According to the Star Ledger, the budget next year will be flat; there will be a major push for the Governor's plan for monetization. We will know more about the university planning after the Governor's address, and it will probably be addressed at the first Deans Council meeting in February.
New Jersey Knowledge Initiative: want to thank you, the students, and our colleagues for the last minute push with the Governor's office; will get pricing from the State Library should we not get the funding restored; keep on advocating, but we should plan that it won't happen and that next year we may have nothing up to $2M; should it be better than that we can always readjust.
State Librarian Norma Blake was selected as Library journal's Librarian of the Year 2008; there will be a celebration for her at ALA. This is a great recognition of her service and a very positive reflection on New Jersey libraries.
The recent posting on RUL_Everyone by Mary Beth Weber about TAS staff presenting at ALA reminds us to provide this sort of recognition for our staff on a regular basis. It is useful to celebrate our staff contributions, but also to attend the sessions and provide support; we should do the same for ALA annual. Thanks, too, to Fredenburg for arranging for lunches/dinners to be hosted.
Boyle and Fredenburg are working on potential positions to be offered for the CLIR fellows program; they are reviewing the new faculty position descriptions to determine whether any could be designed for a post-doc fellow; purpose of the program is to attract new humanities PhDs to consider a career in librarianship; if you have ideas, please talk to Boyle and Fredenburg; deadline is early February; if we are not selected this year, we will think about it for next year.
Based on comments made at last meeting, Jones thought it would be useful to have tips and tools for people managing groups and facilitating teams in our libraries, and pulled together background materials about effective meeting management and participatory decision making in teams; more explanation will be provided if needed. Jones described processes that go into decision making; often times we think we should vote or go to consensus; need to think about who should be involved, tools, etc. Good facilitating is an art. All the information provided is based on workshops or consulting with groups and teams on typical challenges; tried to pull the key strategies from those experiences.
Cabinet agreed to share handouts with staff supervisors to share with teams; Gaunt asked Cabinet to review the handouts again, and determine if there are specific areas we might want to do more follow- up; try to internalize and practice. In the future, those who suggest Cabinet agenda items will act as the facilitators for that discussion item. For the informal activities handout, Gaunt asked Cabinet members to volunteer to take the lead in organizing one activity.
Boyle reported on the "Painless Outcome-Based Evaluation" workshop, presented by Rhea Joyce Rubin for the New Jersey State Library in December 2007. Outcome-based evaluation is a user-centered approach to planning and assessment of programs/services that are provided to address user needs and designed to achieve change for the user; should be looking at impact – change in audience for program or service you've done. Boyle was interested in the traditional and the new focus. In evaluating outcomes there were simple questions that explained what an outcome, indicator, and targets are. In developing outcomes, outcome verbs are used; they were simple and easy to use in writing. In first time evaluations you try to make outcomes simple and short term. Terms like "decrease" and "reduce" are the hardest ones to get to. In developing indicators, Rubin gave a good list of guidelines; select one to three indicators for each outcome, and use verbs. In setting targets, it's a question of how will we know if a program has met our expectations, and what is our standard for success for the program. In the first cycle, collect data that can be used to set a target next time. Use "improve" or "gain" without numerical qualifiers. Boyle looked at our action plan in terms of outcome-based evaluation; we are doing well. This kind of evaluation process is not scientific measurement – we do not have a control group; won't withhold service from users to create a control group. Boyle shared our action plan and template with Rubin; she said it sounded fabulous and should be shared with our colleagues; it is a useful frame of reference for several reasons: everything we do has an effect on users; it's a useful way of presenting information in writing grant proposals; even for our librarians with tenure and promotion packets, it helps frame a description of our impact. Gaunt thanked Boyle for her report.
Before updating Cabinet on what is going on in her area with administrative services and budget, Fredenburg took the opportunity to thank everyone at Cabinet; she's been here 90+ days and everyone has been helpful, patient, and welcoming, and she is grateful and happy to be here. Wanted to note this for Jones and the record that this group is inclusive and welcoming to new members.
Marilyn Wilt is charged for the coming year with coming up with ideas for developing a management curriculum for staff and professionals, and an orientation program in conjunction with T&L; looking at modules at other academic libraries for orientations; will report back to Cabinet. Have been working on the diversity education program; Prof. Clement Price will do the opening address on March 10, and we have secured Betty Turock for March 13; second part of program is workshops; engaged Jones for doing first workshop on cross cultural communications; working with Jones on getting dates; looking at March during spring break. Wilt is working with Mason Gross to arrange for their faculty and/or students to implement the interactive theatre; should know shortly.
In the area of establishing partnerships on campus, in conjunction with black history month, the Center for Race and Ethnicity and RUL is co-sponsoring a workshop on February 15 at noon in the lecture hall on Race & Photography: A Conversation Period.
Hendrickson and Fredenburg are prepping for the January 29 meeting; will present to Cabinet a breakdown of how money was spent and by whom; down one position in the budget office; interviewing now to fill vacant position and the quality has been high for all candidates.
Hendrickson is on the university-wide committee on the implementation of RIAS Phase II; providing data and feedback on that; going live date is by the end of the third quarter; will automate journal entries and budget transfers; etc.
Sent out travel funding document in hopes of clarification; plan to do workshop for travelers in the next couple of months.
Bigger issues: Hendrickson and Fredenburg are reviewing how our accounting structure works right now; would like to bring it parallel to the new library organization; also working on a relocation policy; of late, library has been doing more national recruiting; have been paying substantial relocation costs; keeping consistent, but need to have documentation.
The URA-AFT contract settled; this week, Troy and Fredenburg will be attending HR workshop on the contract implementation and application of the various provisions; will be coming back to the supervisors in the library with information. The faculty compensation program is having a seminar on implementation that Troy and Fredenburg will be attending.
In HR, a major issue that Troy will be focusing is recruiting for diversity and how we are structuring our jobs in order to get the best possible and most diverse pool for our faculty positions; more concrete relates to employment of foreign nationals; Troy will talk to her colleagues at ALA about their policy for recruitment of foreign nationals; long process to get green card and non immigrant visa. What will be our policy when we initiate our search; will we restrict our recruitment to those authorized to work in the US; should it be only for general kinds of jobs; should the technical ones be reached out internationally; will be looking at these areas and hope to have a policy.
In the next six months of tenure, Fredenburg will review the totality of administrative functions; are we efficiently serving our organization; tend to be respectful of the current structure; perhaps charge a task force to look at structure and change for the better.
Wilt and Teichman are co-facilitators of the Supervising for Excellence program that was held during spring 2007 and is in response to goal 5B in the Libraries' Strategic Plan, 2006-2001, which is to invest in staff development and recognition, and support organizational development, including the areas of managing people and resources; Teichman's primary responsibility is access services; he is involved in statewide super supervisory training and was asked to share from his many years of experience in the libraries. The report was posted on the Sakai site for Cabinet review. Each program session was designed to be highly interactive, challenging, and fun; to link the four sessions together, each participant had a homework assignment to prepare to bring to the following session; the homework assignment gave the participants opportunities to begin to apply the skills they had developing during the session they had just ended; Wilt reviewed with Cabinet the overall learning outcomes; she noted that the participant evaluations were uniformly positive and often added notes asking for further time for discussion and learning; a Sakai site was developed for the group; handouts and other resources from the sessions are being added; all of the participants were interested in pursuing further training sessions in the coming years; thinking about continuing with this cohort or having a new cohort join. Learning outcomes seem viable and effective; only major addition is having Teichman and Wilt work with supervisors so we can support their successfully continuing in this program. Gaunt asked Cabinet for observations as far as time and effectiveness for those who had had staff take part in the first program; one member indicated that she had several people involved, but hadn't received any feedback; another indicated that she spoke to a participant who was grateful to go through the program and thought it was valuable. Wilt said that it might be helpful as follow-up to meet with the supervisors; might want to set up face-to-face support group; might be useful to hold a brunch or brown bag lunch where the group could discuss what they learned. Is there a way that the participants could share how they've become better supervisors? Joseph suggested that it might be useful to do a podcast – employ outcome based evaluation to interview members of the cohort on their experience and make those podcasts available; this will build up a library of responses that future groups can plug into. Golden expressed concern that there is initial enthusiasm for training, but there needs to be real opportunities to internalize and practice the learning; might be better to develop and implement a follow-up plan for each cohort before starting a new cohort. How do we keep this learning current? Perhaps the cohort could become a support group for themselves in sharing experiences or discuss learning and applications with their supervisors. Each group also needs feedback from their supervisors on how the training has helped them to be better in their work. It was agreed that we do want to have additional cohorts, but before we begin a new group, we would like to develop a list of success indicators for the program, and a plan for follow- up with each group to ensure that their learning remains current and grows. Gaunt thanked Wilt, Teichman, and Fredenburg for the presentation and their efforts in implementing this important professional development program.
April 4, 2008 will mark the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination; Denda is a member of the task force on the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., which is a New Brunswick based organization comprised of faculty, students, and organization leaders, that will promote, recommend, and present programs, activities, and projects, inside and outside the classroom, which commemorate and make more visible Dr. King's work and the work of his peers and contemporaries. The task force will be working with all segments of the campus during the spring and fall of 2008 to mark this crucial period of American history. The task force will host an opening ceremony at the Busch Campus Center on Tuesday, January 29, 2008. The task force started a website and also has a diversity digest shared by the committee members; will be posting Clem's and Betty's lecture so we can draw larger crowd for our activities. RUTV is capturing from the university community and hoping to get high administrators along with students to talk about the impact of Martin Luther King or reading passages of his speeches; very coordinated activities. The Committee for the Advancement of Common Purposes is a partner; Denda's intention with Cabinet is to brainstorm on a different kind of participation in light of document on diversity; sees this as an opportunity for the libraries to play a significant role; planning in early fall to have a series of exhibits; special collections, media documents, audio streaming of Martin Luther King's speeches; thought it would be an interesting way to interface with diversity – under guided conversations would be series of films presented followed by discussion. An idea would be to use the libraries and create exhibits based on the legacy of Martin Luther King; would demonstrate and communicate the importance we place on the legacy. Cabinet agreed that we should participate; timing is fortuitous; in January we go live with jazz oral history. For all these projects, we want to show off what the libraries can offer; should have a reading list to remind people there is background research and reading for their presentations. Gaunt reiterated that when we talk about the libraries participation, we mean the three campuses. Dent suggested that we might want to look at ways to highlight Coretta Scott King's role and the legacy of his older daughter as well; they were influential in what he was able to achieve; for next year, think about asking his family members to come and speak. We have a tremendous amount of material in Special Collections, including a book by Dr. Richard P. McCormick about the black student movement here in New Brunswick that highlights several individuals and students; as much as you can relate it to the university would be good – distinct, but related to national. Denda requested permission to make a call to rul_everyone for assistance and voluntary participation. Gaunt thanked Denda for her participation on the committee and knows that she will represent us well.