The Governor's budget was announced yesterday and is posted on his web site. While all of higher education was given a slight increase, the operating funds were cut by 5%, which is $15 million for Rutgers. The increases went to student financial aid. We do not know whether this budget will stand by June 30, as there are many provisions in the proposed budget that are controversial. If these cuts are restored, funds will be taken from other sources, and higher education could be one of them. We also do not yet know whether the reductions that the state made this year by not giving the university the salary increases for the third quarter, and possibly the fourth quarter (approximately $8 million) will have to be made up by the units. If the Libraries were to absorb those cuts it would be approximately $275K. We expect to know soon whether the university will ask for these funds, so until we have an answer we will hold off on the use of salary savings for this half of the year. Other plans to fill vacant positions can move ahead as planned.
It was announced at Deans Council that there would be closer scrutiny of reclassifications and upgrades, especially those that may take an individual out of the union. Some units have misinterpreted the rule that supervisors cannot be in the same union as those they supervise, by assuming that individuals that assign and review work are considered supervisors. For the purpose of applying this rule there is a legal definition that a supervisor is one with hiring and firing responsibilities. As a result, we can expect that reclassifications and upgrade requests will take a bit longer to be reviewed by Human Resources.
The University is reviewing plans for graduation ceremonies for next year. With the reorganization in New Brunswick into the School of Arts and Sciences, the former undergraduate college ceremonies will no longer exist. Should here be one ceremony for everyone in New Brunswick? There is a committee reviewing this for 2010.
Tara McDonnell gave Cabinet an update on development operations and fund raising plans. She is currently meeting with Cabinet members and librarians to learn about the Libraries and our needs, and reviewing our donor lists. She has already met some of our top donors and will be making more visits on a regular basis. Cabinet members asked that they be notified in advance if Tara is going to visit a donor with whom they already have a relationship. This might be achieved by having a development calendar available. She also noted that the quiet stage of the current campaign might be extended as the economy is having an effect on donor giving. The Foundation is also asking each unit to review their campaign priorities and goals to make sure they are still relevant. The Wish List/Naming Opportunity lists are still being reviewed and she encouraged Cabinet members to continue to send her ideas.
Jeanne gave an overview of the LibSat customer satisfaction survey instrument from the Canadian firm Counting Opinions. This is a web-based and hosted survey instrument that can be linked form the Libraries' web pages (or any other webpage) and is made available for however long a library wishes for users to take if they chose. There are a series of questions about user satisfaction and the importance of library services and facilities with space for comments. The data is available to us and can be exported into a variety of spreadsheet and data programs. There are numerous ways to map the data and code the comments according to an institution's interests. The LibPAS system, of which LibSat is a part, can also host an institution's data from other sources, such as ARL statistics, gate counts, etc. so that the system can map these together for a variety of assessments. We can also add questions or change them for a fee. Jeanne noted that the Users Services Council was enthusiastic about the instrument. The price is very reasonable. The general consensus was that the instrument should fit within our general assessment plans, which include MINES, an in-library use survey, and other information gathering; that we investigate the costs of adding two or three questions for Rutgers needs; and that we review the questions to see which, if any, should be changed for our environment before we move ahead.
Bob reviewed the RUCore collections policy, which Cabinet had seen previously, but had asked about undergraduate submissions. There was a change in the policy to accommodate undergraduate submissions by a faculty member or other individual in the programs where undergraduates were producing more scholarly work, such as Honors Programs. There was a general question about what constituted scholarly work, and it was agreed that the individual faculty member submitting will determine that. We will not be gatekeepers. Grace also noted that some staff members publish materials independently of their administrative unit, and that RUCore can list them as an individual collection rather than a unit's collection. The policy as changed was endorsed.
Lila gave an overview of affirmative action over the years and its expansion into diversity as we know it now. She also reviewed the current diversity of our staff and library faculty compared to the norms. She also noted that the data is misleading if we want to be as diverse as the population of our student body or of the state. We agreed that for many good reasons we would like to expand the diversity of our personnel and each recruitment is an opportunity to do that. Mark noted that there are programs to recruit a diverse faculty that are now in place, put he encouraged us to be more proactive. He suggested that we create a diversity recruitment plan for faculty and ask Executive VP Furmanski to fund it as part of his target of opportunity program. We might aim for three faculty diversity hires (across the three campuses) to fill positions that we cannot fund on our own. We should consider the most pressing needs. We might start with the list of new positions that we developed previously, but we can fill traditional positions as well. We might also consider individuals we know about already, who we believe would be beneficial for us to recruit. We agreed to ask all units to describe a position (s) that they would want for their unit or the Libraries in general by May 1 for Cabinet review.
We also discussed a broader diversity plan, and looked at models from other universities that include more than recruitment. Mark agreed to join the diversity committee to work on developing a plan.
Postponed until the next Cabinet meeting
Dent Goodman, Cassel, Harrington, and Boyle attended a day-long Learning Assessment Workshop sponsored by CTAAR.
Boyle has submitted an exemption request to IRB for a study of library use in the science libraries on the Busch campus.
A draft MOU for expanding services for faculty and students enrolled in joint degree programs has been sent to university counsel.
ARL has initiated a balanced scorecard development project. As of mid-January ARL E-News, four universities: Johns Hopkins, McMaster, Washington, and Virginia, will participate in a year-long series of training sessions led by Accelerant and monthly telephone calls. Boyle participated in a conference call with ARL, Accelerant, and other interested universities.
Boyle is representing RUL at the Library 2.0 Symposium April 4 at the Yale Law School. The symposium is part of the Yale Information Society Project and proposes to "lay out a vision for the future of the library and digital collections; the ethical implications of Library 2.0, including data retention and patron privacy; intellectual property rights in user-generated and traditional digital library content; and the challenges of digitizing library collections."
Boyle has been appointed to the ALA Research and Statistics Committee as of July 1.