Extension Leadership Team Minutes January 19, 2018

Extension Leadership Team Minutes
January 19, 2018
122 Libby Hall – Orono

Facilitator: Richard Brzozowski
Note-taker: Fran Sulinski

Please note: Due to the confidentiality and sensitivity of some agenda items, these ELT minutes do not represent the full content of each meeting.

The 2018 Agricultural Trade Show
Thank you to the many Extension staff who were involved in making this event a great success.

The Northeast Extension Directors
This group will meet June 4-6. Fran agreed to represent UMaine Extension at that meeting.

Reclassification Requests are a Partnership
One of the roles of a supervisor is to support the staff member to fulfill the duties of their job. That includes ensuring the staff member is not working below or above their job description. If the supervisor believes the needs and demands of the position are at a higher level, they should begin consulting with their supervisor or Fran before they sanction the higher-level work. This conversation will help the supervisor to know if the organization will financially and structurally support the higher-level position.

In situations where the supervisee believes they are working above their job description and level already, the supervisor should contact their Program Administrator and Fran before a request is submitted. These actions are a partnership between staff, supervisors and administration and starting the dialogue before the formal submission stage is beneficial to all. Professional and hourly staff have a right to seek a reclassification of their position (to a higher level position). Starting the dialogue before submission will not prevent a staff member from making a reclassification request and having it reviewed by UMS Human Resources.

4-H Foundation Update
Susan Jennings joined the ELT to provide a budget and fundraising update. Susan is actively raising funds to renovate the Pest Management Office to a 4-H STEM education center.

Nutrition/ Blueberry and All Organizational Support
With the retirement of Phoebe Nyland the ELT decided to hire an Administrative Specialist CL2 to support Dave Yarborough, Kate Yerxa and the new Blueberry Specialist. The position will devote 50% of their time to provide support to the three specialists, 20% time will be devoted to the Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program and 30% will be all organizational support.

Financial Disclosure Review Committee
Extension has been invited to submit the name of a faculty member to serve on the institutional.  The ELT decided to ask Jim McConnon, Extension Business and Economics Specialist if he would be willing to serve.

Closing an Office for the March 15 Event
The “Tools to Cultivate Work and Personal Life Balance” gathering will take place on March 15. The ELT would like all staff who want to attend to be able to attend. If other staff members, the normal back-up or the “on call” person are not able to cover, the office may close. Ideally this type of back up does exist for each office. In addition, if an office closes please determine if the primary phone line can be forwarded to an office that is open. If not please record a special away message and post a sign. Thank you.

Accessing Extension Forest Related Publications
A District Forest Service member would like to revise our shelved forestry resources. In a situation like this, the person should contact Tracey Ferwerda who can research our level of ownership/permissions and, if possible, provide access Extension publications.

Professional Employee 360 Degree Evaluation
The ELT discussed the different ways they have utilized the 360-degree feedback process and wanted to be sure others who supervise professional staff were aware of this process. The University of Maine Professional Staff Association (UMPSA) contract and UMS policy outlines the 360-degree evaluation process https://mycampus.maine.edu/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=356d9802-e672-4ed4-9156-71a61ba6d948&groupId=10217.  The process augments the performance evaluation and provides advise to a supervisor. Generally the supervisor begins with a list of up to ten names of other staff members and collaborators whom they would like to contact to gather feedback. The supervisor asks the professional staff member if they would like to add some names to the list of those to be contacted. The feedback received is advice and provides a vantage point the supervisor may not otherwise have. The supervisor ultimately makes the decision about the performance of the individual. The ELT concluded there is no set timetable to conduct a 360-degree evaluation. It is the supervisor’s prerogative.


Congratulations to PI Kristy Ouellette and Co-PI Jen Lobley who have been awarded $22,000 by the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA) for the “Afterschool Coaching for Rural Educators in STEM (ACRES)” project.  The ACRES project involves frontline staff in afterschool programs coming together online and in person to share their interactions with youth.  Kristy and Jen will conduct ACRES professional development modules with 4-H Camp staff, Food Corps members, and 4-H Volunteers.

Congratulations to PI Keri Kaczor who has been awarded $176,099 by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for the “Maine Healthy Beaches 2018” project.  The Maine Healthy Beaches (MHB) Program provides a unified coastal water quality monitoring program to ensure safe coastal swimming experiences and establishes the University of Maine in a leadership role for the protection of public health at swimming areas.

Congratulations to PI John Jemison who has been awarded $4,014 from USDA NIFA for his “Potato Breeding” project.  This project is part of a large USDA NIFA Special Research Grant (PI: Gregory Porter) managed by the Maine Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station.

Congratulations to PI Ryder Scott who has been awarded $5,000 by the Betterment Fund for his continued participation in the “Maine West” initiative.  Maine West is a partnership of local and regional organizations dedicated to addressing systemic rural challenges and enhancing community well‐being in western Maine through increased collaboration across the economic, education, health and conservation sectors. This new initiative grows directly from the successful collaboration among conservation and community organizations to advance land conservation and related development efforts across the Maine‐New Hampshire border through the Mahoosuc Initiative.

Congratulations to Wesley Neff who has been awarded $267,937 from the Maine Children’s Trust to provide home visits as primary service delivery to mothers, fathers, families, pregnant women, infants, and children to age 3. Home Visiting seeks to improve maternal and child health; prevent child injuries, abuse, or maltreatment; reduce emergency room visits; improve school readiness; improve family economic self-sufficiency, and improve coordination and referrals for other community resources and supports.

Congratulations to PI John Jemison who has been awarded $5,000 by the USDA for his participation in the “USDA Climate Hub – Cornell Climate Master Project”.  The USDA Climate Hubs were established to develop and communicate practical, science-based information about climate change to farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, and resource managers in order to facilitate adaptation to climate variability and extremes.

Search Updates

Home Horticulture Professional – Cumberland County – Zoom interviews scheduled
Ornamental Horticulture Specialist – OronoOffer made
Wild Blueberry Specialist – OronoOffer made
Community Education Assistant CL2 (Lewiston) – Reposted
Finance and Budget Professional – Orono – Interviewing
Administrative Specialist CL1 – Piscataquis County – Preparing to interview
Administrative Specialist CL1 – Cumberland County – Preparing to interview
Maine Healthy Beaches Program Professional – Meagan Sims hired

ELT Meeting Dates –2017–18. Meetings are from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm – unless otherwise noted.

Facilitator Notes Location
February 8 Sulinski Phelps Augusta – Farmhouse 11
March 5 Phelps Rebar Orono – 102B Libby Hall
March 28 Rebar Prichard Orono – 102B Libby Hall
April 19 Prichard Harrington Augusta – Farmhouse 11
May 9 Harrington Brzozowski Orono – 102B Libby Hall
May 31 Brzozowski Sulinski Orono – 102B Libby Hall
June 28 Sulinski Phelps Augusta – Farmhouse 11