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I have heard many of you say you like your work because every day is different. That holds true for me too since I get to do this work wearing two different hats. One is as chair of the Department of Extension, the other is as associate director, Extension programs. Like any two hats, these roles have some elements in common. For example:
Both play a part in helping with faculty and A&P promotion.
- As chair, I am responsible for naming the department’s promotion and tenure (P&T) committees and guiding probationary (untenured) faculty through the P&T process as well as tenured faculty pursuing promotion to professor. This process and the key criteria for promotion are outlined in the department’s Appointments, Promotion & Tenure Criteria and Procedures document.
- As associate director, I am responsible for the A&P promotion process; a benefit that applies to every one of our A&P I-III educators. I also get to work with our A&P IV educators who take advantage of the opportunity to apply for an untenured faculty position without a national search.
Both play a part in guiding Extension programming.
- As Extension department chair, I am charged with “representing the faculty of the department (currently 69) in dealing with the dean or others in the university administration” (OAA 3335-3-35). This role also involves working with each faculty member’s direct supervisor and program leader (assistant director) to guide and evaluate annual performance and identify goals via formal letter.
- As associate director, I help to identify and connect our various resources (i.e. human, funding, programmatic, etc) to advance our programmatic mission. This might be helping A&P educators gain PI status needed to conduct research and apply for grant funding. It also includes working with Extension assistant directors, area leaders, and faculty and staff in other departments, colleges, (and sometimes states!) to assemble and support multi-disciplinary and cross-programmatic teams to address issues and opportunities. Leadership for comprehensive program reviews is also part of this role.
And yet they are distinctly different too:
- The department chair is appointed by (and reports to) the dean of the college subject to formal approval of the executive vice president and provost, president and board of trustees. Deans determine the terms of appointment. Chairs are normally appointed for a four-year term. Chairs are subject to regular review and may be removed before the end of their appointment.
- The chair is charged with revising the department’s Appointments, Promotion & Tenure and Pattern of Administration (APT & POA) documents when necessary (or when assuming the role of incoming chair). The associate director connects with Extension’s assistant directors (think ‘state program leaders’) and others working in Ohio’s land-grant institutions to help identify, develop and evaluate our Extension efforts as a mission area (‘mission area’?...think of Extension as a ‘function’ of the land-grant institution, rather than a department).
There is so much more to share and learn here. But in short, like you, I enjoy the seemingly endless opportunities to wear different hats and work with others to make life better. Every day is different. Could there be a more fulfilling way to spend one’s career?
I assumed the roles of associate director, programs, and chair of the department of Extension in August 2019 (a future post will highlight these roles and how they relate to this blog.) Prior to this position, I served as the assistant director-community development (AD-CD) for nine years where I focused primarily on engaging with CD professionals in developing programs, curriculum, and partnerships in pursuit of applied scholarship and funding/revenue. Interwoven throughout these program efforts was a focus on the professional development of faculty and staff.
Prior to CD AD role, I provided statewide leadership to Extension community economics and business programs via a collaboration between the Departments of Extension and Agriculture, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) from 2005-2010. In this role I had the opportunity to engage with roughly 80 Extension professionals throughout Ohio serving the needs of roughly 12 million Ohioans, of which roughly 45% were employed in manufacturing, services, and trade. Collaboratively we focused on community-based applied research, teaching, and service focused on empowering individuals, groups, organizations, and communities to better understand their economy and methods for strengthening it. Key programs included business retention & expansion, retail market analysis, and economic impact analysis.
I also have served as a district specialist (CD in the 17-county northwest district) and a county educator (CD in Fulton and Crawford counties) after having been hired as the last “agent-in-training”. Throughout these roles, I have also had the opportunity to serve in various interim leadership capacities such as director of Extension, director of CFAES government affairs, assistant director – ANR, and district specialist.
I grew up mostly in northwest Ohio (Hancock County) and still have family roots there and in the coal-country of southwestern Pennsylvania (Fayette County). And while I really enjoy my Extension work, I also really enjoy getting away from it on a regular basis. When I do, I like to relax with family and friends doing most anything outdoors (boating, fishing, biking, running, hiking) and enjoying tasty breakfast foods at every meal.
Welcome to the Extension Promotion blog. Here we will share and discuss all things related to faculty and A&P promotion (and so much more). In short, the goal is to help improve our understanding of what it means to be an Extension professional. In practical terms, we will focus on promotion-related things like the process, timelines, deadlines, roles, and responsibilities. We will talk about why promotion matters and connect you to the resources you will need. And, as changes occur that may impact your journey as an Extension professional, they will be highlighted here.
Because telling the story about your contributions and accomplishments is at the basic core of faculty and A&P promotion, this blog will also share and discuss all things related to Extension programs. We will talk about Extension teaching, scholarship, and service and how they work together to comprise what you might refer to as your Extension Program. We will also include other important elements of being an Extension professional such as extramural funding (e.g. training grants and contracts, program fees, research funding, etc.), stewardship and administrative leadership roles, and program team involvement, for example.
I am excited to create this space for learning and discussion and will serve as the editor/publisher in my official Extension capacity as department chair and associate director, programs (more on those roles in future posts). Because there is much to share and learn, I have already asked many of you with similar interests and expertise to share in posting content and will continue to invite others as we get underway.
Finally, why a blog format? To improve our understanding of A&P and faculty promotion and what it means to be an Extension professional we have tried and will continue to try a variety of engagement strategies (e.g. static webpages, face-to-face in-services, live/recorded Zoom webinars, one-on-one/individual instruction, etc.). For this blog, you can expect to regularly receive concise posts whose relevance can be quickly and easily assessed (think of this post as an example for future posts). Posts may link to more in-depth video, podcasts, infographics, etc. They may also include a discussion thread. After the first few posts (to be sent to all-Extension), only subscribers will receive notification of new posts. I hope you choose to subscribe!