Scott Reed, OSU Division of Outreach and EngagementVideo and photo credit: Jill Wells

Working in partnership with communities is essential to the mission and goals of University Outreach and Engagement. So essential, in fact, that three of the Division’s five strategic goals mention community. A prize awaits the first person to correctly identify and post them in the comments below. But more than that, what are new ways to engage our communities that we should begin planning for in the next legislative biennium? Scott wants your ideas.

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9 thoughts on “Community Engagement

  1. The 3 strategic goals regarding community are the first 3:
    1. Enhance the culture and impact of Oregon State University
    2. Equitably serve a broad diversity of learners, communities, and stakeholders.
    3. Increase community and learner engagement.

  2. Only goals 2 and 3 mention community and communities specifically, but goals 1 and 4 imply community impact. Goal 5 is about workplace culture, which is an internal community. So I’d say community is integral to all five O&E goals. 🙂

    We should work on engaging more with the latino/hispanic communities in innovative ways, such as STEAM workshops and performances. Also, try to figure out how to engage those who are online.

  3. Scratch that ↑, upon closer examination I would like to change my response to say that the 3 strategic goals regarding community are actually:
    1. Equitably serve a broad diversity of learners, communities, and stakeholders.
    2. Increase community and learner engagement.
    3. Have a supportive workplace culture.

  4. Scott, my New Year’s resolution was similar to yours: to LISTEN better, to focus on the person and what they are saying, to be more PRESENT and ATTENTIVE. We appreciate that you want to hear from us!

    Here in Sherman County, our recently retired agricultural agent’s assignment did include time for community and economic development; he sat in on a variety of meetings, boards and gatherings and contributed in many ways. Especially in small communities, dedicated volunteers are stretched to the limit and “wear many hats” in their service. If Extension professionals have the ability to serve their communities in economic development or tourism or other specific needs, as part of their Extension assignments (i.e. “getting paid to be at the meeting”), this helps spread the volunteer workload.

  5. My first thought is to keep the idea of listening and ask our communities themselves what they need. I love the “2 ears, 1 mouth” idea and I think we can always better serve our communities by listening to them directly before making decisions 🙂 Maybe a community-based-assessment project?

  6. Here they are:
    Goal 1) Enhance the culture and impact of Oregon State University.
    Goal 2) Equitably serve a broad diversity of learners, communities, and stakeholders.
    Goal 3) Increase community and learner engagement.
    Goal 4) Be broadly recognized for our impacts and as a resource.
    Goal 5) Have a supportive workplace culture.

  7. I work with community on a regular basis. I don’t do it from a separate piece of FTE, but from my more traditional Ag/Natural Resources portion of my job. My job description states that I will work on natural resource issues and policies pertinent to Wallowa County and NE Oregon, or something like that. I work with the county on a weekly basis coming from the natural resource piece of my job to help the county be as effective as they can while working inside of the federal planning process.

    I bring this up as we move forward we don’t always need to carve out a piece of FTE, we may first need to look at what we are already doing, it may be much larger than we think. Then to look at what is the best way to utilized community engagement. It reminds me of when I was hired, Extension was hiring “educators” that didn’t necessarily have an expertise in anything other than how to teach. There were many hired in a 3 or 4 year timeframe with teaching background but no subject matter expertise. At the end of 5 years only one of those was left, the rest had not succeeded. I fear if we were to go down that road again it would have the same outcome. I support the community effort you are discussing. I just believe that we need think of it in context of bringing more that process to the table. We need to have a “subject matter expertise” that our partners need, as well as the desire to work with communities.

    Who should be our partners, Everyone from the state, counties, cities down to neighborhood groups or more focused “task forces” that may have a limited time frame but intense need during that time. In the rural areas the county may be the one that we focus on (it follows our tax bases). In the more urban (not an expert there), I believe that it may be smaller subsets of the cities.

    Just my thoughts.

  8. Hello Scott, I agree that we should become better listeners! I have several ideas, here are 3:
    – Create more spaces like this where diversity in ideas and solutions is embraced.
    – We need to create a “social mobility action plan” (we already have components of this through Juntos and Open Campus)
    – Invite community members to the 1st Mondays updates so they can share their experience of O&E so we are educated in how we are actually perceived.

    I´m happy to discuss this further and to share more ideas with you 🙂


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