STAFF RESOURCES

Minutes of March 22, 2006 meeting

Present:
Rebecca Gardner, Marianne Gaunt, Tom Glynn (recorder), Karen Hartman, Ron Jantz, Jackie Mardikian, Rhonda Marker, Laura Mullen, Jane Sloan, Eileen Stec, Mary Beth Weber (chair)
Teleconference:
John Maxymuk, Roberta Tipton

Executive Summary:

The Libraries' mentoring program is under development.

The Libraries' policies regarding relocation costs for new faculty and reimbursement for work-related travel were referred to the Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee (PPAAC) for review.

Governor Corzine proposed massive cuts for higher education in his budget address on March 21. Cabinet is discussing various means of reducing costs for the coming fiscal year. The University Librarian will serve on an ad hoc, RU-wide budget advisory committee appointed by President McCormick.

The committee discussed draft position descriptions for an Associate University Librarian for Administrative Services and for an Associate University Librarian for Instruction and Research Services. The former will be posted shortly. We will recruit the latter after hiring an outside search firm.

The Strategic Plan has been finalized and will be discussed in various forums in the Libraries in the coming months.

There will be a workshop on April 10 for tenured faculty on the tenure review process and on promotion to Librarian I.

The Associate University Librarian for Public Services is convening a task force to examine internal communication in the Libraries.

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 am. The minutes of the February meeting had been approved earlier via email.

1. Report of the Faculty Coordinator -- M.B. Weber

Having been approved at the Library Faculty meeting on February 22, the Libraries' mentoring program is under development. The final report of the Mentoring Task Force will be posted on the RUL Library Faculty webpage. Mary Beth Weber, Marianne Gaunt, Myoung Wilson, and Jane Sloan will meet on March 30 to discuss orientation for faculty mentors. Weber thanked the Mentoring Task Force for their efforts in compiling the report.

The Planning and Coordinating Committee continues to review the RUL group questionnaires submitted in July 2005. Tom Glynn, Rhonda Marker, Laura Mullen, and Eileen Stec will report on the remaining questionnaires at next month's meeting.

2. Continuing Business: Relocation Costs -- M.B. Weber

Weber handed out copies of policies from other university libraries regarding funding of relocation costs for new faculty, as well as a copy of the Rutgers University policy. The latter states that offers to defray moving costs are made at the discretion of the department. The Libraries help fund relocation for new librarians on occasion, when an individual is moving from a distance of 50 miles or more, and this is usually part of the negotiation process when a job offer is tendered. The committee discussed whether the Libraries should do this more consistently.

It was noted that, because we do not have a consistent policy on relocation costs, we cannot refer to it in our position announcements. This puts the Libraries at a competitive disadvantage when recruiting new librarians. At present, since we have so many open lines, subsidizing moving expenses for new hires could be expensive, especially in the context of the current budget crisis. Normally, however, we recruit only one or two new faculty each year, so that we might well be able to pay relocation costs under most circumstances. The committee also discussed other steps the Libraries could take to attracted talented faculty. Suggestions included highlighting in our position announcements and elsewhere other "selling points", such as our proximity to New York City, Philadelphia, and the Jersey Shore; the University's annual faculty traveling seminar; and the provision of benefits for domestic partners.

It was decided to refer this matter to the Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee (PPAAC). They will be asked to examine policies at other institutions and to develop estimates of how much this might cost. It was noted that the University Human Resources Department has developed a website for recruitment (uhr.rutgers.edu/JobSeekers.htm) that we could link to or use as a model.

3. Continuing Business: Review of Travel Allocation Policy -- M.B. Weber

The committee discussed the Libraries' policy on reimbursement for work-related travel. There was a general sense that the current levels of funding are not adequate. Weber distributed policies from a sampling of other academic libraries, which showed that support for travel at other institutions is often more substantial. There were particular concerns raised regarding nontenured librarians, who often must travel to satisfy the service component of the University's tenure requirements. For example, Marty Kesselman, co-chair of the New Brunswick Travel Committee (with Jackie Mardikian, who serves on the Planning and Coordinating Committee), asked via email whether it would be possible to fully fund travel to meetings that are required for tenure-track faculty. This led to a broader discussion of the different categories addressed in the RUL travel policy (Staff Pages>>Administration>>Policies). Some committee members felt that certain criteria and definitions were not sufficiently well-defined. It was decided to refer this matter to PPAAC as well. They will examine the possibility of raising the level of funding in certain categories and defining the terms of the policy more clearly. Jane Sloan and Karen Hartman will assist PPAAC in their review.

4. Continuing Business: Future Budget Scenarios -- M. Gaunt

Governor Corzine delivered his budget message on March 21. There was very bad news for higher education generally and for Rutgers in particular. Corzine intends to slash the budget for higher education by $169,000,000. In addition, he does not want the state to fund salary increases scheduled for the coming year. In all, this translates into a fifteen percent cut for Rutgers and, conceivably, for the Libraries. Not just the coming fiscal year, but possibly the next few years will be a very difficult time for RUL.

Cabinet is discussing various means of reducing the budget in 2006-2007. This is very difficult, since the only areas in which we could realistically make substantial cuts are in collections or in positions and voucher funds. We will try to prepay this year as many of next year's expenses as we can. Also, Nancy Hendrickson, the Libraries' Business Manager, is modeling different scenarios under which we could realize significant salary savings yet still retain lines. For the moment, it seems that funding for the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative is secure. We save $750,000 annually on database subscriptions through NJKI.

President McCormick has appointed an ad hoc budget advisory committee. It is comprised of students, staff, faculty, and administrators, including the University Librarian. The committee will explore in the coming months different ways of responding to the crisis. This will almost certainly include an aggressive lobbying and advocacy campaign. Since the legislature will probably not pass a budget until June 30, we will not know anything definite until that time.

5. Draft AUL Position Descriptions, etc. -- M. Gaunt

The University Librarian handed out copies of draft position descriptions for an Associate University Librarian for Administrative Services and for an Associate University Librarian for Instruction and Research Services. There will be a national search for both openings. The AUL for Administrative Services could be hired as either an administrator or a tenure-track faculty member. He or she could be a librarian or simply a person with related administrative experience within higher education. It will be posted within the University as well as nationally. We want to recruit someone who could manage a large and complex budget and also oversee a range of personnel issues, including the promotion and tenure of faculty librarians. The title of this position could possibly change, to Director of Library Administrative Services or something similar, if the person recruited is not a librarian. The University Librarian would like to post this opening immediately.

We will hire a search firm to help with the recruitment of an Associate University Librarian for Instruction and Research Services. We have already identified four possible firms from which to solicit request for proposals (RFPs). The committee discussed the language and organization of the position description at length. On the basis of this discussion the University Librarian will revise the draft and share it with the committee via email. The Academic Position Profile (APP) will be based upon this, but is a somewhat different document that is more promotional in nature.

6. University Librarian's Report -- M. Gaunt

The Writing Subcommittee has finalized the Strategic Plan and sent it to the full Strategic Plan Committee. It will be presented in various forums within the Libraries. Staff and faculty are encouraged to share their comments and suggestions.

Barry Qualls has been appointed Interim Vice President for Undergraduate Education. Qualls chaired the Task Force on Undergraduate Education and is expected to implement the recommendations of the Task Force's report once the Board of Governors has approved it. Various committees will be created for the implementation and the Libraries will be represented on many of them.

Sandy Troy, the University Libraries Human Resources Manager, and the University Librarian will convene a workshop on April 10 for tenured faculty on the tenure process. It will focus on, among other things, the peer review discussion, the writing of tenure review narratives, and promotion to Librarian I. On March 10, the Rutgers chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) held a workshop in Alexander Library on the tenure process for all RU tenure-track faculty.

The University Librarian will meet shortly with Gerry Worshaver, RU Director for Special Projects, to discuss the assessment of the Libraries in the upcoming Middle States accreditation review.

Jeanne Boyle, Associate University Librarian for Public Services, is recruiting members for a task force to review the ways that faculty and staff communicate and work collaboratively across the Libraries. It will explore the use of new technologies such as blogs and WIKIs, and make recommendations regarding the staff pages, listservs and other means of internal communication.

The meeting was adjourned at noon.



 
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