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Vol. 7 – No. 2
January 26, 2007

NOTES FROM THE ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR  

OCES Policy and Procedures Handbook: From time to time Dean Whitson and/or I have met with one or more of the four professional associations in the Extension System. At these meetings, the respective association(s) involved has often submitted questions for administration to address. In December, I met with the Joint Coalition of Extension Educators Professional Associations (OAEAA, OEAFCS, OAE4-HA and Epsilon Sigma Phi). We spent several hours discussing over 20 questions that they had collected. Following the meeting, Kyle Worthington (who chaired the group) and I discussed how to disseminate the content of that discussion. We determined that rather than trying to compile notes from that meeting and distribute them, we would use this newsletter. I plan to take several questions discussed in that meeting and address them in each newsletter.  Hence, this is your first installment.

    The first question I want to respond to inquired as to how to find written OCES policies.  That question was rather long but was as follows:

   ·        It seems there are some OCES Legends and Myths as to what policies are and which are traditions within our organization. When Dr. Foster was the OCES Director, he had planned to make the OCES Policy Handbook available online but retired before this endeavor was completed. It is difficult and cumbersome to find out what the current policies are within our organization. Neither Sue Bonner in Human Resources nor Joyce Martin in Staff Development has an updated copy that’s newer than approximately 20 years old. Would Administration consider updating and placing it online for OCES Educators to access, and if so, when would a target date be for this to be accomplished?

     I am aware of this problem.  As a relatively new OCES Administrator, it has been difficult even for me to find “written” policy on a number of questions that have come up. Dr. Foster started an effort seven or eight years ago updating the OCES Policy and Procedures Handbook. He hired Ronnie George on contract after his retirement to update the Handbook. However, as I understand what happened, the task proved to be bigger than expected or what was feasible under the contract. Hence, no updated Policy Handbook emerged. This is strong evidence that getting our Policy Handbook up-to-date will be no small task. 

     Having said the above, I would also say that much of our policy is guided by OSU policy which is up-to-date and available on line. Key OSU Policies and Procedures Web sites are listed below:

 http://www.okstate.edu/osu_per/policy_proced.htm

            This is the OSU Human Resources Policy and Procedures Web site

http://vpaf.okstate.edu/policy.htm

            This is the OSU Accounting Policies and Procedures Web site

http://home.okstate.edu/policy.nsf

            This is a general/comprehensive OSU Policies and Procedures Web site

      DASNR also has a Web site that contains forms and policies and procedures for the Division including OCES.  However, it does not contain the OCES Policy and Procedures Handbook.  It is located at: http://intranet.okstate.edu/Fiscal_Affairs/.

     As administrators, we need to “interpret” policy for new situations as they arise. We are guided in that process by OSU policy, DASNR policy, the dated OCES Policy and Procedures Handbook, and the history of recent policy elaborations/decisions. There is no written summary of the “history of recent policy elaborations/decisions.” These decisions have caused current policy practices to have “evolved” from those in the Handbook. The updating process needs to incorporate this history into the Handbook.

     At this point, I should add the strong disclaimer. No written set of polices will ever cover every administrative decision that arises and policy will always be continually evolving. In addition, comments that I make in this newsletter or at professional association meetings in response to questions are not to be taken as policy. It is my belief that the Associate Director should not (and I will not) single handedly make policy. Rather, policy must be reviewed by the administrative team, the support personnel charged with implementing the policies (i.e. human resources, staff development, finance, etc.) and with input and feedback from OCES educators, faculty, and staff.

     In summary, updating OCES policy will be no small task. History has shown this. However, we need to begin the task. While certain segments of the Policy Handbook may be updated over the next three to six months, I anticipate the entire process will take at least a year. In the meantime, I believe responding to questions through the professional associations and this newsletter is a way to fill in the gap regarding policy practices and activities in OCES in general.

 New OCES Publicity Brochures Available:  The long awaited updated version of the OCES brochure “Bringing the University to You” (L-234) is now printed and available for your use. Brochures may be ordered through University Mailing using the same procedure as before. A sample brochure will be sent to each county office via pouch mail. It has a new look and will be a nice marketing tool for Extension.  You may order up to 200 brochures at a time.  If you have any questions regarding ordering, please contact Sue Collington at 405-744-9037 or sue.collington@okstate.edu.

 CURRENT EVENTS

Drought Recovery Management Program: Landowners across the state have been dealing with the drought situation. Forage recovery following a drought will be the topic of the Drought Recovery Management Program slated February 8 at the McClain Bank Community Room in Lexington. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. In addition, there has been talk about substituting plant-derived liquid transportation fuels (LTF) for those who are currently petroleum-based. The basics of biofuels as LTFs also will be discussed. For more information about the program, contact Justin Rogers at 405-321-4774, or email at justin.rogers@okstate.edu.

Oklahoma Dairy Days 2007: Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service is sponsoring Oklahoma Dairy Days 2007.  The topic of this year’s Dairy Days is “A Focus on Efficiency.” Dairy Days will be offered at two locations: February 12 in Chickasha at the Grady County Fairgrounds, and February 14 at Pryor in the North-East Vo-Tech Center. Both sessions will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Speakers and topics include Noah Litherland, who will discuss dairy efficiency and dairy nutrition hot topics; Les Hansen, University of Minnesota, will discuss genetic improvement of fertility and health of dairy cows; Derrell Peel will share information regarding dairy economics and feed markets; and Mike Pruitt will talk about Johne’s Disease and animal identification. 

 Meeting Rescheduled: The Hydro Vegetable Meeting has been rescheduled for February 20. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Hydro Senior Citizens Center. For more information contact David Nowlin, Extension Educator, Agriculture/4-H Youth Development, and CED, Caddo County, at 405-247-3376.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Tree Care After the Storm: Snow and ice storms have wreaked havoc across much of Oklahoma. Landowners are left dealing with damaged trees. Information regarding ice storm damage to trees can be found at http://agweb.okstate.edu/fwa/pubpage.html.

 Healthy Families Contracts Renewed: Debbie Richardson, parenting assistant Extension specialist, announced contracts were renewed for three Healthy Families programs provided through the OCES in Canadian, Delaware, and Texas counties. In addition, a new Healthy Families Southwest site was added in the fall to serve Jefferson, Cotton, Comanche, and Stephens counties. Funding for the programs are state appropriations through the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Child Abuse Prevention Fund. FY 2007 contracts for the four sites totals $570,482.  In addition, Texas County Cooperative Extension provides the Parents as Teachers program through a subcontract with Guymon Public Schools and a consortium of six other Texas County public school districts. A $21,000 grant from the Oklahoma State Department of Education was awarded to continue the program for FY 2007. The Healthy Families and Parents as Teachers programs provide family support, parent education, and child development information through home-based and center-based group services, and public awareness activities. Program goals are to assess family strengths and needs, enhance family functioning, promote positive parent-child interaction, and promote healthy childhood growth and development. Families may enroll during pregnancy or around the time of a baby’s birth, and may continue until the child turns 6 years old. In FY 2006, 133 families with 144 infants and young children were provided more than 1,800 home visits and 147 parent education, support group, and family activity sessions. Also, more than 150 child development screenings were provided.  Richardson is the Principal Investigator for the contracts. Program Coordinators are Kathie Bergmann, Delaware County; Carole Garner, Canadian County; Bertha Watts, Texas County; and Sherry Wells, Southwest site. The Healthy Families program was recently presented the Honor Award for Outstanding Faculty and Field Staff by the FCS Ambassadors.

Southeast District Horse Events Were Successful: Hats off to the Southeast District Horse Committee for carrying out two successful horse events recently. One focus of the committee this year was to provide more educational programs to 4-H members.

     In November, a Horse Clinic was held with 70 youth and parents in attendance. This involved an open discussion on any topic with the participants for the morning session and in the afternoon they practiced performing in the showmanship class with one-on-one instruction. Rod Cavinder served as instructor for the clinic. He offered to conduct this clinic after judging the District Horse Show last summer. His comments were “It’s the little things that keep participants from placing higher at state.”

     In December, a Horse Judging Clinic and Contest was held with 50 participants between the ages of 9 to 15 attending. The morning was spent in preparing youth to judge two live classes. Speakers for the day included Extension Educators Marty Montague, Misty Henson, and Leland McDaniel. The Murray State Judging Team placed the classes and took one class of reasons. Other Extension Educators assisting with the event included Robert Bourne, Mike Carter, Casey Russell, Tom Smith, Keegan Varner, as well as a number of horse volunteers. Awards were presented to the top Jr. Individual and Team and top Sr. Individual and Team. Everyone involved that day was excited about the interest of the younger members and the possibilities for future Horse Judging Teams at the State Contest. This is one activity that will definitely be offered again. Appreciation is extended to Claude Bess, Southeast District Director, for supporting and attending these events.

 Condolences to: The family of C.D. Ashley, longtime Extension Educator in Creek County. He passed away January 12. Funeral services took place January 20 at the First Assembly of God Church in Bristow. He worked in Choctaw and Creek counties during his 36-year tenure with OCES.

Condolences to: The family of Jess Barbre, longtime Hughes County Agriculture Extension Educator. He passed away January 19 at the age of 90. Funeral services took place January 23 at the First Baptist Church in Holdenville.

Good News

 COLLEGE CORNER

AWARDS

PERSONNEL ACTIONS

Appointments

Andrea R. Graves, Coordinator, Business Planning and Marketing, FAPC, effective January 17

Title Changes/Transfers

None to report

Separations

Rachael L. Houchin, Assistant Extension Specialist, NREM, effective February 28

COMING EVENTS

January 27: Northwest District Air Pistol/Rifle and Archery Shoot (Woodward)

January 31: Northwest District 4-H Livestock Judging Contest (Enid)

February 5: Poultry Waste Management Program Planning Meeting, Southeast District (Poteau)

February 8-9: Oklahoma Moderators and Recorders Academy (Tulsa)

February 20: Hydro Vegetable Meeting (Hydro)

February 28-March 1: SWANA Spring Symposium (Catoosa)

March 1: Tools to Update and Expand Your Waste Management (Catoosa)

March 6: In-Service “Creative Ideas to Enhance Teaching and Learning #11” (Clinton)

March 7-10: 4-H Kansas City Global Conference (Kansas City, MO)

March 8: In-Service “Creative Ideas to Enhance Teaching and Learning #11” (TBA)

March 21: In-Service: Basic Extension Teaching Methods (Stillwater)

March 24: Northwest District OHCE Meeting (Alva)

March 24-29: National 4-H Conference (Washington, D.C.)

March 27: Northeast District OHCE Meeting (Stillwater)

March 27-28: 8th Annual Conversations on Community Renewal (Midwest City)

March 31: Enid Area Progressive Agriculture Farm and Home Safety Day (Enid)

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