CFAES IT Services Review – Update

In late August, we shared that the college was undergoing a CFAES IT Services Review. Below is an update on the planning process including decisions that have been made.

Since August, we developed and vetted several options for how we move ahead in addressing the recommendations. While some of you have not heard from us since the last update, the decision-making process included meeting several times with a small group of chairs/unit directors for feedback on the options and feedback from other units who partner with the Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO) in various ways for Managed IT Services. Matt DeVore has also been an important partner in the process. After evaluating the options and carefully considering recommendations and feedback, the Dean has decided to move ahead with significant change in how CFAES approaches IT services. Managing IT and digital strategy has become increasingly complex and expensive. Centralizing Managed IT Services with OCIO will allow us to focus college IT staff on our unique IT needs. Our goal is to ensure a robust IT strategy and approach to management.

Below is a summary of plans for next steps with IT services:

  1. We have completed initial planning and will increase our partnership with OCIO to engage them more fully in strategic planning and management of our IT infrastructure and operations. We will kick off the expanded partnership as of Nov. 1 and work through a 60- to 90-day planning period. Expect an 18 to 24 month transition period, completed by 2020.
  2. This is not a reduction in CFAES IT Services employees, but it will involve change. That change  impacts our IT staff and those they currently serve. This impact has been an important concern in our planning.  There are rumors about layoffs that are not part of the plan. We anticipate individual IT responsibilities and expectations will change, and will work with each staff member and their supervisor on what that change will look like.
  3. Details are to be determined. The first phase is planning details of what the partnership will look like, HR changes, and a change management plan.
  4. Matt DeVore has agreed to lead transition, working closely with both OCIO and CFAES teams in a change management role.

We will update all CFAES faculty and staff as decisions are made and plans unfold.

InFACT Linkage and Leverage Seed Grant Program – Oct. 31 Deadline

The Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT) invites you to submit proposals for our Linkage and Leverage seed grant program.

Please see the RFP for more information. A few important points are noted below. Questions may be directed to Nicole Pierron Rasul, InFACT Program Coordinator (

Grant Cycles, Application Deadlines, and Funding Available
Three grant cycles will be offered during the 2017-2018 academic year with multiple awards funded each cycle. Grant proposals received by the following deadlines will be considered for funding, subject to the availability of remaining uncommitted funds:

  • October 31, 2017
  • January 31, 2018
  • April 30, 2018

The amount of funding for a single award may vary from a minimum of $1,500 to a maximum of $35,000. We expect a total of $250,000 to be available for all awards over the three cycles.

Teams of faculty, staff, students, and external partners may apply, with one member of the team identified as the project director. If a project director does not hold an OSU appointment (faculty or staff), they must have an OSU faculty or staff member as a co-director, and that person will be responsible for fiscal management of the grant.

Big Impact: Why Impactful Reporting Matters and How to do it Better – Workshop

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Dean’s Office and the CFAES Grant Development Support Unit invite faculty members, graduate students and post-docs to attend the workshop “Big Impact: Why Impactful Reporting Matters and How to do it Better.”

Big Impact Flyer

We are all responsible for reporting the impact of our research and extension activities. This dynamic and engaging workshop will help you hone your ability to tell your story so that the work you do and its impact reaches a wide audience. By the end of the workshop, you will:

  • Have a greater appreciation for the critical role impact statements play in the success of agricultural research and Extension;
  • Gain knowledge, skills, and experience needed to write high-quality impact statements and/or evaluate impact statements and identify the strongest ones;
  • Be better prepared to clearly and concisely respond to inquiries from leadership, congressional staff, media, stakeholders, and others; and,
  • Have a better idea of how strong impact statements can be leveraged across multiple platforms for diverse audiences.

Sarah Lupis is the Assistant Director for the Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station directors and the Program Director for the Impact Writing Initiative of the Multistate Research Fund. In these roles, she elevates stories about work being done by Agricultural Experiment Station researchers and Extension specialists and helps set direction for education and information campaigns for the Land-grant University system at the national level. Ms. Lupis graduated from the University of Massachusetts and Utah State University and previously worked as a science communication specialist for the National Park Service, a USAID-funded research program on livestock and climate change, and Colorado State University’s Institute for Livestock and the Environment.

Attendance is limited to 50. Please R.S.V.P. to this session by completing this Qualtrics survey as soon as possible.

Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: Longaberger Alumni House – Mount Leadership Room (first floor), 2200 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH 43210
Transportation: Transportation from the Wooster campus to the Columbus campus will be provided. Please indicate on the Qualtrics survey if you will need transportation.
Parking: Please use the attached parking pass in the LAH lot if you do not have an OSU parking permit.


Nominate a CFAES Alumni

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Alumni Society recognizes outstanding alumni every year.  They need your help in determining who should be honored this spring!

If you know a CFAES alumni that the board should consider for an award, please nominate them.  All that’s required is to fill out this one-page nomination form and submit it by November 13.

The board bestows four awards every year:

  • Meritorious Award
  • Distinguished Alumni Award
  • International Alumni Award
  • Young Professional Achievement Award

For more information, visit the alumni award page or contact Claire Badger at 614-292-0250 or


PHA with Biometrics – Deadline Approaching

The November 30 deadline for individual completion of the annual personal health and well-being assessment (PHA) with biometrics is approaching. Our overall participation is 56 percent.  Attached is the current leaderboard for all the college’s/unit’s completion level.

PHA Leaderboard

The PHA gives participants valuable health status information, and you can earn up to a $360 reduction on 2018 medical premiums. On-campus screenings are still available or an annual biometrics screening can be completed by healthcare providers.

External Review of International Programs

On Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 11 and 12 there was an external review of  international programs in CFAES and the International Programs in Agriculture office.  The three external reviewers were:

  • Dr. Tag Demment, Vice President, International Programs, The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
  • Mr. Michael McGirr, National Program Leader, Center for International Programs, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), United States Department of Agriculture
  • Dr. Rick Rudd, Community Viability Chair of Excellence, Professor and Department Head, Virginia Polytechnic University

While here, they met with groups of faculty and college leadership.

The purpose of this review is to identify strengths, issues, and opportunities to advance the strategic goals of the International Programs in Agriculture office and to better inform the overall internationalization strategy of the college. We hope that participants will share the value of international engagement to their own scholarship and to advancing CFAES’s overall teaching, research, and outreach missions.

The review team met at the end of their visit with Mark Erbaugh, Director of International Programs, and Dean Kress to debrief and will share a written report soon that will be used for the college’s strategic planning.

Open Enrollment Resources Coming in the Mail and Online

Faculty and staff eligible for Ohio State medical benefits will have access to a personalized enrollment resource, myBenefitsMentor, in advance of 2018 Open Enrollment. This online tool models projected medical and pharmacy expenses based on anticipated health care needs for 2018. myBenefitsMentor will be in Employee Self Service with updated claims data on October 9, 2017. In addition, those enrolled in an Ohio State medical plan prior to August 1, 2017, will receive a myBenefitsMentor statement in the mail in mid-October.

These resources can help employees decide which medical plan is the best choice for their needs and help determine their personal contribution to a Health Care Flexible Spending Account for 2018.

Open Enrollment for 2018 benefits is November 1-14, 2017.

  • After October 9, go to myBenefitsMentor in Employee Self Service.
  • Join an Open Enrollment webinar or sign up for a benefits forum at

University Travel Pilot Initiative

As part of the university’s commitment to operational excellence and resource stewardship as found in Ohio State’s Strategic Plan, Time & Change, the OSU travel office is implementing a “Travel Mandate Pilot” to fine-tune and validate quality controls before rolling out a university-wide requirement. CFAES has participated in previous pilot programs with the university travel office and has identified units within our college to take part in this initiative beginning October 16, 2017.

Travelers from the following CFAES units will be participating:  Office of the Dean, Academic Administration, Finance, Advancement, School of Environment and Natural Resources, Animal Sciences, Extension Administration and Campus and Farms Administration. These CFAES units are participating in this pilot along with units from the College of Law, College of Engineering, Office of Academic Affairs and Business & Finance.

The CFAES units that are part of the pilot program have been notified and will receive training on how to participate in the pilot program. Participants also will be able to offer feedback on their experience, which will help shape the general university-wide implementation anticipated in January 2018.

This pilot is not simply about travel – it is part of our commitment to a basic idea: By acting as one university, we can utilize Ohio State’s size and scope to get the best prices and service available. CFAES will benefit, as will the university at large.

Faculty Workshop on Teaching Inclusive Design and Accessibility

One of the special training events occurring at Accessing Higher Ground this year is a Teach Access Faculty Bootcamp and the UDUC Mini-Conference on Teaching Accessibility and Universal Design. These events can be attended virtually or onsite at the Accessing Higher Ground Conference at the Westin Westminster, Colorado. They are geared towards faculty who teach design or technology courses. There is no charge to attend.

Faculty Bootcamp on Teaching Inclusive Design in Technology and Design Classes
Come learn about and discuss trends we are noticing with new-hires at tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Oath, Adobe, and Facebook. Learn about examples and techniques you can use in your own classrooms (programming, design, testing, etc.) to best prepare your students to create inclusive experiences that not only increase their employability after graduation, but also motivate them to create innovative breakthroughs in making technology work better for everyone.

WHERE: Westin Westminster, Colorado
10600 Westminster Boulevard, Westminster, Colorado 80020
(see virtual option below)
WHEN: Tuesday, November 14, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. MST
(12:00 -1:00 p.m. will be for lunch, discussion and q&a)
COST: No charge
Mary Bellard, Senior Accessibility Architect at Microsoft and co-leader of the Materials Task Force for Teach Access
Larry Goldberg, Senior Director, Accessible Media, Oath
RSVP: Seating (onsite) is limited to 25. Registration is required.
VIRTUAL OPTION: A live stream is available for those who are not able to attend onsite. Registration is also required to attend via live stream. Use the URL above to register.

A mini-conference during the Accessing Higher Ground main conference will focus on topics related to the teaching of accessibility and Universal Design in university curriculum. Click here for more information.


Upcoming Grant Workshops for Faculty and Staff

The CFAES Grant Development Support Unit is hosting a series of training workshops. Below is the list of upcoming sessions.

October 11, 2017
Introduction to the New PI Portal
Office of Research, 117 Research Administration Building, Columbus
1 – 2 p.m.
Register: Click here

October 12, 2017
Discovery Theme New Hire Orientations
Office of Research, 1960 Kenny Rd, Columbus
1:30 – 4:00 p.m.
No registration required

October 18, 2017
Budget Basics for Grant Applications
250A  Ag. Admin, Columbus
9 – 10 a.m.
Register: Click here

October 19, 2017
Budget Basics for Grant Applications
Fisher 121, Wooster
2 – 3 p.m.
Register: Click here

October 24, 2017
Completing the ePA-005 form
250A  Ag. Admin, Columbus
10 – 11 a.m.
Register: Click here

October 26, 2017
Completing the ePA-005 form
Fisher Conf. Room, Wooster
10 – 11 a.m.
Register: Click here

October 31, 2017
Finding Funding
Fisher Conf. Room, Wooster
10 – 11 a.m.
Register: Click here

October 31, 2017
Intro to Grant Writing
Fisher Conf. Room, Wooster
1 – 2 p.m.
Register: Click here

November 1, 2017
Presentation: SEEDS: Student Competitions
Fisher Conf. Room, Wooster
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
No registration required

November 2, 2017
Presentation:  SEEDS: Student Competitions
250A Ag. Admin, Columbus
1 – 2 p.m.
No registration required

You may view a full list of training workshops through its online calendar.

Free Screening of Food Evolution Documentary

Join the FST Food Science Club and the food and agricultural science communication club Citation Needed for a free screening of the documentary, Food Evolution. This film, directed by Academy Award nominee Scott Hamilton Kennedy and narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson explores controversy around the science of food through the lens of the debate over genetically engineered foods.

Following the screening, UC Davis geneticist Dr. Alison van Eenennaam, a prominent subject in the film, will facilitate a discussion about controversies in science and agriculture. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 18 in the Archie M. Griffin Ballroom at the Ohio Union at The Ohio State University, Columbus Campus.

Click here to learn more about the event and express your interest in attending.

Food Evolution Poster

Helping Students in Distress Training

The CFAES Office of Academic Affairs is kicking off the academic year with an advisor development series. The purpose of the series is to equip advisors with the tools necessary to provide a successful advising experience for students.  Faculty and staff are also invited to participate in the training sessions.

Register for the next session:

Mon., Oct. 23
1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Helping Students in Distress – How to handle a student in distress or causing a disruption and linking students to the resources available on campus.
Location: 4H Building, International Room
Please RSVP by Thursday, Oct. 19 to Julie Miller, Academic Affairs at

Access your CFAES Portfolium

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences has renewed its partnership with and will continue to provide ALL students and faculty the opportunity to create a professional, online digital portfolio.

In today’s world, employers seek evidence of career-relevant skills and competencies beyond listings on a resume.  Students at all levels can easily create evidence-based credentials.  In other words, attaching documents, videos, audio files, graphics, coding samples and presentations help demonstrate your knowledge and abilities.

Please watch for your Portfolium invitation with the subject: “Access your CFAES Portfolium.” The email contains a link to activate your free verified account within the CFAES network using your Ohio State credentials.  If you miss the initial email, you can also join by using the Portfolium Resource Page at:

For more information or inquires, contact Dr. Tim Rhodus (