Extension Leadership Team Minutes November 15, 2016

Extension Leadership Team Minutes

November 15, 2016
102B Libby Hall – Orono

Facilitator: Jon Prichard
Note taker: Dennis Harrington

Board of Trustees Presentation
Lisa Phelps, with the assistance of Greg Kranich and Laura Wilson, presented to the UMaine System Board of Trustees about outcomes of the 4-H STEM Ambassador’s program on November 14 in Machias. 4-H STEM Ambassadors is a program that trains students at one of the UMaine System campuses in experiential learning, risk management, and science content, and then pairs with host sites to facilitate STEM activities with youth. This program is possible thanks to special funding provided by the Board of Trustees. The recent presentation, done in collaboration with a student STEM Ambassador and cooperating faculty member from UMaine Machais, and was exceptionally well received by the Board.

Paper Clover Fundraising
Lisa Phelps reported that the national “Paper Clover” fundraising effort, undertaken annually by Tractor Supply Company, has been more successful than in the recent past and should be able to give increased support to County/Camp gift accounts in support of 4-H programs.

Dean Search – Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture
John Rebar is chairing the committee that is searching for the new Dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture. The committee has recently held their first meeting.

More Comprehensive Reporting
Jon Prichard has been working to capture reporting information from those who may not currently be required to report directly, or indirectly through their supervisor, into the Maine Planning and Reporting System. All staff are reminded to report into the system promptly if they have not already done so.

Update on Human Resources Transition
Fran Sulinski reported that the human resources and payroll departments have undergone changes in leadership and other restructuring of positions, and currently have a high percentage of new staff. This is leading to some temporary delays in some elements of their work.

Statewide IT: Our Ongoing Transition
Lisa Phelps and John Rebar met with Tom Drake and Robin Sherman of the UMaine System Technology office (US:IT) about IT support for Cooperative Extension. Tom is new in his role as the IT Ops. Mgr. for UMaine and eager to learn more about Cooperative Extension. Lisa will be in touch with the county offices that will continue to receive IT help and support from UMaine to schedule site visits for Robin and Tom. Lisa also continues to work with US:IT to get IT help and support for county offices/Camp and Learning Centers from other UMaine System campuses.

Best Practices for Management of County Funds
Dennis Harrington summarized the presentation he delivered at the recent organizational meeting about best practices for management of County funds; and communicated a timeline for getting this project back on track. Best practices guidelines will be developed during the winter, and reviewed by an advisory group and cross-section of Extension staff in the early spring. Rollout will begin during the summer with on-site trainings for County staff. Program Administrators are up-to-date about this effort and can be helpful with questions.

Better Understanding of Policies & Processes
Dick Brzozowski reported that some staff perceive many current UM System policies as barriers for Extension to effectively plan and conduct off-campus functions including events with food, services, and honorariums, among others. Staff are asking for a clear and simple communication of processes that are required for engaging in various functions.

The ELT understands the challenges and is also frustrated with policies that are developed without full understanding of Extension’s uniqueness from academic activities. Dennis Harrington reported that we work constantly with policy makers to help them understand Extension’s needs, and that overall they are supportive and appreciative of the effort.

Dick Brzozowski will work with a few faculty members in developing a “checklist” to help staff navigate through the applicable policies and processes. Dennis Harrington and Fran Sulinski will work with their teams to develop the “checklist” that will include a suggested planning timeline and links to currently existing resources.


Congratulations to Kathryn Hopkins who was awarded the “Richard G. Haas Distinguished Service Award for a Leading Research Professional” at the annual meeting of the North American Maple Syrup Council, Inc. in Burlington, Vermont.  Kathy was recognized by NAMSC for her ongoing support in the advancement of the maple syrup industry through research and her voluntary involvement and dedication to the NAMSC Research Fund.

Congratulations to PI Kate Yerxa and co-PI Mitch Mason on their award of $38,000 from the National 4-H Foundation to und the Youth Voices, Youth Choices project.

Search Updates:

Extension Livestock SpecialistOffer accepted and appointment pending
Community Education Assistant CL1 Oxford CountyAccepting applications Education Director Bryant Pond – Screening applicants
Maine Families Parent Education professionalScreening applicants

ELT Meeting Dates –2016/17 – Meetings are from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm – unless otherwise noted.

Facilitator Notes Location
November 30 Harrington Brzozowski Augusta – Farm House 11
December 15 Brzozowski Sulinski Orono – 102B Libby Hall
January 24 Sulinski Phelps Orono – 102B Libby Hall
February 9 Phelps Rebar Augusta – 218 RSTC
February 23 Rebar Prichard Orono – 102B Libby Hall
March 14 Prichard Harrington Orono – 102B Libby Hall
March 29 Harrington Brzozowski Augusta – 218 RSTC
April 19 Brzozowski Sulinski Orono – 102B Libby Hall
May 3 Sulinski Phelps Orono – 102B Libby Hall
May 16 Phelps Rebar Orono – 102B Libby Hall
May 31 Rebar Prichard Augusta – 218 RSTC
June 21 Prichard Harrington Orono – 102B Libby Hall