The song “Not a Bad Thing” by Trisha Yearwood is a backhanded way of saying, “Things are getting better.” This is true at COARC, not only COARC but for my program area as well. In response to a string of events, Rhonda Simmons, long time Senior Faculty Research Assistant has come to work in my program area. In addition, she will continue to assist Ramesh with honeybee research in central Oregon and is scheduled to pick up the potato aphid trapping program for Fahrettin.
The win for me is that I have a high quality partner to assist with my program area, something I have needed for some time. I am confident that between us, Rhonda and I can cover the ongoing research and educational projects that Rich and I have. This gives me and the agricultural industry as well, confidence to know that we can meet their expectations for the coming season, without feeling like we have to accept something less than the type of replacement for Rich that we desire.
We are in the process of advertising for the position Rich holds, and expect to have a new person in place later this spring. Committee members include Carol Mallory-Smith, Don Horneck, Rhonda Simmons, Jim Carroll, Kurt Farris, Brad Holiday, John McKenzie and Mark Hagman.
Our office manager position is being advertised as well, and we plan to have a replacement for Deb Walker’s position by the end of February. Leta Morton, who retired from the position a year ago, is graciously filling in and has agreed to provide training for the new person.
Oh, and one more thing. With Rhonda transferring over to my program, Bo is in the process of creating a position and hiring a new research assistant to work in the pathology program. Although this transition is unsettling, I believe it may be a benefit as he is able to hire his own person rather than working with someone who was on staff when he arrived.
So, good things are happening at COARC and none of these personnel changes are expected to have a significant impact on the COARC budget. The cost of research assistants are the responsibility of researchers to fund from outside research grants. Ongoing funding is in place for the office manager and Rich’s position.
I believe we have turned a corner at COARC and expect good things will come our way in 2011, and “That’s not a bad thing.”