CD Wire - January 8, 2018

Mission Statement:
Ohio State University Extension
Community Development
helps communities enhance
their well-being.

AD Update:

-Greg Davis, Assistant Director

Community Engagement Conference

In a couple of weeks, we’ll be coming together in Columbus for three days packed full of learning opportunities, networking opportunities and opportunities to celebrate. Tuesday will be Extension-focused and held at the Fawcett Center with JCEP and NACDEP meetings, a recognition luncheon and designEXT updates from Extension Director, Roger Rennekamp. We’ll also have time to discuss NACDEP conference planning and future CD meeting dates for 2018. Wednesday and Thursday will be held at the Ohio Union, involve colleagues from throughout OSU and beyond and will focus on Partnering to Advance Health and Wellness. I look forward to seeing you there!

A Beautiful Time of Year

Snowy and cold, and cancelled and delayed schools, and (like clockwork) knowing that we are in the final days for reporting our 2017 work makes it indeed a beautiful time of year! And for an extra twist, we can add the OSU transition from Research in View to VITA. If you have not already, please carefully read the January 5 all-Extension memo from Debby Lewis for the latest updates and information regarding VITA.

In addition, one thing you will also want to do if you have not already is the ‘proxy access’ set up similar to what was available in RiV. Where RiV had ‘proxies,’ the VITA system has ‘delegates’ and ‘impersonating other users’ (i.e. those that have made you a ‘delegate’ so to speak).

To add me as a delegate, under the ‘Elements Data’ tab click on the ‘Elements Dashboard.’
From there, under the ‘Menu Tab’ you will select ‘Manage Delegates’ from under ‘My Account.’
In the box, start typing ‘Davis, Gregory’ (or any other name within CFAES you’d like to provide access such as your supervisor, coach, team-mates, etc.) and after the name pops up (the individual must have activated their VITA account to appear), click on ‘Add Delegate.’ 

I am happy to report that a number of you have already done this (Apaliyah, Raison, Romich, White, and Wilson), thank you!

Assuming that you are keeping up to date with your reporting, by providing me VITA access you are enabling me to get a quick snapshot of our collective program efforts without needing to request detailed reports on a regular basis. The information also helps me better help you, whether it is with navigating VITA, rounding out your Extension program in general, or with dossier preparation for those who are pursuing faculty promotion.

Professional Development Support – Applications due March 1

As you are thinking through your professional development goals for 2018, don’t limit yourself when it comes to funding. In addition to the OJCEP scholarships available (due February 15), we have a formal CD Professional Development Support Fund. A simple application is due by March 1 for the spring awards and October 1 for the fall awards. To learn more, see ‘CD Professional Development Support’ described here.

CD Small Grants

If your programming goals for 2018 could benefit from a few extra dollars, remember the CD Small Grant program can help to fund applied research as well as program and curricular development efforts. A short CD Small Grants Funding Proposal should be submitted to the state CD office after first discussing your idea(s) with Greg. There are no proposal submission due dates and past grants have ranged from $1500-$4500. They can pair nicely with an NCRCRD Small Grant (due February 5) or help to germinate an idea that leads to a larger funding request later.

Mileage Reimbursement Rate Increase for 2018

Effective January 1, 2018, the mileage reimbursement rate will increase from 53.5 cents per mile to 54.5 cents per mile for all business miles driven from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. Please be sure to use the correct mileage log and travel reimbursement form for 2018 travel. These forms are now posted on the CFAES Finance website. Continue to use the 2017 forms for travel through December 31, 2017.



Agricultural Solar Electric Investment Analysis Webinar Series begins January 18:

Evaluating the financial prudence of an investment in solar requires careful consideration of installation costs, the value of production, and operations and maintenance costs. 

This six-part webinar series will provide valuable, practical guidance to farmers who are considering investing in a solar electric system so they are able to make fully informed investment decisions.

Each webinar will be taught by Eric Romich (Ohio State University Extension) and John Hay (University of Nebraska Extension) and hosted by Charles Gould (Michigan State University Extension). The webinar is based on the six bulletins in the Solar Electric Investment Analysis Bulletin Series.

Webinar Schedule -Webinars start at 7 p.m. EST and are 60 minutes long. Time for questions and answers is included in each 60 minute webinar.

  • Thursday, January 18 - Part 1: Estimating System Production
  • Thursday, January 25 - Part 2: Assessing System Cost
  • Thursday, February 1 - Part 3: Forecasting the Value of Electricity
  • Thursday, February 8 - Part 4: Understanding Incentives
  • Thursday, February 15 - Part 5: Conducting a Financial Analysis
  • Thursday, February 22 - Part 6: Photovoltaic Solar Example

The registration fee is $10 per session or $40 for all six sessions. Click here to register. View flyer. Questions? Contact Charles Gould at 616-994-4547 or

Rural Information Center Webinar - January 31:

USDA NIFA Division of Family & Consumer Sciences will host a webinar on January 31 from 2 to 3 p.m. on the USDA Rural Information Center (RIC), a service of the National Agriculture Library. 

Mary Louise Reynnells will present an informational webinar on the resource assistance available. The RIC has resources related to Community Development, Rural Citizen Services, Sustainable Rural Communities, and Rural America Collections. RIC staff provide customized information products to specific inquiries including assistance in economic revitalization issues; local government planning projects; funding sources; technical assistance programs; research studies; and other related issues. Learn how you can maximize these resources to help your community.

Join URL: (Meeting ID: 773 608 196)

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Or iPhone one-tap: US: +16465588656,,773608196# or +16699006833,,773608196#

Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location); US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 669 900 6833



2018 NACDEP Proposals due January 15:

We have been so busy planning the 2018 NACDEP Conference that you might have put off submitting your presentation proposals!

It's time to share your good work! 

Your proposals for peer reviewed presentations and posters are now being accepted through January 15 at 5 p.m. EST. Options include: 30-minute presentation, 90-minute workshop, 5-minute IGNITE and poster. Submissions relating to the conference theme "Communities that Rock" are encouraged, but all relevant submissions will be given full consideration. Submit your Proposal(s) via the Fast Track System. Complete conference information can be found here.

Staff Career Development Grant Applications due January 31:

Staff have an opportunity to further their growth and development through the Staff Career Development Grant, offered by the Office of Human Resources in partnership with the University Staff Advisory Committee. Eligible staff can apply for a Staff Career Development Grant of up to $1,000 for individuals and $1,500 for groups. Grants can be used for professional development, education or training costs related to job and career goals. Applications are accepted until Wednesday, January 31. Read more.



Consider Becoming an Area Leader:

If you enjoy working closely with other professionals to lead strategies and efforts to increase local impact, advance innovative programming, grow strong employees, and build community partnerships, then the role of an area leader may be for you.

The development of smaller administrative units will enable area leaders to lead individuals and teams as a performance coach, operational guide, and systems navigator. The area leader will work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders to provide county-level support for employees, to clarify policies and procedures, and to improve efficiencies and responsiveness for the employee and customer experience.

Moving to smaller administrative units will allow for:

  • more frequent and meaningful interaction with employees,
  • more time to become familiar with county needs and develop county plans of work,
  • more time to build relationships with county professionals and stakeholders,
  • more time to dedicate to employee coaching and mentoring,
  • more time to onboard new employees and to grow competencies of all employees,
  • and more time to be proactive rather than reactive in all areas affecting personnel, finance and business operations.

There are a variety of ways to be considered for appointment to this role, including:

  • self-nomination,
  • nomination by peers,
  • and nomination by your supervisor.

Review the attached area leader Position Description Addendum, which describes the position and key responsibilities to reflect on whether you have an interest in nominating yourself or others for this role. A full list of criteria and desired competencies will be shared in the next week, but will include at a minimum the following: experience successfully supervising employees; evidence of relevant competencies such as coaching, budgeting, performing needs assessments and developing plans of work; evidence of high performance in one’s current position. A statement that supports a candidate’s proposed case for being appointed may be requested.

We would like to identify potential area leaders and begin making appointments by the end of January 2018, with a graduated implementation of the role, allowing time for discussions with county colleagues and commissioners, right-sizing of programming calendars, and backfill accommodations to be completed. It is expected most area leaders will be in place by April 2018. For any additional questions about the role or process, please contact Jackie Wilkins at 330-350-0512 or via email at:

Annual Report Deadline extended to January 31:

Because of the late date of the final data transfer from RiV to VITA, Extension Administrative Cabinet approved an extended deadline for Extension Annual Report submission for county-based program faculty and staff - the deadline has been extended to January 31. Please continue to check your email for messages from Debby Lewis on the latest RiV to VITA information.

VITA support for Extension program faculty and staff is posted on the OSUE Program Development and Evaluation website ( and includes the following:

Helpful documents/tools…

  • PowerPoint Slides from December VITA trainings
  • VITA Quick Start Guide for Extension
  • Extension Annual Report Help Sheet
  • Individual Instruction Excel Tracking File


  • November 16 training for new(er) Extension employees
  • December 14 training for county-based Extension program faculty and staff

Judges Needed for CFAES Undergraduate Research Forum on March 1:

The 15th Annual CFAES Undergraduate Research Forum will be held on Thursday, March 1 at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center from 1-3 p.m.

Faculty members and postdocs from all departments are invited to judge undergraduate research poster presentations at the event. Judges will be asked to judge three to four student posters. Lunch will be provided for all student participants, judges and reviewers from 12-1 p.m. Judging will be from 1-2:30 p.m. Awards will be presented at 3 p.m. Click here to register to be a judge.

CFAES IT Transformation Project UPDATE:

The IT Transformation Task Force had its first meeting on December 14. The task force brings together leaders from different CFAES units and geographic locations to advise the core team during this transformation project. Task force members will review and provide feedback on the scope of services, plans, and funding models.

Throughout December, members of CFAES and OCIO met one-on-one with CFAES IT Services staff and conducted site visits throughout CFAES. Those meetings and site visits will continue throughout January and will be used to inform the scope of services for the project.

The core team also plans to have meetings with several of the CFAES departments and their leadership teams to capture additional feedback about services to ensure we are considering all facets of the college as they make decisions.

Finally, a CFAES IT Transformation Project website launched December 22. This website contains a calendar of completed and upcoming activities, announcements, and frequently asked questions. As timelines are developed, we will post those and show progress in completing those tasks. If you have questions about the project, the site contains a feature where you can ask a question either anonymously or with contact information if you would like a follow up.

Articles/Publications of Interest:

Weekly News Digest (CFAES information blog for faculty & staff)

CFAES Monthly (December 2017)


Webinar Series to Advise on Whether Solar Panels are a Smart Investment

Ohio Sea Grant Newsletter (December 2017)

Twineline (Fall/Winter 2017)

Research News (January 2018)

eXtension News Roundup (January 2018)

North Central Region Water Network Newsletter (December 2017)


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