Walk the Trail with Others

- Thursday, February 25, 2021

“How am I doing? How does my work compare to all the others you supervise?” After walking to the downtown ice-cream stand, chatting about the weather and other small talk, this is what I asked of my supervisor at my first or second annual performance review meeting. Sitting at a picnic bench in the sunshine as cars and trucks idled by, my supervisor said, “You are doing great, just keep doing what you are doing.”

I went to the Extension promotion workshop a few weeks later and nearly every year after that to better understand the expectations of an Extension professional. In these workshops I learned so much more about, for example:

  • the various forms of Extension teaching, scholarship, and service,
  • the different types of peer review and why we value it,
  • the purpose of evaluation (of our teaching, programs, curriculum, initiatives, etc), and
  • the formality involved in the promotion process and why it is that way.

These things are the essence of Extension work and key among the responsibilities we have to OSU’s Office of Academic Affairs as members of the Department of Extension.

With these responsibilities also come opportunities for growth and development that can span an educator’s career. Here you can read more about the Two-Track System for Extension Educators in the Department of Extension and other material describing professional advancement in Extension such as:

  • the annual review process for faculty,
  • peer review process and guidelines, and
  • the A&P educator promotion process.

Our system is designed to challenge our growth and development. Our task is to seek balance in teaching/programs, scholarship, and service, while growing ourselves in all three areas.

Whether you are a more-recent hire or advanced in rank, how do you proceed? Take some time to reflect on where you have been and where you would like to go. Really look at your accomplishments to date in relation to the General Expectations (for A&P or faculty). Talk to your area leader, assistant director, and/or me about your work.

Don’t do this alone. Together we’ll work to identify specific areas for growth and further development. We travel this path with others!

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