STAFF RESOURCES

Minutes of February 26, 2003 meeting

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

Agenda

1. The agenda was adopted.

2. The minutes of the previous Coordinating Committee meeting were approved as submitted.

3. Old Business

There was no old business.

4. New Business

a. Replacement Procedures for Committee Vacancies (L. Langschied, Faculty Coordinator)

Section 5 of the Bylaws covers "Nominations, Appointments, and Elections." Numbers 8 and 9 of this section address what to do in the case of committee vacancies. In summary, the University Librarian fills vacancies in appointed offices. In the case of elected offices, the Rules of Procedure Committee selects the person who had the next highest votes in the election. If this is not possible, the Coordinating Committee elects an eligible replacement to serve until the next election, at which time the position is filled by general election to serve out the original term of office.

The Coordinating Committee is examining this issue in response to recent questions and concerns about the process. Specifically, some concern was expressed about the duration of vacancies, and about the Committee's role in determining whether or not a vacancy should be filled.

Coordinating Committee discussion resulted in two decisions. As a practical matter, after an election, ballots and/or tally sheets will be kept in the Human Resources office to facilitate the easier filling of vacant committee positions. Secondly, it will be up to each committee to determine whether vacant positions should be filled, or if the absent member can continue to effectively participate in committee work.

b. Budget Overview and Planning (M. Gaunt, University Librarian)

Overview

This discussion in Coordinating Committee is intended to review what we know about the budget situation, and what role the Coordinating Committee may play in responding to it. The University's budget was cut this fiscal year, and will be severely affected next fiscal year. The University is beginning a planning process, and does have statistics on the funds generated by specific percentages of tuition increases, etc. However, the University is also trying to mount a major effort to get budget cuts to higher education restored. Part of this effort is being waged through a letter writing campaign-to newspaper editorial pages and legislators-that speaks to the grave consequences of the budget cuts on higher education in New Jersey.

Employees of the Libraries should consider contacting their own representatives with their message. H. Glazer's office will support this effort by making available a sample letter including pertinent points. It is important to note that letters written by RUL employees should NOT appear on RU letterhead, nor should they be form letters. Those who represent us as citizens should know that we care about the value and quality of higher education in the state. The University has put together an informational web site on the issue that includes the names and mailing addresses of relevant New Jersey elected officials. The web site can be found at: http://www.rutgers.edu/statebudgetcuts/

Planning

The proposed budget cuts to the University are astoundingly high. In order to begin to cope with the situation, the Libraries will have to model a number of budget reduction scenarios. The situation is particularly difficult because RUL is not likely to know the exact nature of the cuts until relatively late in the year. The modeling will help us to educate the faculty, who need to remain informed so that they do not feel sabotaged by potential changes.

In order to communicate with the library faculty on the possible budget reduction scenarios, M. Gaunt then shared the budget breakdown for RUL, which is as follows:

State budget for RUL:23,009, 457
Salaries:14,726,662
Acquisition:6,343,478
Below the line1,939,319

A ten- percent cut would therefore mean a reduction of over $2.3 million dollars. It should be noted that expenditures exceed state funding because of endowments and other funds the Libraries receive. Given the current fiscal climate, gift funds and the return on endowments will likely diminish next year.

The "below the line category" pays for everything that the Libraries buys that is not related to collections. RUL does not break even in this category, which is complemented by external unrestricted funds. This area must be protected.

The University funds salaries. Money can be reallocated in this area in the event of departures, etc. Last year vacant faculty lines were brought down to $27,000, the minimum required to keep the line within the Libraries. Eleven faculty vacancies currently exist, but giving them up would net only $330,000. Seven staff vacancies exist, equaling roughly $256,000. If lines are given up it is likely that they will permanently disappear. Giving up all of these vacancies would therefore net only $586,000, but 18 lines would be permanently gone. Some of these positions are critical and cannot be given up. In addition, the role of contracts and union issues must necessarily be considered. However, it is political savvy to take from each budget category, and it is therefore likely that RUL will have to give back lines.

It is likely that RUL's acquisition budget will be significantly reduced next year. It is important to consider that budget reductions in the area of collections are more likely to be restored later by the University, and donors are more likely to support collections-related giving.

Discussion

The severity of the proposed cuts is largely unprecedented. The Coordinating Committee engaged in a discussion of the philosophy RUL will employ in approaching the budget situation. Will the Libraries try to absorb the reductions without a visible effect on services; or rather will the significance of the cuts be made publicly visible? It was noted that the proposed cuts are so grave that RUL won't be able to absorb them without evidence. Nevertheless, RUL will continue to move forward on the Digital Library Initiative. It will be necessary to escalate external grants and work on the capital campaign. The administration welcomes ideas and strategies from the faculty and staff.

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

6. Other

The following Coordinating Committee members presented additional reports.

Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee (M. Fetzer): PPAAC may ask for additional guidance on the Draft Guidelines for the Evaluation of Librarianship at the next meeting.

Collection Development Council (T. Glynn): $150,000 in collections money is unspent at present. Given the budget situation, the Council is examining the possible prepayment of expensive packages. Recent acquisitions, such as MARC records for microfilm sets of pamphlets in American history will vastly improve patron access to these resources.

Research Leave Review Committee (R. Tipton): The draft guidelines for Short Research Assignments will be presented at the next faculty meeting.

Planning Committee (R. Tipton): The Committee will expand the DLI education web page, and is working on sections of the page treating institutional repositories and coping with change. With the Office of Training and Development, the Committee has launched of series of educational workshops related to the DLI.

Technical Services Council (R. Jantz): Work continues on the ILMS grant. Members of DAWG, who continue to evaluate open source products, have been invited to the University of Virginia for a customized tutorial in Fedora.

Newark Campus (A Watkins): Dana Library continues an active program of exhibitions. Artist Joanne Leone Corris is currently showing 30 years of ceramic wares relating to Newark. A substantial renovation project took place during winter break, wall to wall carpeting was installed and furniture was rearranged on the second floor.

Rules of Procedure (T. Haynes): The Committee will shortly send out the ballot for faculty elections.

7. The meeting was adjourned at 11: 42 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sara Harrington
RUL Faculty Secretary



 
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