A 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.
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.
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.
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.
I’d value your feedback and suggestions of what might be done at our university.
I’m interested in your reactions. What resonates with you? What questions does this evoke?
I’ll respond to any questions or comments both here and at the conference on Oct. 30.
Imagine what a truly 21st Century public university will become.
by Nicole Strong, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension
Every year over 2,200 cyclists embark on a 400+ mile adventure, riding through different regions of Oregon, exploring seldom traveled roads, passing by towering trees, alpine lakes and staying in small towns. For the past couple years, I have joined up with Cycle Oregon to give our Extension perspective to these journeys. It has been a wonderful experience, I have met people from near and far, including OSU Extension volunteers, faculty, clients new and old, as well as Cycle Oregon participants who stopped by the tent, or with whom I rode with during freezing mornings, up grueling gravel roads, or working together battling nasty head winds.
If you’ve participated in Cycle Oregon before, either as a participant or volunteer, what was the most memorable part for you? (share below by leaving a comment)
Earlier this week several faculty members from Oregon State University attended the National Outreach Scholarship Conference at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The conference theme for this year’s conference was Partner. Inspire. Change.
Oregon State presentations and posters included:
- Imagine a Truly 21st Century Public University (PDF) presentation by Dave King
- Communities Driving Education: Get on the Bus (PDF) poster by Jennifer Oppenlander
- Doing As: Outreach and Engagement in Capacity Building (PDF) poster by Molly Engle
- Crook County Mobile Classroom and Computer Lab (PDF) poster by Jeff Papke
Each summer the Provost requests that all colleges and divisions submit academic reports that highlight the most noteworthy achievements from the past year. I find that the process of compiling this report offers an excellent opportunity to reflect back on all that we have accomplished together.
A few highlights from our division’s 2011-12 report:
- Ecampus introduced four new online credit programs and was ranked eighth in the nation by SuperScholar.org for the quality and strength of its distance education program.
- 352 distance students received their diplomas through Ecampus, including students located in 35 states and six countries.
- Professional and Noncredit Education added four programs, with the expectation of launching upwards of 20 more in 2012-13.
- OSU Extension’s Ask an Expert program is now among the top four most active of its kind in the country. Since its launch in March 2011, our Ask an Expert program has resolved over 4,000 questions.
Name: Maggie Livesay
Position: 4-H Youth Development Faculty/County Leader, Benton
Hometown: Grand Junction, Colorado
# of years at OSU: 15 years
Best part of your job: The best part of my job is working with people – as no one is like another. I enjoy helping people of all ages discover their skills and develop as people. I also enjoy building strong community partnerships to maximize educational efforts, especially in the field of natural resource education for youth.
Something someone might be surprised to know about you: I was an exploration geologist who was privileged to work all over the lower forty-eight and in Alaska. My favorite ride to work – a helicopter.
Favorite book/movie/album: I enjoy reading a variety of genre, watching any movie except the scary ones and my new favorite album is Grievous Angel by Graham Parsons.
Name: Tyler Hansen
Position: Marketing writer/public information representative, OSU Extended Campus
Hometown: Tucson, Ariz.
# of years at OSU: 1 year 3 months
Best part of your job: I get to work with countless interesting people across campus and around the world. My role puts me in touch with OSU distance students who often endure a great deal in order to earn an education, and they are a constant source of inspiration. Being able to help share their stories is a privilege.
Something someone might be surprised to know about you: I taught journalism at Tucson High School before moving to Oregon. On my first day as a teacher, a student came up to me and said, “Aren’t you in my brother’s chemistry class?”
Favorite book/movie/album: My favorite movie is “Good Will Hunting,” probably because it reminds me of my childhood when I was underappreciated for my unparalleled genius. That’s followed closely by “Do the Right Thing,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and “Fletch.”