Our new Development Officer, Tara McDonnell, starts today. She will be reporting to Francoise Puniello until the Director of Library Advancement position is filled. Tara has excellent experience as a major gifts officer at the Research Libraries of the New York Public Library and the New York Botanical Gardens. We have been without a full-time development officer for many months, and we are happy to now have someone who can hit the ground running. Tara will spend time learning about the Libraries as well as the Foundation. She will be traveling to each campus and meeting with key staff and librarians as she becomes familiar with our goals and needs.
Nancy Kranich will also be joining us this month and beginning her regular schedule after ALA, which will be half days on Wednesday and full days on Thursdays. Starting July 1 she will resume a full-time schedule, which is half in the Libraries and half in SCILS. As Special Projects Research Librarian she will be working in areas important to the Libraries related to scholarly communication, copyright, civic engagement, outreach, and assessment. Over the next several weeks she will be meeting with the AULs and directors to determine the most important projects to undertake in these areas. She will be assigned to the New Brunswick Libraries faculty unit.
Golden noted that his campus is looking at facilities projects that might be fast-tracked if the Obama presidency allocates funding for higher education capital projects early in his tenure. Gaunt mentioned that a number of university presidents under the aegis of the Carnegie Corporation asked Obama to consider facilities projects as a priority for his first term. The Robeson Library renovation plans are ready should funding come. The same is true for the renovation of the Dana Library. No New Brunswick library plans are developed to that level of detail.
Gaunt reviewed the status of current funding for recruitments for librarians and staff that are not on the list of positions to be returned July 1 under a budget cut. There are six faculty positions that could be recruited. Of these we have already released three-Robeson's reference/instruction position, RIS' area studies/Latin American studies librarian, and Dana's access services position. Dana's top priority is the assistant director position, so one of its lines may be used for that position. Gaunt said that it is unlikely that we will have to give back funding/lines this fiscal year, and we have realistic plans for July 1, 2009. She suggested that we release a few more faculty lines now and the remaining in mid-March. That would give us sufficient time to reassess plans for the future as Corzine will by then have released his plans for next year's budget. As a result, RIS will recruit for the business information services position and Dana will recruit for access services or another priority position.
For the staff positions, it was decided to release approximately half the vacancies for priority hires—three for RIS, one for Newark, and two for TAS. The remaining staff positions will be released in mid-March as well. We need to be prepared to use additional funds if we cannot fill the vacant positions for the same salary as is currently on the lines. This may impact how many positions we will be able to fill in mid-March.
Golden suggested that we also consider planning for next year should the budget reduction be more than the 4% in our current scenario. It was agreed that we will plan for and discuss a 7% reduction scenario at our first meeting in March. Boyle asked Cabinet to give her any requests for data that would be needed to assist our planning. We will also discuss at the same time the use of salary savings that accrue from the vacant lines that we are holding in our budget return scenario. If we do not need to return the funds this year, we should plan for using them wisely to assist the Libraries in next fiscal year.