a comprehensive and complete, reliable, versatile, and flexible web conferencing platform, facilitation (hosting) with solutions and support for web meetings and video conferencing, mobile webinars and virtual meetings, with integration of social media. The eXtension Foundation will use the web conferencing system to conduct virtual meetings and programs. An RFA for web conferencing is attached. This RFA closes at 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on March 27.

If you have any questions, contact Michelle Giddens, assistant to the director, eXtension Foundation –

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Leadership YOU – March 11 Workshop

Are you exceptional? Every person has special gifts to share with others, which brings a purpose to his or her life. Do you know your life's purpose and your gifts? Leadership begins by knowing yourself, and what makes you unique as a leader?

Just as companies and organizations have mission statements, it is important to create your own leadership mission statement. This document gives you a way to communicate your passion, gifts, values, and goals to yourself and others. Your mission statement allows you to be an authentic leader, and gives you a navigation tool to share your unique gifts. When you live your mission, you set an example that helps others share their unique gifts too.

Participants in this workshop will:

  • Determine and define what special gifts she or he has to offer.
  • Develop a personal mission statement and development plan.
  • Create strategies to live his or her life’s passion and gifts.

What benefit does this workshop give to your department or organization? When an employee knows, understands and has a plan for living her or his gifts, he or she brings energy and excitement to work. Having a life's mission allows the employee to utilize her or his gifts and strengths to perform at his or her best at work on a daily basis. Research shows that employees who are using their strengths and gifts are six times more likely to be engaged at work, which equals higher productivity and a great contribution to the success of the team, department and organization.

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop from 9am to 3pm. The cost is $140 per participant. To register, go to

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DISCflex – March 18 Workshop

The foundation of personal and professional success lies in understanding self, understanding others and realizing the impact of personal behavior on the people around you. DISC provides insight into an individual’s style that can help predict the likely trends of their behavior in the future. It does this by evaluating four key factors in an individual style (dominance, influence, steadiness and compliance).

Through a 24-question assessment, DISC can be used to describe a person's general approach, including their motivations and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and some of the basic assumptions they make about other people. It can also go far in helping to predict how a person will react to a specific set of circumstances.

Participants will learn to:

  • Discover behavioral strengths
  • Foster teamwork
  • Improve communication skills
  • Reduce conflict and stress

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop from 9am to noon. The cost is $75 per participant. To register, go to

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Applying Your Strengths @ Work – March 24 Workshop

Weakness-fixing only prevents failure, but strengths-building leads to success. – Gallup
If you have attended a StrengthsFinder awareness workshop (requirement for this workshop), you may also be wondering how can you apply your strengths at work. Have you given any thought about how focusing on your strengths allows you to unleash your highest potential, leading you to be happier at work and more productive?

You may be wondering how to utilize your strengths to make a personal and positive contribution to your organization. The Gallup organization has found through its research that: People who know their talents and use them at work are…

  • 6 times as likely to be engaged in their jobs
  • 3 times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life
  • 7.8% greater productivity

There has never been, and there will never be, in the history of this earth, another person exactly like you (as Mister Rogers said). No one else has the exact same strengths, background or experiences as you. You can make a positive contribution every day at work by using your strengths.

Participants in this workshop will:

  • Identify how each of your strengths helps you make a positive impact at work.
  • Gain new skills to help enhance and reinforce your strengths at work.
  • Select responsibilities that, through your top strengths, you can help your team reach its highest potential.

Beth Flynn is facilitating this workshop from 9am to noon room 105 Ag Admin, 2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus. The cost is $75 per participant. To register, go to

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Navigating Difficult Conversations – March 30 Workshop

All professionals encounter conversations that are regarded high in stakes from time to time. These high-stakes dialogues can become pivotal in one’s effectiveness if handled correctly. In this workshop, participants will learn what conversations fit the context of “difficult” and how to effectively confront them. They will leave the session with a toolkit of knowledge to best handle these conversational situations they may face in the workplace and beyond.

Participants in this workshop will be guided in navigating a difficult conversation through an interactive session that will engage them in group discussion, role playing, and direct facilitation by the presenters. Other aspects that will be covered in this seminar are the key skills needed to handle a difficult conversation and how to determine an appropriate response. This content will be extremely focused to professional development and specific to building effective communication. Role playing various situations (including those of participants) will be a part of the workshop.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be equipped with the knowledge and fundamental skills necessary to navigate their own difficult conversations successfully. More specifically, participants will:

  • Learn how to approach difficult conversations and navigate them successfully.
  • Gain strategies in confronting work-related conversations.
  • Develop a personal understanding and evaluation of self when facing a difficult situation.

Jeff King is facilitating this workshop from 9am to noon, room 105 Ag Admin Building, 2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus. The cost is $75 per participant. To register, go to

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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.

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