Extension Roadmap Steering Committee Meeting Notes, July 27, 2021

2:00-3:00 p.m., via Zoom

Present:  H. Carter, A. Smart, J. Bolton, K. Yerxa, L. Wilson, M. Snowden, S. Baez., T. Tilton, T. Jackson, D. Harrington, L. Phelps, B. Foster, M. Glatter, R. Machado

Not Present: M. Bailey, R. Scott

The committee began the process of discussing each of the theme committee recommendations with the intent of 1) further clarifying the item, 2) determining if it is something the Steering Committee could move forward and 3) possibly combining it with another item(s).  During this meeting, the committee discussed the first 16 recommendations. The discussion was as follows and the items in blue were committee discussions, the items in red were comments from the Dean.

Discussion of Roadmap-Themed Committee Recommendations

Considering How We Operate

  1. Better define County Coordinator roles by creating regional roles that handle aspects of both County and Executive Committee Coordinator.
    1. The committee wants to be sure that consistency and equity are considered.
    2. This could be combined with #2 for further discussion.
  2. Better define the County Coordinator role by offering a stipend to existing County office staff for this role and add recognition for the role to the review process
  3. Remote work should continue and be properly supported by UMaine Extension Administration.
    1. Outside the work of this Committee due to HR implications and UMS/UMaine policies.
  4. Proposed organizational structure to that reflect problem and recommendations
  5. This could be combined with #15 and #28 as program areas and structures are redefined.

Enhancing Our Financial Future

  1. Our committee believes transitioning to a One Health program umbrella will create creativity and entrepreneurship with the all-encompassing theme of the interconnection of One Health.
    1. Need to communicate the One Health program more broadly for understanding.
    2. Would this tie into the national health initiatives of Extension at a national level?
  2. Each program area should make the true cost of the program transparent to participants, and, at the same time, offer avenues for fee reductions/scholarships to ensure equity.
  3. Create a committee to provide guidance and feedback for the implementation of fees for services as a potential resource.
    1. Could be combined with #6 above and #8 below.
  4. Provide a clear incentive pathway and recognition for entrepreneurship, creativity, and intentional budgeting (ex: innovative and new services for a fee, etc.)  (Will have to work within UMS/UMaine guidance and policies.)
  5. Designate a person/position to aid in grant submissions within Extension, ex. Office of Research Development. A possible portion of a CE administrative position.  (Can make a recommendation to move forward; the final decision will be dependent on finances/position management.)
    1. Designate a person in ORA for Extension?
  6. Provide training on Proposal Approval Routing System (PARS) for efficient grant submissions. Included in faculty and staff training.
    1. Can reach out to ORA for support?
  7. Training for all GL budget reviews (also for non-grants).
    1. Training is currently being developed.
  8. Create a staff mentor for grant writing/submitting.
    1. Could combine with #9?
    2. Have a conversation with ORA, possibly invite them to Extension Connections to share what they can do for us and what they cannot do for us within the grants process.
  9. Hire a Resource Development Officer position for Extension in partnership with the UMaine Foundation. Fund development efforts through gift-giving (bequests, legacy gifts, property, stocks, insurance policies, and more) and donor appeals can be a new direction to gain revenue and grow.
    1. This position is already being discussed within the UMaine Foundation — this committee does not need to move it forward as it already is in motion.
  10. Further research needed: Provide a clear incentive pathway and recognition for entrepreneurship, creativity, and intentional budgeting (ex: innovative and new services for a fee, etc.)
    1. Does this need to be combined with #8?
    2. Same parameters -will have to work within UMS/UMaine guidelines.

Enhancing Collaborations

  1. Form Program Leadership Teams with Chairs. Create additional program leadership teams so that each program area has one. “Program areas” would be determined based on having a shared audience (for example, the existing Animal Ag and Master Gardener teams). In some cases, this might mean reviving a defunct PLT, like the old Crops PLT. These teams would meet with other program leadership team chairs, within broader Extension programs (ex. Aggies), to update each other on team activities, identify areas for potential collaboration, and share best practices of working as teams.
    1. Increase sharing across teams.
    2. Facilitate cross-team collaborations and communications.
    3. Possibly rotating leadership position.
    4. Would also be combined with #4 and #28.
  2. Create an Extension-wide List of Current Projects, and Programs: A dynamic representation of both current programs and research, as well as interest in future collaborative programming. These representations should clearly indicate whether programming is virtual or in-person (or hybrid). This representation should include both a searchable text/database and an internal asset map (people, programs, research projects, etc. including audiences served) as an easy-to-navigate visual.
    1. This must be easy to implement and have a clear benefit so folks feel compelled to add their stuff to the list.
    2. Could model after the Maine Farms and Seafood Directory.

The committee did not discuss a mission statement for this group.

The agenda for the August meeting will be to discuss the remaining recommendations.