University Librarian's Cabinet: Minutes of the August 15, 2006 Meeting
- Agnew, Boyle, Fultz, Gaunt, Golden, Puniello, Sewell, Tehrani, Zapcic
University Librarian's Report – Gaunt
- Some of the committees for the Middle States review are already working. Puniello's committee is gathering information that the Libraries will need to provide. We will coordinate library responses for the various committees on which librarians serve. Boyle will facilitate that coordination.
- There is a major push for advocacy for continued funding of the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative (NJKI). Gaunt is on the marketing committee for the NJKI to the academic sector. Plans are being developed to get better visibility of the NJKI at the presidential level and with the governor's office. The advocacy focus will be on having it included in the governor's budget proposal for next year. If it is not, it will be more difficult to have it inserted by the legislature. It is unlikely that expanding the amount will be possible, but sustaining it at the current level would be considered a major success. The State Library has already indicated that if it is not included in next year's budget the State Library will not be able to fund it out of their existing resources and it will be dropped.
- We will need to plan a "roll out" for our strategic plan to faculty and administrators in the early Fall. Dr. Furmanski will be invited to an early Cabinet meeting to discuss the plan and implications for the libraries' role at the university. Boyle will lead the roll out planning.
- We should be aware that there is an initiative in the state to audit activities in the higher education sector. The Libraries will continue to monitor our own practices and record keeping and insure that those in management positions are fully aware of university policies and observe them in their units.
Budget Update – Gaunt/Sewell
- The university established an additional reduction category of "academic support unit" that includes the Libraries, and that means we would be reduced by 8.2% rather than 10%. As a result, we would need to absorb a permanent reduction of $1,944.466 rather than $2,371,300 or a restoration of $426,834. In addition, we were given a one-time special allocation of $198,166 for collections. Sewell discussed the status of the collections budget. We do not have state funds to acquire books from our permanent budget, and we will need to cancel a number of fixed cost items (journals, databases, etc.) to stay within budget. By asking vendors to renegotiate prices, canceling duplicate print subscriptions, databases, and some unique titles, we believe we will be able to manage with our greatly reduced collections budget. Cabinet recommended that we use the one-time allocation of $198,166 for the approval plan books. All additional books will need to be paid from non-state funds. Sewell also noted we need to rebalance our permanent budget between fixed and non-fixed costs. That process should occur over the year as we begin to realign purchasing. We also need to consider the possibility of the elimination of the NJKI next year if it is not included in the state budget in FY2008.
- We need to revise our budget reduction scenario based on these changes and return it to Dr. Furmanski this week. Discussion ensued on how to use the restored funds. It was determined that there is a great need to restore some staffing. We reviewed the priorities that we had developed previously for positions and potential layoffs. We determined that we should avoid layoffs and that we should fill key vacancies. Based on our strategic plan and unit/system priorities, Cabinet recommends filling the following positions: Instructional Technology Development Librarian, East Asian Librarian, Associate University Librarian for Instructional and Research Services, and Applications Developer. This will be finalized at the next Cabinet meeting. We will need to continue to freeze positions to maintain a target level of $839,306 in salary savings. However, as new positions become vacant we will determine if we should keep them vacant to recoup salary savings for operating (voucher or other), fill them as the same position vacated, or hire another priority position. We will need to integrate faculty and staff positions in the priorities.
- Gaunt asked Cabinet members to compile a priority list for their own unit on which vacancies would be important to fill. Gaunt will integrate all lists for a future discussion. In addition, we need to know what existing positions are working out of classification that might need to be reclassified. Please submit that list with the potential reclassification salary impact.
Serial Vendors – Sewell
- Sewell distributed a summary of the changes that will accompany the switch to a new serials vendor. The RFP process was concluded successfully and Sewell and his team were congratulated for selecting a vendor with terms advantageous to the Libraries. While we will now use one primary vendor for the majority of our serial subscriptions, there is a transition period for the record changeovers. Page, Smulewitz and Sewell, along with the vendor representatives, will monitor the transition.
Capital Campaign Priority Setting – Zapcic
- Zapcic reviewed all the materials that had been distributed from the administration and Foundation related to the next capital campaign. These included the vision statement, the process to be used for faculty input to campaign priorities, and submission forms. Unit priorities will need to be submitted by deans and administrators before December 1. Our priorities will need to fit into the university's guidelines, advance our strategic plan, build on our strengths and needs, support an interdisciplinary focus, have a long-term impact on users, and be able to be funded within the time frame of the campaign. We will need to balance our priorities between completed projects and endowment building. We want to be able to engage RUL in developing proposals. Zapcic would like to have a number of sessions with librarians and staff explaining the campaign and soliciting ideas. She will draft an outline of the Libraries' criteria based on the university's guidelines for our use in preparing proposals. Some potential areas that Cabinet discussed were a new science library, preservation, collections endowments (general, specific, such as IJS, etc.), and potential named positions.
Aspirant Schools – Boyle
- Boyle led a discussion of how we might determine aspirant schools to be used related to a number of areas. The university's Office of Institutional Research and Planning uses a number of comparative lists depending on the focus desired. Boyle developed a draft list based on comparing schools in ARL, NASULGC, land-grant schools, public AAUs, and university lists. ARL is currently working on new assessment measures for academic research libraries in the digital environment, but that may not result in the type of criteria easily quantified to develop a ranking. Boyle's list might be used for general/broad comparisons – such as their organization, policies and practices, website, etc., as well as for statistical comparison – staff size, funding, collections, etc. There was concern that for certain areas – such as digital development – that this list might not include the best institutions. If that is the focus of the assessment or investigation, then we might use the approach of our own institutional research and planning by developing a specific list based on criteria appropriate to that focus. In practice, this is something that we frequently do without documenting it – such as, which institutions have the best web presence, information literacy programs, and assessment practices. We agreed with the methodology for the current list with the caveat that we may need more specific lists depending on the particular need.
Announcements – All
- A gift collections workshop was held yesterday; 20 people attended; there was a lot of good interaction; others will be held in the future.
- Andrew Ruggiero has received a student scholarship to attend the USAIN (U.S. Agricultural Information Network) Conference at Cornell University in October. This was a competitive award for one student who is involved/interested in agriculture information.
- David Fogelsong nominated John Rake for the 2006 President's Recognition Program.
- Laura Mullen and Karen Hartman have an article in the March 2006 issue of College & Research Libraries entitled "Google Scholar and the Library Web Site: The Early Response by ARL Libraries.