MEEOA Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

May 12, 1997

Location: UMaine
Present: Judi Look, Maureen Ferriter, Johannah Burdin, Rick Hogan, Bridget Mullen, Lynn Ploof-Davis

Meeting called to order at 11:10 a.m.

I. Secretary's Report
: Minutes from the March meeting were reviewed and accepted. Bridget shared her notes from the state caucus at NEAEOPP (included under New Business.)

II. Treasurer's Report
: Current checking account balance is $510.07. Current savings account balance is $1,537.20. An $1800.00 reimbursement from NEAEOPP for expenses from the NCEOA Policy Seminar is expected. Treasurer's report reviewed and accepted.

III. Old Business
A. State Caucus: At the NEAEOPP Conference on April 8, 1997, Maine held it's state caucus with 18 members present. Maureen Ferriter, Maine's NEAEOPP Liaison facilitated. The following is a summary of items discussed.
Preferences for timing and length of future NEAEOPP conferences: each state caucus was charged with taking a poll. The majority of Maine members present preferred 2 night, 3 day conference, at the end of the week. Primary reason for wanting the conference shorter as opposed to longer was to limit the time away from home and office. Several members preferred to see a longer conference so workshops would be more substantive. NEAEOPP plans to take these polling questions under advisement as they plan for next year's conference.

NEAEOPP '99! Al and Kristi have been checking out possible conference venues--Portland, Ogunquit. It was noted that folks coming from southern New England really liked the Samoset and that Maine should be marketed for it's beauty. With that criteria in mind, Portland may not be the best locale. Interested MEEOA members are encouraged to come forward to help form the NEAEOPP '99 conference committee.

State Liaison: Unanimous vote of support for Lynn Ploof-Davis to be Maine's next Liaison.

Political Action Network for this year consists of: Tom Allen--Carol Brush, Sue Collins--Lynn Ploof-Davis, Olympia Snowe--Helen Pelletier, Tom Baldacci--Kristi Pierce

Prior Experience: Discussion of need to advocate for maintaining Prior Experience in upcoming Reauthorization. Members felt we should work on coming up with clear presentation's important that we not sound self-serving...

Clarifying Roles: NEAEOPP is developing focused job descriptions for each of the board members. In short--State Liaisons' will be "worker bees" within NEAEOPP. Actively bringing information and organizing within their state. State Presidents, as they carry the burden of the work of the state organizations, will be more of a "figure head" within NEAEOPP.

Policy Seminar Update: Judi Look reported on the positive climate for Trio that she discovered on Capitol Hill in March. The need to be advocates for Prior Experience was further discussed.

MEEOA-NEAEOPP--An unofficial poll was taken. Are there many NEAEOPP members who are not MEEOA members? There appeared to be a small handful.

MEEOA Conference: Please e-mail ideas for next year's conference to Maureen Ferriter. Discussion of the location confirmed the sense that the committee had from reading last year's conference evaluations--Bar Harbor is a good place for the conference. The conference committee will plan to use the Atlantic Oakes again. This frees them up to focus on entirely on content.

Increasing Electronic Communication: Everyone present had received E-mail communication on the Policy Seminar Update! The one-way e-mail "tree" is seen as a terrific first step. Members were very interested in some kind of listserv that would allow for more back and forth communication. Dave MegQuier agreed to research cost and effectiveness of setting this up through the university. Rick Hogan also suggested we explore putting E-links on MEEOA's Web page.

Strategic Planning: Members reviewed notes updating the planning process. It was suggested that the next step would be to ask ourselves the following questions--What capacity do we have to do what we want? What resources do we have? What resources do we need?

Restructuring MEEOA Executive Committee: The idea of making the conference chair position separate from President-Elect so that the conference chair was not then expected to serve 2 more years (as President and Past President) was discussed. There was some support for the idea although members warned that the Chair must be fiscally responsible and be concerned about the direction and leadership of the organization.

B. Policy Seminar Costs: Treasurer reported costs for the Policy Seminar this year as
$2, 820.06. Costs include registration, airfare, hotels, meals and transportation for two alumni and two committee members. NEAEOPP will cover $1800.00 of the above costs. The following questions were raised but not resolved: Should we spend this much for the Policy Seminar? Will the reps be in session next year during the Seminar? If we feel that our federal reps are well informed, is there a possibility that NEAEOPP would release some of the Policy Seminar reimbursement funds to us for advocacy activities that are based here in the state?

C. Strategic Planning: MEEOA members came to Orono to move the planning process forward. Nine members were present in addition to the Executive Committee. The meeting was called to order at 9:10 a.m. Goals for the day were discussed. People felt it important to generate specific, doable plans of action that would; a) strengethen the Association's efforts at advocacy and professional development, and b) spread the workload beyond the Executive Committee. After sharing many ideas the group split into two groups to focus and clarify planning in two specific areas: Professional Development & Advocacy. (Note: Student Services was not discussed in a separate group.) The groups then came together and reported out. The following is a brief summary:

Professional Development: Claire Nelson, Kathy Nadeau, Penney Gray, Helen Finlan, Alan Parks, Velma Murphy, Ann St Pierre.
The professional development group focused on polling all Maine TRIO professionals regarding topics that they would like to see covered in a day long workshop format. The survey would ask individuals to prioritize their interests and would include space to suggest specific presenters. Several other questions will be included on the survey including: 1) How far are you willing to travel for a particular workshop? 2) Are you be interested in obtaining CEU's for participating in a MEEOA sponsored workshop?

Topics such as: ethics, curriculum development, diversity, internet and the curriculum, critical thinking skills, and financial aid, will be suggested on the survey. Individuals will be asked to prioritize their interests in them and add any other topics of interests. The plan of action for the group was to generate the survey and mail it out in June and evaluate the responses before our next board meeting in the Fall.

Advocacy: Kristi Pierce, Jerry Ellis, Karen McKosker, Lynn Ploof-Davis, Rick Hogan
The advocacy group generated a list of seven priorities to focus this year:

1) Educate Susan Collins and her new staff as to the importance of TRIO to Maine people. Also emphasize the necessity of maintaining prior experience as Collins sits on the committee that is re authorizing the Higher Education Act.

2) Develop "fact sheets" on each of the representatives serving Maine in Washington for TRIO staff to refer to.

3) Design a half day workshop for TRIO professionals to build their advocacy skills and knowledge of how the lobbying "system" works.

4) Outline policy to guide MEEOA testimony at state, local or federal level public meetings.

5) Increase MEEOA's visibility within the State by going to public meetings and forums and writing letters.

6) Explore the possibility of hosting a day long workshop for Maine counselors to attend.

7) "Rattle" cages and encourage TRIO Directors to submit alumni membership forms to NEAEOPP.

IV. New Business
A. Plan for future Policy Seminars:
There was discussion regarding suggestions for future MEEOA President's planning for Policy Seminar. Judi will work on putting some of this in writing. There was also discussion of finding out more about DoE funding for training for TRIO professionals.

B. Alumni:
The idea of encouraging and fostering the development of an Alumni Association was again briefly discussed. The sense was that there are a handful of Alumni in Maine wo are right now quite interested in helping organize...the question remains, to what end? There is no clear consensus regarding how to involve Alumni. It was suggested that perhaps that should be left up to the Alumni--that we might encourage them to develop there own agenda and try to work in conjunction with them rather than function as their moderator/facilitator. Is there enough intereste and energy out there? Can every program think of two or three Alumni who would be willing to jump in? Johanna expressed a real interest in moving something like this forward.

C. Listserv: Jerry reported that through the UMaine system we should be able to develop a listerserv based on our e-mail tree. There was some discussion of the parameters that the list should have. Most felt that it should include anyone from our current e-mail addresses who is interested. Jerry volunteered to launch it and see how it goes. He will be listed as the manager but as it is a closed list, he hopes that it will not involve a great deal of time.

D. MEEOA President to NCEOA: The question arose whether it was valuable and important for the President of MEEOA to attend the National Council on Eduational Opportunity Association conference. Typically, the President goes on their program budget as a Director. Is it appropriate for MEEOA to help send its President if they are not fully funded to go by their Program? Feelings were mixed. On the one hand, it is certainly a good leadership development activity and incentive for the President. Is it an appropriate use of funds? What kind of precedent does it set? The question was not resolved and further input from the membership was considered important to pursue. Judi will plan to contact past Presidents for their opinion on the value of the NCEOA conference to MEEOA.

E. Reauthorization:
Jerry Ellis shared the letter and tesitimony that was presented on the MEEOA President's behalf to the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee at Husson College on May 5, 1997. The testimony provided a concise breakdown of where TRIO programs are located and the important work that they do. The letter also urged support for maintaining "prior experience points." The Exec. Committee was in agreement that the language put forth in the testimony regarding the important and complex issue of prior experience was well stated. Thank you, Jerry.

F. Trainings/Professional Development:
The Executive Committee should consider sending members to trainings and develop a better sense of what is out there. Would any Maine TRIO people be interested in writing for a Training grant--what is MEEOA's role in facilitating connecting Maine professionals to the Trainings? There was brief note made of a day long training conference sponsored by FAME, the Maine Higher Education Council and Fleet Bank and Maine Broadcasting System titled the "College Awareness Project." Why was TRIO not involved as a stakeholder in the project? Is such an event something that we should work toward?

G. Membership: Current membership stands at 56 professional, 12 associate and 11 program. Membership packets addressed at our next meeting. We need to determine the timeing of the mailing. The secretary is currently holding membership information and will plan to help coordinate membership with the treasurer.

H. Conference Planning: Committee will meet again on May 23.

Next meeting: Executive Committee (and Conference Planning Committee) will meet on:
September 15, 1997 at 11 a.m. at Chadbourne Hall, UMaine