University Librarian's Cabinet: Minutes of the November 7, 2006 Meeting
- Boyle, Fultz, Gaunt, Mullins, Puniello, Tehrani Agnew, Zapcic (videoconference)
- Golden, Sewell
- Nancy Hendrickson
University Librarian's Report – Gaunt
- Gaunt reported from the Deans Council that OIT will be discussing with the various student groups a plan to restrict the use of student computer fee funds for printing from the open labs to 500 pages. After that amount there will be a per page charge. This practice is done at almost all major universities. The limit of 500 pages is also typical and approximately 80% of all students print less than 500 pages currently. When asked if there were any major concerns, several things were mentioned: dissertation students who often need to print in volume, the need to have a charge per page that is based on actual cost, to make it clear to students when they had reached their maximum, and an easy way to pay. It was also hoped that copy prices and how they are paid could be standardized across the university, but there was recognition that the Libraries may be different because they deal with non-university customers. OIT will address that concern. If there were broad agreement by the students the plan would go into effect next academic year.
- Executive VP Furmanski called our attention to the e-mail from Sandy Russell on union organizing on campus and reminded the deans that staff should not be interrupted in the workplace by union recruiters, and that since the current law has changed, signatures on unionizing cards indicate a vote for union representation and not a vote for a willingness to discuss unionization.
- The Middle States self-study process is proceeding and the Libraries are represented on several committees. The emphasis remains one of assessing learning outcomes, which demonstrates a process of continuous self-improvement. How assessment is carried out across the many university units varies. Brent Ruben from ODL has conducted several programs to show how this can be accomplished. Middle States is looking for a climate of assessment on the campus, and Furmanksi noted that the professional accrediting agencies are now doing the same. Each course should have learning goals and measures of assessing these that are made known to the students. New Brunswick and Camden campuses may add an emphasis on the campus in the urban environment that balances the Newark emphasis on the same so there is a "university" view on this issue rather than a single campus view. The Libraries' contributions to these learning goals, through information literacy programs, will also need to be assessed.
- There is no news on next year's budget. Discussions between the university administration and the governor's staff continue. Recognition of salary increases, critical operating funds, and capital needs for renovations have been stressed.
- Gaunt noted that The Star Ledger editors were on campus for a highlights tour of activities on the New Brunswick campus so they could better publicize Rutgers. The group had lunch in the Scholarly Communication Center with key faculty across the disciplines, and the Libraries demonstrated two digital projects. There was interest in our activities and potential collaborative follow-up with the Ledger staff.
- Many capital campaign proposals have come in by our November 1 deadline, and Zapcic will be putting them on the T drive by the end of the week so that everyone will be able to view them. Cabinet will be reviewing them for prioritizing at the next meeting. No proposals will be accepted after November 15, as they need to go to Furmanski by December 1, and many will need to be re-worked so they can be grouped together under specific headings rather than be submitted singly. Gaunt asked Cabinet to seek support/collaboration for our projects from other university units to strengthen their appeal. She also noted that other units are also submitting proposals for library support. Zapcic noted that Furmanski will rate the proposals in priority order 1-2-3, and in funding order a-b-c, based on our capacity to raise the funds, i.e., how many donors, corporations, etc. have already been identified to fund the projects. The overall criteria will be how the project supports the work and mission of the university and the fundability of the project. Gaunt reminded Cabinet that we would continue to raise funds for many things that will not be named in the capital campaign.
Budget Update – Gaunt/Hendrickson
- Gaunt and Hendrickson discussed the status of the budget. There is a slight increase in our budget based on two major factors. The university has increased the salary dollars to cover across the board increases and merit increases for staff and librarians, and the original 8.2% budget reductions were based on last year's budget for all academic support units. The university has adjusted that amount in the working budget. It is closer to a 6.7% budget cut based on this year's base budget allocation. While this is not a windfall, it will allow us some flexibility in the number of positions frozen and in operating funds. Hendrickson prepared a new chart with budget reductions for salaries and operating that would be 4.6% and asked Cabinet members to review their permanently frozen positions and operating fund reduction targets based on this new number and report back no later than December 15 on how they wish to re-apportion their cuts. The additional staff and faculty vacancies that occurred after we met our initial budget target can now be filled or kept frozen to recoup 50% salary savings. As positions become vacant, Cabinet members may keep them frozen or fill them as needed with the same or different positions as long as the appropriate dollars are on the lines.
- Gaunt reminded Cabinet that in considering their decisions we need to consider flexibility for next year's budget and user needs.
- Reclasses were reviewed and there is sufficient dollars to be able to cover the current needs. Units can initiate paperwork for those identified in their units. Another review will take place in January.
- Boyle asked Cabinet members to include a note with reclass and recruitment paperwork stating that the particular position is not frozen in the department budget plan. If frozen and unfrozen positions are changed, please indicate the line numbers being swapped.
Assessment Conference Report - Boyle
- Boyle reported on the ARL Library Assessment Conference that she attended in late September that was excellent and very helpful for the Libraries and for Middle States discussions. Many of the handouts from presentations will be on the ARL website, and Boyle has others. We will try to collect them and make them available through the Libraries' website, as they will be helpful for our own planning purposes. In the meantime, Boyle will send the URLs for the assessment conference web sites. A number of key topics were covered including how to build assessment in the Libraries, how to move assessment forward, evaluation and assessment methods, the balanced scorecard, the value and impact of Libraries. Susan Beck was a presenter at the conference on her research with ARL directors that noted that library administrators use data for planning and setting organizational priorities and that nearly every unit in the library can use data for decision-making. Other presenters noted that many decisions by administrators are based on intuition rather than on data, but the quality of decision-making improves when it is data driven. The keynote address by John Lombardi, Chancellor at the University of Massachusetts, on library performance measures that matter was very probing and caused a lot of discussion. If we are a research institution, how does the library support research? Will we eventually be just an archive of things not yet digital?
- There were presentations around LibQual that reinforced that LibQual is not a user satisfaction survey but a survey of user perception of service quality. Other ARL measurement tools were noted, such as StatsQual, DigiQual, and Mines, and two assessment experts, Steve Hiller and Jim Self, are available as consultants for a program designed to help libraries develop sustainable assessment efforts that demonstrate the library's contributions to teaching, learning, and research.
- Other plenary, poster, and parallel sessions presented reports on assessment activities at other libraries and research initiatives.
- A second conference will be held in 2008.
Balanced Scorecard – Boyle
- This will be discussed at the next Cabinet meeting.
- Mullins' Newark Campus Middle States working group on faculty research, graduate, and professional education and the Newark context is meeting on Thursday; Mullins is on the agenda; her topic is "Dana Library and the Urban Context."
- Mullins noted that Ed Berger's photographs of jazz performers are on display in the conference room, where Cabinet is meeting.
- The 12th Annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium was held Friday, November 3 at the Paul Robeson Campus Center and featured artists who create unusual books with pop-ups, turning parts, three-dimensional scenes, and other moving pieces. Ann Montanaro organized the program.
- Following the Cabinet meeting today, Isaiah Beard and Bob Nahory will demonstrate the video encoder that was made available by the Libraries.
- Middle States committees are relieved with the assessment work Boyle' working group is doing. They are charged with developing a plan and going forward; they are surveying the departments to find out what type of assessment is being done. Would like to ask the librarians who are teaching whether when they sit down with a faculty member, how do you work out what students will learn or what you are teaching.
- In addition to speaking at State of the Libraries, Boyle participated in a copyright panel with Jon Alger and Fran Loren. "Copyright in the Digital Age: A Program for Graduate Students and Faculty" was sponsored by The Graduate School-New Brunswick, University Libraries and the Office of General Counsel.
- TAS will be meeting this afternoon to discuss campus and traffic disruption issues related to the football game on November 8.
- Ann Montanaro attended a VALE meeting to discuss whether we should build our own library system based on the North Carolina State model. No real consensus reached. It was decided as a first step to do a survey to determine what issues are being faced.
- Mary Page is chairing the ALCTS president's program for the ALA annual meeting. She also chaired a panel on vendor's new offerings at the Charleston Conference.