Definition of a Professional

I. University of Maine Professional Staff Association (UMPSA)

  1. Extension professionals (formerly called Extension Associates) are non-faculty, non-classified Extension staff. Extension professional employees with appointments of seven months or more are covered by the collective bargaining agreement between the University of Maine System (UMS) and the University of Maine Professional Staff Association (UMPSA).
  2. Extension professionals do not formally supervise or evaluate other Extension professionals but may supervise classified employees or student workers. Extension professional employees with supervisory responsibility for other Extension professional employees are not part of the UMPSA bargaining unit, but are covered by the Handbook for Non-Represented Faculty, Professional and Administrative Staff.
  3. Extension professionals are assigned a supervisor who will evaluate their work in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement of university policy. During the probationary period evaluations are to be conducted every six months, and annually thereafter.
  4. All other terms and conditions are as governed by the UMS-UMPSA collective bargaining agreement.

II. University of Maine Employment Policies

  1. Extension professionals do not hold academic titles and are salaried.
  2. Extension professional positions are categorized by the nature of their principal activities and the educational preparation required to do the work. Extension professionals are expected to exercise significant independent judgment and decision-making.
  3. Extension professionals should coordinate their schedules with supervisors and others to meet the reasonable demands of the position. The standard full-time workweek is considered to be 40 hours. It is the joint responsibility of the Extension professional and the supervisor to maintain reasonable work demands and schedules. Consult UMaine Extension Concern Resolution Procedures if needed.

III. University of Maine Cooperative Extension Expectations for Professional Employees

  1. Extension professional positions require a bachelor’s degree or extensive work experience or specialized training; further degrees may be required.
  2. Extension professionals with program responsibilities may have specific duties involving teaching, research or public service and these activities are part of a Plan of Work that will assist and extend faculty efforts. The Extension professional’s individual Plan of Work is a subset of a larger state Plan of Work.
  3. Extension professionals are expected to have a professional development plan and are eligible to apply to UMaine Extension for sabbatical leave.
  4. Extension professional employees may be promoted through the Extension Professional Career Ladder or, if a position has changed substantially, the employee may request a position review that may result in a revised job description and altered compensation.
  5. Extension professional positions are expected to carry out administration, management, instruction, and/or support/service responsibilities.
  6. Extension professionals with program responsibilities report quantitative and qualitative program information such as key program components, output indicators, contacts, program linkages, success stories and days allocated.