ELT Minutes, August 19, 2011

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, August 19. 2011
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
UMaine Regional Learning Center
Small Seminar Room

Facilitator: Doug
Note taker: Fran

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

Annual Provost Report: The ELT previewed the Annual Provost Report. It was created in Prezi format and is an alternative to a hard copy report. The ELT liked the new format and all thanked Dennis for doing a fantastic job using the new tool. The “report” will be available to all staff and an abbreviated version to Executive Committee members.

4H Foundation Fundraising Report: The 4H Foundation Fundraising Report, January 2011 to date was received. The ELT appreciates the update and the hard work of the 4H Foundation staff and board. It was exciting to see the Paper Clover expanding to The Clover Promotion that will allow for a variety of ways for community members and businesses to support 4H Youth Development in Maine.

Bonding Insurance: County treasurers require bonding insurance that was carried by the defunct Maine Extension Association. University policy does not allow UMaine Extension to spend our resources to insure another nonprofit entity such as the County Extension Associations. Dennis will inform the counties of this situation and will advise them that they might purchase this insurance themselves, might want to incorporate background checks of their treasurers, and might also want to consult with county government to investigate how it could support bonding. County Extension Associations could continue without bonding but should know the risks involved.

Extension Program Aides: Extension Program Aides do valuable work in a variety of programs across the state. Aides are often funded temporarily for a variety of reasons and sometimes soft money sources are utilized. Monitoring and if necessary ending these temporary appointments creates a challenge for those who need to track these appointments at the county, unit and statewide levels. Dennis is doing a good job with this tracking and it is important that the immediate supervisor be responsible to ensure we conduct these temporary appointments as intended. Program Administrators will work with the supervisors to develop a commitment letter that outlines the temporary appointment and will place that letter into the supervisor’s personnel file. We will also expect the same level of accountability in the case of any temporary assignment. Dennis will be creating a form to document the agreement and a data base to track it.

Technology Training: There is a significant need for technology training given how integral it is to our daily work. Lisa shared [Lynda.com] as a way for staff to acquire just in time quick staff training or deeper and lengthier training. This is a credible training option that Tanner learned about at the recent ACE/NETC conference and will be rolled out to staff soon by our technology unit. Staff will be able to use their flexible staff development funds to participate in the training and we will welcome feedback about the value of the on-line training modules.

Chancellor’s Request: Extension received a request from the Chancellor’s office to provide a list of external advisory boards with a brief description of the mission of the board, number of members and how often they meet, and a description of the types of members on the board (Community member, business leader, etc.). John will send a message to all staff asking for a coordinated response by August 31st.

Adobe Session with President Ferguson on September 29th: The ELT brainstormed questions to ask President Ferguson during the Sept. 29th Adobe Connect session with Extension staff.

PLT Funding: The next round of PLT funding will include an opportunity to submit a proposal for up to $5,000 for program year October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012. Teams may keep any unspent funding from this FY up to $5,000 by indicating (in their proposal) how that money will be spent.

Information sent out to PLT leaders related to FY12 funding:

  • The ELT recently set parameters for FY12 funding.
  • The ELT will accept proposals for up to $5,000 in new funding.
  • Funding proposals are due on October 1, unless other arrangements are made. Please send proposals to Dennis Harrington and copy the PA leader for your issue.
  • The format for proposals is the same as last year.
  • The September 30th balance in each Team account can be rolled forward and added to your FY12 funding up to a total of $10,000 for the combined balance. If a team generated revenue during FY11, that amount will also be rolled forward and added to the total of FY11 & FY12 funding.
  • Teams are asked to factor any amount of remaining FY11 funding proposals for FY12.

Centralized Database: Lisa shared a prototype of the user portion of the forthcoming centralized database customer account set-up. The ELT was given the opportunity to provide feedback that Lisa will share with Michele Lodgek for her use as she continues to work on this very important customer database.

NIFA Outcomes and Indicators: NIFA is finalizing a list of outcomes and indicators that they want us to incorporate into our POW. This will require a redesign of our reporting system and a change of what is reported by our staff. We would like to incorporate these expectations in a way that will add value to our current reporting system. Lisa and Jon Prichard will work with Dennis to craft a plan that will include input from staff.

New England Planning and Reporting Consortium: Dennis reported on his recent meeting with the New England Planning and Reporting Consortium, the four (4) state collaboration that created and oversees the Logic Model Planning and Reporting System (in Maine called the Maine Planning and Reporting System). The group updated its vision for the future of the Consortium and the System, which will be reaffirmed in an updated MOU. The group also connected with Michigan State University and Colorado State University who are licensed to use the system for an extensive check in – both Universities are very happy with the system and intend to continue their licensing agreements. The representative from Michigan State University said that as a member of the North Central Association of Extension Programs he is encouraging the other 8 states to consider using the system.

Plan of Work Reports: The end of the fiscal year is approaching and Plan of Work reports for FY 11 (October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011) are due and should be entered into the MPRS by October 15th. Those entering reports are encouraged as part of their reporting obligation to enter at least one quality impact statement that follows the USDA format: a brief explanation of the issue (500 characters max); an explanation of what was done (500 characters max); and an explanation of the impact (1000 characters max). This year supervisors will be reviewing narrative reports more carefully for compliance with these standards.

Updated Plans of Work for 2012 – 2016 are due by December 31st. This year NIFA/USDA is asking states to begin to incorporate “national outcomes and indicators” into our POW with the intention that the number will increase in the near future. Dennis Harrington, Lisa Phelps, and Jon Prichard will be working with POW Issue Area Teams this fall to add appropriate indicators to our group plans.

The full timeline for finalizing reports and updating Plans of Work is as follows:

Reporting Timeline

End of reporting year – September 30, 2011

All reports entered into MPRS – by October 15th, 2011

Supervisors review and finalize reports – October 15th – November 15th

Planning Timeline

All plans “rolled-over” and ready for updating – by December 1st 2011

All plans fully updated for 2012 – 2016 – by January 15th 2012

Supervisors review and finalize Plans – January 15th – February 15th, 2012


  • Congratulations to Sarah Sparks who has been awarded $1770 by the Perloff Family Foundation to support 4-H programming using robotics in Cumberland County.
  • Congratulations to James Dill who has been awarded $50,000 from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Resources – Board of Pesticides Control to fund ongoing development of pesticide safety education manual.
  • Congratulations to Ellie Libby who has been awarded $8,000 from the Jane B Cook 1992 Charitable Trust to fund VISTA volunteer stipends for volunteers who support the Food Corps project in Maine.
  • John Rebar has been appointed to UMaine’s 2011 Strategic Technology Planning Team. The charge of the group is to create a plan that is intended to guide the direction of technology at UMaine for the next five years. The plan is expected to fit into the larger institutional strategic planning process that is being developed by President Ferguson.