The University has a new policy related to textbooks that follows federal law meant to address the costs of textbooks. Faculty now must post in advance the bibliographic information and cost of all textbooks used for their courses so that students have an opportunity to decide where they can acquire the book at the most reasonable price. Executive VP Furmanski reminded deans to ensure that their faculty is aware of these new procedures.
At a recent Deans Council meeting Executive VP Furmanski discussed the Task Force on Higher Education’s report that supports the state’s investment in higher education. In speaking directly about the recommendation that Rutgers merge with Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the School of Public Health, he noted that there will be a special task force of five individuals appointed by the governor to examine the needs of medical education in the state and their report will be due in September 2011. This means that no decision on the merger will happen before that time.
Gaunt reminded Cabinet members of the upcoming State of the Libraries on February 28 and encouraged everyone to attend. The focus will be on change, challenge, and opportunities as we advance on our new strategic plan. We will have the project showcase at the beginning of the event, and many staff and librarians have already submitted projects to display.
Gaunt asked for feedback on the AUL/RIS position description that was shared earlier. After a meeting with the New Brunswick library faculty, who report to this position, a number of suggestions were made for language changes. It will now go to the search committee, chaired by Tom Izbicki, for final review. Cabinet suggested that a representative from the office of student services be included on the committee, and that teaching faculty be included on the committee and/or opportunities for teaching faculty to meet with all candidates.
The report of the President’s Task Force on Rutgers and New Brunswick Research Partnerships that Gaunt co-chaired with Richard Kaplan, Superintendent of Schools in New Brunswick, was submitted to the president, and the report’s recommendations were endorsed. Gaunt will be chairing an implementation committee to put some of the recommendations in place. The thrust of the report related to best practices and guidelines for how the university on the New Brunswick campus could be better engaged with the community in developing research partnerships that were mutually beneficial. It echoes some of the recommendations of the report of the task force on higher education, the “Kean report,” that proposed a role for higher education in focusing on research of benefit to the state.
Voorhees made a presentation to Cabinet on the proposed integration of public scan, copy, and print services. Justification for the change now is the new five year equipment leases are in FY 2011/12; the Counting Opinion survey; scanners have a smaller carbon footprint; the product represents a significant advancement in walk up scanning systems; we have one year of experience with these scanners thanks to system wide funds purchase; and we were the first in taking the innovative step and can continue to be on the leading edge. With the addition of RUL managed mini labs in branch libraries, walk up scanning and RU express for library printing was introduced in the fall 2010 semester; additional scanners will replace majority of copiers in RUL. The service will reduce staff burden, and staff will have more participation in digital projects. Implication in Newark and Camden would be done after New Brunswick. Future implications would be direct tie in to other student services provided by OIT; printing allowance may be used to print library scans; scan to Google Docs works with university’s future student email; OIT is currently investigating similar scanners with this software. The lease and service costs are comparable to current public copier and print systems; there will be a reduction in vended income from copying and printing; service and support will become more technical in nature; and there will be color printing at ten libraries. Cabinet agreed that it sounds like a great service, understands the situation in Newark and Camden will be different, but it will happen at all three locations.
Gaunt and Agnew spoke of the progress of the NJVid video streaming capacity at NJEdge for commercial video acquired collaboratively by VALE libraries. The grant project will come to an end this semester and discussions are underway to determine a pricing and support program from NJEdge beginning July 1. A number of questions arose related to the cost of supporting the operation, the quality of cataloging, and agreements on service delivery parameters. Not all libraries have acquired a similar number of videos and the support costs should take this into consideration. There is also a separately priced option for uploading videos created at the university, in which RU is not currently interested in participating. Questions arose regarding a vision for how media will be offered across the university, including Continuous Education, which should be explored. Agnew noted that regardless of where the video is held, the patron will not be affected if there is a link in the catalog. The simplicity of the linking, however, may be a problem. A small group will be meeting on Friday with NJEdge staff to discuss the issues.
Agnew gave an overview of the status of the Mellon-funded project to build an open source library system. Rutgers was a partner in the first part of the project, the design phase, but is not currently a partner in the build phase. A few members of the “build” project visited Rutgers to speak with VALE librarians involved on the VALE OLE committees, as we expect to use OLE once it is publicly available in two years. The build partners have started more slowly than anticipated, but are catching up. They expect to have an acquisitions module completed by July 1. They will not be releasing various modules publicly for testing beyond the member partners. The Kuali OLE team members were very anxious to have VALE join the “build” team, as it would accelerate the process, and it would bring in the leadership and expertise that Rutgers contributed in the design phase. They noted that VALE could join as a consortium, but would only have one member representing them on the team. An important consideration is that only one of the current build-team members, Florida, represents a multi-library site. If VALE wants to use OLE, it would be to their benefit to be engaged in the build process, so that they can ensure that it will work effectively for them. Cabinet discussed the issues involved in the project related to the workload of RU staff that would need to be engaged in light of other RU needs, and the financial costs. This issue will also be discussed at the next VALE Executive committee meeting. Cabinet will finalize a decision on participation at the next Cabinet meeting.
Boyle: Posted on the Cabinet Sakai site the new “Subpoena Contract and Policy during Evenings and Weekends”. In the event library personnel are served with a subpoena, search warrant, or other court order when university counsel is unavailable, as during evenings and weekends, they are directed to contact ANY Cabinet member, who may contact the off-hours contact at counsel’s office. It may be necessary for library staff to scan and email the order.
University policy: http://policies.rutgers.edu/PDF/Section50/50.3.2-current.pdf
Golden: The number of transfer students to Rutgers is down significantly from community colleges; New Brunswick campus being the highest; students are spending more time and taking more classes at community colleges.
Izbicki: Discussing a system-wide pilot for patron drive requests for e-books; open to all disciplines but with some form of advance profiling and ground rules; will need to plan how to assess the results.
Gardner: EZborrow underestimated the time needed to bring the libraries on board; still not working correctly on the staff side, but we are busy testing; public interface is looking better.
Fetzer: Moving ahead on the Digital User Services position; over 20 applications have been received. Boyle noted that the Copyright/Licensing position has received about 17 applications.