Announcement from Brian Schilling, director, Rutgers Cooperative Extension
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Karen Plumley as the Acting Director of the Office of Continuing Professional Education.
Karen has a long history at Rutgers University. For the past several years, she has served very capably within Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s Office of the Director as the Director of Leadership and Organizational Development. In this capacity, she developed and led internally- and externally-focused leadership development curricula and programs.
In her new role, Karen will provide executive leadership and operational oversight to all aspects of OCPE, which provides educational outreach to more than 20,000 program participants annually through short courses and customized training programs. Central to Karen’s leadership vision is the strengthening and expansion of relationships with subject matter experts at SEBS/NJAES necessary to identify, plan, develop and deliver high-quality programs across a broader range of RCE mission areas. She brings to the position a deep commitment to the continuous improvement of programs, inclusive of contemporary pedagogy, stakeholder accessibility, and delivery modalities.
Karen’s wide-ranging experiences span research, pesticide development, federal pesticide registration, and education in turf and ornamentals. She has worked in the private sector and academia, gaining valuable experience in developing quality educational programs and the business skills to make them successful. Her strong interest in education includes a previous six-year tenure at OCPE, as well as many subsequent teaching appointments. The latter includes a 25+ year tenure as an instructor in the Golf School. She also brings extensive experience developing undergraduate courses at Rutgers University and Brookdale Community College. She has given numerous lectures at conferences and educational programs across the country where she had the opportunity to stay connected with many alumni of OCPE programs and witness firsthand their impact on participants’ personal and professional development.
In closing, I express deep and sincere gratitude for Dr. Mark Robson’s leadership as Faculty Director of OCPE for the past two years. Mark’s tenure began amid a period marked by significant financial stresses and the many uncertainties presented by the pandemic. Mark met these challenges with uncompromising ethics, compassion, and determination.