Agnew, Gardner, and Sterback gave an overview of the Mellon Foundation-funded OLE Project that Duke University Libraries is spearheading to design the next generation open source library system. Rutgers is among approximately 15 libraries in the U.S. and abroad that are partnering in the design phase. Rutgers recently hosted the second meeting of all the partners who worked on learning how to design a modular system using Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). The workshop was a precursor to workshops that will be held regionally to engage and involve more libraries in the process. Rutgers will be hosting two more workshops in December in collaboration with Columbia and Penn partners. All the Rutgers people involved think the project is going well but on a very tight time schedule. The design phase is supposed to be completed by September, and there has been some discussion about identifying "build" partners early and engaging them in the process before the design phase is completed. Agnew noted that the OLE project may use existing open source modules for the ILS, and that SOA is an important aspect of the project that Rutgers staff should know about. She suggested that it might be useful to have sessions explaining open source architecture for Rutgers librarians and staff. Cabinet congratulated the Rutgers team on their presentation and their efforts in this important project.
Gaunt hosted the OLE Project dinner on November 6 that included local area library directors; it was decided to incorporate that strategy in all future meetings.
A special Deans Council meeting was held on November 10 to address the budget and discuss what might be done constructively across the units; some units are more successful at revenue generating than others. There was a discussion about university-wide contracts for such items as copiers, telephones, etc., to get better pricing. Winter and summer sessions are using the Continuing Education department; VP Caprio said he'd be happy to help units develop courses for markets we're not tapping.
President McCormick sent out an announcement about the Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH) program; staff and librarians have expressed an interest in participating.
Camila Alire, President-Elect of the American Library Association, will speak at Rutgers on Monday, December 8, at 1:30 p.m. in the Pane Room. Dr. Alire's talk is "Advancing Your Career through Service, Leadership, Advocacy and Diversity." Refreshments will begin at 1:00 p.m.
Golden noted that at the Camden Administrative Council meeting, it was disclosed that Rutgers is a self lender and that students are able to apply for loans through the university; many students are unaware of this benefit.
Winston noted that there is an ambitious growth plan for Rutgers Newark; the campus is up 500 students from last year with an anticipated growth from 11k students to 15k students; since there is an assumption that students who graduate from Rutgers Newark are more diverse, they are creating a professional development program for faculty on diversity in the classroom.
President-elect Barack Obama's transition team has tapped Rutgers University history professor Clement Price to serve on the transition team for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Cabinet members had been asked to prepare draft plans of how they would deal with the budget cuts in their units by November 17. Gaunt would use these plans as the basis for a report to Executive VP Furmanski on how the Libraries would implement a give back of $934,000 on January 1, 2009 and its impact, and how the Libraries would implement a permanent cut of that same amount on July 1, 2009. It is still unclear whether a give back this fiscal year will be implemented, and whether a permanent cut in July will be the same percentage that we were given for planning. Each Cabinet member spoke about their report and its impact. Gaunt noted that the cut for collections would amount to $300,000. Sewell spoke about how that would be achieved by cancellations this year that would remain permanent next year. The remaining amount – $634,000 – would come from frozen positions and each Cabinet member spoke about which positions they would cut permanently. Gaunt noted that each Cabinet member was assigned the same percentage of a cut, even though Executive VP Furmanski asked that the cuts be done on priorities and not across the board. There was consensus on core activities, and no non-essential activities were identified to eliminate. We will endeavor to examine this more closely before July 1. Gaunt said that she would draft the plan based on Cabinet members' reports in consultation with Fredenburg and Boyle since there was little time for overall review. We will have an opportunity to update the report before July 1. She also noted that the positions currently frozen that are not going to be returned permanently will remain frozen until July 1 or until we can determine which ones can be recruited early based on whether there will be a give-back this year. We should know more after January. Gaunt thanked Cabinet for preparing the reports so quickly and for providing an assessment of impact on faculty and students.