ELT Minutes, September 19, 2013

Extension Leadership Team Minutes
September 19, 2013

Facilitator: Lisa Phelps
Notes Taken by: John Rebar
ELT Members Present: John Rebar, Fran Sulinski, Dennis Harrington, Jon Prichard, Lisa Phelps


Tanglewood Electrical Line: The Tanglewood camp needs to replace the electrical line that services the camp. This project will address over 1.5 miles of underground cable that is no longer suitable for providing electricity reliably to the camp. Dennis Harrington, Jon Prichard, Cathy Elliott, and Richard Bouchard are teaming with UMaine Facilities Management to assess and design a solution to this situation.

Dennis is assessing needs related to a legal document that will capture all components of camping program agreements with external organizations such as schools and others. This agreement will provide consistency to our commitments with external audiences and meet the needs of the University System and both camps.

Fran, Cathy Elliott, and Jon will be meeting with camp staff to review camp health and accommodation requests forms and procedures for consistency and effectiveness.

Susan Jennings as the incoming Executive Director of the Maine 4-H Foundation is planning for her first meeting with the Foundation Trustees and is off to an enthusiastic start, even though she doesn’t formally start her new job until October 1. Thank you Susan for your energy and leadership!

The lights have been installed for the parking lot of the UMaine Extension Penobscot County Office. Planning for the installation of kitchen appliances in the meeting room will begin in the near future.

Burgess Advertising has provided a new vendor to work on the Centralized Data Base Management System with the goal of expediting the completion of our system.

Maine Senate President Justin Alfond and Speaker of the House Mark Eves will be touring the animal, insect, and plant diagnostic facilities of UMaine regarding the continuing effort to get a bond passed to support the building of a new facility. The tour will also include the food testing work that is done by Dr. Beth Calder and Dr. Jason Bolton.


A recent national evaluation of eXtension shows that the Directors are not supportive of the effort. The directors see too little value for the investment being made in the eXtension initiative. Several northeast Extension directors are considering not paying the annual assessment for eXtension. For UMaine Cooperative Extension the assessment is approximately $18,000. The ELT is considering the cost/benefit of continuing to fully participate in eXtension. The ELT will check in with faculty and program professionals on the value of eXtension to our organization and our customers.

Academic Affairs Organizational Chart

The ELT updated Cooperative Extension on the UMaine Academic Affairs Organizational Chart to reflect all of our locations and our program areas of emphasis.

UMaine Extension Servers

Tanner Kelleter joined the meeting to discuss the computer servers that are used by UMaine Cooperative Extension on the Orono campus. Servers provide a service to our computers allowing them to perform the work we need to accomplish organizationally and programmatically. The need for servers within Extension is not decreasing, however Extension is partnering with the University of Maine and the University of Maine System IT to reduce management costs and eliminate the need for physical servers in Libby Hall. There are a number of Libby Hall servers that are running legacy programs that are still needed. We need to migrate all of the legacy servers to the virtual servers in Neville Hall in the future.

Recent Resignations & Staffing Priorities for the Future

There have been several recent resignations within UMaine Extension and this provides an opportunity to reassess our staffing priorities. As the ELT considers the filling of new positions, the uncertainty of the federal budget situation looms. The ELT has decided to move forward with the following positions:

  • Administrative Specialist CL2 – Orono, to support faculty and professional staff in Libby Hall.
  • Special Projects and Compliance Professional – to work with the ELT and all programming staff on compliance issues, to be housed in Orono.
  • Professional Position – Franklin County, the position description will work in support of the 4-H youth development program and/or the Maine Food System.

Other searches that are in process include the faculty agronomy position and the Hancock County professional position will continue. All positions are contingent upon the ability of our base budget to continue these employees into the future. In other words, if our funding is reduced dramatically, any or all of these positions may be suspended.

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 James Dill who has been awarded $65,000 from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources Board of Pesticides Control to fund ongoing development of pesticide safety education manuals.
  • Congratulations to Sarah Sparks, who has been awarded $1,735 from Perloff Foundation and Maine Community Foundation for 4-H Robotics programs in Hancock and Cumberland counties.

Search Updates:

  • POS#208 Small Farm Business Professional – Accepting Applications
  • POS#209 Research Assistant – Position Filled
  • POS#210 Parent Education Professional – Interviewed 9/23/13
  • POS#211 Crops Specialist – Awaiting HR 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
October 15 Rebar Prichard Penobscot
November 6 Prichard Harrington TBD
November 25 Harrington Sulinski Orono — 102B Libby Hall
December 18 Sulinski Phelps Orono — 102B Libby Hall