Posts Tagged: Barbara Allen-Diaz
Celebrities, UC employees, students and people from all across California are tapping into their social media networks and making promises to raise money for UC student scholarships.
VP Barbara Allen-Diaz has made her own daring promise. If she can raise $2,500 by Halloween, Allen-Diaz promises to wear a colony of bees, highlighting the importance of pollinators to the health of agriculture and the planet. If she raises $5,000, she promises to eat protein-rich insects, a plentiful and low-cost source of protein critical to meeting the world’s growing food demand.
Assistant VP Tu Tran is making a promise on the VP’s promise. “If Barbara does the bee thing, I will donate $500,” Tu said. “If she eats the scrumptious larvae meal, I will donate another $500, for a total of $1,000.”
To see VP Allen-Diaz’s promise and to donate, visit http://promises.promiseforeducation.org/vpanr. Feel free to share this link on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to raise money for UC students.
Norm Gary, professor emeritus in the Department of Entomology at UC Davis, has graciously agreed to wrangle the bees. Mark Hoddle, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside, has enthusiastically volunteered to help round up some larvae and maybe crickets for her to eat.
Currently, some regents and all 10 campus chancellors have made promises. Governor Jerry Brown promises to host a "Brown Bag" lunch at his office in Sacramento with a student from each UC campus if people donate $10,000 on his promise page.
To see promises made by Jamie Foxx, Dan Dooley, Bob Sams and others, visit http://www.promiseforeducation.org. The campaign ends Oct. 31.
Promise for Education is a UC systemwide fundraising effort for undergraduate scholarships. All funds raised will provide direct scholarships and grants to undergraduate students from California with a demonstrated financial need. For more information about the Promise for Education campaign, see http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/30065.
I am pleased to release ANR Academic Assembly Council (AAC)’s Partnership to Advance Cooperative Extension (PACE) committee report. I also want to share some of the current results of that effort. Part of AAC’s mission is to provide a forum to address the professional needs of Cooperative Extension (CE) academic employees. As such, I charged AAC to seek broad and diverse input from ANR academics related to the roles and responsibilities of CE Specialists and Advisors to support the Division’s mission and vision. Frank Mitloehner, then AAC President, and Kevin Day, Chair of the AAC Policy Committee, co-chaired the diverse ad hoc committee, which included four Advisors, four Specialists (one from each college/school) and one Academic Coordinator.
I want to thank the PACE committee for its thorough effort taking a multi-faceted approach that resulted in a high level of participation statewide. Throughout the process, we heard that their open and transparent process was widely appreciated. I also want to thank all of you who participated in the PACE survey and dialogue sessions for providing your thoughtful and constructive input to inform our work moving forward.
I encourage you to read the report to gain a more in-depth understanding of what was heard across the Division. The full report is posted on the PACE website http://ucanr.edu/sites/pace2013/PACE_Report. Below I will highlight some PACE findings that have already been put into action:
- The preference for more smaller grants was expressed. It was explained that smaller grants are: 1) especially important for CE academics working in areas for which extramural funding is limited; and 2) were identified as a means to increase real collaboration among CE academics. Immediately following the PACE report presentation to Division leadership, we responded by making changes to the 2013 UC ANR competitive grants program RFP to encourage more small grants and provide the opportunity for Extension only proposals.
- ANR academics across campuses and counties widely agreed that the Division is better understood as a network rather than the traditional continuum model. We will continue the transition to describe the Division as a statewide network. We will also further explore what this means in regards to future positions and how we work together.
- Many ANR academics suggested that we develop a mentoring process with a formal orientation program. This need is recognized as a priority by leadership. I will work with the AAC, the Academic Personnel Unit and others to develop mentoring and orientation strategies and materials.
- A notable suggestion was that CE re-establish a “code of conduct” that “emphasizes collegiality, professionalism and communication.” I will work with the AAC to develop a tool to help clarify appropriate protocol when working together and across the statewide network.
- There was significant agreement about the need for “improving training and collaborative opportunities between campus and off-campus academics while at the same time highlighting career opportunities in Extension — especially for current UC students.” Suggestions for methods to do so included the advisor intern program and the emerging Graduate Student in Extension (GSE) program initiated at UC Berkeley. I am talking with students and the Division’s four Deans to explore this pilot.
- The need to improve ANR academics’ ability to find out “who’s who” and “who’s doing what” is recognized. Communications Services and Information Technology with input from others has developed the Taxonomy and Personnel System, which will be finalized and formally launched. We invite feedback on the pilot to make this mechanism best meet your needs: https://ucanr.edu/portal/taxonomy.
- Concern was voiced for the success of the new advisor positions given broader geographic and programmatic assignments. We are closely watching the progress of the new advisor hires. We are pursuing ways to provide support, such as mentoring. We will remain flexible in our approach to serve programmatic needs across the state.
Also in response to the PACE effort, we will provide more information to further enhance our commitment to transparency. In addition, requested documents are posted on the PACE website as they are made available (http://ucanr.edu/sites/pace2013/Additional_Relevant_Information). I will address a few voiced concerns below:
- A concern was voiced about the level of funding to support Specialists’ work. We have been working with the Deans’ Offices to pull together information to elucidate the funding provided for Specialists. When this is finalized we will share it.
- It was reported that smaller, more focused efforts, e.g. those provided by Workgroups, are essential to support the broader ANR mission and vision. I want to reiterate that the Division continues to support Workgroups. The only thing that has changed over the past few years is how Workgroups get together.
- It was requested that ANR clarify the CE position allocation process. Given our commitment to making this a fair and transparent process, we are happy to provide again the description of the process with the criteria, as well as to try to improve our communication of the rationale behind the decisions.
The results of the PACE effort will continue to be discussed by Division leadership and across the network to inform future positions and how we work together. I respect the important role AAC plays within the Division. I appreciate the PACE committee’s dedicated leadership and the ANR community’s enthusiastic participation. I look forward to continuing to work together to strengthen our network, within and external to UC.
Our ANR Strategic Vision was developed to address the numerous complex challenges facing California. Nutrition is one of the more complex problems, ranging from overnutrition to undernutrition, both linked to social-economic, science-health literacy, ethnic-cultural influences and individual and environmental barriers. The nutrition landscape can be improved through research, education and policy.
To address the critical nutrition issues that are impacting California, our nation and the world, ANR is launching the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI). This unit will work closely with the Youth, Families and Communities Statewide Program, which implements Cooperative Extension education and research programs systemwide, integrating with our Strategic Initiatives. NPI will provide nutrition policy leadership built from our numerous ongoing research and education activities. This group will work in synergy with research and outreach efforts being conducted in Davis and Berkeley campus departments and colleges and throughout the UC system.
ANR has begun recruitment for a Cooperative Extension specialist to serve as the inaugural director, providing leadership and operational management of NPI. We seek a visionary leader who can bring together a variety of diverse partners and stakeholders to successfully compete for extramural funding at state and national levels. The director will serve as a key ANR spokesperson on nutrition and health-related issues and a collaborator who can promote interdisciplinary efforts in nutrition research with other UC campus-based researchers, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and other federal and state nutrition programs, Cooperative Extension community-based nutrition education programs and the ANR Strategic Initiative leaders.
Ideal candidates will have a Ph.D. with experience in promoting interdisciplinary efforts in nutrition education, research and policy at different levels. The NPI director will be based in Oakland, travel weekly to the new ANR Headquarters in Davis and report to Associate Vice President Bill Frost. The full position description is posted on the ANR website at http://ucanr.edu/Jobs/Jobs_990/?jobnum=484.
The wave of UCCE advisors and specialists retiring at the end of June has surfaced concern among people in the agricultural industry.
In the August edition of Wines & Vines, Cliff Ohmart writes about “The Future of Farm Extension.” Ohmart writes: “Given what appears to be a decline in the number of advisors in the future, I am very concerned about their ability to continue being effective in this role. This is no criticism of the hard-working and talented people currently in viticulture advisor positions—or future advisors—but an observation about the workload they currently have and the increased workload that is likely in the future.”
Jim Gordon, editor of Wines & Vines, asks in his August editor’s letter “Will the UC Extension Rebound?” Gordon interviewed Bill Frost, UC associate director of Cooperative Extension and the Agricultural Experiment Station.
“The ANR leadership is firmly committed to putting resources into new positions,” Frost said. Things are happening fast, Frost said, with a little industry help and more importantly with a stabilized state budget. “Under vice president of ANR Barbara Allen-Diaz, it is by far the most aggressive hiring I’ve seen in 20 years.”
In this week’s Capital Press article “Wave of UC farm advisors' retirements continues,” Tim Hearden writes: “Allen-Diaz said the UC is committed to rebuilding the Cooperative Extension's ranks. Since the beginning of 2012, the university has hired 46 extension advisors and specialists across the state, and the UC is on track to hire another 27 advisors by the end of 2014, she said.”
Although ANR has hired 46 new UCCE advisors and specialists in the past 19 months, it is more noticeable when more than 20 of them leave at the same time. To call attention to ANR’s hiring, Bill Frost has begun tweeting whenever a new advisor or specialist signs. If you’d like to follow Bill on Twitter, his handle is @wefrost.
VP Barbara Allen-Diaz will give a presentation about ANR at the May 15 regents meeting in Sacramento. “Investing in California” is the second discussion item on the Committee on Educational Policy’s agenda, which begins at 1 p.m. and adjourns at 2:20 p.m.
The regents will be meeting at the Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J Street, and the educational policy session is open to the public. Background material was mailed to the regents in advance of the meeting.
To watch the meeting live, visit http://lecture.ucsf.edu/ETS/Catalog/Full/333992fe14054d6bae39512a30188f3421.
The Microsoft Silverlight plugin is required on desktop computers. Mediasite presentations can also be viewed on Apple, Android and Blackberry mobile devices. The iPhone and iPod Touch devices require the free Mediasite app.
To listen to the audio without video, visit http://california.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2.