Harvest for Hunger volunteers distribute fresh produce to hungry Mainers

University of Maine Dean of Cooperative Extension

Finalist Interviews

The University of Maine Dean of Cooperative Extension Search Committee is pleased to announce that three finalists for the position of Dean of Cooperative Extension will visit the University of Maine over the next several weeks. The national search for a Dean has been underway since April conducted by a collaborative search committee comprised of faculty, staff, administrators, and representatives from the agricultural and 4-H communities. The search committee narrowed the field of applicants to nine for initial interviews and have selected three to visit campus. Each candidate will visit the University of Maine for two days, meeting with various groups and individuals. Each candidate will provide a campus presentation with question and answer session and external stakeholders will be invited to a discussion.

September 27 and 28

Dr. David Fernandez is currently the Interim Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education; Interim Assistant Dean for Academic Programs in the School of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Human Sciences; and the Extension Livestock Specialist at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff. Prior to his arrival at Pine Bluff, he worked as a science writer, creating online curricula and textbooks for biological and biomedical science courses. Dr. Fernandez has been a professor of Animal Science in California and Texas, Associate Director of Science Education at Rice University in Houston, TX, and Program Director for Student Success Initiatives in Texas at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Dr. Fernandez has a Ph.D. in Physiology (Reproduction) from the University of Kentucky.

October 4 and 5

Dr. Hannah Carter is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida. She is the Director of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources, a leadership development program for individuals involved in Florida’s agriculture and natural resource industries, and she is also the interim director of the UF/IFAS Center for Leadership, which provides leadership programming to internal UF/IFAS audiences and external stakeholder groups across Florida and the nation. Dr. Carter began her career with UMaine Extension working within the potato industry in Aroostook County. Dr. Carter has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Leadership from the University of Florida.

October 15 and 16

Dr. Marie Ruemenapp has worked for Michigan State University Extension for over 30 years in both educational and administrative positions. She is currently assigned to MSU Extension Greening of Michigan Institute, Michigan’s community and economic development programming area, and is working on several community development special projects and leading an urban Extension initiative in Michigan. Previously, Dr. Ruemenapp held administrative positions providing leadership for MSU Extension operations and programming in the greater Detroit metropolitan area and Southeast Michigan. She has also served as a county Extension director in three counties and had programming assignments in community and economic development, 4-H youth development, health and nutrition, and family relationships. Dr. Ruemenapp has a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from Michigan State University.

Feedback was collected from campus and external constituents through the close of business on October 21, 2018. A survey had been created to support the collection of feedback and the link was provided at each forum.

For more detailed information or questions, please contact Dianne Avery at diannea@maine.edu or 207.581.1595.

About UMaine Cooperative Extension

As a trusted resource for over 100 years, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has supported UMaine’s land and sea grant public education role by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county. UMaine Extension helps support, sustain and grow the food-based economy. It is the only entity in our state that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated. UMaine Extension also conducts the most successful out-of-school youth educational program in Maine through 4-H.

An update from Provost Jeff Hecker

View with transcript

About UMaine

The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state’s land grant and sea grant university. As Maine’s flagship public university, UMaine has a statewide mission of teaching, research and economic development, and community service. UMaine is among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast and attracts students from Maine and 49 other states, and 67 countries. It currently enrolls 11,240 total undergraduate and graduate students who can directly participate in groundbreaking research working with world-class scholars. The University of Maine offers 35 doctoral programs and master’s degrees in 85 fields; more than 90 undergraduate majors and academic programs; and one of the oldest and most prestigious honors programs in the U.S. The university promotes environmental stewardship, with substantial efforts campuswide aimed at conserving energy, recycling and adhering to green building standards in new construction. More information about UMaine is available at the UMaine website.

Role of the Dean/Executive Director

The Dean provides overall leadership to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension (UMaine Extension) in partnership with the Extension Leadership Team (ELT). The ELT is currently comprised of 3 Program Administrators, an Assistant Director and Financial Administrator, and an Assistant Director Human Resource Administrator. The ELT determines UMaine Extension policy, allocates resources, and establishes the means for staff to participate in decision-making. The Dean will communicate with the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost along with other UMaine senior administrators to ensure attainment of UMaine Extension’s mission. The Dean works with the ELT to oversee the activities of UMaine Extension’s approximately 240 full-time and temporary staff including 46 faculty. Oversight of UMaine Extension’s statewide mission includes campus-based specialists, 16 County-based offices, three residential 4-H Camps, staffing at two research farms, 14 County Executive Committees, a variety of governing and advisory boards, and an administrative unit that provides management, support, and reporting for all aspects of the organization and serves as the key liaison with the University of Maine and University of Maine System. The Dean maintains a close working relationship with the Maine 4-H Foundation and its Board of Directors. In collaboration with ELT members, the Dean articulates the mission of UMaine Extension and the philosophy of extension education and engagement to a variety of stakeholders and others statewide.

The Dean by statute is a member of the University of Maine Board of Agriculture and works closely with the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture and the Provost with the board as it advises the president of UMaine and the chancellor of the University of Maine System.

The Dean and the ELT will devote significant time addressing organizational sustainability through sound program and financial management of approximately $15 million per year in Federal, County, State, and external support, including stewardship of the national Cooperative Extension network. The statewide Plan of Work for UMaine Extension and the University of Maine’s Strategic Plan serve as guides that aid the Dean and ELT in decision­ making.

Learn about the Dean of Cooperative Extension position at UMaine

Helpful Resources

In Support of the 4-H Program

“I am a compulsive life-long learner, and through UMaine Extension I am embraced by a community that understands learning by doing. I aspired to give back to society, but my volunteer activities through Extension are much less about obligation and much more about opportunity. This is gosh-darn fun!”
— L.B., University of Maine Cooperative Extension volunteer in Washington County


In Support of the Maine Food Systems work

“As organic farmers, we value University of Maine Cooperative Extension as our top agricultural resource here in Piscataquis County. Being new farmers, we especially benefit from the Piscataquis County Extension office’s focus on facilitating networking and skill sharing between farmers, gardeners, and community members alike through programs such as the Maine Highlands Farmers, the You Can series, and more.

Extension’s soil testing and pest and disease identification services are invaluable to our ability to grow healthy crops for the dozens of local families that rely on us for their seasonal veggies. Piscataquis County Cooperative Extension is truly an extension of our farm!”
— Eugene and Mary Margaret Ripley, Ripley Farm, Dover-Foxcroft