Extension DEI Committee Meeting Minutes August 28, 2023

Extension DEI Committee Meeting
August 28, 2023 – Via Zoom

Facilitator: Alisha
Notetaker: Tara

  1. Welcome and check in
  2.  Group norms
  • Ok to be “raggedy”; things don’t have to be perfectly worded
  • Watch out for acronyms
  • We are accepted and forgiving
  • Our work is to better ourselves and Extension
  • This work is important; sometimes we may not know how to approach things
  • Assume good intentions
  • Open to feedback
  • Others?
  1. Check in on ongoing work/small groups/upcoming needs
    1. Updates on civil rights review, needs assessment, DEI position, from Hannah

Taking a pause on needs assessment/survey, but gearing up for the second phase (employees, community partners, and public that are familiar) Also preparing for the assessment/survey that will be targeted toward those that are not familiar with Extension or using resources/serivices.

Thoughts/feedback on relaunch of survey

  • Examples of feedback that caused the pause- lacking box for hourly staff, demographics were “required” and should have been optional (USDA/NIFA does not have updates demographic categories)
  • Learning opportunity to see where gaps were in the language/general understanding of the layout
    • Do we need check boxes, or can there been a more open ended response collection option – research team will make categories happen if they need to

No updates/feedback from the civil right review team that occurred in the spring

Exit interview was done with the research team, with initial feedback the overall picture was positive, notes on specific improvements will be coming.

Fran is leaving this week, still working on official pieces with all of this and an email will be coming out prior to Friday letting people know some of the changes/adjustments that will be coming

-A focused effort on DEI within the organization, ideally this would be a full time position but funding sources are difficult.  A proposal form Hannah a .5 FTE 2 year appointment for DEI staff person

-backfilling the .5 comes out of (support for the time needed for the new position from the one being impacted).

– Internal search- please reach out to Hannah about questions, or clarifications

-Posting this within the next month or so

– Will include civil rights

– Can help assist ELT with the roll out of the report that comes out of civil rights review

Feedback- this work is essential, not optional

Funding concerns, more should be put towards this and Extension would like to see this become a priority

Could we use the interim two years to find more solid funds to support the role?

Framing this position to the rest of the Org will be important- highlighting all of the pieces that are going on to help “us” be better

  1. November All Staff Conference
    1. belonging activity (icebreaker)-Beth
      1. Great opportunity for committee to share their development / presence / purpose with a full group activity
      2. Registration to include group norms / expectations?
      3. Lucy expressed interest in joining in
    2. internal culture survey team
      1. Meeting coming up on Sept 6th from 10-11 to go over the creation of an internal survey to launch to Extension staff to get a baseline of needs/gaps related to this effort. This survey would be launched in the near future
        1. If others are interested in joining on this please reach out to Alisha Targonski or Tara Marble
  1. Review Jamboard
    1. Group name:
      1. Extension for ME Collaborative
      2. Extension for All Collaborative
      3. Collaboration?
      4. Extension for ME Collective
      5. Extension for All Collective
      6. Can decide on this in the near future
        1. Voting anonymously or asynchronously sent out before the next meeting
        2. (Lucy will create a Google form for this)

To complete the “survey”, click this link

  1. mission/vision
    1. A collaborative effort to engage and empower the diverse voices of Maine in advancing the call to make UMaine Extension more equitable, accessible, and a place where all belong (working draft)
      1. Put on the “ballot” along with the group name (google long form)
  2. Scope of work (on Jamboard please add thoughts ideas) https://jamboard.google.com/d/1BRbB4Ws_fPWnRVBql1ERs2SMUuUrk3V9Xt3WV4mooLo/viewer?f=1
    1. Short
    2. Mid
    3. Long term goals
      1. These ideas will be included into the upcoming email to allow space to make more concrete
  1. Upcoming learning opportunities
  2. Feedback/rose/bud/thorn
    1. Appreciate the ability to take the time though this process
    2. Appreciation that everyone is heard that wants to be heard
      1. Jamboard is a great meeting tool
  3. Sept 25th meeting (Resourceful Consulting will be joining us who are leading the Oct 26 training on campus) Beth will be sending out some pre meeting information

Our primary goals in joining the Committee’s meeting are:

  1. To get input from them to help determine training priorities and needs
  2. To better understand and assess who’s on the committee and where it is in process
  3. To meet folks and begin to build relationship as a foundation for training and their work to follow


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