ELT Minutes, July 17, 2013

Facilitator: Fran Sulinski for Jon Prichard
Note Taker: Dennis Harrington
Absent: Jon Prichard


Conductivity in the Counties: There have been many conductivity issues recently in County offices. Lisa reported that the UMaine System IT’s opinion is that in some cases our wireless equipment is outdated. Tanner is assessing the needs and estimating costs for replacement. The ELT considers a quality Internet connection to be our most important tool. Correcting this issue is a very high priority.

Delayed Paychecks: There have been some recent problems within the UMaine Payroll office resulting in some new employees not receiving paychecks on time. Some of this appears to be related to new processing staff in payroll and their understanding of what paperwork needs to be completed in order to have paychecks drafted. Fran and Patti McPheters have been working hard to correct these issues as they arise, and are helping Payroll to eliminate the issues for the future. One supervising faculty member has reported that she and her supervisees have received excellent support from Libby Hall as these issues have been addressed.

Improving Impact Statements: Getting quality impact statements for the Annual Report of Accomplishments to USDA/NIFA continues to be difficult – many are submitted that do not express impacts or even conform to the required format. Dennis and each program administrator will begin working more closely together, and with staff, to improve what is submitted into the Maine Planning and Reporting System. For the upcoming reporting year PAs will only approve narratives that meet the format and express meaningful impacts. PAs will be soliciting impact statements in some cases.

National 4-H Common Measures: Lisa Phelps demonstrated the new National 4-H Common Measures platform designed to create online surveys around a set of national impact measures. Lisa and Jessy Brainard are Maine’s administrators and are setting up users and engaging our staff in training. This excellent system is simple and intuitive and will be a major part of the new 4-H Youth Development POW and staff will have access to the evaluations.

Collecting Civil Rights Location Demographics: The current planning and reporting system does not collect civil rights data that sufficiently details the location of each participant, as required by Federal Civil Rights guidelines — the guidelines require demographics by-person-by-County. This was a finding in our civil rights review, and needs to be corrected. Fran is proposing to research the possibility of setting up an online reporting form that mimics the paper forms currently being used by County-based staff. While there is some potential for this to be collected within the MPRS, it is also possible that the system would be unique from the MPRS

New Faculty Orientation: On August 29th the Center for Teaching Excellence is hosting a breakfast and information session for new faculty.  The information session begins at 9:45 in the Wells Conference Center on campus. Extension has participated in the past. Based on recent feedback from the ELT members and Jennifer O’Leary, there is strong support to participate this year. John Rebar will staff this event showcasing 4-H Science with help from others (as yet undetermined).

Strategic Agenda for Extension: With the reappointment of John Rebar as Executive Director of Cooperative Extension, the ELT is looking at a process to develop a strategic agenda for the ELT and the organization as a whole, that will support the implementation of UMaine’s Blue Sky Plan and continue to build a strong organization with priorities in staffing, programming, finances, and facilities. We will dedicate a future meeting to planning this inclusive process.

The State 4-H Office Suite in Libby Hall: Lisa presented a proposal to reconfigure the 4-H suite in Libby to create a more inviting and efficient workspace to meet current and future work needs. The ELT supported this proposal.

Announcement Invitation:

The ELT invites you to submit items to be included in the minutes/announcements of the next regularly scheduled ELT meeting. This is an opportunity to share with the ELT and the rest of the organization any of the following:

  • Notable programmatic accomplishments
  • Development or fundraising success
  • Significant new partnerships and/or opportunities
  • Important transitions

Please take the opportunity to share your good works through this avenue. Keep it brief…approximately two to four sentences would be appreciated. To submit an announcement, please contact your PA or        appropriate member of the ELT.

Please remember to visit University of Maine’s news site for additional University of Maine Cooperative Extension highlight.


Congratulations to Karen Hatch Gagne and Scott Olsen, who have been awarded $56,945 from United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) and Purdue University to continue their adventure camp program for military teens at Tanglewood and Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Centers.

Congratulations to Griffin Dill, who has been awarded $132,073 from Maine Potato Board to continue the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Potato Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program, which provides support to Maine potato growers through field monitoring, disease forecasting, and the distribution of educational materials.

Congratulations to Lisa Phelps, who has been awarded $163,449 through the Maine EPSCoR project’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative for her project, “Youth in Sustainability Science.” Using water science as a tool to teach chemistry, biology, ecology, and physics, this project will merge the social, economic, and environmental aspects of water, based on current Sustainability Science research, to develop water-based teaching tools (toolkits and curricula).

Congratulations to Wesley Neff, who has been awarded an additional $78,038 from Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to extend the current year of the Maine Families program in Waldo County through the end of September. Maine Families home visitors partner with parents and parents-to-be to access the information and resources that can support the physical and emotional health of their baby and entire family. Maine Families has something to offer every family expecting a new baby!

Congratulations to Jane Conroy who worked in support of the Town of Dover-Foxcroft and the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council who were awarded $4,499 from the Maine Community Foundation. This funding will be used to address Consumer Protection issues and technology among seniors, including Senior Network in Piscataquis County, Extension Homemakers, and the Senior Companion program. Debbie Killam and Wanda Lincoln will be program partners.

Program Recognition: David Fuller and Steven Johnson have authored two new publications: “Blue Mold of Garlic” and “Growing Garlic in Your Maine Garden.”

Status on searches as of July 17, 2013

POS#208, Small Farm Business Development Professional … Accepting applications

POS#209, Research Assistant … Accepting applications

POS#210, Parent Education Professional … At Human Resources for review and approval to advertise

ELT Meeting Dates — 2013

Meetings are from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
August 7 Harrington Sulinski Cumberland Office
August 27 Sulinski Phelps Orono — 102B Libby Hall
September 19 Phelps Rebar Orono — 102B Libby Hall
October 15 Rebar Prichard Augusta, UMA — 124 Jewett Hall
November 6 Prichard Harrington TBD
November 25 Harrington Sulinski Orono — 102B Libby Hall
December 18 Sulinski Phelps Orono — 102B Libby Hall