A Quick Look at 2012
It's a summer tradition that I report on the interesting organizational facts that I discover while surfing SOARS, Extension's electronic Stories, Outcomes, and Accomplishments Reporting System. Love it or hate it, you have to admit that SOARS is a treasure chest of good news about OSU Extension's work across the state. SOARS is the primary source for all federal and state reports, briefings and presentations; the annual academic report to the Provost; budget support materials at all levels; press releases and media alerts; marketing and social media efforts; and many more communications efforts. Thanks to each of you who contributed to our good news bounty through entering your 2012 information and impact statements to SOARS. If you haven't recently checked Extension's home page and our impact on Oregonians, go to the Bridges website where many of your impact statements are featured.
As promised, here are a few interesting facts I discovered while surfing SOARS:
In 2012, OSU Extension had 174.5 FTE paid on federal and state dollars. This represents 46 fewer FTE than when the recession began in 2008 and 19 less than 2011. We've managed through these difficult times by tightening our belts, utilizing attrition to our financial advantage, and downsizing Extension's administrative footprint. This decrease in workforce has placed a heavy burden on all Extension faculty, staff, volunteers and community partners. As we enter a new fiscal biennium, we are hopeful that this 174.5 FTE of dedicated people will serve as a strong foundation for building a future OSU Extension Service that will thrive in a leaner economy and support Oregonians in ways not yet imagined.
Over 14,000 volunteers (14,062 to be exact) helped Extension deliver educational programs across Oregon . . . Extension can achieve greater results and build community capacity with the help of volunteers. Even though the number of Extension employees has decreased, the number of volunteers has stayed consistent. We value the public good that comes from collaborating with volunteers, a contribution of over a million hours of service – the equivalent of about 567 FTE.
2,040,878 Oregonians engaged at some level with Extension, compared to 2,130,824 reported in 2011 for a 4.2% decrease . . . 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 wouldn't be surprised if we increased our outreach via the web by more than the loss of 90,000 direct contracts during 2012 as Ask an Expert and the “virtual Extension office” become the new normal.
Extension enhanced community outreach and engaged scholarship through 223 grants, resulting in over $17 million of revenue. The grants varied in size from a few thousand dollars to million-plus figures. Leveraging state dollars is one of the key objectives that our state funders use to measure Extension's success. These extramural funds are possible because base capacity is provided by state and federal appropriations.
Extension faculty authored 142 scholarly publications and 84 peer-invited presentations. Scholarship is defined as intellectual and creative 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 adopted and integrated by peers and publics beyond the university and the state.
Extension faculty and staff received 129 awards recognizing their good work. These included 6 local, 42 state, 20 regional, 33 national and 12 international awards from community organizations, professional associations and academic societies, as well as 5 college honors and 10 university achievements. Some awards of note:
- The Society for Range Management honored Dustin Johnson as the nation's Outstanding Young Range Professional and Tim Deboodt with the 2012 Outstanding Achievement Award;
- Tim Stock and Leonard Coop received the International IPM Award of Recognition at the 7th International IPM Symposium;
- Katherine Gunter was named a fellow with the American College of sports Medicine;
- Sandy Macnab was inducted into the National County Agent Hall of Fame;
- Lisbeth Goddik received the Garde et Jure from the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers;
- Deborah John received the Excellence in Aging & Public Health: Rural and Environment Research from the American Public Health Association;
- The College of Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences presented Pat Corcoran with “ONE Award” for integrating research, education and communication to benefit stakeholders and improve the effectiveness of Oregon Sea Grant;
- Patricia Dawson received honors for Outstanding Diversity/Multicultural Programming from by Epsilon Sigma Phi;
- Stephen Fitzgerald received the National Technology Transfer Award from the Society of American Foresters; and,
- For the second year, the 4-H International Exchange Program received national recognition for extraordinary quality from the National 4-H Council, with many 4-H Youth Development faculty, staff and volunteers sharing in the honor.
It is a continued privilege to work with such a dedicated and high performing group of people.