Roger Rennekamp, associate dean and director of Ohio State University Extension, will bring his 40-year career in Cooperative Extension to a close on July 31.
Rennekamp has served Ohio and its citizens since 2016 as the 12th leader of OSU Extension, which has an office in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. Specializing in agriculture and natural resources, Ohio 4-H youth development, community development, and family and consumer sciences, Extension educators bring the knowledge of The Ohio State University directly to Ohioans.
During his tenure, Rennekamp has been responsible for a number of positive organizational changes.
“Dr. Rennekamp has forged a large number of new partnerships that have served to heighten awareness of Extension’s mission among both internal and external stakeholders,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
Rennekamp also led a comprehensive restructuring of OSU Extension, CFAES’ outreach arm, that aimed to eliminate inefficiencies and expand the voice of county-based personnel in organizational decision making. Some of his other accomplishments while at OSU Extension have included increasing the starting salary for Extension educators, streamlining the promotion process for nonfaculty educators, initiating Ohio State’s Community Engagement Conference, and creating an Extension internship program. Additionally, Rennekamp was responsible for using an issue-based framework for communicating the value of Extension, bringing a renewed focus on talent development within the organization, and introducing a new videoconferencing platform that allowed for enhanced communication and saved Extension personnel both time and money.
Rennekamp was also responsible for the Extension Endowment Initiative, which resulted in record-breaking philanthropic support for OSU Extension.