Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes August 14, 2019

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
August 14, 2019
(Via Zoom)

Facilitator: Fran Sulinski
Notetaker: Richard Brzozowski

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


  • Marketing – See notes in related agenda items below.
  • Organizational Meeting update – Presenters have been contacted. A 1-minute promotional video about the meeting was released to all staff on Monday, August 12.  The provost is scheduled to give the welcome address.
  • Trustees Highlights – Please keep these highlights coming to Hannah on a regular basis. In addition to hearing them with the Board of Trustees, many of these highlights could/should be conveyed to all Extension staff, perhaps via the monthly organizational newsletter.
  • Update on CARET rep Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching – We are continuing to work with Dean Servello to identify 1-2 CARET representatives.

Revised Volunteer Standards of Behavior Form

Due to some issues with some Executive Committee members, staff have asked some EC members to sign our Volunteer Standards of Behavior form.  According to legal counsel, they are not our volunteers, but are governed by the Extension Act and are an “arm” of county government.  Fran has devised a revised document, tailored to executive committee volunteers, that is being reviewed by UMaine legal counsel.

Phone System “On-Hold” Music

Extension phone system “on hold” music. For many offices the same instrumental music has been used for several years when callers are on hold. If units would like to pursue the possibility of changing the music with their phone systems, they should contact their phone system service provider.  County offices that have the UMaine phone system would contact University Telecommunications (Telecom) at 207.581.1600 or 207.581.2506.

Extension Fundraising Events?

With the expected budget cuts looming this year and next, should Extension seriously look into the possibility of planning one or more fundraising events?  The ELT discussed the pros and cons of this idea.  Fundraising events take time to plan and implement. Is there anyone within the organization who has the capacity to lead such an event(s)? Should Extension consider hiring someone (perhaps on a part time basis) to do so? Could one or more retirees be asked to lead such an effort?  Staff could be asked to think about the possibilities via Hannah’s monthly message to the organization.

Innovation Ideas from New Mexico State University

Jeanne Gleason from NMSU was on campus recently.  She spoke of their innovation center.  A recording of the meeting is available.

Link to learn more about the New Mexico State University Media Innovation lab: https://innovativemedia.nmsu.edu/our-program.html

Link to Zoom recording of the meeting with Jeanne Gleason. Aug. 9, 2019 Meeting with Jeanne Gleason (Zoom recording)

Organizational newsletter

In an effort to enhance the monthly internal newsletter (making it more than a calendar of past and future events), should we consider adding a few sidebar pieces (one paragraph or about 100 words or less in length) on a regular basis?  For example:

  • Customer Service Tip (Fran or other appointee would take the lead)
  • Technology for You – Share information about a technology applicable to Extension staff – example Rocketbook https://getrocketbook.com/?rfsn=846661.a8db12
  • Financial Tip – a piece of helpful information about financial management that relates to Extension

We want a newsletter that meets or addresses organizational goals. Hannah shared a few examples related to internal Extension news from Florida, including UFL “Extension Comings and Goings”; and a monthly leadership podcast.

Support Staff Request to Hold a Two-day Meeting in 2020

The ELT approved a request from the support staff conference committee. They are working on developing a two-day conference to be held in June of 2020. Their draft agenda contained many beneficial topics and the ELT sees this as a way for the group to learn, get to know and support each other.


Congratulations to PI James Dill who has been awarded $209,390 by the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program via USDA NIFA for Year 3 (of 3) for the “Maine Integrated Pest Management CPPM-EIP” project.  The overall goals associated with this project include minimization of pesticide use in Maine agriculture and communities, increased crop yield and profitability, increased awareness of complex pest issues, and increased implementation of IPM practices.

Congratulations to PI Jessica Decke who has been awarded $10,560 by Kansas State University (USDA NIFA pass through) for her “2019 Air Force 4H Partnership” project.  This project provides financial support for 4-H camping experiences for Air Force Active Duty, Air National Guard and/or Air Force Reserve dependents. Camps may include residential or day camps that provide safe camping opportunities and offer a variety of activities that help develop leadership skills, build resiliency, enhance communication skills, expand STEM initiatives, foster teamwork, prepare students for college, support healthy lifestyles, and introduces content based in traditional 4-H youth development programming.

Search Updates

Extension Crops Entomology Educator – Initial search failed, initiating new search
Program Coordinator – Bryant Pond and Greenland Point – Advertising
4-H Youth Development Professional – Oxford County – Sara Johnson hired
4-H Youth Development Professional – Waldo County – Offer accepted
4-H Youth Development Professional – York County – Search committee formed, applications underway
Administrative Specialist CL2 – Waldo – Yadina (Dee) Clark hired
Community Education Assistant CL1 – Somerset – Mark Smith hired
Community Education Assistant CL1(Horticulture) – Oxford – Emma Fournier hired
Community Education Assistant – Hancock – Preparing to advertise
Parent Education Program Manager – Waldo – Screening applications

2019 ELT Meeting Dates

Meetings are from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, unless otherwise noted

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
August 28 Brzozowski Sulinski Orono: 102B Libby Hall
September 16 Sulinski Phelps UMA: 111 Robinson Hall
September 30 Phelps Carter Orono: 102B Libby Hall
October 18 Carter Prichard Orono – 102B Libby Hall
October 30 Prichard Harrington Augusta: 111 Robinson Hall
November 18 Harrington Brzozowski Orono: 102B Libby Hall
December 13 Brzozowski Sulinski Orono: 102B Libby Hall