News and Notes: October 30, 2020

OUR VISION: Ohioans have the knowledge and resources they need to actively engage in creating conditions in which they thrive.

OUR MISSION: We create opportunities for people to explore how science-based knowledge can improve social, economic and environmental conditions.

Leadership Notes

  1. At the closing session of the OSU Extension Support Staff Conference, I was asked to speak about leading from where you are. I wanted to share some of my reflections with all of you.

  2. I mentioned in a previous update that we would be starting to offer mini-pulse surveys to offer frequent, quick opportunities to provide input or feedback about various topics of interest.

  3. The Extension Refocus Challenge, Oct. 12-31, ends tomorrow.

  4. I loved the 4-H gratitude challenge that Amanda Raines shared last week with 4-H professionals, so I asked if she minded me borrowing her idea for the rest of us. Thanks to Laurie Ward for making up one for all of Extension.

  5. University staff and faculty members are encouraged to fully and freely exercise their constitutional right to vote, as well as express their personal opinions regarding political candidates and issues.

COVID-19 Updates

  1. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that 43 counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread (Red Level 3), up from 38 counties last week. This represents the highest number of Red Level 3 counties since the launch of the advisory system in July.

College Connections

  1. There are several upcoming open houses with Kathy Lechman, the new CFAES Assistant Dean and Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Faculty, staff, and students who would like to engage with Dr. Lechman are encouraged to sign up for one of the sessions.

Campus Connections/Partnerships

  1. One element of the Kindness at Ohio State campaign is to give virtual kudos to your peers.

Operations/Business of Extension

  1. As we continue to prepare for our transition to Workday in January, we want to make you aware of key deadlines as they pertain to recruitment and hiring.

  2. Open Enrollment is the annual opportunity for you to evaluate your benefit options and make your elections for the upcoming year. Open Enrollment for the 2021 benefit plan year is Nov. 1-15, 2020.

  3. At this time, the maximum credit hour limit for faculty and staff tuition assistance which will remain at 10. The timeline for additional tuition assistance benefit changes in 2021 has been updated.

Professional Development Opportunities

  1. I would like to give kudos to the planning committee for their leadership of the 2020 Support Staff Conference: Lead from Where You Are! I know that they were able to inspire many of you who attended.

  2. Although change may be the only constant in life, 2020 has done a lot to test our collective ability to navigate a new normal.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  1. University staff are invited to watch as the University Staff Advisory Committee hosts a Diversity and Inclusion conversation facilitated by James L. Moore, III, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, on November 17.

Extension Annual Conference

  1. Once registration is open for the annual conference, this statement will serve as blanket approval by Extension unit leader Jackie Wilkins for the business purpose of attending the 2020 OSU Extension virtual annual conference.