STAFF RESOURCES

Minutes of Wednesday, October 23, 2002 meeting

Present:
M. Fetzer, M. Gaunt, T. Glynn, S. Harrington (recorder), R. Jantz, M. Kesselman, L. Langschied, R. Marker, K. Mulcahy, M. Page, R. Tipton
Excused:
K. Denda, T. Haynes
Absent:
A. Watkins

The meeting was called to order at 9:32 a.m.

Agenda

1. The agenda was adopted as submitted.

2. The minutes of the previous Coordinating Committee meeting (October 2002) were approved as submitted.

3. Old Business

a. Draft Guidelines for Short Research Assignments (R. Tipton, Chair, Research Leave Review Committee, RLRC)

The Research Leave Review Committee reviewed the Short Research Guidelines in order to better define the role of the parties reviewing the applications, to strike a balance between faculty and administrative roles, and, finally, to sharpen the requirements and make the application more explicit. A new section was added to the application form to better describe the proposed research leave. The additions include questions about the final product of the leave, the research methodology, work accomplished to date, the utility of the project, the scheduling of research time during the leave, and the content of the final report.

Members of the Coordinating Committee suggested a few modifications: the elimination of three statements in the section on the nature of the program, and the addition of clarifying sentences in the section on eligibility guidelines. With the proposed revisions, the Coordinating Committee approved the revised Application Guidelines for Short Research Assignments, which will be presented to the faculty at the March 2003 library faculty business meeting.

b. Draft Guidelines for Reading Committees (M. Fetzer, Chair, Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee, PPAAC)

The Coordinating Committee charged PPAAC with developing the proposed guidelines because of past discrepancies in the process. PPAAC took the comments and questions received in various venues and tried to place them into a coherent whole. PPAAC also entertained the issue of whether reading committees should examine the totality of a candidate's scholarship or only published work. Members of the Coordinating Committee joined the discussion, offering that the reading committee evaluations should be based on any available evidence. Indeed, the reading committee's role is to contextualize the documentation the candidate provided. It is up to the unit peer group to use the Reading Committee's report in their overall evaluation of scholarship. While published work carries more weight, other material, such as the texts of lectures and unpublished work in an electronic format, may provide evidence of scholarship. While the value of work in progress is somewhat limited, at the reappointment level it may provide some evidence that the candidate's work is in the right trajectory.

The Committee discussed where the faculty might want to go in changing the language of the draft guidelines. The formation of the guidelines in the form of questions was intended to provide reading committees with maximum flexibility. It is up to the faculty to decide what they need or wish to evaluate, and which questions would be appropriate in specific contexts; the proposed questions are not required to be asked of each candidate. Rather, the guidelines should be used with appropriate judgement based on the unique situation of each candidate. The overall goal is the evaluation of the totality of the librarian's work and effectiveness, and whether or not the candidate's overall contributions are moving the profession forward.

It is likely that recommendations or suggestions may be made if and when the guidelines are employed. With a few minor revisions in wording, including changing the title of the document to "Draft Guidelines for the Evaluation of Scholarship for Reading Committees and Others Involved in the Reappointment/Promotion Process," the Coordinating Committee recommended that the guidelines be brought to the faculty for discussion at the next faculty meeting.

c. Draft Guidelines for the Evaluation of Librarianship
(M. Fetzer, Chair, Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee, PPAAC)

The background of this document is as follows: the questions were put together by the different Councils, Cabinet made a few additional recommendations, and the guidelines were then coaxed into a parallel structure by PPAAC, who recommended only minor editorial changes in order to preserve the original voices of the Councils.

During the discussion of the document by members of the Coordinating Committee, some concern was expressed that the distinctions present in the format of the document were artificial, and did not reflect much of the hybrid work that librarians at RUL currently perform, work that defies neat categorization. It was proposed that more general questions might be able to better facilitate the evaluation of a librarian's work.

It was noted that the discreet categories reflect the history of the document, since the different Councils created it, and it therefore reflects the values and visions of the different groups. It was suggested that the guidelines be altered to address what might be called 'core competencies' in librarianship, and that the final document might be most useful it if could be employed in a variety of situations. At the end of the wide-ranging discussion, it was decided that the document would be returned to PPAAC. PPAAC might take some of the specific questions in the document to a broader level. It was recommended that PPAAC might wish to both flesh out those areas relevant to librarianship in general, while offering some questions related to more specific areas of librarianship.

4. New Business

a. Agenda for March 7, 2003 Library Faculty Meeting

A normal business meeting agenda was approved.

The New Business items on the agenda will include:

Research Leave Review Committee: Presentation of the Application Guidelines for Short Research Assignments.

Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee: Presentation of the Draft Guidelines for the Evaluation of Scholarship for Reading Committees and Others Involved in the Reappointment/Promotion Process.

For the open meeting session, it was proposed that those involved in D21 planning discuss the progress on the project. The agenda was finalized as proposed.

5. Report of the University Librarian (M. Gaunt)

Representatives from New York University will attend an upcoming Cabinet meeting. The guests are interested in, among other issues, borrow direct, potential joint grants, and other projects and areas.

University President Richard McCormick and Vice President Joe Seneca will be meeting with the University Librarian on 2/10/03 to review programs, as well as major issues and challenges. M. Gaunt will be stressing the value RUL brings to the University as a whole; the Libraries are keenly interested in President McCormick's perspective on RUL's role in the short and longer term.

Based on Governor McGreevey's recent address, the budget situation is likely to be dire. The University's overall strategy in the face of drastic cuts will become clearer in the coming weeks. The Libraries will begin data collection in preparation for planning, and will examine all options for potential savings. It will be a test of the Libraries resilience to provide high quality services, but RUL will continue to actively support the University's mission.

6. Other

At the end of annual elections in the Libraries, the Rules of Procedure Committee will be asked to keep the election tally sheets in the Libraries Human Resources office so that any committee vacancies that occur during the year can be filled more easily.

The following Committee representatives presented short reports:

Collection Development Council (T. Glynn): The CDC has approved the acquisition of the following electronic resources: JSTOR Arts and Sciences II, the backfiles of the American Chemical Society, World Development Indicators, and the American Periodical Series.

Technical Services Council (R. Jantz): G. Agnew recently returned from the statewide digitization meeting. The content of digitization projects has not yet been determined, but local history materials will be a focus. RUL will likely be one of the first regional digitization centers. M.-L. Lo gave a report on the use of wireless technologies in the Math Library. A similar system in Alex might cost approximately $12,000. The budget situation will likely affect the outcome of such projects. DAWG is examining the digital architecture for a potential institutional repository, and is looking at mass storage devices for digital projects and preservation. DAWG will shortly begin posting and sharing information with RUL at large.

Planning Committee (R. Tipton): The Committee's web pages are currently in draft format, and, when finished, will be promoted to the Libraries as a whole.

Public Services Council (M. Kesselman): The Libraries will conduct a trial of direct borrowing with PALCI. The second phase of the Ask a Librarian Live real time reference trial is underway. Open URL software is in the initial stages of investigation.

7. The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sara Harrington
RUL Faculty Secretary



 
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