Gaunt welcomed Mark Winston to his first Cabinet meeting and thanked Ka-Neng Au who has filled in ably as the Acting Director of Dana Library. There will be receptions for each of them on the Newark campus in the next few weeks to which all library staff will be invited. Watch for the announcement.
President McCormick will deliver his Annual Address to the University Community as part of the Rutgers University Senate's first meeting of the academic year on Friday, September 19, 2008 at 1:10 p.m. in the Rutgers Student Center, Multipurpose Room. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
President McCormick sent an email to the university community reporting that during the 2007–2008 fiscal year, Rutgers received more than $121 million in new gifts and pledges—the university's highest annual total to date. This represents an increase of nearly 9 percent over the previous year, in which $111.5 million was raised.
The Capital Campaign website will be sent out soon; the database containing the approved projects will be publicly available.
Doug Greenberg has been appointed Executive Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and Jorge Reina Schement has been appointed Dean of SCILS; Gaunt will invite them individually to a future Cabinet meeting to discuss their priorities and areas of library collaboration. We have not had a conversation on priorities with OIT recently, so Gaunt will also invite Don Smith, Interim Vice President for IT and Chief Information Officer for a meeting with Cabinet.
Gaunt asked for Cabinet attendance and support of several library public programs – the Judith K. Brodsky and Brodsky Center thank you reception for the artwork in the Libraries (September 10), Banned Books Week activities (September 28- October 4), and a lecture by C. Vivian Stringer and book signing that is co-sponsored by several of the Institute for Women's Leadership affiliates (October 29).
There have been some adjustments to our budget reduction target now that the working budget information has been received. This requires some additional cuts that will be absorbed by Libraries Administration; among those being implemented is that administrative staff will no longer make coffee for meetings held in the administrative suite. We also recognize the need to realign unit budgets based on a series of staff and operating cuts over the last few years and the changes in the way we work. As a result, we will use this year to go to a zero-based budgeting plan to make adjustments in how the budget is allocated. In the process we will be examining the needs of all units and realign budgets with our goals and priorities and make adjustments where necessary. We will start with the central administrative budget to test a process that we may be able to use with the units. We will be discussing this with everyone as we go through the process.
ARL and CNI are cosponsoring a forum on "Reinventing Science Librarianship: Models for the Future," to be held Thursday & Friday, October 16 & 17, 2008, following the membership meeting. This important topic is dedicated to the future of science librarianship as libraries try to address how they support the ways that faculty now work and how their needs of libraries and librarians are changing. There will be a poster session for innovations related to this topic. Agnew has submitted a poster proposal related to our work on the recent National Science Foundation grant with the Graduate School of Education and University of Wisconsin; Agnew and Laura Mullen will be attending the forum for RUL.
Cabinet affirmed the themes for this year as applied to our strategic goals. They are: to escalate the use of library services and collections to demonstrate the value libraries bring to research and student learning, to engage our users in expansive dialogs about their needs and our capacities to meet them now and in the future, and to expand our capacity for outreach to and collaboration with the disciplines and with inter-and multi-disciplinary programs. Boyle asked Cabinet how we might record the goals of various groups related to these themes and show accomplishments at the end of the year, as we did with the previous grid. A few suggestions were made related to adding these to the grid we use to track our strategic plan goals. These themes might be noted within each goal. Boyle agreed to provide a sample of a revised grid that could be used by the new Councils and other groups. Plan to have everything completed by the end of October; will use the themes in the program for State of the Libraries on November 5.
Dent summarized discussions that have taken place on the redesign of our Libraries' website to make it more accessible for users. She will be focusing on the interface design of the website and not the technical underpinnings. She wants to incorporate user research to inform decisions about changes. She described the pros and cons of three methodologies for accomplishing the goal: using an internal website redesign, using an external research design firm, or an anthropologist-led ethnographic project. After some discussion of the costs and effectiveness of each approach, Cabinet agreed to support the anthropologist-led approach that is less costly, more research-focused, and will leverage local talent such as SCILS and the Libraries. Dent will move forward on engaging the appropriate individuals for this work.
Boyle reported on the recent Assessment Conference at the University of Washington that was extremely well attended and successful. She shared the outline of presentations and noted that all the information about presentations is located on the Web. Assessment is becoming a much more important facet of every library's portfolio and there is a greater level of sophistication in the presentations. Boyle noted that there is much that we can borrow from other libraries and their approaches. There was an excellent handout on space planning and library spaces. There were many presentations on LibQUAL+® and what libraries are doing with the data and how they are implementing changes based on the findings. RUL should consider when it would do another LibQUAL+® survey to establish benchmarks and define improvement targets.
Gaunt reiterated that since the working budget arrived there are additional cuts based on the new salary of some positions and the reduction in state funding. The original target was based on an average cost for positions; the new target is on actual figures. The Libraries' central administration will absorb the additional cuts. She also noted that we had to provide an updated reduction plan to VP Furmanski and we determined that it would be best to return 12.38 of the previously frozen lines rather than continue to keep them and reallocate the salary savings. The future for improved state funding to be able to reactivate these lines is not good, and it is difficult to manage the budget this way. We will keep some lines frozen in case we do generate permanent salary dollars and can put them on these lines. In the end, this will not affect our budget reduction scenarios at all. Each unit's reduction scenario will stay the same as recommended. As a result, all the temporarily frozen positions will now be free for posting unless they were given back specifically in this year's reduction. Gaunt asked Cabinet to look at the positions that were temporarily frozen in order to insure that there are enough dollars on them to recruit the desired positions.
Agnew: Agnew will miss the September 9 Cabinet meeting to attend a Project OLE meeting in North Carolina.
Next meeting: September 9, 2008