The Libraries submitted to Vice President Furmanski a plan to reduce our state budget by ten percent.
The committee approved a draft relocation policy that will be proposed at the Library Faculty meeting in June.
In June the committee will convene a special meeting with the Rules of Procedure Committee and the University Librarians Cabinet to consider the impact of the administrative reorganization scheduled to take effect July 1.
The meeting was called to order at 9:30 am. The minutes of the April meeting had been approved earlier via email.
A new item of business for the committee will be an examination of RUL recruitment and hiring practices. In particular, the Faculty Coordinator would like to develop more fully the recruitment portion of the RUL Web page, with links to University policies and procedures.
The pilot Mentoring Program is under way. Mentors are being recruited. The University Librarian has asked Cabinet for recommendations.
Last month Vice President Furmanski instructed all units in the University to submit a plan for reducing their budgets by seven to twenty percent. They were given two weeks to do so. The Libraries were required to model a ten percent cut. This would mean a $2,371,000 reduction in our state budget.
As a general principle, we will try to conserve staff and faculty lines as much as possible. We currently have 23.5 open lines, which translates into approximately $1,800,000 in salary savings. We will try to avoid layoffs, but that may not be possible if no one leaves RUL during 2006-2007. Normally around 24 staff and faculty leave in the course of a year. Staff positions offer more flexibility, since they can be shifted more readily between units. The reorganization scheduled to take effect July 1 may present some opportunities for reallocating human resources.
The total cut in the collections budget will be approximately $800,000. We will preserve print resources as much as possible, while at the same time recognizing that many of our users have come to expect online, fulltext access.
Everyone is strongly encouraged to contact the governor and their legislators to protest the extent of the budget reduction for higher education. The site set up by the University, http://www.rutgers.edu/FY2007budget/, makes it very easy to do so.
In March, the committee charged the Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee (PPAAC) with developing a policy for reimbursing newly hired faculty for relocation expenses. PPAAC examined policies at other universities, as well as Rutgers University policies, and formulated a draft for RUL. Julie Still, PPAAC chair, appeared before the committee to present the draft. Members offered various suggestions for minor changes in style, but not substance. The proposed policy offers up to $10,000 to new faculty relocating from more than fifty miles away, provided funds are available. Everyone agreed that this was an important recruitment tool and that relocation monies should be offered whenever possible. The draft will be proposed at the RUL Faculty meeting in June. In future, the Planning and Coordinating Committee will also consider amending the Libraries' policy for travel expenses.
A draft was distributed of the University's IT strategic plan, "Using Information Technology to Achieve the Strategic Goals of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey." A wide-ranging discussion ensued of the changing role of technology in libraries and of libraries themselves. It was recognized that we are entering a new era in which we need to think differently about the ways we provide services and resources. Google in particular has dramatically changed how our users think about information seeking. Some members stressed that we need to make things simple. Federated searching, which will be implemented soon, is an example of this. Libraries generally are starting to devote fewer resources to more traditional tools. The recently released report by the Library of Congress on "The Changing Nature of the Catalog" is a good example. This is an era in which there is an erosion of the authority of traditional tools. Our younger users are more likely to use Wikipedia than Encyclopedia Britannica (and studies have shown that they may be right). One member held that, since we are not "digital natives," we need to try to think like them. The recently appointed Media Working Group discussed at its first meeting the idea of using podcasting through iTunes for some course material. This is a technology that is a part of everyday life for our younger users.
Jeanne Boyle, Gary Golden, and Lynn Mullins served on committees that helped write the draft. The committee agreed that we should have a library-wide forum to discuss the strategic plan when it is finalized. The draft may be found at: http://oit.rutgers.edu/strategicgoals.html
The Faculty Coordinator distributed a packet of information regarding policies and procedures for hiring and recruitment at Rutgers and at other institutions. Although there are a few links and documents on the Library Faculty portion of our Web page, procedure regarding how search committees should proceed and the role of the Libraries' Human Resources Manager in the process is either not written down or difficult to locate. All of this information should be readily available, so that our searches are conducted lawfully, fairly, and uniformly, and so that we are not reinventing the wheel every time we initiate a new search. It was noted that University Human Resources has a very helpful "Hiring Toolkit" (http://uhr.rutgers.edu/stf/HiringTK.htm). The committee agreed that this issue should be addressed by the Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee. The Libraries' Human Resources Manager serves ex officio on PPAAC and will play a key role in carrying out their charge.
The administrative restructuring of Rutgers University Libraries is scheduled to take effect on July 1. Since all of the New Brunswick public services librarians will thereafter report to the new Associate University Librarian for Instruction and Research Services (AUL-IRS), these changes will also affect the Library Faculty. The committee discussed what forms any reorganization might take. At the very least, parts of the faculty by-laws will need to be rewritten to reflect the administrative changes. More important, because the public services librarians in New Brunswick will report to an AUL with system-wide responsibilities, it might be reasonable to consider changes in the role of the New Brunswick Library Faculty (NBLF). It was noted that at the last NBLF meeting the faculty strongly recommended retaining its current name. The committee also discussed the future of the three-council structure. Some members questioned whether the current configuration is efficient and effective in light of changing roles and responsibilities that transcend the traditional distinctions between public services, technical services, and collection development. Lastly, the committee considered what group or groups might address these issues. This could be done by the Planning and Coordinating Committee, by Cabinet, by the Rules of Procedure Committee, by a special task force, or some combination thereof. The committee decided to hold a special meeting in June with the Rules of Procedure Committee and the University Librarian's Cabinet. The University Librarian suggested that committee members provide a model for how they think the current Council structure could be revised to meet the needs of the new organization model. Eileen Stec noted that she would send the committee the URL she used to develop the diagram used in the RUL questionnaire analysis.
The committee discussed and set a draft agenda as follows:
The University Librarian distributed a list of all the open faculty lines as of May 24. There are a total of 12 open lines, including the Associate University Librarian for Administrative Services (AUL-AS) and the Associate University Librarian for Instruction and Research Services (AUL-IRS). In addition, there are five Librarian Vs who have been notified that their appointments will end during the course of the 2006-07 academic year and an additional seven whose appointments will end at the close of 2006-07 or during 2007-08. All of the open lines are currently frozen and will be used for collections and operating expenses during the coming budget crisis. There will still be monies reserved to fill certain critical positions if we decide to do so, for example, the AUL-IRS. The hiring process is well along for a few of these positions, but they will probably not be filled in the immediate future.
The meeting adjourned at 12:15 p.m.