Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes October 11, 2022

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
October 11, 2022
Virtual Meeting 10-12

Facilitator: Jason Bolton
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.

Guests: Nicole Lawrence and Brian Drisko of HR to discuss professional salary stress at 11:30


The recent retirement of Dr. Anne Lichtenwalner leaves a void at the Diagnostic and Research Laboratory. Until we can fill the position, Anne will work temporarily to carry out the following tasks:

  • Conduct necropsies for poultry and animal specimens: necropsies to be conducted on Tuesday and Friday’s
  • Review histology slides for diagnosis
  • Preparation of final diagnostic reports and signature
  • Communicate diagnosis with clients

The Tanglewood 4-Camp and Learning Center celebrated its 40th anniversary on Saturday, October 8. A good group was on hand to celebrate the good work accomplished all of these years and to build upon the success of the past.

Extension is a UMaine Homecoming sponsor and we will be focusing on recruitment. The slogan is: “When going to work is like coming home”.

Extension’s former 4-H Educator, Karen Hatch Gagne was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame last weekend. This is a great honor and recognizes all of the good work Karen accomplished for the 4-H volunteers and youth of Kennebec County and for UMaine Extension.


Onboarding of Staff and Faculty

Through her county and program visits, Hannah heard information about the onboarding experiences of new staff and would like us to focus on streamlining and making the onboarding process consistent. Beth joined the ELT to talk about the work that she has been doing to support supervisors and new staff. She has been gathering the many different onboarding checklists and has been surveying new staff to learn about the missed opportunities that, if attended to, would have made a difference for the new staff member. The group talked about what else is happening and what may still need attention regarding onboarding.

  • Checklists for supervisors to be sure everything is ready for the new staff member (Office should have correct infrastructure (desk, chair, computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse etc.)
  • Continue Zoom sessions (customer service, human resource things to know and civil rights)
  • Working on asynchronous training (Plugged-in scavenger hunt, welcome to Extension video)
  • Encourage ELT to be part of orientation checklist conversations
  • Purchase and Travel Cards
  • Reserve and use cars
  • Add Marketplace (procurement) training to checklist
  • Prioritize orientation checklist
  • Supervisor may not have knowledge of their field.
  • Mentoring model may be helpful and should be emphasized for all staff

Fran and Beth will regroup and determine the best course of action. This topic will be added to an ELT agenda in the future.

Welcome Email

Dean’s office

From the main Plugged In page, you’ll now find an “FAQs: Office of the Dean” image to the right that links to a section within “Operations”. The FAQs cover topics such as who to connect with regarding new position searches, who to speak with about civil rights in programming, who to contact for reserving Extension vehicles, which form to use for this or that, and more. For a more extensive list of the staff involved with the Office and the support they can provide you, check out the Office of the Dean – Administrative Staff Members and Their Responsibilities (this can be found under the Administration Operations on the left side menu of the Operations pages, all found under the “More” tab from the main Plugged In page). Financial Management staff have a helpful directory as well.

UMS Call for Ideas

The deadline for projects and ideas for federal funding is October 20, 2022.  Here is the link to the information that was sent out.  The ELT discussed this topic and shared some new ideas:

Proposal to ask for funds as part of a capital campaign to support improvements at the camps.

  • There is a master plan for design work at the camps.
  • More funds related to workforce development in all of our program areas and this might also need to include a microcredential.

Strategic Procurement Steering Committee

At the September meeting it was asked that departments provide clarity on the new mileage rate (0.46/mile) effective date: 7/1/22.

There is confusion around which travel the new rate will be applied to: as in, if you traveled prior to 7/1/22 the old rate will be used – if you traveled after 7/1/22 the new rate will be used. The rate is entirely based on when the travel occurred and no other criteria.

New Indirect Distribution Formula

On July 1st a new indirect distribution formula was adopted.  Michael will share information on this new formula.

  1. VPR Calculation

Every fiscal year-end (June 30th), the VPR’s office applies the following formula to research totals from the previous fiscal year. In the current FY2023, the total Indirect Cost of UMaine for FY2022 will be used.

  • R/PI/Project = Amount of indirect returned to a specific PI/Co-PI of a project
  • FGCDB = the Fractions Responsibility reporting in the Grants and Contracts Database (from PARS)
  • FUMEIDC = total Effective IDC (Indirect Cost) of UMaine for that Fiscal Year
  • Constant = $250,000 = minimum returned to faculty staff every fiscal year

And the formula:

R/PI/PROJ = FGCDB x FUMEIDC x $250,000

  1. Cooperative Extension’s Role

In mid-July, individual entries are made for each PI to the following chartfield:

Dept 5400100 / Fund 13 / Project 5255999 / Class Code “FL” – Where “F” is the first initial and “L” is the last initial: Michael Bailey, would be “MB”. 

Annual calculations, award entries, and expenses against each balance are tracked within this chartfield “indefinitely”.

Recipients are notified of their annual award and current balance each year; typically at the time of the award.

Source: Vice President of Research, Return of Indirects

If you have any questions, please feel encouraged to reach out to Michael.


Salesforce Update from Monica Palmer

  • The CRM System Support Professional position has been approved. It will be posted externally soon with a tentative start date of mid-December for the successful candidate. This position will allow more teams to take advantage of Salesforce and the new suite of Titan tools sooner.
  • The custom data integration between Salesforce and Mailchimp is nearly complete. A screenshot of the (nearly) finalized solution is below. The integration sends data about campaigns (such as who it was sent to, when it was sent, if the recipient opened it or not) from Mailchimp to Salesforce so reporting can be done out of Salesforce and a more complete picture of our clients can be seen. The integration also sends updated information such as email addresses or name changes back to Mailchimp keeping the two systems up to date with each other.
  • The Operations Team is piloting the use of Cases to manage their new team email. This will allow for easier assignments of questions and smoother collaboration within the team to answer questions.
  • Support continues for the Maine Business School with their recent implementation of Salesforce. They are now live with event registration, event reminder emails and internship tracking. We are currently working on reports from PeopleSoft to update enrollment data and on creating interest forms that will integrate with Salesforce.
  • Meetings with other groups interested in implementing Salesforce took place over the month of September, but no new collaborations are currently in progress.
  • Procurement of additional tools for Salesforce is still wrapping up. A suite of tools from Titan will provide Extension with tools for web-forms, document generation and event management. Stripe has been approved by the UMaine Bursar as the payment gateway. These tools are necessary for the work the Extension does to extend the power of Salesforce. The event management tool will eventually replace the CDMS.
  • A review of zSuite, the software currently being implemented by 4-H to manage enrollment, has been completed. At this time, we will stay with (and expand) zSuite and develop data integrations between zSuite and Salesforce instead of migrating the process to Salesforce.
  • Monica Palmer, Mari Glatter, and others continue to develop onboarding and training modules for Salesforce and related tools. This will be available to new staff as well as current staff that would like to use these tools as references to answer questions they may have.

Announcements & Congratulations

Congratulations to PI Dr. Matt Hawkyard for the award of $277,703 from the US Department of Commerce for the project Nutritional strategies for improved larval production of marine finfish with an emphasis on Seriola sp. The goals of this research is to develop the capacity to produce larval feeds at the newly established UMaine finfish nutrition laboratory and evaluate the impacts of coated and uncoated microparticulate diets on marine finfish larvae.

Congratulations to Dean Hannah Carter for the award of $242,063 from the US Department of Agriculture for the project Smart Agriculture/Forestry and Urban Agriculture Partnership. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension will maximize their agricultural staff resources, mobilize trained staff to educate employees, partners, and customers with CSAF and UA, assist with related outreach to eligible customers (with an emphasis on historically underserved producers), and deliver associated technical assistance.

Congratulations to Ryan LeShane for the award of $18,527 from the US Department of Education and Maine Department of Education for the project Blueberry Cove Summer Coastal Ecology. This project will help provide opportunities for students to engage in authentic, interdisciplinary marine/coastal ecology experiences with a focus on innovative design processes, leadership, and career development. The initiatives will also increase capacity, community partnerships, and access for students from low-income families that don’t typically have access to marine/coastal ecology experiences due to financial barriers and/or geographic barriers.

Search Updates


  • Veterinarian Specialist & Assistant Extension Professor (VDL)
  • 4-H Community Education Assistant CL2 (Pen/Pisc)
  • Admin Specialist CL3 (DRL)


  • Admin Specialist CL2 (Cumberland)


  • CRM System Support Professional (Orono/remote, salary range under review)
  • Web Professional (Orono/remote)
  • 4-H Community Education Assistant (Waldo)
  • Sust Ag & Hort Professional (Aroostook)
  • 4-H Youth Development Professional (Washington County)
  • Postdoctoral Extension Associate in PFAS Research and Outreach (Orono/Statewide)
  • 4-H Community Education Assistant CL2 (Cumberland)
  • Director Bryant Pond/Greenland Point 4-H Centers (BP/GP)


  • Potato Plant Pathologist, Faculty (Aroostook/Presque Isle)
  • Parent Education Professional, Maine Families Visitor (Knox/Lincoln)
  • Associate Dean of Extension (Orono)
  • Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Manager (VDL, offered)


  • Acct & Operations Professional (Orono) Gloria Menchaca
  • Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Assistant Extension Professor, and Small Business Specialist (Orono, CE & MBS) Jason Entsminger
  • Assistant Professor of Native American Studies and Food Systems (Orono, CE & NAP) Anthony Sutton
  • Admin Spec CL3 80% (Cumberland) Sarah Davenport
  • Admin Specialist CL3 (Highmoor Farm) Stephanie Wright
  • Administrative Specialist CL3 EFNEP (Orono) Emily Mott
  • Dairy Forage Educator (Orono, statewide) Jaime Garzon

2022 ELT Meeting Dates

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
October 20 Fall Retreat 10 AM – 3 PM Hutchinson Center – Belfast
November 14 Carter Dill Virtual
December 12 Dill Harrington Virtual