Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes January 28, 2022

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
January 28, 2022
Virtual Meeting 8:30-10:30 AM

Facilitator: Hannah Carter
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.

Welcome to New ELT Members

The ELT welcomed new members and discussed the following:

  • Introduction
  • Norms of ELT meetings
  • Agendas
    • Facilitator & Notetaker
      1. Items
      2. Communications and Marketing Team
  • NFD
  • Discussion of items
  • Others? (guests)
  • Scheduling for the year: Monthly meetings and two ½ day sessions (spring and fall). The ELT will have expanded Monday check-ins (2 hours) once a month, starting Monday, March 14th.
  • What type of information/trainings for new members would be beneficial?
    • Time approval
    • Travel/expense approval
    • Evaluations/faculty & professional career ladders/post tenure
    • Extension Budgets/Position Management
    • Best Practices for check-ins with Staff
    • Knowing who works on campus that they may need to rely on
    • Faculty evaluation timeline and
    • Understanding how counties work
    • Filing injury reports
    • Others?

We will take time in our ELT meetings to handle these items as they are needed, and ELT members will reach out to Dennis, Fran, Hannah or their fellow PAs with questions, as needed.


“New ELT” Discussion:

The ELT discussed “big picture” conversations, knowing that it was just the beginning of this type of thinking and possible action.

  • Extension Programmatic Areas
    • Expanding on 4-H and the Maine Food System
    • Supervision – program area vs. county? (see also #2)
  • Organizational Support and Supervision
  1. What do counties need?
    • Someone (an identified point person) to communicate with the EC and attend their meetings
    • More programmatic support
    • Consistent county funds management/guidance
    • Perhaps keep supervision as is or change it to programmatic supervision
    • Perhaps a different supervisory structure such as supervision carried out by county coordinators or regionally
    • Important that EC’s know what work is happening in the county given the virtual opportunities, are staff numbers shrinking in the county
  2. What do faculty & professionals need?
    • Situational support for faculty and professionals who are early in their career
    • Represent their needs and bring ideas to the ELT
    • Help staff to network and find grants
    • Support for their supervisory responsibilities
    • Know and understand the roles and work of their colleagues
  • Timelines for ELT supervisory transitions
    • Clear communication with organization
    • From an HR perspective, who makes what changes (time approval, etc.)
    • The ELT will discuss the changes to their supervision of new ELT members. Dick will phase off of the ELT in March and he will participate in a handoff to the others who will assume his supervisory responsibilities. Fran and Beth will complete the paperwork to formalize all supervisory changes. Evaluations of administrators will be performed annually using the professional evaluation tool.

Tandberg Video Conference Units

UMaine Media Services sent the following to Lisa Phelps: “It’s also been a long time since we’ve worked on video conferencing with your group. The UM Media Services team has been involved with hundreds of webinars conducted remotely for Extension offices around the state though relatively few events on-site.With Extension offices starting to be used more often, I’ve started seeing requests for support with the Tandberg video conference systems. Given the shift by UMS to transition to web conferencing, support for the legacy Tandbergs is disappearing quickly as these systems are now beyond end of life. Many classrooms around UMS have been upgraded to support Zoom web conferencing and this expansion will continue. I’ve recently spoken with the Classroom Technology group about my concern for Extension offices still using legacy video conferencing equipment which will lose compatibility with the rest of UMS.”

Notes: Lisa will follow up with UMaine Media Services to let him know we do not have a plan to invest in the current Tandbergs and that we recognize support is disappearing but we will continue to use them to support zoom and for some that will mean just using an owl camera or some type of camera and microphone with the large monitors.

Future Agenda Items

Intercultural Development Inventory Libra

The IDI grant has been implemented by a 4-H Extension team led by Mitch Mason, and the team would like to update the ELT about their work and future thinking.

Contributor: Fran

Notes: Fran will follow up with Mitch about a time to come to a future ELT meeting


Piscataquis County Budget Situation and Staffing

Because the ACSUM contract was settled after the Piscataquis County budget was submitted to the County Commissioners there was not a big enough increase in the county budget submission to cover the increase in hourly wages reflected in the new contract. The Piscataquis County Commissioners voted to not increase the Piscataquis County Executive Committee budget for 2022 and this resulted in a decrease in hours that the Piscataquis County Extension office would be open each week.

The Piscataquis County office had been open 4 days a week through the end of 2021. (Note: Because of a significant budget reduction to Piscataquis County years ago the office had to reduce the number of days it was open to the public from 5 to 3 but in recent years the Piscataquis County Executive Committee was able to secure enough county funds to be open to the public for 4 days per week.)

To help with this situation and help minimize the impact to Piscataquis County residents the ELT agreed to split the cost with the Piscataquis County Exec Committee for the 4 hours of administrative Specialist time allowing the office to remain open for 3 and half days a week. Orono would split the cost from January 1, 2022- December 31, 2022. The plan for the Piscataquis County Exec Committee will be to ask for full funding from the county in next year’s budget request.

Announcements & Congratulations

Search Updates

4-H Science Professional (part-time) – Emily Booth hired
4-H Teen Leadership and Development (faculty) – Andrew Hudacs hired
4-H Youth Development Professional – Aroostook – Offer made and accepted
Administrative Specialist CL2 – Waldo – Tracy Rollerson hired
Assistant Professor of Sustainable Ag/Dairy Forage – Preparing for HireTouch
Agricultural Engineer Professional – Interviewing
CRM Professional – Monica Palmer to start Feb 7, 2022
Maine West Education Director – Bryant Pond 4-H Learning Center – Pending approval in HireTouch
Marketing and Communications Director – Offer made and accepted
Master Gardener Volunteer Manager – Offer made and accepted
Nutrition Education Professional –  Failed search
Parent Education Professional – Waldo – Rachel Goode hired
Program Coordinator (2 positions) – Blueberry Cove and Tanglewood – Advertising
Program Director – Maine Agricultural Mediation Program – Lucille Wess hired
Staff Coordinator – Beth Hawkyard hired
NorthStar Program Coordinator – Bryant Pond 4-H Center – Justin Bondesen hired
Statewide Small Business Educator & Assistant Extension Professor – Failed Search/Preparing updated JD for HireTouch
Sustainable Ag and Horticulture Professional – Aroostook – Search Comm. formed
Sustainable Ag and Horticulture Professional – Franklin – Search Comm. formed
Sustainable Ag and Horticulture Professional – Somerset – Search Comm. formed

2022 ELT Meeting Dates

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
January 28 Carter Sulinski Virtual
March 14 Sulinski Prichard Virtual
April 11 Prichard Phelps Virtual
April 21 Spring Retreat  8a-12p TBD
May 9 Phelps Harrington Virtual
June 13 Harrington Sulinski Virtual
July 11 Sulinski Prichard Virtual
August 8 Prichard Phelps Virtual
October 20 Fall Retreat 10a-2p TBD