free the textbookLast week we celebrated Open Education Week, an annual worldwide event to raise awareness of the Open Educational Resources (OERs) movement and the opportunities that OERs create for teaching and learning around the globe. So, you may be wondering …

Who is doing open education?

We are! Universities worldwide are creating and using OERs. Land grant universities in particular are taking on the creation of OERs as a part of their mission to educate and share research with the public and K-12 schools that might need access to materials for high-achieving students. The OER Commons is a great place to see what is out there and search for items that others are creating.

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Name: Scott Leavengood

Position: Director, Oregon Wood Innovation Center

Hometown: Born in Cincinnati, OH, grew up in suburban Chicago

# of years at OSU: 18

Best part of your job: Helping people combined with variety in my daily tasks – In Extension, every day is unique.  One day I might be assisting an entrepreneur with a new product idea, the next I might be in a sawmill helping the quality control manager with tools and techniques for evaluating product quality, and the next day guest lecturing in a course, etc.

Something someone might be surprised to know about you: People are often surprised to learn that I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago.  I can only guess this is because they are surprised that someone from a very urban place would choose to study wood science/wood products manufacturing and live in a far more rural state (but that’s a really great way to be from Chicago…)

Favorite book/movie/album:  My favorite book is the USDA Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material – just kidding.  I’m not sure I have a favorite book or movie but for album, showing my age a bit, I’d say it’s Boston’s first album (1976).

Name: Janean Creighton

Position: Extension Specialist, Forest Science Delivery FES Dept., College of Forestry

Hometown: Edmonds, Wash.

# of years at OSU: 3+

Best part of your job: As Administrative Director of the NW Fire Science Consortium, I have the good fortune of working with a wide variety of people from federal, state, non-profit, and private organizations; which can be quite challenging, but who doesn’t like a challenge?  The best part of my job is being able to interact with fire resource managers and researchers in the field.  It’s nice to be able to get out of the office and into the woods once in a while!

Something someone might be surprised to know about you: I used to be a professional actor.  That was a whole other life ago!

Favorite book/movie/album: My favorite movie is Blazing Saddles; probably because I grew up the only girl along with 3 older brothers.  They helped shape my sense of humor.

Yesterday, I joined 500 people in Portland to hear President Ed Ray deliver his State of the University address. In it, he called out several dimensions of our collective work in outreach and engagement. He affirmed that the state is our campus with OSU faculty engaged across the state and working from facilities in all 36 counties. He emphasized the work of Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program that “…bridges the gap between K-12 education and life skills.”

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Victor VillegasName: Victor Villegas

Position: Technology & Media Support Coordinator

Hometown: Riverside, California

# of years at OSU: 1 year

Best part of your job: Helping people understand and use technology to improve their work and daily lives. I get to show others that technology is not scary and can actually be fun and amazing!

Something someone might be surprised to know about you: I learned how to fly an airplane when I was sixteen and was originally an Aeronautics major.

Favorite book/movie/album: My favorite book is “Yeager”, the autobiography by Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier. My two favorite movies are “The Great Waldo Pepper” and “Top Gun”. My favorite album is “Tales from the Acoustic Planet” by Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, and friends.

Girl at laptopA funny thing happened to me on my way to hear Sebastian Thrun speak in October. Thrun, you’ll remember is the (former) Stanford Artificial Intelligence professor, whose free online course went viral last year, starting the frenzy over Massive Open Online Courses, known by the acronym MOOCs. These are super-large enrollment non-credit courses offered for free. Thrun’s AI course attracted around 160,000 enrollments. What is seldom added to that fact is that around 133,000 dropped out of the course. Nonetheless, 28,000 students are more than Thrun would ever reach with his in-person lectures during his lifetime.

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This September over 40 Oregon State faculty members (many brand new to the OSU community) participated in the first Roads Scholar Tour. The tour, sponsored by the Division of University Outreach and Engagement, College of Agricultural Sciences and the Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement, made five stops between Corvallis and Portland, and in between an engaging conversation was led by our tour hosts Barbara Holland and Judith Ramaley, both internationally renowned leaders in the area of community engagement.

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As in most biennia, the Oregon Governor releases a two-year recommended budget around December 1, then participates in a legislative process that establishes a two-year budget beginning the following July 1. For the 2013-15 biennium, a new process partitioned the State’s general fund into seven funding areas. The OSU Extension Service was considered within the education funding area, along with the rest of higher education, the K-12 system and community colleges. The other two OSU Statewide Public Services—the Forest Research Lab and the Agricultural Experiment Station, were included within the jobs and economy funding area.

With leadership from the Extension Program Council, a process was developed to identify and prioritize issues around which we might seek funding to allow Extension’s growth. While it isn’t yet clear if new funding may come from the state, we are preparing to advance three initiatives. These investment opportunities have been reviewed by the campus-wide Outreach and Engagement Council, the Extension Citizens Advisory Network and Extension’s regional administrators and county leaders.

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The recent article “Assessing the Culture of Engagement on a University Campus” in the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship describes an assessment of the culture of engagement at Virginia Tech, and summarizes the findings in this Campus Engagement Model.

http://jces.ua.edu/assessing-the-culture-of-engagement-on-a-university-campus/

I’d value your feedback and suggestions of what might be done at our university.

– Scott