Extension’s external partnerships with individuals and organizations should be synergistic and mutually beneficial relationships that yield educational programs and products that:
- Maximize the use of Extension’s resources,
- Extend Extension’s reach and impact,
- Maintain Extension’s credibility and neutrality, and
- Support outreach and engagement efforts of the university.
External partnerships may be formal or informal, and may or may not involve money. New partnerships will be pursued only when:
- Educational programs and program goals are consistent with Extension’s overall goals and priorities.
- In accepting funding and performing the work, Extension does not compromise its objectivity or non-regulatory role.
- Adequate resources are available to properly support the expectations and programs of the partnership related to personnel, facilities, equipment, supplies and other costs.
- The expertise to do the programs exists within and/or is available to the Extension organization.
- The values and reputation of the organization providing the funding are consistent with and complimentary to Extension’s core values and reputation.
- Appropriate county, district and state programmatic and fiscal administrative approvals have been obtained (written or email).
As OSU Extension professionals consider entering into external local, regional or state partnerships, each potential partnership should be considered on its own merits. Specific elements should be affirmed before any collaborative activities begin. These elements include:
Educational programs and program goals are consistent with Extension’s overall goals and priorities.
The program supports state and local program priorities, and fits within the local unit’s plan of work. A written plan has been mutually developed and agreed upon that addresses the following elements of the proposed project:
- Clear project goals,
- Extension’s role in the project,
- The partner organization’s role in the project,
- Fiscal management processes for the project,
- Reporting responsibilities,
- Communication patterns,
- Shared recognition and credit,
- How contributions of each partner will be determined, and
- How ownership of creative and scholarly works that come from the project will be determined.
Extension does not compromise its objectivity or non-regulatory role. Extension’s participation focuses on teaching, service, and research within the scope of Extension’s program areas. Extension is not a regulatory or enforcement organization.
Adequate resources are available to properly support the expectations and programs of the partnership related to personnel, facilities, equipment, supplies and other costs. Additional programming does not overload current staff with more programs and responsibilities. New programs provide adequate resources to support the employment of personnel to conduct the programs without short-changing existing program commitments. Base programming support may be redirected. Existing programs may be supported with funds covering the cost of supplies and equipment.
The expertise to do the programs exists within and/or is available to the Extension organization. Needed subject matter and skills for the proposed program are available within Extension, OSU, or other appropriate sources, and fit within Extension’s priorities and program focus areas.
The values and reputation of the partner are consistent with and complimentary to Extension’s core values and reputation. Potential partners with Extension honor Extension’s values of working with people, using research-based information, the process of scholarship, and the importance of being an educational service organization. In addition:
Prior partnerships with Extension have been satisfactory.
The organization’s current community reputation is positive relative to:
- Ability to work with other organizations,
- Willingness to share success and publicity,
- Managing budgets.
- Commitment to the success of the project as a partnership, and
- Organizational AA/EEO compliance (letter on file).
Appropriate county, district and state programmatic and fiscal administrative approvals have been obtained. The immediate department/unit chair, District Director, and Assistant Director of the program area understand and provide written support for the proposed project. The appropriate administrative units - OSU Research Foundation, OSU Development Fund, or the Extension Business Office - understand and support the project.
Extension is not classified as a 501c3 organization by the Internal Revenue Service and cannot apply directly for funds that are restricted to 501c3 organizations. The Ohio State University Research Foundation (OSURF) and the OSU Development Fund serve as OSU Extension’s 501c3 organizations. OSURF and the Development Fund may request and receive such funds on behalf of Extension when appropriate. Agreements related to programs that are not managed by the Research Foundation are reviewed and approved by the OSU Department of Legal Affairs.
Definitions and Other supporting information
External partnership: A cooperative alliance or association between two or more individuals or groups not associated with Extension that is characterized by mutual cooperation and responsibility, for the purpose of achieving a specified goal. A partnership may involve a legal contract among several parties where each has specified and joint rights and responsibilities, and where all partners provide resources and receive benefits.
Outreach and engagement: A meaningful and mutually beneficial collaboration with partners in education, business, public and social service. It represents that aspect of teaching that enables learning beyond the campus walls, that aspect of research that makes what we discover useful beyond the academic community, and that aspect of service that directly benefits the public. How does Extension’s role in the partnership, utilize Extension’s expertise in teaching, research, and service?
Approved by Administrative Cabinet – January 11, 2001
Reviewed – March 2013
Reviewed – April 2015