Gaunt reported on announcements from the recent meeting of academic leadership in New Brunswick and from the Deans Council meeting. Both President McCormick and VP Furmanski reiterated the importance of diversity among our student body and the faculty. They highlighted the new "future scholars program" on the three campuses that is working with 8th grade students in Newark, New Brunswick, Piscataway and Camden who will be mentored by Rutgers over their next five years. If the students succeed in the program and are accepted by Rutgers when they graduate they will be offered free tuition. McCormick noted that expanding diversity does not mean losing academic quality, as the entering class has increased minority representation by 15% and the SAT scores are the highest for an incoming class. The University will also be expanding recruitment internationally with recruitment in 20 countries.
McCormick discussed the cluster hiring program and two recent initiatives: Urban Entrepreneurship in Newark and Caribbean Studies in New Brunswick. Cabinet noted that the Libraries can participate in this initiative if the appropriate disciplines are identified. Cabinet might explore that possibility with our Area Studies positions, such as Latin American Studies. McCormick also discussed the diversity in higher education conference that Rutgers will host with Columbia and the College Board in December.
McCormick noted that state funding will continue to be a smaller percentage of our operating budget. This is true not only in New Jersey, but across all of public higher education. As a result, we need to generate more external support through gifts and grants, as well as creating programs that generate resources. He noted the increase in federal grants and the capital campaign. He also described the plans for the Livingston campus that will focus on academic excellence in professional education, and also be a magnet for new resources. Among the plans are a new building for the School of Business and an expansion of their programs. The professional schools – SMLR, Graduate School of Education, and the Graduate School of Social Work will relocate to Livingston over the next few years so that professional education will expand and be a focus of that campus. There will be an expansion in the professional master's degree programs that connect business to other academic programs, such as a professional master's in business and engineering, business and nutrition, business and science, etc. A hotel and conference center will be built, a wellness center, and shops and apartments. The student center will expand and be renovated, with a new high-end faculty dining room where corporate and other guests to the campus can be entertained. There is some interest in creating residences for the 55+ community. Many retirees want to live in culturally rich environments that universities afford.
A new building on the Busch campus will be started in the next few months for proteomics (the study of the structures and functions of proteins). It will bring together all the instrumentation and faculty that are working in this field from across the campus into one building and help to elevate the already strong reputation that Rutgers has in this area. UMDNJ faculty may also be working in this building. The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences is creating the NJ Institute for Nutrition and Health and are recruiting a leadership position.
The University is also looking for strategic partnerships with foreign universities. These partnerships will not replace any individual relationships that departments have with faculty in foreign programs, but rather look to build strategic strength in areas important to us. It will include the exchange of faculty and students.
Rutgers will be partnering with the "Earth from Above" project, a sustainably designed public art exhibition from the eco- educational project of the Matter of Trust public charity and Picture Earth LLC. This major open air public exhibition will be in New York City from May 1-June 28, 2009. Rutgers and partners will be exhibiting its own related project in Battery Park and the Dean of SEBS has asked other units to participate in mounting the Rutgers portion. The "Earth from Above" traveling exhibition is being mounted in major cities around the world and is composed of aerial photos that capture the essence of our planet and draw attention to the future of the environment.
We were reminded about compliance with the ethics policies of the state and the need to complete the annual forms. Our Human Resources office will send out a reminder and copies of the forms.
The Libraries had agreed to be included in the Sloan grant to PALINET for a consortium digital project. PALINET sent an FAQ on the status of the project, which is currently in a pilot/trial process stage. The Internet Archive has received a subcontract grant from PALINET to provide the digitization portion of the work at several of their outlets, including the Princeton Theological Seminary. Each participating library will receive digital copies of their materials to use however they wish, and PALINET will also create a "PALINET Digital Collection." We have agreed to digitize $10K worth or materials. During the first phase the focus will be bound textual materials. Our estimate is that approximately 350 books would meet our obligation. PALINET is asking that the project focus on regional, unique materials, so Gaunt asked Cabinet to consider what materials might be appropriate. The obvious choice would be materials from Special Collections that are bound and would not risk damage in the digitization process. There were some concerns about the quality of the digitization and the specifications, and options to visit the digitization site(s). Gaunt asked Agnew, Dent, and Sewell to collaborate on reviewing the FAQ, pre-selecting the materials, and determining a local process for how we would meet the requirements.
Sewell distributed a list of collections that would be priorities for digitization should we use our own funds or apply for grants. The list emerged from the Scholarly Communications Committee in response to our strategic plan and the goals of the committee. All the collections are from Special Collections and University Archives and librarians believe these are not only unique but would be of broad research values. They include: Civil War Journals, the Peter Still Papers, the William Elliott Griffis Collection of East Asian Photographs, the Robeson at Rutgers Collection, and New Jersey Broadsides. The size of each collection varies. Sewell noted that these could be completed if we established a regular digitization program at Rutgers, or if there were grant opportunities that fit the scope of the collections. At present, our digital efforts were based primarily on outside funding opportunities. Unique materials from the Institute of Jazz Studies would be another source, and we should have priorities there as well. Gaunt thanked Sewell and Boyle and the committee for the priorities and descriptions of these materials, and asked them to consider the impact of an ongoing digital program.
Gaunt and Puniello reviewed materials and information regarding the capital campaign. The Foundation has drafted a new campaign statement that is in several parts: an overarching statement of vision and needs across the university that is broad, and a more detailed vision/need statement for each of the campuses. This allows each campus to have its distinct identity while there is an overall framework for the campaign. Only the major needs are mentioned under the six headings for the campaign within each campus profile: inspiration (educating tomorrow's leaders), discovery (advancing urgent research initiatives), insight (promoting arts and the humanities), solutions (improving energy and the environment), engagement (supporting local and global initiatives), and connections (enhancing learning, building pride). The Libraries are mentioned under "connections."
All of the projects/programs that each unit submitted for the campaign and that were approved will appear in a database available to be searched by the community. An announcement about the database will be made soon. Anyone can search by campus, giving level, topic, or unit. The Libraries have 14 proposals in the campaign. At present the Foundation is determining the goals for each unit based on the number of proposals, previous fund raising history, and capacity to raise new funds, as well as finalizing the total for the campaign. We are in the quiet phase of the campaign where we need to raise close to 50% of the totals. The University is finalizing the percentages that will be raised across the major categories: endowment, capital (buildings/renovations) and operating. The Libraries are recruiting for two development positions, and interviews have been scheduled. It will be important to have these positions filled to reach our goals. Gaunt noted the importance simple behaviors, such as librarians and staff being present at library events where the outside community is present, so that we can "meet and greet" those who might become potential donors by acquainting them with the Libraries. We will be hearing more specific information about the campaign once the draft plans are finalized.
Puniello: Everyone is invited to attend the thank you reception on September 10 for Judy Brodsky and the Brodsky Center for the use of her Meadowlands Series artwork in the SCC.
Fultz: Wilt reported that the Banned Books Vodcast has representation from all three campuses.