ELT Minutes, November 22, 2011

Extension Leadership Team Minutes
November 22, 2011
9:00 am to 3:30 pm
Via Gchat

Facilitator: John Rebar

Note taker: Dennis Harrington

Participants: Dennis Harrington, Lisa Phelps, Jon Prichard, John Rebar and Fran Sulinski.

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

Office Security: There have been a number of small security issues in a County office relating to questionable people lurking in the parking lot, and the possibility that an unknown person was into a staff member’s desk. The Program Administrator has worked with the office staff to make sure they are all aware and is strategizing about the best ways to maintain a safe environment. When informed, the ELT was adamant that the safety of all staff members is of the highest importance and should be prioritized. We encourage staff members to pay attention to potential safety issues and potentially dangerous situations, and for Counties to regularly assess the potential for problems. Things that might be considered include: adding additional exterior lighting, consultations with local law enforcement, adding panic buttons, and locking the door when a staff member is alone in the building.

Budget: John Rebar updated the ELT to say that the President recently signed a continuing resolution, which will fund our FY12 Smith-Lever appropriation at the same amount as in FY11, an unexpected yet positive outcome for Extension. Other Federal funds will likely be flat-funded as well, with the exception of the Rural Resources Extension Act (RREA), which may take an 8% cut. There remains some concern about the way automatic budget cuts will be made in light of the recent failure of the Congressional Super-committee, as they could negatively affect Extension funding in FY13. Consequently, we will continue to manage conservatively in anticipation of future cuts.

Caribou Hall: Caribou Hall has now officially been transferred to the University of Maine from the University of Maine Augusta. The facility is located in Bangor and houses the Penobscot County Extension office. Ownership of the building will insulate Extension from any potential loss of County funds to support the building that may occur.

Tobacco-Free Campus Policy: We have been asked by the UMaine Office of Safety and Environmental Management (SEM) to determine a strategy for complying with the Smoke-Free Campus Initiative that prohibits smoking at UMaine. They are specifically interested in compliance at remote sites owned by the campus, such as the Bangor and Presque Isle offices. They are also interested in how the policy may be implemented at non-campus owned Extension sites. In response, we will clarify that we are unable to implement these goals for facilities that are not fully under the control of Extension and/or the University, such as in County-owned facilities or facilities where we are not the only tenant. Fran will work with Jon and Lisa to communicate with counties and camps to determine if the policy can be implemented at non-campus owned sites.

Centralized Data Base: Lisa Phelps updated the ELT as to positive progress that is being made on design of the centralized database for Extension. However, due to some delays in the early stages of design, the implementation time period has been moved forward to March 2012, for the initial phase.