- Author: Wendy Powers
I suspect the fair occurs this week in some counties in California, and many more across the U.S. I've never been much of a fair person, particularly the games and rides aspect of the event. Regardless, the week has been a rollercoaster, for me. For those in the fire zones, it has no doubt felt like a rollercoaster ride as well. I know several of our offices are evacuated, not to mention our employees and their friends and families. My heart goes out to everyone impacted. I am amazed that, despite evacuation of her own family, Susie kept others top of mind in making sure information got out to those who need it.
Program Council met this week and developed a number of recommendations to advance to the Vice President. I suspect the VP will act on some of those soon. Program Council was a busy meeting this week; a lot of information for our 3 newest members to take in. Two of those members attended for the first time. We ended up delaying the presentation about the Master Gardener program until our October meeting, the agenda for which is already filling fast.
The Vice Chancellors for Research (VCRs) met this week and I was able to share the recently released position call process with them. The timing was good in that earlier in the day we had a discussion with the Office of Science and Technology Policy on ARPA-H, a federal effort to expedite transformative, high-risk, high-reward health research. I do hope some of the VCRs reach out for more information. The position call process is an opportunity to better connect UC ANR with the broader UC and build new partnerships to support traditional program areas in ways that haven't been present before. For example, during the ARPA-H conversation, there was discussion about use of wearable technology to improve health outcomes through improved diagnoses and monitoring. Immediately, I thought of my research days using electronic nose technology. At the same time, I was thinking about the Nutrition CE Specialist position just released for UC Davis that will use wearable technology as a strategy to improve nutrition-related health outcomes. Imagine if the academics partnered, and brought in CE Advisors to develop the audience-specific, culturally-relevant implementation strategies to achieve the desired outcomes!
The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) has been active with meetings this week as well. ECOP reflects the national Extension system and has a number of committees that align with UC ANR program areas (climate change, 4-H, health, urban extension). Each of the committees have been busy increasing partnerships and funding for program delivery, making program advancements particularly to enhance DEI, and coordinating efforts across states.
While I am not excited that Labor Day is next week, because it symbolizes the end of the summer ‘slowdown', I need Monday to catch up on things. I have to admit that I am ready for the ambient temperature to stabilize a bit. Stay safe everyone and enjoy the long weekend!
- Author: Wendy Powers
This week is flying by, Zooming by, actually. A number of meetings that occur every quarter hit the calendar this week. One of those was with the Academic Assembly Council. I was surprised at the new faces on AAC – the year seems to have gone by so quickly. Some of the AAC committee chairs agreed to an additional year. This is the case for Steven Worker and his role as chair of the Personnel Committee. Steven and the committee have been quite busy again this year. They have been working to provide greater clarity to the e-book. Last year the committee overhauled the book significantly. Fortunately, I believe this year's lift is a bit lighter.
The UC ANR strategic plan refresh is well underway. Attendance was strong at this week's input webinar. Those of us who will be sharing goals at next week's session are busy preparing slides and strategizing how best to share the goals to stimulate feedback and creative ideas for success with the goals. For those interested in attending, I suspect a reminder and registration link will be sent on Monday. We welcome the input and ideas!
The President's Advisory Commission Emerging Issues committee met today and continue to formulate their feedback for UC ANR priorities. One of the new PAC member, Paula Daniels, joined the group today and shared her work leading the LA Food Policy Council. She spoke highly of Gail Feenstra's efforts. This presentation followed a conversation last month brainstorming roles for UC ANR in building a resilient food network. The committee will continue its discussion later in August, before reporting out to the entire PAC at the end of the month. Key to the conversation is building resources to fund new priorities, in the absence of ideas about what to let go.
This afternoon I met with the Vice Chancellors for Research from the 10 campuses plus the directors of the three national labs. Keeping the UC research enterprise at the forefront of state budget decisions was front and center for the meeting. The VCRs talked about providing input to our new UC President about key opportunities at each campus. The pandemic was center stage in the conversation as well. While most campuses are operating at 25 to 30% of normal research intensity, COVID cases in researchers has remained low or zero. Hopefully, the return of undergraduate students to any extent will not be compromise continuation of research activity.