Posts Tagged: COVID-19
While United States leaders continue to grapple with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, many Californians have concerns about basic needs and safety connected with the illness and subsequent shelter-in-place guidelines. By its nature, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources can offer expertise to help them cope with this challenging situation.
People are wondering about food, water, exercise, educating their children and adjusting to a new lifestyle – topics covered by our nutrition, family and consumer sciences programs. In addition, UC ANR's expertise in agricultural science is invaluable for farmers who are essential businesses growing food for people in the United States and abroad. Natural resources programs are able to offer guidance for using outdoor facilities under the circumstances.
To make these practical resources easy to find, UC ANR leadership and Strategic Communications aggregated relevant information in one place on our website, http://ucanr.edu/COVID19communityresources. The webpage includes sections on “agriculture,” “food, water and nutrition,” “youth development,” “exploring your environment,” “gardening," and "health and wellness."
Please share this resource with your clientele, friends and family. If you have ANR resources that should be added to these pages, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UC ANR has a second website with COVID-19 information specifically for employees, found at http://ucanr.edu/COVID19. That site contains sections on:
- CDC guidelines and recommendations
- Telecommuting and remote work
- Wellness and mental health resources
- Guidance for ANR locations and programs
- Program-specific guidance
- Additional resources
A national action dialogue on community-based programming in the digital networked COVID-19 age will be hosted by eXtension April 1, 2020. Top issues identified in a March 26 discussion will be explored more deeply by breakout groups to share strategies for addressing these issues and potential needs to address the issues.
12 noon - 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Open to all Cooperative Extension professionals regardless of eXtension Foundation, Inc. membership.
Register at https://bit.ly/2JrlROd
The purpose of this National Action Dialogue is to position universities to rapidly respond to community-based programming in the digital networked COVID-19 age by delving in, capturing collective wisdom, inspiring innovative thinking, and focusing on new opportunities, partnerships, solutions, tangible actions and collaborations on issues for farms, families, businesses and communities that will exist long beyond this public health crisis.
In partnership with ECOP, eXtension has been mobilized to support the Cooperative Extension System during this tough time of social distancing. They have started a webinar series to address working virtually and connecting with your audiences through digital technology. More information is available at virtual.extension.org and in the Connect ExtensionGroup “Extension Response & Resources for Extension Professionals Working Online.”
Attracting and retaining highly qualified employees is a top priority for UC ANR. To be more competitive among many diverse employment markets, UC ANR leadership has developed a plan to address the competitiveness of our staff salaries.
As part of UC ANR's overall compensation strategy, VP Humiston approved a four-year Market-based Adjustment Plan for non-represented staff to ensure salaries of existing staff are better aligned with the labor market. All non-represented staff are eligible to participate in this plan, regardless of their position's funding source. For some whose compensation has fallen behind market rates, the Division is making a significant effort to address this issue, as long as it is fiscally viable and prudent to do so.
Using UC Career Tracks, UC ANR Human Resources will be able to identify, review and address the salaries of non-represented staff members whose pay is not in the targeted competitive zone. This strategy will be implemented over four years, which will allow us to better manage the fiscal impact of the salary adjustments.
Eligible employees will be notified individually within the next few weeks. These market-based adjustments are separate and distinct from any merit program approved centrally by President Napolitano.
For more information, please read the FAQs at http://ucanr.edu/sites/ANRSPU/Supervisor_Resources/Compensation/Equity_.
AVP Wendy Powers announced that UC ANR has added another funding mechanism to its 2017 funding opportunities/grants website: a Matching Grants Program.
For grant opportunities that require matching funds, this program will provide cash resources for UC ANR academics to submit as matching funds in their proposals for external funding support of research, outreach or training efforts.
Proposed projects must be within the scope of the UC ANR Strategic Vision. All UC ANR academics with PI status are eligible to apply. Proposals will be accepted at any time, as the opportunities present themselves. Proposals will be submitted to the Associate Vice President and reviewed by the UC ANR Strategic Initiative Leaders and two UC ANR Vice Provosts. Because we recognize that these are time-sensitive projects, the review process will take no more than one month.
Requests for matching funds will be no more than three pages in length and must include a link to the request for proposals, a justification indicating why it is appropriate for UC ANR to provide the cash match, description of the project (study design, educational framework/audience, training program, etc.) and detailed budget. Requests of up to a 1:1 cash match will be considered. No awards will be made until a contract between the grantor and UC ANR is executed. In addition to any reporting required by the grantor, all projects will require a final report with stated outcomes/impacts or anticipated outcomes/impacts. A final report to the grantor may be substituted if the final report contains outcome/impact information.
UC ANR will provide a limited pool of funds for this grant program on an annual basis. The pool of funding will be managed to ensure year round availability for timely projects.
For details about the Matching Grants Program and other ANR funding opportunities and grants, visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Divisionwide_Programs/2017_Funding_Opportunities_Grants.
For questions about the Matching Grants Program, please contact Powers at email@example.com.
The extended vacancy of the Youth, Families and Communities Director position (vacant 17 months) has given UC ANR leadership time to consider program needs and how the Division can best meet those needs moving forward. After reflection, collecting recommendations from the respective Statewide Directors and gathering input from the broader ANR community, AVP Wendy Powers has decided not to fill the YFC director position.
“Interim co-directors Shannon Horrillo and Katie Panarella have provided excellent leadership and afforded the Division an opportunity to invest the unused salary provision to further strengthen and support the YFC program,” Powers said.
Funds designated for the YFC director position will be reinvested into YFC programs to support growth and new opportunities. The statewide program directors identified program integration among 4-H Youth Development; Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences; Master Food Preserver and Master Gardener programs as a key priority.
“In support of their vision, we will hire a Program Integration Coordinator that will support efforts to integrate across programs and disciplines to maximize extension efforts and identify new multidisciplinary funding opportunities,” Powers said. “This is consistent with the original intent of having a YFC program and a goal within the UC ANR strategic plan to better integrate and focus our efforts.” The position will be released in the coming months with interviews anticipated in May.
“Subsequently, based on the directors' recommendations, we will invest in hiring a Master Food Preserver and Food Entrepreneurship Academic Coordinator,” Powers said. “This position will bring together our existing work with home food preservation, cottage foods and innovation in agriculture to best address the food security needs of California and to pursue funding opportunities to implement programming.
She also announced plans to hire a part-time 4-H online data system administrator to centralize some 4-H online administrative functions at the state level, reducing the administrative workload on 4-H county-based staff and increasing technical assistance and support.
“We believe this plan will provide the needed support to position YFC for growth and to meet future needs,” said Powers.
Shannon Horrillo will continue permanently as the statewide 4-H director and Katie Panarella as the statewide Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences director and co-director of the Master Food Preserver Program. They will continue working in partnership with Missy Gable, the statewide Master Gardener director and co-director of the Master Food Preserver Program to lead these high-priority ANR statewide programs and integration in ways that leverage their assets for greater collective impact.