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Posts Tagged: Strategic Initiatives

Unifying, communicating and advocating

People work better when they are part of a supportive team. With people scattered across 57 counties, six campuses, and nine research and extension centers, connecting people across UC ANR can be tough.

Our UC ANR Jigsaw consists of 50+ workgroups (formal and informal), 18 (active) Program Teams and five Strategic Initiatives (SI), which all have a role to play in helping us connect and communicate.

Recent SI efforts have focused on identifying which of our groups are active and the lessons for successful connecting.

The SI leaders organized a pair of webinars to engage with Program Team leaders. They used the webinar discussion to highlight ongoing efforts, clarify opportunities, build connections and improve communication. A recording of the Oct. 8 webinar led by Water SI leader David Lewis can be viewed at https://youtu.be/3lTTJ9E2GtU.

If you only do one thing: If you aren't connected as well as you would like, visit this page and contact a leader from one of the Work Groups, Program Teams or an SI leader.

And if you do two more things:  Provide input here on our current Program Team themes and share your ideas to help us unify, communicate and advocate here.

To read about  other connecting and communicating activities being developed by the SIs to promote the work of UC ANR, see the September SI Brief.

For more information, contact your SI leadership team: 

Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 3:57 PM

Strategic Initiative leaders: Unifying, communicating and advocating

Each month we will bring you a brief update on one or two topics being pursued by the Strategic Initiative leaders.

This month, learn about some of the connecting and communicating activities being developed by the SIs to promote the work of UC ANR.

Help people find your educational content through communication and thematic “how to” websites.

Communication

The Knowledge Stream provides practical educational content such as Matthew Shapero's grazing for fire fuels management story.

The Knowledge Stream “News you can use” provides simple relevant updates (200-800 words) to help people get to your practical educational content. 

Stories appear on the Knowledge Stream blog and will also appear on the relevant Focus area page of the UC ANR website. (Stories also potentially appear on the UC ANR main page).

Submit your story here. Strategic Communications will help with editing. 

Trending: Check out simple summaries of the current state of science in relation to some of the hot topics we need to deal with.

Share your ideas here - what hot topics do we need to be thinking about?

Thematic websites

With content experts and Strategic Communications, we are developing thematic sites to provide credible, relevant, practical how-to information that the people of California can apply to improve their lives.

For example, these websites are designed to be used by the general public: FireHealthy Soils and Knowledge Bank

Many Research and Information Centers (RICs) websites already have a thematic focus.

Share your ideas here for website improvement, educational content and to suggest other themes for websites.

For more, contact your SI leadership team: 

Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 5:25 PM

Workgroups, program teams and strategic initiatives review shows clarity of purpose

A major factor in job satisfaction is the extent to which people feel part of a wider supportive community. Such connections have historically been offered in UC ANR through various means, including our structural units (i.e., our 81 workgroups, 21 program teams and 5 strategic initiatives).

Healthy organizations should regularly look at their structure. Important elements of structure include how the pieces fit together and how people may better connect to more effectively implement their work. In the summer of 2018, we began a series of discussions and surveys to revisit aspects of our structure.

Thank you to the 120-plus people who provided input on our structure and suggestions regarding how we may connect. 

Findings

1. Clarity of purpose:

The seeming fuzziness of the roles and goals of our workgroups (WGs), program teams (PTs) and strategic initiatives (SIs) is not as great as people may think. Many consistent findings arose across the different structural groups. A summary of our findings follows.

Workgroups (our oldest unit of structure) are the most readily understood. They represent active “communities of practice” (that can come and go) and are the primary place where people plan and implement (noting that such groups are both formal and informal).

One point of interest is that people didn't realize they could close or start workgroups as needed.

Program teams bring together people (typically from different workgroups) who are working on related but distinctly different topics to network, share and learn.

One clear observation is that PTs vary considerably in terms of the diversity of WG representation (e.g., 1 PT has 12 WGs and a few PTs have just 1 WG).

SIs are our highest form of aggregation (and currently the one that enjoys the least clarity). They function to unify, communicate and advocate as the umbrellas for the work we do. The recent addition for the SIs is the development of the focal areas and grand challenges, providing the opportunity to see the unifying focus in our efforts.

For more information about how workgroups, program teams and strategic initiatives fit together, see https://ucanr.edu/sites/StrategicInitiatives/files/295191.pdf.

2. Workgroups – Don't fix it if it ain't broken:

Of the 81 workgroups, 21 are considered very active and effective - while another 29 are somewhat active and 3 are new in 2019. The remaining 28 WGs have been inactive, as reflected by personnel or goal changes and will be officially closed (see list below). These can be easily reopened if demand arises.

The goal is for WGs to align with a single PT, which likely means realigning the PTs - see point No. 3 below. Currently some workgroups have no PT, whereas other WGs have aligned with many PTs.

3. Reformulate the topic areas for program teams:

The next step is to collect input and look at reformulating/reaffirming the PT themes. Currently, we have 21 PT themes. Some have no WGs under them. Others have many WGs under them. Some workgroups have aligned under many PTs, which creates uneven structure and at times uneven activity.

As we go forward, we encourage people to identify PT themes to 1) better represent the collective work of UC ANR, 2) create or show clearer paths for people to connect at the WG, PT and SI levels, and 3) help us refine the SI focal areas and grand challenges – providing greater clarity of our efforts and clearer SI alignment with the reformulated PT themes and WG efforts.

Opportunity for more input on PT themes

The PT discussions will include a webinar and county visits over summer.

Thank you all for your efforts and we welcome input.

Sincerely,

Mark Bell (Vice Provost Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs)

Strategic Initiative Leaders

HFC: Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty

SFS: Deanne Meyer and Neil McRoberts

Water: David Lewis

SNE: David Lile

Pests: Jim Farrar

—————————————

Workgroups to close. Note: If there is interest and leadership, workgroups can be readily opened by this simple new workgroup request.

1.   Air Quality

2.   Animals in Educational Settings

3.   Bioenergy

4.   Body Weight and Health

5.   Building Food Security

6.   Conservation Biology

7.   Dairy Goats

8.   Ecological Restoration

9.   Economics and Management in Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment

10.   Environmental Observation Network

11.   European Pear

12.   Exotic Fruit Fly

13.   Garden-based Learning

14.   Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

15.   Mosquito Research and Extension

16.   Pest Management in ANR

17.   Postharvest Integrated Pest Management

18.   Rangeland Watershed Program

19.   Turfgrass

20.   Urban Horticulture

21.   Water Quality

22.   Woody Biomass Utilization

23.   Families with Young Children

24.   Food Safety Horticultural Crops

25.   Land Use

26.   Linking Research & Education in Agricultural & Environmental Biotechnology

27.   Peppers

28.   Spray Application Technology 

 

 

Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 10:52 AM

Apply by Nov. 9 to be SI leader for Water or Healthy Families and Communities

ANR academics are invited to apply for Strategic Initiative leader positions, which play key roles in unifying, communicating and advocating to strengthen UC ANR's research and outreach agenda. Given the ongoing evolving role of the UC ANR Strategic Initiatives (SI), the SI leaders agreed that it would again be beneficial to conduct an open search – from across the breadth of expertise of the division – for the next rotation of SI leaders.

Open Positions. Two SI leader positions are scheduled to rotate off at the end of 2018. This change offers opportunities for others to take the lead for

Who is eligible to apply? The positions are open to all UC ANR academics, including Agricultural Experiment Station faculty and Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists. Strategic Initiative leaders are appointed by the Associate Vice President on a rotating basis for three years, with a possibility of extension.

Current SI leaders

The SIs help unify, communicate and advocate for what UC ANR does. See the UCANR Strategic Initiatives website for more information.

To apply for one of the SI leader positions, complete the simple form at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=25782. Applications will be accepted until Nov. 9.

Applicants will be contacted for interviews in late November or early December. The new leaders are anticipated to start on Jan. 2, 2019.

For information regarding the roles and responsibilities of the Strategic Initiative leader position, see the Terms of Reference for Strategic Initiative Leaders. If you have questions, contact Mark Bell, vice provost of Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs.

Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 8:23 AM

New leaders named for three strategic initiatives

Jim Farrar
New leaders for three of the five UC ANR Strategic Initiatives have taken the helm for the three SI leaders who rotated off, effective Jan. 2.

Jim Farrar, director of UC Integrated Pest Management Program, succeeds Cheryl Wilen as leader for Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases (EIPD).

David Lile
David Lile, UCCE director in Lassen County, succeeds John Harper as leader for Sustainable and Natural Ecosystems (SNE).

Neil McRoberts, associate professor of plant pathology at UC Davis, and Deanne Meyer, UCCE specialist in animal science at UC Davis, succeed David Doll as co-leaders for Sustainable Food Systems (SFS).

Neil McRoberts
The strategic initiative leaders play a key role in unifying, communicating and advocating to promote the science and impact of the work of UC ANR. A key undertaking for the SI leaders in 2018 will be to revisit and evolve the role of the initiatives themselves, identifying how the strategic initiatives can better help us advance the UC ANR agenda of touching the lives of 40 million Californians.

Deanne Meyer
Wendy Powers, associate vice president, and Mark Bell, vice provost for strategic initiatives and statewide programs, thanked Wilen, Harper and Doll for their service as SI leaders.

Keith Nathaniel continues to lead the Healthy Families and Communities initiative and Doug Parker continues to lead the Water Quality, Quantity and Security initiative.

Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 6:59 PM

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