ELT Minutes, June 29, 2015

Extension Leadership Team Minutes
218 Richard Randall Student Center, Augusta
June 29, 2015
Lisa Phelps
Note taker: John Rebar

Guests: Dr. Richard Brzozowski

The ELT welcomed Dr. Richard Brzozowski who will become a Program Administrator on September 1st. Dick will oversee the Maine Food System program of the Extension portfolio and provide support to several county offices. Dick’s specific administrative responsibilities will be shared after he formally joins the ELT.


  1. Oxford County: A workday was conducted to clean up the gardens plots and plant a cover crop. Fifteen people participated (MG’s from Andro-Sag and Oxford) under the leadership of Tori Jackson. Four new Executive Committee members have been recruited.
  1. 4-H Camp Enrollments: Bryant Pond is expecting to have record enrollment this summer. The camp is running solidly in the black financially. Blueberry Cove and Tanglewood are both doing very well. The Blueberry Cove Half Marathon has raised over $14,000 already and there is hope that this years’ race will exceed last year’s total of $17,000.
  1. Lease for New Facility at Bryant Pond Camp: The lease for the new building that has been created on the land adjacent to the Bryant Pond Camp is about to be signed. The new building was inspected by UMaine Facilities Management and Environmental Health and Safety and accepted for us by Cooperative Extension programming staff.
  1. The Senior Companion Program continues to transition to the UMaine Center on Aging. The funding for FY 2016 has been awarded to the Center. The ELT thanks the Community Education Assistants who work in SCP for making the transition locally. Thanks also to Lisa and Dennis for their administrative leadership for the successful transition. An MOU with each of the counties impacted by the change has been created and is in process of approval.
  1. The management of grants/contracts within Cooperative Extension is moving toward a paperless system. Megan Tardiff is leading the transition. Dennis and Megan are learning how this transition has been accomplished with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Support will also be forthcoming from UMS Procurement as purchasing has moved to a paperless purchasing system. It will be critical that effective back-up capacity be established as Extension moves to a paperless system. Connecting to the ImageNow software is what the University of Maine System is using which allows access to the institutional Main Frame computer.
  1. The planning for the new Animal, Plant and Insect Control Laboratory continues. Field trips to Tufts University and the University of Vermont have been taken by members of the planning team to learn about these facilities and how that information can benefit the planning of our new facility. The planning is now at the “cost out” phase where the construction firm will analyze the plans and determine the cost to build. Adjustments are to be expected after costs are determined.
  1. The addition of a temporary staff member and student labor is helping to address the backlog of technology issues across the Extension organization. Tanner is reaching out to the Faculty Development Center to secure support for training needs for the organization. There will be a challenge of how to provide organizational technology support once the temporary position is gone in seven months. This is an ongoing issue that the ELT will be continuing to prioritize. What’s permissible within the UMS for technology support options for the future is unclear.
  1. The group discussed with Dick elements of his forthcoming position as a Program Administrator working in support of the Maine Food System.
  1. Changes in the Management of UMS Financial Management Meetings: The ELT discussed the agenda for the upcoming county meetings to explain the new financial management policy of the UMS. Dennis will be leading the conversations during the meetings and John will be providing an overview of the change in the structure of administrative management. Another issue to discuss is the new grants submission policy of the UMaine Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. The meetings will also be an opportunity to discuss the UMS expectations for the management of county funds by University employees.
  1. Vacation Schedules: The group reviewed vacation plans for the summer/fall to ensure that adequate administrative support is available.
  1. Penobscot (Caribou Hall) County Office: The renovation of the kitchen in the Penobscot County office will be complete by early October.
  1. UMaine Extension’s Civil Rights Obligations: As a way of increasing the quality of the civil rights reports Fran is suggesting that she attend the annual civil rights meeting for each county/campus unit. This would be an offer to the units and not mandatory to have Fran participate. Fran would offer insights and suggestions that can enhance the ways that staff can research new and underserved audiences. The ELT endorsed the idea and also felt that the PA for each unit should also attend. The time frame would be to complete these meetings by October 31, 2015.
  1. Cooperative Extension’s Policy and Procedure Manual Update: It is time to review and update the Policy and Procedure Manual for Extension that is located on “Plugged-In.” The sections of the policy manual will be reviewed during the coming year with the goal to be finished by July 1, 2016. Fran will draft a strategy for the review and bring it to the next ELT meeting on July 29.


The ELT sends best wishes to Karen Hatch Gagne, Aileen Fortune and Carol Ross on their retirements.

Mr. James Thelen will be the new lead University legal counsel. He and Nina Lavoie, Associate Counsel will be housed at Robinson Hall on the University of Maine at Augusta campus. Mr. Thelen is familiar with Cooperative Extension having grown up on a dairy farm and being a 4-H member. The ELT looks forward to working with Jim in the future.

Search Update:

4-H Youth Development Professional – 4-H Office Orono – Offer pending

4-H Youth Development Professional – Kennebec County – Interviewing

4-H Youth Development Professional – Franklin County – Interviewing

4-H Youth Development Professional – York County – Interviewing

Administrative Specialist CL2 – Cumberland County – Accepting applications

Administrative Specialist CL2 – Franklin County – Interviewing

Community Education Assistant CL2 4-H – Community Central grant – Androscoggin County Screening applications

Community education assistant CL2 4-H – Community Central grant –Cumberland County – Screening applications

Community education assistant CL2 4-H – Community Central grant – Penobscot County –Screening applications

Community education assistant CL2 Home Hort & Social Media – And/SagHR review

Community Education Assistant CL2 Horticulture – Penobscot County – Position filled

Community Education Assistant CL2 – Piscataquis County – Position filled

Research Associate in Vegetable Production – Highmoor Farm – Interviewing

Sustainable Ag Asst Ext Prof & Asst Prof – Presque Isle – Screening applications

Telstar 4-H Professional – Bryant Pond – Advertising

ELT Meeting Dates –2015 – Meetings are from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm – unless otherwise noted

June 29 Phelps Rebar Augusta – 218 Richard Randall Student Center
July 29 Rebar Prichard Orono – 102B
August 20 Prichard Harrington Orono – 102B
September 16 Harrington Sulinski Augusta – TBA
October 6 Sulinski Phelps Orono – 102B
October 20 Phelps Rebar Orono – 102B
November 12 Rebar Prichard Augusta – TBA
December 2 Prichard Harrington Orono – 102B
December 21 Harrington Sulinski Orono – 102B