Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes November 16, 2020

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
November 16, 2020
Virtual Meeting (9:00 – 11:00 AM and 12:00 – 1:00 PM)

Facilitator: Dennis Harrington
Note taker: Richard Brzozowski
Bob Norman, UMaine EOC

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

UMaine Covid Update from EOC

Bob Norman, from UMaine Emergency Operations Center (EOC), joined and updated the ELT. The ELT greatly appreciated Officer Norman’s continued counsel as a key member of the EOC and a person who is knowledgeable of the mission of Extension.

UMaine Students Using Extension Offices to Complete the Fall Semester

UMaine Extension has been asked to designate some of our county extension offices as options for students who need WIFI access. Students must make an appointment with the specific office at least 24 hours before the requested use of the Extension facility. Visiting students must follow all protocols (masks, distancing, after use cleaning, etc.). Not more than 1-2 students at any one time inside an Extension facility. Appointments can only be made by phone.

In-State Travel

Effective Tuesday, November 17, Extension staff are not to travel in-state unless deemed essential and absolutely necessary. This policy will be in place until mid-January 2021 at which time it will be extended or amended.

In-Person Educational Programming that occurs indoors

Extension will curtail all in-person indoor programming until at least mid-January 2021. Revised in-person educational program checklists have been posted on the program restart website.

Larger In-Person Summer Programs

Based on guidance given to the ELT, we are advising staff to not plan for the ability to conduct larger (more than 50 people) programs in the summer of 2021. Instead we are recommending that staff focus their planning for either virtual or smaller in-person programs. We do believe that at some point this will be revisited as more information is known regarding summer/fall 2021.

HOC Follow-up Survey Responses

As of Monday, November 16, 59 responses to the survey have been submitted.

Themes from Survey Results

  • Lack of clarity from Extension Administration (or Program Administrators) about HOC expectations, especially regarding hours an office should be open.
  • Challenges of programming and the lack of connecting with people.
  • Questions about working remotely

Any staff-comprised group can invite the ELT or its members to their respective group meeting (faculty, professionals, classified). Hannah will work with Angela on setting up a virtual town hall to address the survey and responses.


Given budgetary constraints and the need for continued remote meetings, the ELT decided not to nominate UMaine Extension staff to LEAD21, unless we become aware of discounted fees or other special circumstances before November 29.

Extension Roadmap

There are five committees, and leaders have stepped forward for all committees (some as co-chairs).

Hannah will reach out to leaders this afternoon (Nov 16) . Committee work will begin on (Nov 17). ELT members are resources to these committees. A draft report will be due by mid-February (1 month before all-organization meeting (OM) in March 2021. Presentations will be scheduled (20 minutes each) for each committee at the OM.  Committee expectations will likely be done after the OM. Faculty, professionals and classified staff. Shared folders will be set up for each committee.

Grants Reporting Dashboard

The Office of Research Administration [formerly Office of Research and Sponsored Programs] now has a reporting dashboard that allows for filtered creation of a wide variety of reports. Do you want to know your grant history? The dashboard can give you a downloadable report filtered for data that is most relevant to you. It is accessible using your UMaine single-user sign-on credentials. Go to https://umgrants.maine.edu/reports and play around. If you need help, start with the HELP menu, or send an email question to Matt McSpadden at matt.mcspadden@maine.edu .

A Minor Accounting Change for Computer Purchases

Dennis Harrington and Michael Bailey have made a minor change to accounting for purchases of technology & computers. We are inactivating Extension’s “CES Computing” account and asking that all computer and technology purchases be made directly from the PeopleSoft account(s) that will ultimately be responsible for the purchase – this will avoid unnecessary transfers. If technology is meant to be paid with County funds we ask that you use one of the 10 “County Special Account” charfields that are assigned to each County, and that you send the County funds payment through your local schedule of collections. Another option is to send a County check to Angela Hart who can submit the payment to the UMaine Bursar that will credit your County Special Account.

Announcements & Congratulations

Congratulations to Griffin Dill on his award of $83,321 from the State of Maine for the Maine Potato Integrated Pest Management Program for 2021. The Program will provide support through field monitoring, disease forecasting, and distribution of educational materials. Applied research regarding emerging potato diseases including different strains of potato virus and their associated aphid vectors will also be conducted. This program will provide growers with current information on specific and timely pest management strategies in order to minimize pesticide applications and maximize potato yield.

Congratulations to Jeffery Colpitts on his award of $15,000 from the Onion Foundation for a project titled Safe Return to Schools. The 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond will support school districts in rural Maine with enhanced outdoor curriculums as they navigate the safe return to school during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Congratulations to David Handley on his award to $100,000 to support crop insurance education in Maine. The Maine Extension Maine Crop Insurance Education Program provides quality educational programming to Maine farmers so that they develop a solid business management foundation and meet the requirements to qualify for Federal crop insurance.

COVID Supplies

Reminder that COVID-19 essential supplies are available on the UMaine Facilities Management EOC site at https://umaine.edu/police/eoc/supplies-request-form/. Please feel free to reorder supplies for your office if your supplies are getting low. Facilities Management is asking for one person to order for a whole office or building and not by individuals.

Search Updates

Administrative Specialist CL2 (PT) (Somerset) – Screening applicants
Assistant Extension Professor and Fish Nutrition Specialist – Preparing to advertise
Nutrition Education Professional – Adult Curriculum Coordinator (Somerset) – Preparing to re-advertise
Nutrition Education Professional – Youth Curriculum Coordinator (Andro/Sag) – Alex Bosse hired

2020 ELT Meeting Dates

Meetings are from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, unless otherwise noted

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
December 11 Brzozowski Sulinski Virtual