Gaunt recommended that Cabinet read the report “Redefining the Academic Library: Managing the Migration to Digital Information Services” as a background for change.
At the Senate meeting on Friday, President Barchi’s entire report was devoted to the strategic planning process. The Boston Consulting Group is overseeing the planning. Goals will be ambitious and realistic: Identify key areas of academic excellence and opportunity that provide differentiation for Rutgers among our peers; set broad strategy to strengthen our standing in AAU; develop a university-wide plan that is practical and actionable; provide guidance that informs our facilities master plan. Will assess progress based on defined measures. There will be 5-7 broad themes. President Barchi gave one example; said we are one of the most diverse institutions in the country; we live in a diverse state; diversity/ethnicity/immigration in a global culture could be a theme. Themes would be broad enough to allow individual units to think how they could contribute. Investments will be made in those units whose plans support the themes/goals. There will be three phases; two months of information gathering – rankings against peers and a gap analysis – that should go through February. That information will be reported back to develop a straw man set of goals and key elements for the plan. There will be a winter retreat to react to the themes. Report will be drafted in June. Over summer the final document is written. There will be a high level steering committee. Deans Council, Faculty Council, and staff and student forums will play an advisory role. There will be a dedicated website and a lot of outreach by the Boston Consulting Group.
Gaunt asked Cabinet to consider what might be themes or areas of excellence. Within the context of those, how might we think about our contributions to any of the themes? Strengths, areas of excellence or uniqueness were identified as diversity, history/tradition/culture/, state university (only), land-grant/sea grant, breadth of the university – legal, medical, professional, arts & sciences, coastline/environment, population, transportation, three in one – research intensive and geographically covers the state, top international centers/programs (proteomics, stem cell, IWL, philosophy, jazz, NJ collections), residential/commuting, in three major urban locations, community engagement, Big Ten/AAU, campus and students socially engage, global, entrepreneurship, childhood studies PhD. Themes could center around life sciences (proteomics, food nutrition), environment (coastline, agriculture, transportation, climate change), diversity/ethnicity/urban renewal (diversity of scholarship, Latino, E.A., SEA, IWA, etc.), urban environment (veteran’s programs, education, engagement (community), medical health, arts engagement, continuing and professional education), education (childhood studies, professional schools). Areas where the Libraries could support these themes or others include resource sharing services, redefining a medical school/academic integration, focused research services, building unique collections (scholarly and ED), institutional research on diversity, support for service/engagement learning research , utilizing the undergraduate population to study diversity, open access to support faculty visibility, grants with faculty, digital culture of New Jersey, defining an urban academic library, redefining roles of liaisons, innovative services, and connecting people to resources.
There will be a change beginning this year in how travel funds will be allocated. Gaunt will allocate all travel money to the Directors and AULs to cover faculty, unit and system-wide travel. Gaunt will only review and approve travel for Cabinet members. Your individual allocation will be based on the faculty and staff allocation for those in your unit. Nothing is changing there. You will be allocated an additional sum to fund travel by members of your unit as you determine appropriate. AULs will have funds to support travel for members of their unit and to support system-wide travel for those who may not be in their unit but would be appropriate to send to represent RUL at specific programs under their responsibility. All travel between campuses will be paid centrally and is not included in your allocation. Both Directors and AULs may use other operating or non-state funds in their budgets to support travel as they deem appropriate. Gaunt will not fund any other travel except for Cabinet members themselves. In order for any travel to be reimbursed by the Libraries, you must fill out a travel application in advance of the travel. The form has been slightly modified, and there is only one form regardless of the source of funds you are using. For any of the AULs and Directors, there is a sample form to report your monthly travel. We need to maintain a record of when you are traveling; whether you are being reimbursed or not, you will still have to fill out the travel form. We have updated the Libraries policy on travel funds on the website to coincide with the change. If you read the travel policy and look at the forms and still have questions, contact Fredenburg. This change should make the process go more smoothly; will try for a year; if there are any tweaks, we will change it again. Travel funds will be allocated after the meeting today.
Boyle noted that the system itself is sufficiently dynamic that there is much more analysis that can be done beyond the Excel and PDFs posted to the RUL Assessment Reports Sakai site. She demonstrated live the Summary Report, Feedback Summary, Comments display and searching, and Opportunity Index and noted that there are many other reports available. Counting Opinions just added a new feature to the Opportunity Index where if you wanted to know what undergraduates are thinking, you can actually do that. The challenge is how we can take advantage of all of this functionality. Winston has Wang working on institutional data; she has access and creates reports. This model of a point person may work for other Cabinet members; caution is that they may see comments before they are reviewed. Point people could also help in the reviewing and coding of comments. We could work with them and do more in-depth training. Just commented that when she was looking through the reports Boyle gave her for the different libraries, there are some things that are obvious when you see them; some things are generic – what do users actually want. Boyle said that if Cabinet members would like to designate someone to have access to the reports they should give suggestions to Boyle for designees who can work on the questions, help her on analysis, and focus on how you want to use the data.
Mullen questioned boilerplate language on the new position advertisements; thought it might be good to add reference to the CIC.