ELT Minutes, September 17, 2014

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
September 17, 2014
218 Richard Randall Center – Augusta

Facilitator: Lisa Phelps

Note taker: John Rebar

Present: Lisa, Dennis, Fran, Jon & John

The process of replacing the electrical line at the Tanglewood 4-H Camp and Learning Center in Lincolnville has become a significant challenge. The competitive bids from contractors have come in over 250% higher than expected. Dennis is working on the situation with UMaine Facilities Management, Ryder Scott, Jon Prichard and the Tanglewood board and staff.

The public education effort regarding Question 2 on the fall ballot is moving forward. Everything being done by John has been reviewed by University of Maine System legal counsel and is being funded by the Maine Economic Growth Coalition. It is very important that the emphasis be on education and not telling anyone how to vote.

Budget FY16 and Beyond
With the expectation of a sizable budget reduction for FY 2016, the ELT is prioritizing strategic budget decisions that will allow us to respond to an University E&G budget reduction. The timing for the FY 2016 budget reduction planning will incorporate a variety of variables that are apt to change between now and the start of the next fiscal year. What this means is that the exact amount of the cut to our budget will change as decisions are made about the following:

  •             The State of Maine’s allocation to the University of Maine System,
  •              The settling of collective bargaining agreements for University employees,
  •              If the UMS Board of Trustees authorizes a tuition increase, and
  •              The anticipated number of students who will be enrolled at UMaine in the fall of 2016

For Cooperative Extension we also have to see what happens with the USDA-NIFA federal allocation to Smith-Lever funding for FY 2015. Reasonable assumptions and estimates will be developed for all these variables and an estimated budget reduction target will be given to our administrative team. We will continue to incorporate the input that was provided by staff and stakeholders over the past year as decisions are made.  We will provide a specific timeline for decision making as soon as we are able. Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact the administrator for your unit.

A situation developed this year where a specific Extension program submitted a funding request to county government outside of the usual process that comes from the county Extension Association. The policy of UMaine Cooperative Extension is that county budget requests are the exclusive purview of the County Executive Associations as expressed in the County Extension Act, and not individual Extension programs nor affiliated programs.

UMaine Budget and Business Services has issued a number of significant changes in the documentation and management of fiscal resources. These new expectations will increase the workload for our operations unit dramatically. There will also be changes forthcoming to everyone within Extension who manages a chart field. Based upon this new information the ELT has decided to fill the professional vacancy in operations. This position will be factored into the FY 2016 budget reduction plan. Dennis will be responsible for educating our workforce on the impending changes and what will be required to meet the accounting expectations of UMaine and the University of Maine System.


Congratulations to Wanda Lincoln, who has been awarded $14,340 from Maine Department of Health and Human Services Office of Aging and Disability Services to continue the work of the Senior Companion Program for FY15.

Congratulations to Scott Olsen, who has been awarded $50,000 from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to support youth programming at the UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond.

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.

Search Updates:

ELT Meeting Dates – 2014 – Meetings are from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm – unless otherwise noted

October 7 Rebar Prichard Senior Skulls Rm, Memorial Union
October 24 Prichard Harrington Augusta — 208 Richard Randall Ctr
November 13 Harrington Sulinski Augusta — 218 Richard Randall Ctr
December 3 Sulinski Phelps Orono — 102B Libby Hall
December 17 Phelps Rebar Orono — 102B Libby Hall