Who said July and August were slow months? An update from NORDP President Gretchen Kiser

by Gretchen Kiser

I had wanted to dedicate some substantive time to writing my first post to you all, my valued colleagues in research development, to say something prophetic and inspiring for my first blog post.  Alas, I must tell you, at the risk of revealing too much, that my “The first month or so” blog post has now become “Who said July and August were slow months?” blog post.  This is the life of a research development professional.

I hope you will forgive this delay, especially as I tell you that your Board has not been at all idle. Here’s some of the things we’ve been working on over July and part of August:

  • On-boarding Keith Osterhage, our new Executive Director, who is an enthusiastic advocate for our goals, and has already been diving right in to help with several important tasks!
  • Working with our event planners, Designing Events, and our Executive Director to vet and select our conference venue in the DC area for 2018. We’re close to making a decision.
  • Goal-setting and planning. Board member Terri Soelberg and her university Boise State University generously hosted our Board leadership meeting at the end of August. In preparing for this meeting, I had the privilege of speaking individually with each Board member and will just say that NORDP is well-served by a diverse set of insightful and dedicated professionals.  As a means of understanding the strengths of ourselves as a Board and how to best work with each other, we utilized the StrengthsFinder tool to assess our individual professional strengths.  Not surprisingly, collectively we have a lot of strength in the tool categories of Learner, Strategic, Relator, and Achiever.

We tackled quite a few topics in our 2 days in Boise and I look forward to working together to execute our ambitious strategies to: realize our academic RD research arm (aka NORD), enhance and expand our professional development offerings, including into leadership development (LDRD), drive new sources of revenue, further engage critical partners outside of NORDP, thus expanding our sphere of influence and bringing new and valuable resources to our membership, work to implement more effective communication methods, develop a framework for regional and other affinity groups within NORDP, and define ways to help increase diversity in research development.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll focus a set of communications on a few of the topics that we discussed at the leadership retreat and hope to then give you all a good understanding of the direction that we’d like to take NORDP this year.

Let me start with some of the changes that we’re planning for the Effective Practices and Professional Development (EPPD) Committee.  Three very important programs have been nurtured under the EPPD umbrella: Online Professional Development, Mentoring and Pre-Conference Workshops.  As we pivot to further expand our professional development resources, we are going to pull ‘professional development’ into its own committee.  The new Program Development Committee will be focused on online as well as other professional development resources, and now including Leadership Development in Research Development (LDRD) content as well. Kari Whittenberger-Keith and Ioannis Konstantinidis will be the Board co-chairs of this committee.  The newly stand-alone Mentoring Committee will continue the fantastic work they have been doing now with Karen Fletcher serving as the Board representative for that committee.  Finally, the Pre-Conference Workshop group (still led by Kari Whittenberger-Keith) will slide over to sit under the Conference Committee, headed this year by Michael Spires.

I’m so excited about working together to meet the challenges and potentials for NORDP over the next year –  setting-up NORDP for organizational success and providing our membership with valuable resources for career development and doing their jobs more effectively.

Peggy Sundermeyer is the 2016 Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski Service Award Winner

NORDP_BOD.2015
Peggy Sundermeyer, Trinity University,  is seen here wearing a red blazer along with current and past members of the Board of Directors. Photo taken during the annual leadership meeting (August 2015) in Boulder, CO.

NORDP’s Service Award was established in 2011 and named for our organization’s founding President, Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski, Ph.D., who was the first recipient.  The award, voted on by the Board of Directors, is given annually to a NORDP Member in recognition of outstanding service to the organization and to the Research Development profession.  The honor is recognized with a commemorative plaque and waived registration fee for a future NORDP Research Development Conference.

Peggy Sundermeyer is a Founding Member of the Board of Directors (2010-2016) and has served as NORDP’s Treasurer (2011-2016). Her careful stewardship and management of our organization’s funds is one of the reasons NORDP was able to hire its first Executive Director in 2016. She routinely makes innovative suggestions to manage our finances more effectively and efficiently. Her colleagues acknowledge her helpfulness, kindness, and eagerness to “step up” when something needs doing and an unrivaled source of information about NORDP’s history, traditions, policies, and procedures. Above all, she is a superb connector and an extraordinary advocate for the best practices of research development. There are scores of new NORDP members who have joined our organization and are actively volunteering based on her inspiring leadership. In addition to serving as a member of the Executive Committee, Peggy has served on the following committees: Revenue & Finance, Executive Conference, Conference Planning, and Scholarships & Awards.

Previously Peggy previously served the University of Minnesota in the Office of the Vice President for Research (1999-2014) as the Executive Director of Research Advancement (2006-2014) and as Coordinator of Professional Development (1996-2006) . She is regarded as the type of colleague everyone wishes for. She is highly skilled in a variety of areas, committed to the development of collaboration and consensus, and dedicated to equity in all endeavors.

 

Introducing NORDP’s first executive director: Keith Osterhage

The NORDP Board is pleased to announce that we have hired Keith Osterhage as our first executive director. We can no longer say that we are an all-volunteer organization, but we think this is an important step in our long-term sustainability.

Keith Osterhage is a native of Northwest Ohio, growing up in a small agricultural community, the oldest of five children; his late father was one of 14, his mother one of six children. From this small community he went on to attend Ohio Northern University, graduating summa cum laude, with majors in history and political science. He was the first student in ONU history to graduate in two and one half years.

His academic program advanced to The Ohio State University where he completed two master’s degrees, an M.A. in Political Science, and an M.A. in Public Administration. These two programs gave him skills in social science research and methodology as well as public policy analysis and program evaluation. He then moved to Washington, D.C., where he was a graduate fellow in government at Georgetown University and was selected to participate in the Kissinger seminar series, taught by Dr. Henry Kissinger and Dr. Bill Hyland. His professional training continued as he received the Management Development Program (MDP) Certificate from Harvard University for higher education administrators, and then became one of the first 110 Certified Research Administrators (CRA) in the United States. In 2011-2012 he completed a Temple University Leadership Academy Certificate.

Since 1986, Osterhage has worked in leadership positions in higher education and as an independent consultant, with leadership posts at American, George Washington, Rutgers, Marquette and Temple Universities. Keith has worked in state, local and federal agencies, and has designed grant and contract competitions and evaluated demonstration projects. He has also served as a proposal reviewer for federal agencies. In 1992, he was recruited by the NIH Extramural Associates program to assist and train small institutions (primarily HBCUs, and HACUs—Black and Hispanic-serving institutions) to set up sponsored program offices, policies and best practices for research development and growth. His work in local government included welfare and public works programs. His work in the business world included work for an SBA 8(a) minority-owned small business, where he wrote proposals and conducted program evaluation and provided management support for programs at federal departments, including Energy, EPA and DOD. He has also served as an independent consultant to both for-profit and nonprofit entities regarding proposal development, bidding strategies, as well as providing policy assessment and benchmarking of best practices and standards.

Continue reading “Introducing NORDP’s first executive director: Keith Osterhage”

What do you get out of NORDP?

A message from Member Services Co-Chair Terri Soelberg

There are many interesting things going in the Member Services Committee. We are charged with welcoming new members, helping to identify areas of programming/services that are of interest to the membership, and helping to recruit new members.

Currently, we are working on developing a set of recruiting tools and strategies that will help current members share information with others about this great organization. To that end, we would like to hear from members what you feel is most valuable about your NORDP membership. I hope you will take a couple of minutes to leave comments below. Shy about public posts? Feel free to reach out to me directly, terrisoelberg@boisestate.edu

If you have other thoughts about what you would like to see in the way of programming or member benefits, I would love to hear about it. Lastly, if would you like the opportunity to become more involved with the great work our committees do, let me know. All of our committees are open to increasing their volunteers.

Best,

Terri

Leadership development in research development: It’s based on data

By Alicia Knoedler

Our last NORDP Blog entry featured the newest members of the NORDP Board of Directors. Within that entry, it was mentioned that Board members will be providing regular updates to the NORDP membership. Each Board member has the opportunity to feature some ideas, give updates on committee work, and encourage NORDP members to become involved in the great work of this organization.

NORDP provides a tremendous network of colleagues and a wealth of opportunities to develop professionally. In a later blog entry, I will be sharing some ideas regarding leadership development within the context of research development. But before I get there, I would like to ask you to think about a few topics – think about them in the context of your own position at your institution or organization, the environment at your institution or organization, and your career goals and aspirations.

I am going to start with my favorite topic – DATA! At the recent Board retreat, a few of our discussions were aided by past and current data, and we all agree on the importance of accurate data when it comes to the NORDP membership, the exchange of frequent and current information – for example from Liaison and Committee reports, and the possibility that data might open our eyes to new ideas, trends, and needs.

The Membership Metrics Subcommittee, for example, recently completed the 2015 NORDP Salary Survey (you need to be a NORDP member to be able to see this page). These are great data to have, and beyond the figures provided in the report, the Subcommittee produced a great summary of findings that could be very helpful to the membership.

Keeping track of membership information is an important task within the Membership Services Committee and they rely on accurate information collected with you sign up to become a member or renew your membership. As we near the end of September, 2015, we have just over 600 members. We average about 15 new memberships per month and approximately 40 members renew each month. We now have NORDP Regional Representatives across various regions who are organizing discussions, listservs, and meetings. These representatives rely on accurate membership data to determine who is in their region. When the regions became more well-defined, we modified the classification of “Regions” in the membership profile system. Currently, 64% of the NORDP membership has accurate Regional classifications as part of their profiles. We would really appreciate your help in updating this information as well as other information in your profiles, such as your Institution/Organization Type, Institutional Consortia Membership (if you don’t know, ask around), and your Annual Sponsored Research Awards. All of these categories are important for various analyses and in helping us to determine target groups and programming needs. Please take a moment to log in to the Member Center (go to Member Center and then select “My Profile”) and make sure your profile is up to date.

At the retreat, the NORDP Board also discussed positions for the Board that will be open for the next election. We will have a forthcoming update on that topic soon.  We use the membership profile data to consider encouraging individuals from various regions, or institution sizes, or other demographic and institutional/organizational characteristics to consider running for election sot that the NORDP Board is representative of its membership and benefits from diverse perspectives and experiences.

I would like to end this update with a few questions that relate to my next blog update – Your institution/organization may have just one NORDP member or as many as 15 (University of Tennessee, Knoxville!) members. Would others at your institution/organization be interested in professional development offerings provided through NORDP? How many more? Could this include faculty? Associate Deans for Research? Department chairs/heads? Others? Fell free to add comments in answer to these questions but stay tuned for a future blog on the topic of reaching a broad audience through professional development.