Harvest for Hunger volunteers distribute fresh produce to hungry Mainers

University of Maine Dean of Cooperative Extension

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

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.

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.

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