Ohio State University Extension offices across Ohio implement teleworking for staff until further notice

Writer(s): 
Working with families to create urban agriculture is just one of the many services that OSU Extension offers Ohioans. Photo: Ken Chamberlain.

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Ohio State University Extension has implemented a teleworking plan effective immediately, and all OSU Extension offices statewide are closed until further notice. The plan mirrors The Ohio State University’s decision earlier this week to require all employees who can do so to work from home and to maintain only critical services on university property across all campuses.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, and works to share knowledge with every county in Ohio. Its four major program areas are family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, community development, and agriculture and natural resources.

“While our physical offices will be closed, we are committed to continuing to conduct our work as fully as possible,” said Jackie Kirby Wilkins, interim director of OSU Extension. “Our employees are prepared to telework and are ready to serve their local clients and communities.”

“In recent years, OSU Extension invested in the technology needed to facilitate effective teleworking for our organization, and we’ll utilize our resources during this challenging situation to remain engaged with Ohioans.”

Clients, stakeholders, and community members can connect with any OSU Extension staff via phone or email. All staff will serve local clientele through normal office hours—as previously determined by each county—and they will remain accountable for program management needs.

Most Extension-planned activities through April 20 are now postponed, scheduled to be held virtually, or canceled. The university is monitoring guidance and best practices from local, state, and federal agencies and will share updates or modifications as information becomes available.

If you have not already been contacted about an event or activity in which you were scheduled to participate—or if you have a question about an event—please check with your local contact for that event.

“Thank you for your cooperation and collaboration related to COVID-19,” Wilkins said. “Ohio State remains committed to the health and well-being of our community, and OSU Extension remains committed to serving our communities in each county as this situation evolves.”

“These are unprecedented times, and we sincerely appreciate your flexibility and support.”

A listing of all OSU Extension office contact information, including a staff directory, can be found at extension.osu.edu/lao. If you reach voice mail, please leave a message with your name and contact information, and you will be contacted as soon as possible.

COVID-19 Resources

Ohio Department of Heath
coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19
coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/resources/How-You-Can-Prevent-and-Prepare

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
wexnermedical.osu.edu/features/coronaviru

For more information contact: 
CFAES News Team
614-292-2270
Source(s): 

Cheryl Buck
OSU Extension Communication Manager
buck.19@osu.edu