UC seeks public input on extension positions
DAVIS, Calif. — The University of California wants to hear from farmers, commodity groups and other members of the public on the types of specialists and advisors it should hire in the coming year.
People have until July 21 to make suggestions as the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources chooses from among 123 proposed Cooperative Extension positions.
The division has money each academic year to recruit a certain number of advisors and specialists, depending on factors such as how many have retired and created vacancies, spokeswoman Pamela Kan-Rice said.
As UC campuses and county extension offices have submitted proposals for what to do with the money, Ag and Natural Resources leader Barbara Allen-Diaz is seeking help in setting priorities.
“We’re trying to narrow down and prioritize which are the most important ones that should be opened for recruitment,” Kan-Rice said. “Some of the positions are different. We’re not just replacing people. We’re trying to fill the highest priority needs.”
In 2013, ANR approved 27 positions for recruitment out of more than 120 suggested. This year, in addition to common titles that have been staples of UCCE for decades, a few suggested positions reflect the changing times, Kan-Rice noted.
For example, Tulare and Kings counties are looking for a director who is also a public policy advisor. In addition, there are requests for a nutrition and sustainable food systems advisor, a California immigrant families specialist and a specialist for climate adaptation and mitigation in agriculture, she observed.
Members of the public are invited to review proposed positions and leave comments on ANR’s website. The division wants to hear from commodity groups, cooperating programs, agencies and others with a stake in which positions get filled, a news release explained.
Comments won’t be counted as votes. One organization’s remarks that explain why a position is important could trump many comments that simply voice support, the release stated. The comments will be publicly accessible and will be considered by Allen-Diaz and a review team and program council.
The division will “be filling the most critical positions first, and we need input from people all over the state to help us choose which are the most critical needs,” Kan-Rice said.
UCANR Call for Positions: http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Divisionwide_Planning/2014_Call_for_Positions/