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RU Libraries faculty opposes merger of Rutgers-Camden w/Rowan Univ.

A number of sectors of Rutgers University have announced their opposition to the proposed merger of the Rutgers-Camden campus with Rowan University, with strong statements issued in the past two months by the University Senate, the faculty councils in Newark and New Brunswick, the Eagleton Institute of Politics, the Rutgers-Newark School of Law, the Graduate School of Education in New Brunswick, and the New Brunswick departments of Anthropology, French, Philosophy, and Political Science. In early March the Rutgers University Libraries Faculty, the body composed of librarians from all of Rutgers campuses, stepped forward and voiced its clear opposition as well.

In a resolution approved unanimously on March 9th, the Libraries Faculty noted that "the Rutgers University Libraries work as a single institution, with system-wide teams as essential to the Libraries work as its physical locations" and "the efficiencies and synergies realized by a unified staff would be diminished by the loss of our Camden colleagues." The resolution also notes that "any division of the current collections and the acquisition budget would weaken all collections" and concludes that the Libraries faculty "strongly opposes any action that would remove Rutgers-Camden from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and urges the Rutgers Board of Governors and Board of Trustees to vote "No" on the proposed merger of Rutgers-Camden with Rowan University."

The full text of the resolution is below.


Rutgers University Libraries Faculty Resolution in Response to the University of Medicine and Dentistry Advisory Committee Report regarding Rutgers University-Camden

WHEREAS, Research-intensive universities generate the intellectual power that advances research, transmits knowledge, preserves cultural heritage, and encourages new learning, fueled by the extensive retrospective and current print, multimedia, archival, and electronic resources made accessible by comprehensive research libraries; and

WHEREAS, The Rutgers University Libraries are indispensible to Rutgers University, one of the foremost public research universities in the United States; and

WHEREAS, The Rutgers University Libraries are a member of a vast and interlocking national network of research libraries--the prestigious Association of Research Libraries--by virtue of the breadth, depth, and quality of its current and retrospective collections across many languages and disciplines; and

WHEREAS, The Libraries collections and locations stretch their resources through complementary collecting, sharing a single catalog and delivery system, allowing all users on all campuses equal access to all books, journals, media, online subscriptions, archives, special collections, and other resources.

WHEREAS, A proposal is pending to merge the Rutgers-Camden campus into Rowan University, thereby removing portions of the Rutgers University Libraries collections and services; and

WHEREAS, The Rutgers University Libraries operate as a single shared system across all the campuses of the university, the integrity of which must be maintained to sustain the continued high achievement of the university's students and scholars; and

WHEREAS, A collection budget shared among all campuses supports research-level collections equally accessible to all faculty and students, enabling excellence in both scholarship and instruction; and,

WHEREAS, Any division of the current collections and the acquisitions budget would weaken all collections; and

WHEREAS, $6.4 million of the Libraries' collection budget is spent on licensed electronic resources to which all members of the Rutgers community have equal access while on campus or through the Internet; and

WHEREAS, Under the merger plan, students and faculty formerly enrolled in Rutgers-Camden would lose access to more than half of the databases to which they currently have access, databases not available at Rowan without major new expenditures; and

WHEREAS, The personnel of the Rutgers University Libraries work as a single organization, with system-wide teams as essential to the Libraries' work as its physical locations, including circulation and delivery, licensing, reserves, digitization, RUcore that shares the output of Rutgers scholars with the world, Web resources and services, and online and in-person reference services; and

WHEREAS, the efficiencies and synergies realized by a unified staff and faculty would be diminished by the loss of our Camden colleagues; and now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Rutgers University Libraries Faculty strongly opposes any action that would remove Rutgers-Camden from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and urges the Rutgers Board of Governors and Board of Trustees to vote "No" on the proposed merger of Rutgers-Camden with Rowan University.

Adopted by unanimous vote of the Rutgers University Libraries Faculty. March 9, 2012

Posted March 21, 2012