Gaunt welcomed Judy Gardner in her role as Faculty Coordinator and Jim Niessen in his role as Deputy Faculty Coordinator.
There is good news related to support from the NJ State Library. We will be getting Academic Source Premier, Business Source Premier, and a possibility of Ref USA. There is also support for ILL delivery for the end of this fiscal year and potentially free for the coming academic year. Details need to be worked out. There will also be support for staffing in the ILL office, but not a full-time position. We will not know our library budget until late August/September as not all the details of funding have been finalized. We will proceed as though the budget reduction plan we prepared is our actual operations budget until we hear otherwise.
Revised list of staff vacancies has been posted for Cabinet on Sakai. These are the vacant positions that are not being returned as part of our give back. Units may decide to hold and accrue salary savings or recruit. We may want to be flexible with these until we know our actual budget by September. But if there is an urgent need to fill a position units are free to do so.
There will be an informal open meeting to de-brief on the ALA annual meeting for those who attended as well as others. We hope to schedule that soon. Please plan to attend and share information that would be useful for our work.
Gaunt welcomed Wilson, chair of the organizational review committee on grants to speak to the report and its recommendations. Wilson summarized the basic findings and recommendations. She acknowledged that getting grants is important to our organization and we should facilitate and support grant development as much as possible. While a good idea, the committee determined that we did not need to have a grants officer at this time if we could manage support in other ways. Information about grant opportunities should be shared regularly with librarians, and a grants website that pulls information together would be helpful. We should acknowledge all grants written by the Libraries, not just those that are successful. She noted that only a small number of the same people are getting grants, and we need to make this a more broadly participative opportunity. Those individuals could serve as mentors to others trying to write grants. There are standard descriptions that are parts of all grants and a template with information that can be used by everyone should be made available—such as descriptions of the Libraries, the university, and strategic goals of the university and the Libraries. Similarly, help on budgets and standard information on indirect costs and cost sharing needs to be provided. The overhead from exiting grants could be used as seed money to assist others in obtaining grants. A grants workshop that helps in writing grants, identifying sources, and grants administration would be very helpful.
Gaunt thanked Wilson and the members of the committee for the excellent report. She agreed to work with the appropriate individuals to implement the committee's recommendations.
One of the items from the Cabinet retreat was to select a topic for a facilitated discussion with consultant, DeEtta Jones. From the list initially created, it was determined that we would discuss where the Libraries should be in 5- 10 years. This exercise will demonstrate methodologies for tackling big issues, as well as prepare us for the upcoming work on updating the strategic plan. Gaunt agreed to assign sub-topics to each Cabinet member for a two- page statement on themes and trends and potential scenarios. They will not be comprehensive but point to where the Libraries should be headed in particular areas.
Cabinet also reviewed the template for establishing committees. The purpose of the outline is to remind everyone that a new committee might not be the best vehicle for new work. The template also includes what should be included in a charge and the selection of committee members, timeline for work, responsibility and accountability. Fredenburg was asked to determine where on the website this information should be placed, and Cabinet was asked to use it and to share with their units. The Planning and Coordinating Committee has also seen a draft and the Faculty Coordinator can share with committee chairs. Boyle was also asked to meet with the new committee chairs to discuss tying agendas to goals.
At the retreat we also discussed making the budget process more transparent. Gaunt noted that she did an overview of the budget process at the recent open meeting, and sent it to RUL_Everyone. She asked Fredenburg to post it to the Libraries' website.
Fredenburg gave a brief overview of framework for how the university allocates funds to the Libraries. She and Boyle have been examining other ARL libraries budget models for a proposal to VP Furmanski. While there is no single model, most libraries' budgets come from a variety of sources: tuition, gifts, indirect costs, library fees, technology fees, etc. We are looking for the best model for RUL. When we have a competed document it will be shared with Cabinet.
Because the Libraries took a considerable hit in operating funds this year, there are no central state funds for travel. VP Furmanski had recommended to deans that this was among several areas in times of budget stringencies that should be carefully weighed. As far as we know now, state funds cannot be used for out of state travel. This was a change made by the governor last year. If that changes, units will be notified. As a result, Cabinet discussed the amount that we should allocate for faculty travel. It was decided that the amount given to each unit would be from non-state funds and based on $600 for each non-tenured, tenure-track librarian in the unit. Each unit could determine how the funds would be used. All intercampus travel would be funded centrally. Gaunt reminded everyone that only reimbursement requests that meet the university's timeliness for reimbursement can be honored. Where it is deemed important to have someone represent RUL system-wide interests at a conference/program, AULs can make such recommendations to the VP/UL; in addition individuals can nominate themselves to an AUL to represent RUL on a conference/program. The decision to fund travel will be made a case by case basis. In addition, all Cabinet members can use their own budgets to fund travel.