ELT Minutes, August 3, 2011

Extension Leadership Team Minutes
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Room 102 B Libby Hall

Facilitator: Dennis
Note taker: Lisa
Present: John Rebar, Fran Sulinski, Dennis Harrington, Jon Prichard, Lisa Phelps
Guests: Jen O’Leary and Cindy Eves-Thomas

Welcome Jon Prichard!
The ELT welcomed Jon Prichard to his first ELT meeting.

Please note: Due to the confidentiality and sensitivity of some agenda items, these ELT minutes do not represent the full content of each meeting.

Future ELT Meeting Dates:
ELT members reviewed their calendars and established future meeting dates. We also agreed as an ELT that we would meet in Augusta for some of our meetings.

September 6th- Orono
September 22- Orono
October 12th- Augusta
October 27th- Orono
November 9th- Augusta
November 22nd- Orono
December 12th- Orono
January 10th- Augusta only meet until noon
January 31st- Orono
February 14th- Augusta
March 1st- Orono

Future Supervisory Responsibilities:

With Jon Prichard joining the ELT and Doug Babkirk’s departure, the ELT needed to determine future supervisory responsibilities. John Rebar will send out an e-mail to the organization that outlines the supervisory responsibilities and will include an attachment highlighting supervisory and program responsibilities. The changes will be effective September 1, 2011.

UMaine Extension Usability Study

The UMaine Extension website has changed substantially since our last user study in 2007, as have our users.

User web stats, comparing June ’07 to June ’11

# of visitors: 80,982 –> 179,909; up 122%
# of visits from Maine: 14,490 –> 79,995; up 452%; in June ’07, 18% of visitors to our site were from Maine; in June ’11, 44% of visitors to our site were from Maine
# of mobile devices accessing our site: 0 –> 9,918

A follow-up user study in 2011 will help us evaluate whether or not we’re meeting the current needs and expectations of our online clients, and provide analysis and recommendations for improvement by external review and integrating communication technologies, including social media. The ELT approved to solicit bids for a user study of our external website by an outside contractor. Cindy Eves-Thomas and Jen O’Leary will work together to provide leadership for the usability study and will bring a proposal with estimates to the ELT for FY 2012.

Food Preservation and Food Safety Program Aides

The ELT is allocating one-time funding to support the hiring of two program aide II positions for FY 2012, that will work in the areas of food preservation and food safety. The positions will be full-time and leverage Eat Well funding. The positions will be supervised by Kathleen Savoie and Jason Bolton. The Aide time will be targeted to a specific program area and will work in a more comprehensive multi-county geographic area. In Southern Maine, the Program Aide would work to support the Master Food Preserver program. Faculty will track program impacts and this model could potentially be replicated for other program areas.

Civil Rights Review

A Federal Civil Rights Review will take place the week of Aug 22 and all ELT members will be interviewed and will participate in the opening and closing sessions. In addition, we will have two (2) counties and additional extension staff participating in the review. It is extremely important that everyone be supportive of this review even if your county or unit will not be directly reviewed. We appreciate everyone’s commitment and dedication to the upcoming review.

Use of flexible staff development funds to support travel during sabbaticals:

When on sabbatical, faculty and professionals can access their flexible staff development funds to support instate and out of state travel and professional development. Fran Sulinski will draft language for the UMaine Extension policy and procedures manual to update this policy.


  • Congratulations to Marc Edwards in the Franklin County Office for receiving the Maine Commissioner of Conservation Award for his research and report on the tourism economic impact of Brook Trout Fishing in Maine. The Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Regional Director presented the award at a public ceremony in Farmington.
  • Congratulations to Ryder Scott and Scott Olsen who have been awarded $50,000 by the Maine Department if Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to provide scholarships to the UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond.
  • Congratulations to Ann Swain who has been awarded $351,512 by the Corporation for National and Community Service to support the work of the Senior Companion Program for 2012
  • Congratulations to Mitch Mason who has been awarded $10,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for Signs of the Seasons: A Maine Phenology Project.
  • Congratulations to Debbie Bouchard who has been awarded $14,706 from the National Science Foundation to identify genes associated with resistance to epizootic disease in marine invertebrates.
  • Congratulations to Louis Bassano and James McConnon who have been awarded $10,000 to support the development and implementation of the 2011 Hancock County Business Conference and Trade Show.
  • Congratulations to Barbara Baker who has been awarded $18,000 from Adobe Corporation to help youth from underserved communities use multimedia and digital tools to take action within their communities.