Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes November 21, 2019

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
November 21, 2019
Orono – 102B Libby Hall

Facilitator: Dennis Harrington
Note taker: 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.

Fogler Library Resources in Targeting Funding

Jenn Bonnet, reference Librarian at Fogler Library, joined the ELT to help us understand the value of the PIVOT system which is a tool to help identify targeted funding opportunities. This is a very powerful system where you can create very specific customized searches for funding opportunities for your areas of interest. The system searches many thousands of grant opportunities and Foundations, and notifies you with matches. Jenn will work ono-on-one with you and can be contacted at Jennbonnet@maine.edu or 207-581-3611.

Hall of Flags 2020

We continued planning for the 2020 Hall of Flags event that will be themed: UMaine Cooperative Extension Engagement Across the State.  We identified 6 programs for which we will like to have displays created, as well as a general cooperative Extension Display. ELT members will be following up with staff who are being asked to create these displays:

Plant Disease
EFNEP 50 Years
Master Gardener Volunteers
Tick ID
4-H Camps
4-H Science Tool Kits General Extension

Creating Professional Positions with “Equivalent Experience” Option

In the past, Extension administration discouraged creating professional job descriptions in which a Bachelor’s degree was not a requirement of the position, in part because we are an academic institution. One unintended consequence of this has been difficulty in recruiting and hiring staff for certain positions, given market demands. UMaine HR indicates about half of their professional postings indicate that “equivalent experience” is viable to a specific degree. The ELT has determined that in the future, when appropriate, it will be acceptable to advertise some professional positions with the requirement of a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.

Fill the Steins: UMaine’s Crowdfunding Website

UMaine has a crowdfunding platform designed to empower students, faculty and staff to raise funds for specific projects, events and activities. Fill the Steins for UMaine! Through the power of small contributions from a large number of people, Fill the Steins connects the UMaine community to immediate student and campus needs. Unlike popular sites like GoFundMe, this site does not charge a fee for gifts – the whole amount of your donation is put toward each cause. Hannah will share information about this crowdsourcing option offered by the UMaine Foundation by email, and in her December Connections.

Aroostook County Agronomist Position

The ELT approved the Crops Specialist position in Aroostook County.

Technician Position for the Tick Lab at the Diagnostic & Research Laboratory

The ELT approved a new Technician Position for the Tick Lab at the Diagnostic & Research Laboratory, in the future this position will be contingent on funding generated by the tick lab.

Assistant Financial Administrator Position

Since the departure of Accounting and Reporting Professional Jared Whinery from Extension’s financial operations suite, the ELT has been considering how best to meet our organization’s financial management needs. There have been unmet needs expressed by staff, for example support to county staff and county extension associations around financial management. It was decided that rather than refill the professional position, we will create a position of Assistant Financial Administrator as a way to meet these and other needs.

AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator) in Selected Locations

AEDs can save lives, and given that some Extension locations are high traffic and that we often work with diverse audiences, the organization will be exploring installing these devices in some locations. The ELT will be contacting staff in some offices to discuss and examine next steps.

Reporting Impact Statements and Hours

The ELT reviewed data on staff reporting on the MPRS including individual staff hours reported, and impact statements. There are some staff who are under-reporting hours, something that can be an issue with our NIFA funding. Thank you to staff who submitted impact statements, as these are often used as the “face” of Extension to our stakeholders. While statements that are submitted on MPRS are especially crucial to our funders this time of year, these statements can be submitted anytime, and are always useful for multiple purposes.

University of Maine System Trustee Professorship

UMaine is accepting nominations for the UMS Trustee Professorships for 2020-21.  The deadline for nominations is Friday, February 28, 2020.  If you have any questions, please contact Dianne Avery at diannea@maine.edu or 581-1595.

Innovation Training

Jason Bolton as Director for the Foster Innovation Center is offering to present a 2 or 4 hour workshop on innovation of Extension staff. Such a workshop could take place this winter.

County Extension Act

The ELT is working to clarify aspects of the County Extension Act, in particular as it relates to the interpretation of the Act and the status of members on these committees as volunteers.


2019-2020 Career Recognition Awards

The Rising Tide Center is now soliciting nominations for the 2019-2020 Career Recognition Awards. You can nominate a deserving female faculty member whose teaching, research and service to the University of Maine, to her discipline and/or to the public sector are significant and sustained. The process is simple – just follow this link to read the eligibility guidelines and to submit an online nomination. The 2019-2020 awardee will be selected by a committee of peers, including some of our previous honorees. Nominations close on NOV. 30, 2019.  Learn more about this award and meet previous recipients by visiting our website, and please call the Rising Tide Center if you have questions about this prestigious award.

UMaine Extension to Host the Northeast region listening session

The EDEN Community and Economic Development Committee is partnering with the USDA Rural Development Centers (https://nifa.usda.gov/regional-rural-development-centers) to hold a series of listening sessions which will provide EDEN with information regarding disaster needs and gaps in rural areas particularly looking at disaster preparedness, mitigation and recovery. We plan to have at least 12 sessions around the country and will use this information to develop a request for proposals for EDEN-funded programs.

Did You Know?  UMaine Extension Online Presence in 2019

In 2019, UMaine Extension’s website at extension.umaine.edu – a composite of 58+ interconnected websites – received over 2.4 million pageviews. Nearly 37,000 followers followed or were subscribed to UMaine Extension’s 56 county and program-specific social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. More than 230 educational videos were available to visitors on our YouTube and Kaltura channels or embedded in our web pages. More than 2,700 clients used our online registration system to register for classes, workshops, events, and more.

Search Updates

Administrative Specialist CL3 – Highmoor Farm – Advertising
Administrative Specialist CL2 – Cumberland County – Advertising
Administrative Specialist CL3 – Bryant Pond – Preparing to screen candidates
AgrAbility Outreach to Veterans Professional – Preparing to screen candidates
4-H Youth Development Professional – Washington County – Preparing to advertise
4-H Youth Development Professional – York County – Offer pending
Community Education Assistant (4-H) – Penobscot/Piscataquis – Emily Mott hired
Community Education Assistant CL2 (Horticulture) – Cumberland – Advertising
Crops Entomology Educator – To be advertised again
EFNEP Education and Training Coordinator – Failed search
EFNEP Nutrition Education Professional – Alexandria Gayton hired
Extension Crops Specialist – On hold

2019 – 2020 ELT Meeting Dates

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

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
December 13 Brzozowski Sulinski Orono: 102B Libby Hall
January 2 Sulinski Phelps UMA: 111 Robinson Hall
January 30 Phelps Carter Orono: 102B Libby Hall
February 13 Carter Prichard Orono: 102B Libby Hall
March 9 Prichard Harrington UMA: 111 Robinson Hall
April 2 Harrington Brzozowski Orono: 102B Libby Hall
April 30 Brzozowski Sulinski Orono: 102B Libby Hall
May 15 Sulinski Phelps UMA: 111 Robinson Hall
June 4 Phelps Carter Orono: 102B Libby Hall