The President expected the Governor's Task Force on Higher Education report to be coming out tomorrow; encouraged by the committee; expected the report to be very good; don't know if Christie has to look at it first; should hear recommendations this week; seemed optimistic about the committee's understanding of capital funds for higher education. The other thing that he thought would happen is something related to how higher education treats the life sciences; thinks discussions related to organization would be made.
Gaunt will be involved in a meeting the President is having with the mayor and executives who lead city agencies and university deans and vice presidents - a major effort into civic engagement with the city. Co-chairing a task force where the push is toward how the university engages better with its community. The Newark campus is doing an outstanding job; with its new Chancellor, Camden is moving more in that area. New Brunswick doesn't have a great civic engagement sense; looking at Rutgers faculty doing research on topics that have an impact on the city. There are real issues about how faculty and city work together. Had a conversation with Bob Belvin, Director of the New Brunswick Free Public Library, on how the libraries might work with the city. Boyle noted that Sandra Mallard, University of Delaware, runs a program for the entire state; they have a librarian learning specialist for elementary, middle, and high school; Agnew noted that Carolyn Maher has a great understanding about how to work with schools.
Planning and Coordinating Committee is reviewing position descriptions; they are going to make a recommendation to Cabinet at an upcoming meeting. If you are planning to submit any descriptions, please make sure we have them in advance of our next cabinet meeting and they will be sent to you.
Gaunt had a good Rutgers University Libraries Advisory Committee meeting yesterday; some of the discussion we have on our agenda today. Thought Cabinet should hear and be brought up to date; Agnew and Gaunt had a meeting with VP Pazzani, Mike Mueller, Chuck Hedrick, and Aletia Morgan focused on data and the NSF mandate that says that all new grants submitted as of January 2011 to NSF must have a preservation statement about making data open access. The general agreement around the table, which I thought was good, is that it really is a good move for the University to centralize as much as possible to preserve the data the university researchers have created. If there is a disciplinary database, faculty would normally deposit data, and they would be encouraged to do so. Need to have a statement about the fact that we can do this; has to be pushed to the front burner. Faculty need to know how to insert the libraries. Very hopeful this will be the outcome of our conversation.
Izbicki noted that there are challenges about how to meet the communities' needs with allocated funds; we lost $180K in state money. We did a lot trimming around the edges; we are now looking at our inflation factor. Most are on target; the overall picture is better than it was; we are contemplating spring prepays and possibility of new subscriptions for long time demands that aren't expensive. Have asked disciplines to look at what else might be worthwhile; as long as we don't get too optimistic until we know what next spring looks like.
Non-state endowments and Phonothon are down; have distributed all of the non-state money. Most important was the thought that we agreed on reducing on reducing the transfer funds set aside for non state lines for individuals. We are giving more control to the selectors; so far it seems to be fine. The related issue is the cost of the approval plan; based on Ryan's last number crunching we are beginning to see economies based on publisher list parameters that doesn't solve long term problem but gives us margins; Ryan will report in January.
We also have the pressure of international programs; there are many things we should be acquiring to support those in addition to standard operations.
We are working on grants for collections related issues; will be meeting with other universities on possible collaborations.
We are doing better on non-state money on the whole for a variety of reasons, despite the reduced revenue, and we are looking at ways we can improve through grants, partnerships, and the campaign.
We continue to encourage people to get to their selection opportunities while the money is there; planning to do some workshops for selectors in late spring to make sure we are on common basis; varies from selector to selector. Concerned about people being able to run their own units reports; have some ideas on preservation. Some might overlap into issues of knowing when to refer when it comes to demands in other areas.
Gaunt noted that Boyle did wonderful job with the handout which you saw related to the strategic planning process; the focus with the RU Libraries Advisory Committee was with the fact we were not beating the bushes with our users developing a plan. The last strategic plan had a separate steering committee, and Judy Grassle was the Libraries Advisory Committee's representative. Boyle shared the internal and external strategic points of contact with the Advisory Committee and asked for feedback. The whole tone of the meeting was supportive, interested. Boyle shared library statistics with the group; shared with them the In-Library Use Study, the Ethnographic Research Project, and Counting Opinions. We are still in the formative stages on taking action with what our users have told us; and we are incorporating it in our goals.
Now we're in the practical part of the strategic planning. With Wilt's help, Fredenburg and I will run focus groups. Cabinet needs to decide on how to set up the focus groups; recommendation was to use affinity focus groups with scenarios. Have chosen to do internally; need to get everybody on board. The ideal size is 5-12 people; a mix of statuses; not necessarily by discipline; and run 60-90 minutes. Should be conducted in a private space so people can read through scenarios; will utilize flip charts, and have facilitators and note takers on hand. Comes down to how we match this size with our structure; do we need to go through existing groups and administrative structure; how do we mix so staff feel free to talk. The intention is to have focus groups on site - in Newark and Camden too. It sets a bad tone if we separate the groups; we would be willing to go to Newark and Camden to participate. Students are a part of the groups only if they are employees. Student leaders would have option to give feedback to the draft plan. Will prepare a draft request for volunteers for the focus groups, and share with Cabinet in advance of the call to rul_everyone. Get comments to Boyle by Friday so we can make any amendments before it goes out. Based on that match up 12 people for a number of groups and work on timing; will have meetings on all campuses of mixed groups.
Agnew shared her PowerPoint on "RUcore and Research Data" with the Libraries Advisory Committee. She discussed the challenges and the NSF requirements coming in 2011. It is a tremendous amount of work; need to get from manual to automatic in what the repository can do. No two data products are alike. For now, the grant proposals have to have a statement on preservation; it will be awhile before we get any data; we might say we are only able to handle NSF grant data to start. Right now we are working on a core level - store, accept, add vocabularies, work on a custom portal and basic statement for the grant; if you need something more innovative, will work on that. Agnew's document will be shared with Pazzani for what we do and will be developing a statement on what we are prepared to do.
Agnew will be away the next three days at an NSF PI meeting.