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Extension Operations

Ohio State University Extension


Extension Management Structure Taskforce Update

The OSU Extension Management Structure Task Force continues to meet and examine the current management structure of Extension. Based on the direction of Dean Kress and OSU Extension leadership, the focus remains on supporting our OSU Extension faculty and staff by determining the optimal ways to lead and support county operations and the system. Most recently, the task force met to review the progress of its subcommittees and develop next steps. 

One subcommittee is charged with reviewing current and previous management structures of OSU Extension. The team developed a historic timeline of Extension administrative models and is now doing a deeper dive into why models changed over time, what was good about them, and where they fell short. This subcommittee is also trying to better understand the current model by reviewing designEXT materials that served as the foundation of its creation. Faculty and staff perspectives are being incorporated via previous surveys, such as the recent Enterprise Trust Index survey. A process for garnering feedback from area leaders and others in the system is being examined. 

Another subcommittee is responsible for better understanding other benchmark Extension systems and exploring their administrative models. To date, there have been approximately 24 models that have been identified. A closer look will be given to systems with similar state demographics, county-based structures, Extension systems that are situated within the university/college and have similar staff and faculty promotion structure. The subcommittee will be assigning task force members to connect with other states to help get a better feel for what works and what to watch out for. 

The Extension Management Structure Task Force is working toward finalizing recommendations by late summer/fall. 

note: This update was shared on the all-Extension listserv on May 3.