From the Desk of the Associate Vice Provost, Deborah Maddy

Deborah Maddy, Associate Vice Provost
Deborah Maddy, Associate Vice Provost
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SOARS tells of your good work!

On June 30, we received word from our federal partners that the OSU Extension Service 2009 Report of Accomplishments (ROA) and the 2011 Plan of Work (POW) were accepted.  For access to these documents go to http://extension.oregonstate.edu/internal/reporting-and-accountability 

Thanks to each of you who made a contribution to the submission. Your individual contribution came through SOARS, Extension’s electronic Stories, Outcomes, and Accomplishments Reporting System.  I’m happy to announce that SOARS provided a 100% of the information needed to complete the federal ROA and POW. 

Overall, the quality of the information within SOARS continues to improve, with the impact statement still being the weakest component.  Impact statements should be an executive summary of evaluation report with “Impacts of the Program” reporting knowledge gained, behavior changed, practices adopted, or economic, environmental or social benefits achieved.  I am looking for a clear and concise statement that can be used in a number of marketing and reporting venues.  Of course faculty members want to provide details of the inputs and the process, but that information belongs in the narrative.  The narrative is where the faculty members’ supervisor/supervision team goes for gathering detailed information for the annual performance review; the impact statement answers the question “so what” for the organization and serves as a marketing voice for your program success.

Interesting facts that I discovered about you in SOARS includes:

  • 157 impacts statements were submitted for 2009; a 41% increase from 2007 . . . I depended heavily on the impact statements to complete the federal report; these provided the best examples of the difference your work made.  If you conducted a program evaluation that resulted in knowledge gained, actions taken or behaviors changed, you will want to also complete an impact statement.  This section of SOARS is our most valuable resource for creating marketing materials, news stories, talking points and general reports for use with our stakeholders and the public. I did not read all 157 impact statements this year.  I asked program leaders to direct me to the ones that best matched the objectives outlined in the 2009 POW.  Although I didn’t read all the impact statements, you can bet your program leader did.
  • 447 grants were awarded in 2009, resulting in nearly $35.9 million of revenue; a 56% increase in new revenues coming to Extension during the past 12 months . . . The grants varied in size from a few thousand dollars to a million-plus figure.  If you are serving as a PI, please add new grants to SOARS when awarded.  Leveraging state dollars is one of the key objectives that our state funders use to measure Extension’s success.  I was recently asked by the President’s office what was the total grant dollars for Extension in 2000.  At $6.1 million in 2000, Extension has increased its grant revenues by nearly 6 in less than 10 years
  • 497 publications were authored by Extension faculty in 2009, with 18% (89) considered intellectual work validated by peers and communicated . . . The medium and the review processes varied greatly, but the creative and intellectual work of OSU Extension faculty is being validated by peers and communicated.  Scholarship continues to be a core value of the academy and the Provost asks annually for a listing of Extension-authored publications.  If you are the lead author of a publication, please remember to list it in SOARS when it is accepted for publication.
  • 83 awards were earned by Extension faculty and staff in 2009 . . . Congratulations to all who were honored.  It is a continued privilege to work with such a dedicated and high performing group of people.
  • 18,089 volunteers helped with Extension outreach . . . You believe that Extension can achieve greater results and build community capacity with the help of volunteers.  It is obvious that you value the public good that comes from collaborating with volunteers.
  • 2,038,760 Oregonians engaged at some level with Extension during 2009, compared to 672,396 reported in 2000 . . . These numbers include contacts made in group educational events or via phone, interactive video, mail, e-mail, newsletters, site or office visits.  They do not include web hits or mass media.

I was very pleased with what I learned about you and the quality of your work through SOARS.  What I like best about SOARS is its role as a database for easy and timely retrieval of information about the successes of OSU Extension faculty and staff.  SOARS gives me and other Extension administrators the most accurate, up-to-date information for representing you with our stakeholders, from elected officials to university administrators to the news media.  Your help in keeping SOARS current and relevant will be even more powerful as we prepare for the 2011-2012 biennium.