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Vol. 5 – No. 24
December 16, 2005

NOTES FROM THE ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR   

Career Ladder: The Career Ladder Committee and the Extension Administrative Group met this past Tuesday (December 13) and discussed the Committee’s draft of the Career Ladder. While work remains to be done on the details of the document for the Career Ladder, good agreement appears to exist on the major “rungs” of the ladder. The Committee is to be commended on doing a good job of debating the advantages and disadvantages of numerous issues involved in developing this document. It was enlightening and encouraging this past Tuesday to listen to the Committee’s views and to understand the basis for them.   

 We plan to distribute a draft of the Career Ladder document about two weeks prior to Extension Conference. At the conference, we will devote a significant part of the Thursday morning general session to discuss the document.  Questions can be posed at that time, or emailed in prior to the Extension Conference. Feedback at the conference, and via all methods, will be used by the Committee and Administration soon after the conference to finalize the document.   

While we are not quite ready to “unwrap” the Career Ladder document as a Christmas present, I think at this point I can give you a preliminary overview of the key components/rungs of the Career Ladder. 

  • The ladder will have 3 levels simply called Level I, II and III.
  • The “minimum” time required in each level before advancing is 5 years.
  • Advancement from Level II to Level III will require an M.S. degree.
  • Performance relative to set standards for “professionalism,” “programming,” and “professional development” will be the main criteria determining advancement.
  • The salary increase associated with advancements up the ladder are yet to be fully agreed upon but will “likely” (I am not ready to make guarantees yet) be within the following ranges:
    • Level I to II ---- between $1,200 to $1,600
    • Level II to III -- between $1,700 to $2,100 

 Several special provisions will be required to get the program started this first year.  Educators with 5 to 10 years of service in the OSU Extension system will be able to apply for placement in Level II. Educators with 10 or more years of service in the OSU Extension system will be able to apply for Level III.  Those who are awarded either of these levels will receive a pay increase in the summer of 2006 (we hope on or about July 1). “Assuming” the low end of the pay increase ranges given above (and hopefully will have the funding to do better) those classified as a Level II will receive a salary increase of $1,200.  Those classified as a Level III will receive a salary increase of $2,900, i.e. $1,200 plus $1,700.

Individuals who apply for Level III who do not meet the requirements for Level III will automatically be considered for Level II. They can subsequently reapply for Level III when they feel their credentials have been strengthened sufficiently. 

The question that obviously follows here is “Who decides on whether an applicant meets the requirements?” Three steps (some might call them hurdles) are currently specified in the draft document.  The first review and recommendation will be by a committee of seven peers. Their recommendation and the applicant’s application materials will be forwarded to the appropriate District Director. The District Director will in turn make a recommendation to the OCES Associate Director. Considering these two recommendations and the applicant’s application materials, the OCES Associate Director will make the final decision.   

I should close with the disclaimer that all of the above is the interpretation of the Interim Associate Director of Extension and any misrepresentations of the Career Ladder Committee’s intent is solely my fault. Likewise this is a work in progress and reconsiderations after further input in January can and will likely result in some change. Having made this disclaimer, I will however add that I think and certainly hope that this is a pretty accurate description of at least the main elements of the Career Ladder document.

Finally, let me express my wish to you and your family for a Merry Christmas.  I look forward to seeing you all next year at the Extension Conference and to moving on as rapidly as possible in getting the Career Ladder implemented.   

                                                                              Jim Trapp

 CURRENT EVENTS

Hydro Vegetable Meeting Slated: The Annual Hydro Vegetable Meeting will take place January 17, 2006, at the Senior Citizens Center in Hydro. Jim Shrefler, Area Extension Horticulture Specialist; Lynn Brandenberger, Associate Professor, Food Crops; and John Damicone, Extension Plant Pathologist, Peanut and Vegetable Crops, will be on hand to share their expertise. For more information contact David Nowlin, Caddo County CED, and Extension Educator, Agriculture and 4-H Youth Development, at 405-247-3376.

Trabajo en equipo, lavoro di squadra, groepswerk: In any language and in almost any setting, teamwork is the backbone of any organization. We are looking forward to Extension Conference, January 24-26, when the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service TEAM gathers in Stillwater for three days of professional and personal enrichment featuring in-service training, tours of campus facilities, association meetings, insightful speakers, a resource fair, meals, door prizes, and entertainment. If you have not made hotel/motel reservations, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Best Western for $60 per night with $5 for each additional adult. The rate is good until December 24. Ask for reservations in the OCES room block by calling 405-377-7010.

Science Technology Workshop: The State 4-H Office will host a Science Leadership Conference on February 11, 2006, at Oklahoma State University. The conference is geared toward club members and adult volunteer leaders who are interested in starting a science project club in their local counties. The conference will feature three workshops, including biotechnology, precision agriculture, and geology. Registration is $15 and includes lunch and materials. The deadline to register is January 20, 2006. For more information, contact Jeff Sallee at 405-744-8885.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

New Volunteer Program Available: The Oklahoma Master Naturalist Program is a small but rapidly growing program initiated by Oklahoma State University’s Department of Forestry. Volunteers attend four, one-day workshops, participate in 16 hours of advanced workshops, and carry out 30 hours of service in order to be certified. The focus is on nature education and service aimed at Oklahoma ecosystems. With the support of the Oklahoma County and Tulsa County Extension Offices, Master Naturalist Chapters have been established in each of these locations and monthly chapter meetings are being held. Master Naturalist Volunteers are building bird watching blinds, monitoring restored wetlands, working with public school environmental education efforts, staffing educational booths at public events, and organizing workshops to produce more Master Naturalists. The quality and enthusiasm of the volunteers is the most compelling reason to be optimistic about the future of the program. A large percentage of volunteers have professional backgrounds, including some with advanced degrees in wildlife and related subjects. For more information, go to www.okmasternaturalist.org or contact Marley Beem, Assistant Extension Specialist, Natural Resources/Aquaculture, at 405-744-3854.

Condolences to: The family of Clyde Reed, former Southwest District Area Livestock Specialist. He passed away December 3. Funeral services took place December 10 in Stillwater. He was the founder of Performance Testing in beef cattle, a program now used nationwide to evaluate beef cattle.

 Condolences to: The family of Robert R. Price, who passed away December 13. Funeral services will take place December 19 at 10:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Stillwater. He joined the OSU faculty in 1948 in Agricultural Education. He became department head in 1959. He retired in 1975, but continued to write and mentor graduate students until 1999. Card may be sent to his wife, Emma, at 601 Hartwood, Stillwater, OK  74075. The family has designated memorials for the First United Methodist Church, Oklahoma City University, and Heifer International. A Scholarship Trust has been established in the OSU Agricultural Education Scholarship Program to remember Dr. Price.

 COLLEGE CORNER

CASNR Spring Teaching Retreat: The CASNR Committee on Effective Teaching is planning a Spring Teaching Retreat for January 5, 2006, on the OSU-Tulsa Campus. The Committee on Effective Teaching has proposed this off-campus retreat to allow the College’s teaching faculty to gain a better understanding of the “intra-institutional” relationship between the Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, and to provide an environment with fewer distractions to “allow in-depth discussion on issues related to improving student learning.” The proposed agenda focuses on current issues concerning CASNR faculty as well as the broader university mission. This retreat will include presentations on the “State of the College,” “Instructional Challenges and Opportunities,” and an overview about the “Programs at OSU-Tulsa.” Following lunch, the afternoon session will include three theme-based, concurrent group discussions about common issues with current relevance.  These may include topics such as assessment, integrated curricula, and teaching methodologies. Feel free to contact Craig Edwards, Chair of the CASNR Committee on Effective Teaching at craig.edwards@okstate.edu for additional information.

 Career Fair Slated: The spring Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Natural Sciences Career Fair will take place January 24, 2006, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Wes Watkins Center. Some outstanding organizations are beginning to register to recruit our students for full-time internships, and continuing education opportunities on that day. Additional information about participants may be found online at http://dasnr5.dasnr.okstate.edu/Fair/recruitment_listing2.php?event=281. Please encourage your students and advisees to attend. Students should be advised that many employers will be scheduling spring semester on-campus interviews for both internships and full-time job opportunities prior to the career fair through OSU’s 7 of 10 system, in addition to interview scheduling that will occur during the fair. CASNR Career Services also encourages faculty to set aside some time during the afternoon of January 24 to visit with employers attending the career fair. Employers always comment about their desire to visit with faculty, as well as students, during this annual event.

AWARDS

Norwood Recognized with Award: Bailey Norwood, Assistant Professor, Agricultural Economics, was awarded the 2005 USDA Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Teaching - New Teacher Award as a part of the USDA Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards Program. He was one of only two national recipients recognized at the annual meeting of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC) in Washington DC. Dr. Norwood’s award marks the first time an OSU faculty member has been recognized with a USDA teaching award.

OSU Student Heads up National FFA Organization: Travis Jett, an agribusiness student at OSU, recently was elected as the 2006 National FFA President. He was selected from a field of 37 candidates. Jett will spend the upcoming year traveling around the United States meeting with FFA members, agriculture teachers, FFA supporters, and business, government, and education leaders.

CASNR Students Recognized as Seniors of Significance: The OSU Alumni Association honored several CASNR students as “Seniors of Significance.” Students were selected based upon demonstrated excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service. CASNR students recognized included Michael Albert, Landscape Architecture; Ashleigh Boggs, Agribusiness; Traci Harp, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Jordan Russell, Agribusiness; Nicole Stec, Animal Science; Stephen Tidwell, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and Jess Waddell, Animal Science. Congratulations to CASNR’s “Seniors of Significance.”

  PERSONNEL ACTIONS

Appointments

Janet F. Reeder, Communications Specialist, Agricultural Communication Services, effective 12-5-05

Title Changes/Transfers

Gloria J. King, Family and Consumer Sciences Program Specialist, Southwest District, effective 1-1-06 (was: Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences /4-H Youth Development, and CED, Beckham County)

Separations

None to report

COMING EVENTS

December 21: Southeast District CED Meeting (TBA)

January 4-8: Denver Western 4-H Roundup (Denver, Colorado)

January 11-12: 6th Annual Oklahoma/Arkansas Turfgrass Short Course (Stillwater)

January 12-13: Southeast District FCS/4-H Retreat (Sulphur)

January 14: Northeast District 4-H Winter Conference (Jenks)

January 17: Annual Hydro Vegetable Meeting (Hydro)

January 19-20: Southeast District FCS/4-H Retreat Snow Date (Sulphur)

January 24-26: OCES Conference (Stillwater)

February 1: 4-H for Century III In-Service (Oklahoma City)

February 4: State Archery, Air Rifle, Air Pistol Contest (Edmond)

February 4: Northeast District Share-the-Fun (Miami)

February 11: OSU Horse Judging School (Stillwater)

February 16: Managing Challenging Situations and People (Stillwater)

February 18: State 4-H Horse Leader’s Conference (Stillwater)

February 18: Better Kids, Better Horses, Better Experiences Through the 4-H Horse Project (Stillwater)

February 21: 4-H Teen Action and Growth In-Service (Oklahoma City)

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