ELT Minutes, January 31, 2012

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
January 31, 2012
UMA, Room 114, Jewett Hall
9:00 am to 3:30 pm

Facilitator: Lisa Phelps

Note taker: Jon Prichard

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


4-H Staffing Support – With the 4-H Science explosion in Maine, we need to increase our capacity to support this important program focus. The ELT approved expanded staffing support for state 4-H office programs and for 4-H STEM programming.

New Criteria for Faculty Evaluation Standards – The PAC is proposing a new criterion to be added to the faculty evaluation criteria and standards. The ELT supports this and understands that the next step will be for the PAC to bring the new criterion forward to the faculty for a vote.

Marketing UMaine Extension to Job Applicants – UMaine Extension is actively seeking qualified individuals to fill over ten professional positions in a wide range of disciplines. We want the best possible people to accept positions with us where they are likely to make less than they could in the private sector. The ELT is exploring developing generic recruiting resources that would provide useful information to someone seeking employment with us. The resources could be all electronic and on our website.

Faculty and Professional Laptop/iPad Incentive Programs – Once again we have an opportunity to offer the Faculty Laptop program. This year it will include a choice of laptops or iPads. Also since this program is only offered to faculty and we have growing numbers of professionals working for Extension, the ELT supported initiating a similar laptop/iPad incentive program for base-funded professionals. Requests for Proposals (RFP) for both faculty and professional programs will be coming out shortly.

Video Conference Equipment Upgrades – We learned that we will be awarded a RUSS Grant to help get high end video conference equipment for our extension offices, thanks to the proposal that Tanner Kelleter submitted. These upgrades will occur in all county offices, except Cumberland, Kennebec and Penobscot, since the grant program will only support “rural” locations.

Biannual Extension Aide Gathering – The Extension Aide Committee has hosted a gathering for staff development and networking purposes every other year. They would like to hold a one-day gathering this May and have come forward to request support for their event. The staff development includes such topics as: Developing an Effective Display, the Kids Can Grow Program, PowerPoint Skills, and an ACSUM Representative presentation. The ELT approved the proposed budget for the 2012 gathering.

Improving our Plan of Work and Annual Report – There are two problematic sections of our Plan of Work and Annual Report. We have done a poor job at following through on our commitment to seek a review of the merit of our POW and our formalized attempt to seek stakeholder input has been inadequate. The ELT is exploring ways to re-energize and re-design these processes.

USDA-NIFA Civil Rights Compliance Review Report – The ELT reviewed the report and discussed recommendations and impact. Fran will send out a message to Civil Rights Coordinators and all staff with information regarding the recommendations. The ELT greatly appreciates the good work of the Civil Rights Coordinators and encourages their colleagues to support their efforts.

Streamlining Reporting for Shared Positions with Maine Sea Grant and Extension – There are several shared positions between Maine Sea Grant and Extension. As a result of these shared positions, there are reporting expectations for both organizations. This can be cumbersome as the reporting formats are not consistent. There is a need for simplified reporting expectations for staff positions shared between Sea Grant and Extension. Jon will work with relevant parties to streamline reporting for these shared staff.


  • Congratulations to Ryder Scott, who has been awarded $18,841 from The Chewonki Foundation for the project “Environmental Living and Learning for Maine Students, Quimby Foundation FY11.”
  • Congratulations on the award of $58,878 to the Extension team of Cathy Elliott, Ryder Scott, Heather Francis, Leah Trommer, and Susan Jennings. The award is from the Chewonki Foundation for the project “Environmental Living and Learning for Maine Students (ELLMS) Financial Aid Fund”, and the funding is from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation.

Status on searches as of January 23, 2012:

  • POS#191 Assistant Accounting & Reporting Professional – Accepting applications
  • POS#192 Maine Healthy Beaches Professional – Position offered
  • POS#193 Communications Technology Professional –waiting for approval to advertise
  • POS#194 Parent Education Professional — Knox/Lincoln – waiting for approval to advertise
  • POS#196 Tech Wizard Assistant –Advertising
  • POS#197 Parent Education Professional — Waldo – waiting for approval to advertise
  • POS#198 4-H Professional – York — HR review
  • POS#199 4-H Professional (Campus) – HR review
  • POS#200 Crops Professional – Presque Isle –HR review
  • POS#201 Program Development & Marketing Professional – HR review

ELT Meeting Dates –2012. Meetings are from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm – unless otherwise noted.