Productivity of Extension State Specialists

New Article:


Jeremy D. Foltz and Bradford L. Barham. 2009. "The productivity Effects of Extension Appointments in Land-Grant Colleges." Review of Agricultural Economics. (31:4), pp. 712-733.


The authors measure output as "journal articles, extension bulletins, presentations to extension audiences, presentations to academic audiences, and masters and PhD students produced." Then they examine how the number of journal articles changes as a function of years of experience, the percentage of appointment in Extension, and six disciplinary groups. They conclude that state specialists in the range of 30% Extension appointments are productive in both research and extension. The authors recognized, however, that the measures of Extension output are not very complete. 


The authors use the term "specialization" in a different way than it is used in book: The Minnesota Response.  Foltz and Barham refer to a faculty member as "specialized" in either research or extension.  For example, faculty members with a high percentage appointment in extension are "specialized" in extension.  


In The Minnesota Response,  a field educator is defined as specialized as follows:


 A specialized Extension Educator concentrates on an area of expertise, provides leadership on a statewide program team that develops and delivers outreach educational programs for a community of interest, and contributes to the scholarship related to outreach education.


How does having specialized field extension educators affect academic productivity (journal articles, extension bulletins, M.S. and Ph.D. students)? This was not addressed in this article. While Chapter 11  in The Minnesota Response provides some rudimentary evidence on this question, examining this question in detail needs to use a multi-state data in a multivariate analysis similar to the regression analysis used by  Jeremy Foltz and Bradford Barham. 


Do you have examples of ways that specialization of the field staff might influence the productivity of campus faculty, either in research, extension, or campus-teaching?  If so, send these to me at  




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This page contains a single entry by gw published on December 22, 2009 1:24 PM.

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