Gaunt reminded Cabinet that the Middle States team (two members) will be meeting with Cabinet on March 11 from 9:15-10:15. Boyle and Dent were charged to plan the outline for discussion/presentation and everyone should be prepared to address any questions the team may propose. Boyle will note documents that should be read in advance. Some Cabinet members may be included in other team visit meetings.
Gaunt discussed briefly the announcement of the potential PALINET/SOLINET merger. Both Boards have been discussing the possibility of the two networks joining for a few months. Gaunt is on the Board of PALINET. There are many possibilities presented by a larger network that gives more clout when dealing with OCLC and may command lower prices for database and other offerings, but also expand the training initiatives, resource sharing, software development, etc. There is a need to hear from members about what works well now that should be retained, and what new initiatives are important. Both networks are doing "due diligence" behind the scenes as planning and discussions continue. No decision has yet been made on the location of the new network. PALINET is in Philadelphia and SOLINET in Atlanta. There will be regional town meetings for member input into planning, and a website or blog for comments. The members of both networks would have to vote on a merger that is expected to take place in June. Agnew noted that PALINET has offered very high-level professional development training for staff and hopes that the new organization would not only retain that quality but also expand on it.
The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is holding an invitational meeting on core functions of the future of research libraries in the 21st century that Gaunt will be attending. Several papers were written by librarians, faculty, and administrators to spur discussions: How to Change Faculty Perceptions of Librarians and Ensure the Future of the Research Library, Co-teaching: The Library and Me; Collecting, Preserving, and Making Accessible Resources for Scholarship, Accelerating Learning and Discovery: Refining the Role of the Academic Library, A New Value Equation Challenge: The Emergence of eResearch and Roles for Research Libraries, the Future of the Library in the Research University, Leveraging Digital Technologies in Service to Culture and Society: The Role of Libraries as Collaborators, and the Role of the Library in 21st Century Scholarly Publishing. These were "think" pieces across a range of new scenarios into the future and will be shared. Gaunt will do a de-briefing after the meeting.
The governor's budget message will be at 11:30 today but it is expected to predict a difficult financial year ahead. We will know more about how the budget affects the university once the specific details of allocations to higher education are clear. While the legislature will have to pass the budget, we expect that it will be late in the year and may be different than what the governor proposes. It will likely be just as difficult, but the cuts may be apportioned differently. We will be having a number of budget strategy discussions within the Libraries to determine our perspectives on reductions. We may want to think now about salary savings from this year and how they may be used to ameliorate possible cuts next year. Fredenburg and Hendrickson will assemble documents we can use to project next year's costs and potential cuts, including such things as database and circulation use, lines etc. In the past, the university has given the deans flexibility in determining how to apportion their reductions, so we expect that this will continue unless the governor has given higher education specific guidelines or the President's Cabinet has done so. We expect to know more in a week. It is also uncertain whether the NJKI will be continued next year. If it is in the governor's budget there is a likelihood that it might remain, but the legislature did reduce it this current year. No decision has yet been made on the restoration of the $1 million for the NJKI this year. Zapcic noted that the state is always concerned with how universities and colleges serve the state and relate to the K-12 community. Agnew noted our role in the NJDH, Electronic NJ, and NJVid. Zapcic asked that we send any projects/initiatives, etc. that fill this role to her so that she can use them in marketing and PR for the Libraries, and maintain a comprehensive record of our support.
Gaunt reiterated some of the practices that DeEtta Jones had suggested for Cabinet and reminded members to contribute broad topics for future discussions.
President McCormick is allocating funds to increase faculty diversity through an initiative called cluster hires. Several departments pool their interests in an area to hire one or more faculty to teach and do research. Fredenburg, Denda, and Joseph discussed a draft report on a potential cluster hire to create a center for the study of multi-cultural children's literature. Their recommendation stemmed from the current university curricula and research interests across various units, such as SCILS, the Zimmerli, the Center for Childhood Studies at Camden, Graduate School of Education, Writers' House, faculty in Newark English Department, and the Libraries. The proposal for the library hire would be a digital archivist who would help build and make our collections available in this area, as well as continue this effort for other collections in the Libraries. Gaunt suggested that any proposal first be based on an actual library need that is related to the curriculum and research at Rutgers, then be discussed with potential partners in units at the university that have tenured faculty, and then presented to VP Furmanski. These are funds for three years at which time the units must support them so we need to be assured that what we ask for is what we want and can support. A few questions about the proposal presented were whether there would be implications for additional collection development going into a lean budget year; whether there would be demands for digitization for which we might not be able to meet demands. Cabinet suggested that this proposal be fleshed out a bit more taking the concerns into consideration and discuss it with potential partners before anything is finalized. In addition, several other ideas emerged: Asian studies based on EAL and the Confucius Institute, Jazz, and Latin American Studies, where we already have a need.
Gaunt and Sewell discussed the new NIH policy that requires faculty to deposit any publications based on NIH grant funded research in Pub Med Central within 12 months of publication to make it generally accessible to taxpayers. There will be a web cast sponsored by ARL and NASULGC on the policy and its implication for institutions from 1-2pm on Friday, March 7. The Libraries and the Office of the VP for Research will be sponsoring a viewing of the web cast in the CORE auditorium on Busch campus followed by a 30 minute discussion where we will discuss how Rutgers plans to implement the policy. Sewell noted that the Committee on Scholarly Communication plans to have a website by March 7 with information about the policy and the Libraries' role. We plan to do the submissions for our faculty through the repository, RUcore, which has just gone live. We will also provide language for faculty to use when signing publishing agreements that will allow them to make their publication open access. We will also provide information for our selectors who will need to be able to explain the policy and the Libraries' role to their faculty. A meeting with VP Pazzani will take place Friday to discuss coordination with his office on alerting faculty with NIH grants and providing information on his website about what RU faculty need to do. The NIH policy is one of the first concrete opportunities to discuss open access publications and the benefits of RUcore with faculty. Faculty will have multiple benefits from the Libraries' submitting their publications to RUcore, including the ability to manage their submissions, track their hits, provide access to their digital publications in one place in perpetuity, and provide a bibliography for grant reports. This becomes a more important service as faculty have more grants and publications over time.
This report will be discussed at the next Cabinet meeting.