Ron Becker and Rhonda Marker distributed the latest version of the Strategic Plan. Becker will report for the Strategic Plan Steering Committee at the Library Faculty meeting on March 3.
The committee voted to discontinue the time self-assessment.
After a review of the group questionnaires submitted last summer by the Research Leave Review Committee, SAPAC, and PPAAC, the committee recommended removing the reference in SAPAC's charge to compiling an annual list of faculty publications.
The University Librarian will chair an open meeting following the Library Faculty meeting on March 3 to discuss the new RUL organizational structure.
The committee will discuss at a future meeting the RUL policy on the administration and disbursal of travel funds and relocation costs for new hires.
The University Librarian reported on open lines.
The meeting was called to order at 1:30 pm. The minutes of the December meeting were approved. The agenda was adopted with one modification; the discussion of the current draft of the Strategic Plan was reordered to follow the report of the Faculty Coordinator.
The Mentoring Task Force continues its work and expects to complete a report with recommendations for a mentoring program in the near future.
As part of the committee's review of the RUL Group Questionnaires, Tom Glynn and Rhonda Marker were asked to submit a preliminary report on the three faculty committees that recommended some change in the status quo: Scholarly and Professional Activities Committee (SAPAC), the Research Leave Review Committee (RLRC), and the Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee (PPAAC). For a discussion of the report, see item four below.
Two future agenda items for the committee are relocations costs for new hires, and the RUL policy on the administration and disbursal of travel funds.
Ron Becker, chair of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee, distributed the current draft of the Strategic Plan. He provided a brief summary of the document in its present form and some ideas regarding how it may be further refined before his committee submits its final report. This draft is similar in many respects to a version circulated in July 2005 and posted on the strategic planning Web page ("Vision Statement and Strategic Goals"). One significant change is the addition of a "futurecasts" section that outlines major accomplishments the Libraries could achieve within five years, assuming an adequate level of funding. Another is a summary on page one of the five broad goals of the plan, goals that parallel those announced by the Rutgers University administration. The Strategic Plan is intended to provide an overarching strategy and vision upon which bodies within the Library system can base more specific annual goals.
The committee discussed the current draft and offered constructive advice for Becker and Rhonda Marker, who also serves on the Steering Committee. Some of these comments addressed the way in which parts of the current document are organized. For instance, it was suggested that the goals summarized on page one appear in the same order in which they are presented later in the draft. Other suggestions were more substantive. One committee member proposed, for example, that the "technology" section be changed to "library infrastructure" or a similar phrase, in order to emphasize that technology is simply a tool, a means to an end, and not the focus of the plan. Another recommended a specific reference the Libraries' Web site and including as a goal that the Web pages be clear, effective, and easy to navigate.
The Steering Committee welcomes further guidance from the Planning and Coordinating Committee. Any additional suggestions, including ideas on how best to introduce the plan to Library faculty and staff, should be sent via email to Ron Becker. The Steering Committee anticipates submitting its final report in the near future. They hope to provide the Planning and Coordinating Committee with a further revision in early February and to present that document at the University Librarian's Cabinet meeting on February 5.
The committee continued its discussion of workload issues. Members agreed that, ideally, it would be useful to develop an exercise that would quantify the time that individual librarians devote to different tasks during the course of their workday. The results of such a study would help us make more efficient use of our time and distribute workload more equitably, especially among nontenured faculty. In the course of the discussion, however, committee members identified certain problems inherent in implementing such an exercise. Some faculty members might be reluctant to participate because they might feel they were being unduly scrutinized. Moreover, the quality of the data that would be collected would be of limited use, since it is often difficult to quantify certain tasks and because librarians would not interpret the exercise in a uniform fashion. The committee unanimously voted to discontinue the time self-assessment.
Three faculty committees, the Research Leave Review Committee (RLRC), the Scholarly and Professional Activities Committee (SAPAC), and the Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee (PPAAC), recommended changes in the status quo. Tom Glynn and Rhonda Marker submitted a report to the Planning and Coordinating Committee addressing those recommendations.
The RLRC questionnaire offered a number of options, including the cessation of the committee. Glynn and Marker recommended, and the Planning and Coordinating Committee agreed, that it should continue in its current configuration. The workload for the committee is relatively light and, in the past, library faculty have opposed the elimination of RLRC. The Planning and Coordinating Committee also decided that SAPAC should remain in essentially its present form. SAPAC noted, however, that the clause in its charge that refers to the compilation of an annual list of faculty publications does not accurately reflect the committee's activities. Since those lists are actually compiled by the University Librarian, with the assistance of the directors and unit heads, the charge should be revised. The Faculty Coordinator will confer with the chair of the Rules of Procedure Committee regarding a possible revision of the faculty by-laws. The PPAAC questionnaire also raised questions about the committee's charge. PPAAC noted that they had never been consulted in regards to the "selection of search committees." The Planning and Coordinating Committee felt that this phrase refers simply to advising the faculty and University Librarian regarding policies related to the selection of committees rather than direct involvement in the appointment of faculty to search committees. The Faculty Coordinator will confer with the chair of PPAAC on this point. It may be necessary to re-write the charge in order to clarify the committee's responsibilities.
The committee will discuss the remaining questionnaires at future meetings.
The committee discussed and set a draft agenda as follows:
The chair of the Rules of Procedure Committee may also report on possible revisions to the charge of SAPAC and of PPAAC in the faculty by-laws.
Following the faculty meeting there will be an open meeting on the current structural reorganization, chaired by the University Librarian.
The University Librarian distributed a list of the faculty lines that are currently open system-wide. There are a total of twenty open lines, four in technical and automated services, one in RUL administration, two in Newark, and thirteen in New Brunswick. We are or will soon be recruiting to fill the following positions: East Asian Librarian, Humanities Librarian (with subject responsibilities for philosophy, religion, and classics), Instructional Services Librarian, and Special Formats Catalog Librarian. In total there are thirteen lines being used for temporary appointments, and three lines vacant from which we realize salary savings. In future, a report on the status of open lines will be a regular part of the University Librarian's report.
The University Librarian distributed a chart that compares the current RUL administrative structure with a new structure that will reconfigure the New Brunswick Libraries directorship and a number of the Associate University Librarian positions. Under the current configuration there are AULs for public services, collection development, digital library systems, and administrative services; three campus directors; and an associate director for New Brunswick. Under the new structure, the New Brunswick director would become an AUL for Instructional and Research Services; the current AUL for Public Services would become an AUL for Planning and Organizational Research; and the associate director in New Brunswick would become an AUL for Facilities Development and Management. The committee discussed various issues related to these structural changes, including the role of the campus directors in Camden and Newark and the relationship of local access and technical services to system-wide functions. The University Librarian will refine this organizational chart and also write another document that includes textual descriptions of all the positions. She will then meet with faculty and staff in Camden and Newark and chair an open meeting after the Library Faculty meetings on March 3 to solicit input on the new structure. The opening for an Associate University Librarian for Instructional and Research Services will be posted as soon as possible.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.