Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes May 9, 2022

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
May 9, 2022
Virtual Meeting 8:30-10:30 AM

Facilitator: Lisa Phelps
Note taker: Ryder Scott

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

May Lunch and Learn

We discussed possible topics for the next several “Lunch and Learns”:

  • PFAS – all staff informational session for home gardeners; Tori suggests Becca Long could lead an all staff session.
  • Opportunity for Extension staff to learn more about DLL
  • Part 2/follow up on micro credentialing with Laura Wilson
  • No Child Left Inside Bill and implications for Extension

Program Pricing and Communication Discussion

The ELT revisited program pricing and how we communicate discounted rates for programs and a plan for sharing some ideas with staff.

May 10 Faculty Meeting

We discussed how best to respond to questions posed by the faculty in advance of their May 10 meeting.

  1. Rehiring – How many at faculty level? What is guiding new faculty hires, now and in the future? Effects on faculty service expectations (PAC, PRC, chairing search committees).  Effects on PRC structure and process.
  2. Administrative changesTimeline for Dean and Associate Dean changes.  Potential impacts on faculty. Update on program leadership

County Office Closure Form

Historically, Extension policy was that an office would need approval to be closed during business hours. Closing an office was a last resort. It used to be a big deal to close an office and it is not anymore (paradigm shift) so there are some people who lack that context (that historically Extension was open for business 8:00-4:30). Offices have secured on call staff and in some cases were able to secure volunteers to fill in. There still is an expectation that offices are open from 8:00-4:30.  Is there a need for a uniform policy on closure? The ELT is developing a form to be used as a tool for gathering data on temporary office closings. There was good discussion around a form and how to utilize it. The data will help guide the Extension of the future and support county staff, program, and client needs.

Hort Team Proposal for 2-Day Retreat

The ELT approved a Home Hort Team proposal for a 2-day retreat.


Salesforce Update from Monica Palmer

Meetings with groups across Extension continue and many are stepping forward to implement Salesforce. The most common use so far is for managing incoming questions whether from a webform or email. Salesforce is a very strong platform for managing interactions like this and the benefits of a CRM will quickly be realized by these groups.

  • The first Salesforce portal is live! The Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab portal went live on May 3. The staff can now manage cases from email inside Salesforce instead of managing inside an inbox. This also allows for tracking of several metrics which will give the PDDL staff information they need to make educated choices for their lab. Examples are: How many questions do we answer in a month or year? Where are the samples coming from? How many samples do we process in each county? How many of certain diagnoses are we making? What could be the potential revenue if a cost were associated with digital sample analysis? The second portion, which allows for a webform to create digital sample cases, is expected to go live by mid-May.
  • Monica was Dean Carter’s guest at the May 2nd Extension Connection and presented an Introduction to Salesforce. That meeting can be viewed here.
  • A draft of a solution for the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab is underway. The VDL is looking for both an internal processing system, similar to the PDDL portal, and also a customer facing portal. The use of two portals will allow for more streamlined communication between the VDL and their customers and will greatly reduce the manual labor involved currently.
  • Conversations with stakeholders around volunteer management are set to take place later this month. From earlier conversations, it seems that Salesforce will be able to greatly help this group with organization and efficiencies which will, in turn, lend itself to providing upper management with better information about volunteers at Extension.
  • A meeting with the Food Testing Lab to evaluate their needs and the potential to move their processes into Salesforce is taking place early this month.
  • The design of a comprehensive plan for moving all bulk email users into a shared Mailchimp account is underway. Mailchimp Support has been engaged for tips and best practices for this process. Also, it was decided that we will stay with our current plan and only increase our number of contacts which will save us in annual spend.

Search Updates

4-H Community Education Assistant CL2 – New request
Parent Education Professional, Maine Families Visitor Knox/Lincoln – Prepared for HireTouch
4-H Community Education Assistant CL2 Washington – Prepared for HireTouch
Admin Specialist CL3 Highmoor Farm – In progress
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Manager VDL – In progress
4-H Community Education Assistant CL2 Oxford – Prepared for HireTouch
Director Bryant Pond/Greenland Point 4-H Centers Bryant Pond / Greenland Point – prepared for HireTouch
Program Coordinator, Bryant Pond & Greenland Point 4-H Centers Bryant Pond / Greenland Point – In progress
Assistant Extension Professor, Maine Sustainable Agriculture and Maple Industry Educator Southern Maine – In HireTouch for Approvals
4-H Community Education Assistant Waldo – Prepared for HireTouch
Acct & Operations Professional – in HireTouch for Approvals
Admin Spec CL3 (80%) Cumberland – RTF In Progress
Solutions Support Analyst AS CL3 – Prepared for HireTouch
Admin Specialist CL2 Tanglewood & Blueberry Cove – Prepared for HireTouch
4-H Science Professional (multiple counties) – Posted
Admin Specialist CL2 – Posted
Community Education Assistant CL1 EFNEP York – Posted
Community Education Assistant CL1 EFNEP And/Sag – Posted
Dairy Forage Educator – Posted
Sust Ag & Hort Pro Somerset – Interviewing
Sust Ag & Hort Pro Franklin – Interviewing
AS CL1 Hancock – Posted
CEA Hancock – Posted
Webmaster Orono – Screening applicants
CEA CL2 Magic Lantern – Rebecca Mosley hired
Admin Spec CL2 Cumberland – Offer stage
Sust Ag & Hort Pro Aroostook – Posted
4-H Youth Development Professional Aroostook – Posted

2022 ELT Meeting Dates

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
June 13 Scott Sulinski Virtual
July 11 Sulinski Arndt Virtual
August 8 Arndt Bailey Virtual
September 12 Bailey Bolton Virtual
October 11 Bolton Carter Virtual
October 20 Fall Retreat 10 AM – 2 PM TBD
November 14 Carter Dill Virtual
December 12 Dill Harrington Virtual