Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
11.07.2012  
 

Oregon Wine Institute Caught in 'Culture Clash'

Search for full time director for Oregon Wine Research Institute on hold indefinitely

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
Bill Nelson Wine America
 
Bill Nelson, the former executive director of the Oregon Winegrowers Association, reviewed the state's wine research institute.

Corvallis, Ore.—Its programs will continue, but the Oregon Wine Research Institute will be without a full-time director for the foreseeable future as stakeholders hone a vision for the organization.

"We have chosen to not initiate a search now and to have me continue to serve as director while we lay a foundation for future growth and success of the OWRI,” wrote Dr. Bill Boggess, Executive Associate Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University in a recent note to stakeholders. “This time will be devoted to developing a strategic vision for the OWRI guided by our prime directive, focused on research issues of special relevance in all three components of our research mission, and capitalizing on the assets of our three-way industry, University, [USDA Agricultural Research Station] partnership.”

Boggess has overseen the institute since inaugural director Dr. Neil Shay stepped down at the end of June 2012.

 

Report details division
The decision follows a report by Bill Nelson, the former president of Wine America who served as executive director of the Oregon Winegrowers Association until 1994. OWRI asked Nelson to review the institute this past June, and to prepare a report described to Wines & Vines at the time as, “a basic examination of what different folks are trying to accomplish” via the institute (see Wines & Vines article, “Oregon Wine Institute Mulls Future,” Aug. 8, 2012). “The difficulty is trying to take divergent views and expectations and find the middle ground,” Nelson said.

Nelson’s report, submitted in September and publicly released a month later, praises the research institute’s potential but outlines a distinct division between the university’s and industry’s understanding of the institute and the role each group plays.

“OWRI is clearly owned by OSU. The wine Industry is advisory. There is a real need to clearly explain this situation to industry and to gain acceptance,” Nelson writes. “Many feel because the industry initiated the project it was theirs or at least shared. ... But the reality is that government sees this as an OSU institution. Industry is in a subordinate position to provide advice, collaboration, and support.”

Clash between industry, academics
Confusion over ownership of the institute is compounded by what Nelson describes as a “culture clash” in how the institute should be run. “Many business types felt that top-down direction gets people to do what the bosses want and produce more widgets,” Nelson wrote following interviews with industry. “The challenge facing administrators in an academic environment is to amplify individual talents and strengths and take maximum advantage of the personal creativity, skills, and abilities of the faculty rather than attempting to force results through top down direction.”

Nelson recommended that industry advisors avoid micromanaging the institute and perhaps establish a liaison who could serve as a conduit between the university and its partners in the wine business.

Any future director of the institute should be someone who has “close ties to the wine community, understands the problems and specific issues of agricultural, grape, and wine research ... [and is] a productive leader who continues producing while practicing leadership.”

The position of director is critical enough to the success of the institute that Nelson advocated, “leaving the position of director vacant rather than having the wrong director.”

“The right person is vital,” he said.

In response, the university is not initiating a new search, leaving management of the institute in Boggess’s hands.

“This allows us to capitalize on our renewed momentum and to focus OWRI's resources on building our research capacity and conducting important research projects,” he wrote in the update to stakeholders.

Greater funding for the institute is also being sought through discussions with the OWRI policy board and the Oregon Wine Board, whose members originally raised $2 million in support of the institute. The new strategy will focus on what Boggess describes as, “a legislative strategy to enhance funding for the OWRI.

“We believe that building our research capacity and track record and attracting additional resources will provide a strong foundation for recruiting a director who will lead the OWRI into the future.”

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 $622 million
7%
$7,995 million
5%
March 2014 $582 million $7,588 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 $252 million
19%
$1,863 million
14%
March 2014 $213 million $1,634 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 356
22%
243
16%
March 2014 292 210
     
 
MORE » Released on 04.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • April 25
     
    Vineyard Mechanization Workshop
     
  • April 25-26
     
    Vineyard to Vintner in Stags Leap
     
  • April 25-27
     
    World Wine Meetings America
     
  • April 26
     
    TAPAS Grand Tasting
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Bedroom Communities Seek Vineyard AVA »
 
Why not just bottle under a vineyard designation? The bond will have a city or...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
FWIW, We make a few wines from a certified Organic vineyard growing cabernet franc, merlot,...
Reader: southoldfc
 
Article: Specialty Tanks Encourage Oak Extraction »
 
According to the manufacturer, the logs are made through compression and not with a binding...
Reader: Andrew Adams
 
Article: Specialty Tanks Encourage Oak Extraction »
 
What is the bonding agent of the Pressed Oak Logs?
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
Some Long Island, NY, vineyard farmers are already using nearly organic methods. They have worked...
Reader: envcat
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Tasting Room Cashier/G...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Associate
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Dtc Sales/Marketing Co...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Assistant
 Woodinville, WA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Scheduler / Planner
 Sebastopol, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Fine Art & Design Cons...
 Napa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room Specialis...
 Glen Ellen, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Midwest Regional Manag...
 Chicago, IL
Sales and Marketing
 Senior Accountant
 Saint Helena, CA
Finance
 Assistant Winemaker
 Richland, WA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.