Communiqué July 27, 2011

An Organizational Update

-Dr. Keith Smith, director, OSU Extension

The link to our newest edition of the Video Communiqué is now available online.

I’ll mention a few key items in this article, but please view the video for more in-depth updates about the budget, other funding, interim appointments, the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program, our structure, demonstrating impact, and telling the Extension story.

OSU Extension Structure
Administrative Cabinet is still working out details of the updates to our structure. This is not a simple process, but Cabinet has made some great strides in planning the menus of services, developing expectations for best practices, position descriptions and the application process for field specialists, and myriad other next steps. We are still using feedback from commissioners, clients, local partners, other North Central states’ experiences, etc. – and we’re doing significant due diligence to make sure we’ve covered our bases adequately.

Voluntary Separation Incentive Program
By August 31, we’ll know the true impact of the separation incentive. At this point, the deadline has passed for requesting the intent form, but employees have time to fully consider the offer and research their best options. Right now, we’re in a “normal flow” pattern of folks in and out of the organization. We’re even in a hiring mode where possible in the counties that have funding for educator cost sharing. 

Staying the Course
In addition, as we’ve done through other times of budget and structure adjustments, please continue working to meet our mission-critical needs and document impact. Our clients continue to have needs we must address, there are many vital projects underway, and there is not time for any of us to sit back and wait on budget or structure outcomes before we act. What’s best for the organization is that we keep moving forward, with an expectation of good things to come “for the good of the order.”

I’d like to borrow a statement that Karen Bruns, assistant director, family and consumer sciences, recently posted in the June FCS e-Connection: “Ohioans have put their trust in each one of us through their tax dollars, donations and support. We have an obligation in return to do the best quality work, to provide them with the best programs possible, and to create outstanding learning opportunities that will impact their lives and environment.” Karen also reminded FCS professionals…”When we choose to work in Extension, we commit to making a difference in people’s lives through education.”

I agree – our most important consideration should be how we can best serve our clients. I understand there can be significant fear of the unknown when things are changing within our organization, but we cannot let fear paralyze us. I wholeheartedly believe there will be more benefits than costs to these structural changes ultimately. This is about improving our organization as a whole; our strength is educating people on how to apply research in daily life, and ALL connections with our clients are vital. As always, I appreciate your enthusiasm for Extension, your rapport with our local Extension clients and supporters, and your hard work on behalf of this outstanding organization.

Pulse Survey Results and Responses

In December, your colleagues responded to the 2010 monthly pulse survey in the following ways:

*Mean scores could indicate strong agreement.

  • I am committed to OSU Extension. (mean of 8.52)
  • OSU Extension provides an environment that embraces diversity. (mean of 8.08)
  • Extension work is needed now more than ever in Ohio. (mean of 8.66)

*Mean scores could indicate agreement.

  • OSU Extension is heading in the right direction. (mean of 6.37)
  • I receive adequate support in completing my job responsibilities. (mean of 7.03)
  • In 10 years, Extension will be regarded by others as an organization with the ability to address emerging statewide issues. (mean of 6.52)
  • Our local program offerings have been reduced within the last six months.
    (mean of 6.07)
  • Extension staffing structure will need to change. (mean of 7.43)
  • I am aware of the changes made based on the implementation of the strategic plan. (mean of 6.61)

*Mean scores indicate neither agreement nor disagreement.

  • I am confident that the strategic plan is guiding staffing decisions. (mean of 5.81)

*Mean scores could indicate disagreement.

  • Local clientele understand Extension’s funding sources. (mean of 3.68)

Your colleagues also shared their opinions and insights in response to the open-ended question in the same pulse survey – “To address the most important needs of Ohio citizens, Extension needs to…”

  • “Do a better job of marketing on the county level. Marketing information from the state would be helpful because we don’t have time in the county for the development of that while still continuing and growing our programs.”
  • “Continue to identify ways to utilize technology in all phases of our work (e.g. reaching clientele, providing accountability data/reports, streamlining fiscal and reporting processes, etc). I think it will also be important to strengthen partnerships in order to expand our ability to address a variety of clientele needs.”
  • “Be willing to change. Information is out there regarding what Ohio citizens need. We need to be willing to take chances and work on new programming to meet their needs instead of ignoring these needs to work on the same old stuff.”
  • “Be more completely understood by legislators and commissioners as an organization that is based on prevention instead of intervention. We could save the state a lot of money if they would see us as an entity that can ultimately reduce the cost of government social services agencies, health departments, etc.”
  • “Stop thinking we can meet every need! We need to focus on where we can make a difference and where clientele view Extension as the leader….”
  • “Understand the vast differences of local clientele from county to county.”
  • “Have the flexibility in program areas, delivery methods, and staff structure to meet diverse community needs.”

Additional information is available online. To see a complete list of the responses shared and a distribution of the means for each survey question, access this pulse survey link.

Co-Associate Director and Co-Regional Director Role Updates – Kelbaugh & Wiseman

In the June 24 issue of the Communiqué, some adjustments in duties for Ken Martin, Bev Kelbaugh, and Ted Wiseman were announced. Additional details about the transition for Bev and Ted are now available. As co-regional directors, Bev and Ted have agreed to split up the coverage of the counties in the South Central Region. Bev will maintain supervision of faculty educators in the entire region, and Bev/Ted will work together on 2011 final performance reviews for all educators in the region.

The counties Ted will cover include all of Buckeye Hills EERA (Athens, Belmont, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry and Washington) as well as Fairfield, Gallia, Knox, Licking and Vinton counties. Bev will cover the remaining counties in the South Central Region (Adams, Brown, Delaware, Franklin, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, Pike, Ross and Scioto). Each will be the first line of contact for their respective counties.

In Bev’s role as interim co-associate director, she will give leadership to the A&P process statewide as well as other roles, including visiting counties to discuss the menu-driven options to the restructure once the details are finalized.

If you have questions, contact Bev (kelbaugh.1@cfaes.osu) or Ted (wiseman.15@osu.edu).

Performance Management and OSU’s High-Performance Culture

Performance review, planning, and ongoing coaching are all an important part of OSU Extension’s strategic plan (our goal of developing and sustaining world-class Extension professionals), and The Ohio State University’s focus on a high-performance culture (http://www.osu.edu/eminence/).

The Summer 2011 Resources newsletter from the Office of Human Resources features a nice article (http://hr.osu.edu/resources/su11pr.aspx) with reminders for employees and supervisors about performance reviews and ongoing coaching through check-in meetings. One good reminder from the article is for employees and supervisors to offer and seek out feedback throughout the year. At a minimum, employees and supervisors should work together to make sure they have two check-in meetings to engage in a conversation about how things are going.

For more information about performance management in OSU Extension, visit http://extensionhr.osu.edu/perfmgmt/perfmgmt.htm.

EEET 5.5 Year Summary Reports for Promotion/ Tenure - July 29 Deadline Reminder

In early August, the Program Development & Evaluation Unit will be generating 5.5 year EEET summaries for all Extension personnel who submitted their vita for promotion/ tenure review in April for their final submission in September. If you submitted your vita in April, there is no need to request your summary report. Your summary reports will come electronically via PDF from Kim (Bahnsen) Showalter of the PDE unit in the first part of August; the reports should then be added to your vita for submission in September.

If you did NOT submit your vita in April for the spring review, but are planning to submit in September, please use the following link to request a 5.5 year EEET summary with comparison data (http://go.osu.edu/EEETRequest). Please request your summary report by this Friday, July 29.

For those going for promotion, if you used EEETs before June 30 this year and have not yet submitted them, you have until July 29 to do so. Any forms received after this date will not be included in your 5.5 year summary. Please always submit your EEET forms in a timely manner. Send EEETs to:

EEETs
Program Development & Evaluation
Agricultural Administration Building, Room 25
2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus, OH 43210

As a reminder, the most up-to-date EEET forms can be found on the PDE Web site.

Promotion Training - Save the Date

If you are thinking about a promotion, or if you serve on an A&P promotion committee or the faculty promotion and tenure committee, you might want to attend one of the two training sessions scheduled for this fall – November 22 & 29 at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center. More details and registration information will be available at a later date.

WebEx Updates

As previously announced in December…in response to our growing needs for online conferencing and webinars, Extension has purchased a WebEx Event Center license. Event Center is a WebEx product designed to facilitate the hosting of online sessions with a large number of attendees, such as Web-based seminars, training sessions, and marketing events. The service offers many enhanced features for managing registration, attendance, and support for multi-event program management.

Extension's Event Center license provides for sessions with up to 500 attendees per session. Only presenters incur a charge for audio minutes; attendees connect for free. This presents a major cost savings over the use of WebEx Meeting Center for large meetings. When existing WebEx Meeting Center sessions exceed 25 people, there is an additional cost of $15 per person beyond the 25-person maximum. The Business Office will be invoicing for meetings that exceed 25 attendees and are not scheduled via the Event Center.

The new host for Event Center scheduling is Kennetha Peebles. Please contact Kennetha to make arrangements for a session (peebles.20@osu.edu). There is also a new online request form to arrange WebEx Event Center sessions: http://go.osu.edu/EventCenterRequest.

Please be aware that Event Center scheduling is handled on a first come, first-served basis. Check to see if the time you want is available before you publicize a particular day/time for an event using this link – https://osuevents.webex.com – to see the current schedule of WebEx Event Center meetings.

You can find out more information about Event Center online.

If the meeting for which you need to use WebEx is for 25 or fewer attendees, please see the information below:
The individuals noted below will be able to help you schedule a WebEx meeting. In an effort to distribute use across all license holders, we have noted priority contacts for each host. Any host may assist in scheduling a meeting, but first contact the individual with noted priority for your group.

Please note: We are only able to schedule one meeting per license at a specific time. Currently, we can hold up to 11 meetings at any one time across our system. By contacting one of the individuals below, you may schedule a meeting; if your requested meeting time is already allotted to another group, the host will refer you to another host on the list to assist in scheduling. You can browse the list of scheduled meetings by going to osu.webex.com.

When scheduling a meeting, please provide the following information:

  1. Title of meeting
  2. Date
  3. Time
  4. Length

 License holders are:

  • Cheryl Fischnich (fischnich.1@osu.edu): host for North East Region, EERA, and county meetings
  • Vickie Snyder (snyder.252@osu.edu): host for South Central Region, EERA, and county meetings
  • TBD – host for West Region, EERA and county meetings (currently vacant as Jim Elder retires)
  • Tom Archer/Lisa Jinks (jinks.2@osu.edu): host for 4-H specialists and specialization teams
  • Kirk Bloir/Sandy Bryan (bryan.1@osu.edu): host for FCS specialists and specialization teams
  • Lisa Troyer (troyer.43@osu.edu): host for CD specialists and specialization teams
  • Teresa Funk (funk.67@osu.edu) host for ANR specialists and specialization teams
  • Beth Rigsby (rigsby.22@osu.edu): host for specialists and specialization teams
  • Debby Lewis (lewis.205@osu.edu): host for Program Development & Evaluation and training efforts
  • Toni Bahnsen (bahnsen.9@osu.edu): host for Human Resources and training efforts
  • Rob Luikart (luikart.7@osu.edu): administrator - questions and assistance

These hosts will assist you in scheduling a WebEx meeting. For assistance in learning how to use WebEx, contact Rob Luikart.

OSUE Personnel Directory – Online Update

As you may know, the OSU Extension personnel directory is a searchable database available online.

You can search for an employee by a wide variety of parameters – office name, location, specialization, last name, or EERA. You can also search for all employees for a particular office by office. At this time, the printable report links do not work, but CommTech is aware of this and working toward a solution. If you have specific query requests in the meantime, contact Laura Keesor in Extension Human Resources (keesor.1@osu.edu; 614-292-8873).

Congratulations to the 2011 OSU CARES Seed Grant Recipients

The faculty and staff projects recognized by the OSU CARES Seed Grant program illustrate how engagement is being embedded in colleges across the university. They also showcase how Ohio State is sharing expertise broadly across the entire state and deepening relationships with community partners.

Listed below are the 2011 OSU CARES/OSU Extension grants that were awarded; and a brief description of each can be found at http://osucares.osu.edu/grants/2011seed.html. All of these grants support partnerships between OSU Extension and another Ohio State department to broaden the University’s engagement with communities. Visit the OSU CARES Grants Program Web page at http://osucares.osu.edu/grantsprogram.htm for more information on the OSU CARES Grants.

2011 OSU CARES/OSU Extension Seed Grants seed new or expanded partnerships. Congratulations to the following recipients:

A Partnership to Support a Summer Freedom School for Disadvantaged Children in the University District - PI: Don Winford, professor, Linguistics, College of Humanities; Partners: Beth Boomershine, Extension educator, 4-H Youth Development, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; April Blaine, co-pastor, Summit United Methodist Church.

Advancing Employment and Income Opportunities for Independent Restaurateurs in Northwest Ohio - PIs: Margaret Binkley, assistant professor; Sharon Seiling, associate professor, both Consumer Sciences, College of Education and Human Ecology; Partners: Betty Kaye, lecturer, Consumer Sciences, College of Education and Human Ecology; Susan Zies, assistant professor, OSU Extension, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Stan Ernst, Extension manager and ood marketing specialist, AED Economics, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Jerold Thomas, leader, Innovation/Change, OSU Extension, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Weed and Wasp Walking Workshop - PIs: Bryan Martin, associate dean for Graduate Medical Education, associate medical director for GME, (University Hospital), program director, Allergy & Immunology Fellowship Program, College of Medicine; Glen Needham, associate professor, Entomology Administration/Extension, Natural and Mathematical Science; Partner: Cynthia Dassler, program coordinator, Evol, Ecology, and Org Biology, Natural and Mathematical Science.

Hearing New Voices: Introducing Youth to Production Media - PI: Kristi Lekies, assistant professor, School of Environment and Natural Resources, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Partners: Douglas Dangler, associate director, Center for the Study of Teaching of Writing, College of Arts and Sciences; Janice Hanna, Extension educator, 4-H Youth Development, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Robin Stone, program coordinator and Tiffany Walker, program assistant, Youth Advisory Committee of Cuyahoga County, OSU Extension, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Staff Advisory Council Recognition Awards – Nominations Due August 31

The time has come to nominate a well-deserving staff member for one of our four CFAES Staff Advisory Council recognition awards. Nominations are being received from all CFAES staff and faculty. This is a great way to recognize those who give to the college and to you personally.

Shirley Brooks Jones Award– For those who excel in providing outstanding and ongoing excellence in services to faculty, staff, students and/or others through communication, fairness, problem solving and contributions to the common good.

Key Values Award– A service award for dedication, cooperation and positive attitudes in the workplace. Nominations for staff members within first three years of employment.

Innovation Award– For developing and/or participating in project initiatives and/or process operations improvements that enhance CFAES, Extension, ATI, or OARDC and its mission.

Special Recognition– For going above and beyond job duties, for having special commitment to tasks, positive customer service, and improving workplace communications.

Information about these awards and nomination forms are found on the Staff Advisory Council Web site. The deadline to submit your nomination is August 31. Any questions, contact Trina Beebe (beebe.25@osu.edu; 614-292-6909).

National Outreach Scholarship Conference – Registration is Open

Registration is open for the National Outreach Scholarship Conference (NOSC), which will be hosted by Michigan State University in East Lansing on October 2-4. The 2011 theme is Engaged Scholarship and Evidence-Based Practice. Five tracks will explore:

  • Methods and practices of community-based research and creative activities.
  • Translational science and the diffusion of innovation.
  • Globalization and international engagement.
  • Technologies as tools for engagement.
  • Leadership and professional development for engaged scholarship.

“NOSC’s goal is to work collaboratively to build strong university-community partnerships anchored in the rigor of scholarship and designed to help build community capacity.” More information about the conference, pre-conference workshops, and potential attendees is available online.