The Libraries' mentoring program is under development. The University Librarian has issued a call for volunteer mentors.
The budget news for 2006-2007 is grim. At this point we are modeling an eight percent cut, or a $1.6 million reduction in total.
The Faculty Coordinator will distribute to RUL_Everyone a spreadsheet and graphic summarizing the responses to the RUL questionnaires submitted last summer.
The reorganization of the Libraries is proceeding as planned. July 1 the Associate University Librarian for Planning and Organizational Research and the Acting Associate University Librarian for Instructional and Research Services will assume their new responsibilities.
The Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee will continue their review of RUL policies regarding reimbursement for travel and for relocation costs for new employees.
Karen Hartman, Jackie Mardikian, Laura Mullen, and Jane Sloan will review the report on "Transforming Undergraduate Education" as it relates to RUL.
Cabinet will be discussing our open faculty lines in light of the impending budget crisis. The recruitment of some lines may be suspended.
The meeting was called to order at 9:30 am. The minutes of the March meeting had been approved earlier via email.
The promotion workshop for tenured faculty held on April 10 was a success. It was well attended and very informative. The workshop addressed the peer group discussion and the writing of narratives for librarians coming up for tenure, as well as the process for promotion to Librarian I.
The University Librarian and the Faculty Coordinator met with the Human Resources Librarian and Myoung Wilson to discuss the implementation of the mentoring program. The University Librarian has issued a call for volunteer mentors. A mentor will be assigned to each new tenure-track librarian. They will recruit tenured librarians who are strong in all three areas evaluated for promotion and tenure: librarianship, scholarship, and service.
On April 18, President McCormick emailed the Rutgers community asking everyone to contact their legislators and urge them to treat Rutgers more fairly in the coming budget crisis (http://www.rutgers.edu/FY2007Budget/). It is difficult at this point to plan for fiscal year 2006-2007, since we will not have firm figures until sometime after June 30. At this point, however, we are modeling up to an eight percent cut, which would translate into approximately $1.6 million. Presumably the Libraries will be considered an academic rather than an administrative unit, so we would face a somewhat smaller reduction.
Cabinet held a special meeting on April 18 to discuss strategies for meeting the shortfall. A cut of this magnitude will need to come from across the Libraries' budget and Cabinet members will be working in the coming weeks to identify possible savings. The Associate University Librarian for Collection Development will meet with the Collection Development Council and other bodies to explore ways to reduce the collections budget. The Associate University Librarian for Public Services will collect data on means of generating revenue. We may also consider cuts in hours and services. We will limit any new digital projects that are not externally funded and/or focus on our core responsibilities, and we will continue to develop the infrastructure for RUcore as far as possible given the circumstances. The University Librarian and the Director of Development will work on guidelines for new grants, since many of them require matching funds. We will continue public programs on a limited basis, given that they play a role in public relations and fund raising. In terms of lines, there will be a selective hiring freeze for staff, but we will still recruit for certain critical positions. We will also consider not renewing contracts for librarian Vs when they expire.
In meeting the coming crisis, everyone is encouraged to think outside the box. We will do the best we can, given very limited resources, to meet the expressed needs of faculty, staff, and students. We will communicate our decisions and the reasons for them clearly to our users. Our overriding priority will always be to not cripple collections and services in the long term.
Tom Glynn, Rhonda Marker, Laura Mullen, and Eileen Stec provided further analysis of the RUL group questionnaires submitted last summer. They distributed a spreadsheet that summarized responses to a key question: "What future for the group is most conducive to the mission and goals of RUL?" Of forty-one groups, twenty-five recommended something other than "continuing in its present form." Some of these responses, however, included relatively minor changes, such as "adjust frequency of meetings." Also, many of those twenty-five were groups from Access Services or Collection Services that have since been reorganized and restructured. Along with the spreadsheet, Glynn, Mullen, and Marker also distributed a graphic that provides a visual analysis of the responses to the questionnaire.
On the whole, the questionnaires indicate that faculty and staff are satisfied with the RUL groups as they are currently constituted. Also, redundancy does not seem to be a pressing issue. The committee agreed that this was a useful exercise in that it provides insight into our organizational structure, particularly as we implement the RUL reorganization. It was noted, however, that several groups did not fill out the questionnaire. The Faculty Coordinator will share the spreadsheet and graphic with RUL_Everyone.
The reorganization of the Rutgers University Libraries is proceeding as planned. The new structure was roundly endorsed at a meeting of the university-wide Library Advisory Committee on April 12. Transition planning and some small transfers of responsibilities for the new organization is underway, and beginning July 1 Jeanne Boyle will assume her new responsibilities as Associate University Librarian for Planning, and Organizational Research and Francoise Puniello will become Acting Associate University Librarian for Instructional and Research Services (AUL for IRS). The Associate University Librarian for Administrative Services position will be posted shortly. The position description for the AUL for IRS is being finalized. The committee discussed whether we should delay recruitment for the AUL for IRS and the AUL for Administrative Services in light of the impending budget crisis, and there was strong support for moving ahead. We might save money by not hiring a search firm to assist in recruiting the AUL for IRS, but that would probably mean the search would take longer and require more proactive involvement of the library faculty.
Julie Still, chair of the Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee (PPAAC) reported on this matter, which was referred to PPAAC at the March meeting. PPAAC is examining policies at other university libraries, but Still noted that it was very difficult to calculate the costs involved in subsidizing relocation for new employees. It was suggested that the committee work with the Human Resources Department to determine the average of number of new librarians and staff hired in the course of a year and provide estimates of what it would cost to reimburse at various levels those who relocate from over fifty miles away. The Planning and Coordinating Committee would like a policy recommendation as well as the costs associated with the proposed policy. Still and PPAAC will continue their work and report back to the committee at a future date. While some questioned moving ahead with this work because of the budget situation, it was agreed that we should establish a policy. We can always determine how it would be affected when budgets are tight - fully funded, partially funded, or suspended.
This item was also referred to PPAAC at last month's meeting. The committee is examining policies at other universities. Still asked how the impending budget crisis might effect their work and was told that they should simply make recommendations and that RUL will allocate as much money as possible next year within the guidelines of any new policy that is adopted. PPAAC will continue its review and report back to the Planning and Coordinating Committee. Jane Sloan and Karen Hartman will assist PPAAC in both reviews.
A number of committees have been appointed to implement the President's recommendations for transforming undergraduate education on the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus. This is a strategic opportunity for the Libraries to cooperate more closely with the teaching faculty, particularly in regards to library instruction. As the committees develop campus-wide curricula and requirements, we should explore ways to coordinate our instructional program with FAS and the teaching departments in order to maximize its impact. Karen Hartman, Jackie Mardikian, Laura Mullen, and Jane Sloan were asked to examine the recommendations in this light and to report to the Planning and Coordinating Committee. The recommendations will not be fully implemented until the 2007-2008 academic year. For more information, see: http://ur.rutgers.edu/transform_ru/presidents_plan/index.shtml"
Vice President for Research Michael Pazzani has been invited to the Cabinet meeting in June to discuss his vision for research at Rutgers. Pazzani is very interested in open access. Cabinet will also discuss with him writing a requirement for library support into grant proposals.
The University Librarian and Julia Zapcic, the Libraries' Director of Development, attended a meeting at the Rutgers Foundation to begin planning for the next capital campaign. This will be an open process and units are encouraged to submit proposals for fund-raising to the Foundation. Part of the planning process will include the development of a vision statement.
The University Librarian distributed a report on the status of open faculty lines. There are twenty-four in total system-wide. Cabinet will be reviewing those positions that are currently in recruitment. The searches that are near completion will probably go forward. Those that are not will probably be suspended until we know more about our budget next year.