STAFF RESOURCES

Minutes of November 29, 2006 meeting

Present:
J. Boyle, H. Dess, M. Fetzer, R. Gardner, M. Gaunt, S. Harrington (recorder), K. Hartman, M. Joseph, R. Marker, J. Sloan, E. Stec, J. Still, R. Tipton, R.Womack

1. The meeting was called to order at 9:32 a.m.

2. The agenda was adopted as submitted.

3. The minutes of the October 25, 2006 Planning and Coordinating Committee meeting were previously approved via email.

4. Report of the Faculty Coordinator

AUL for Planning and Organizational Research J. Boyle was invited to attend today's Planning and Coordinating Committee meeting, in anticipation of approval of a formal proposal for this change to the composition of the Planning and Coordinating Committee that will be presented at the next Faculty meeting

5. Old Business

Travel Policy (J. Still, Chair, Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee)

The travel policy being presented today is a revised draft of the Committee's work. An in-person Committee meeting will occur, and additional changes to the draft are likely to be made. There is one significant change in the current draft: each librarian has a small allotment of annual funding to use as they wish provided that the event they choose to attend is job-related. J. Still noted that dollar amounts have not been entered into the document, indeed, the Committee has been working on the document without the context provided by specific travel budget figures.

To provide necessary context, University Librarian M. Gaunt shared with the group how travel funds are currently calculated:
$200 annually for tenured faculty members
$400 annually for untenured faculty members
$30 annually per staff member
Travel funds are allocated to the unit, individual unit directors may supplement allocations with funds from their own accounts. Any travel expenditures that exceed $1000 are automatically reviewed by the University Librarian, and the monies generally come from Academic Excellence funds.

The discussion quickly turned to whether or not the document should serve as a faculty and staff policy document, or a faculty-only policy document. It was noted that part of the reason that the Libraries travel policy was brought up for discussion during the last year is because it was thought that the culture of the Libraries as a whole might benefit from an explicit acknowledgement in the travel policy of the legitimacy and necessity of staff travel. RUL staff is very active and highly professional, some staff members have leadership roles in professional organizations and in the profession as a whole. It has been noted in the past that many APS staff that hold MLS degrees would like to attend ALA conferences. How should this be handled? As a corollary, however, it was also stated that the original impetus for a reexamination of the travel policy was so that RUL might be clearer in the context of its recruiting efforts, particularly since service responsibilities, and the travel that these responsibilities necessitate, are part of the criteria for promotion and tenure.

While RUL is considering the distinctions between library faculty and library staff with regards to the support of travel, it was also pointed out that RUL is in fact considering what areas of library activity to support, and this involves some level of faculty planning. Travel is a means both to support the fulfillment of service responsibilities and faculty and staff professional development. J. Still noted that in the interest of transparency, it may be helpful to have an internal list or password protected website that indicates who has received travel support and what conference or activity the individual attended.

While acknowledging that staff travel is an issue that needs to be addressed at some level, it was thought that the Committee would more profitably begin by asserting a faculty policy. J. Still will return to the Committee with the comments offered today and the document will return to PPAAC for further review. PPAAC will approach the document as a faculty travel policy document, and staff travel will be initially explored by Cabinet.

Faculty Reorganization Working Group

The Planning and Coordinating Committee would like to take the reorganization report, or some version of it, to the faculty at the RUL faculty meeting on 12/8/06. No matter what RUL decides to do, it was felt that it must be something that the faculty can enthusiastically support. In trying to think of how to present any potential organizational changes there was concern that the faculty might respond to the proposals with some disappointment, either because it is perceived that the proposals do not go far enough, or because the timeline for accomplishing changes continues to be extended. Proposals should be as detailed as possible, but it will take time to determine if any new structure is effectual. It was noted that a chart of any proposed organization would be helpful.

J. Sloan will prepare a document to share with the faculty in advance of the Faculty meeting. The document will include a series of proposals and an initial discussion of potential Council structures. RUL faculty members are encouraged to speak up about their concerns and point of view, and perhaps offer a sense of direction as to where we might go to improve proposals. Indeed, the goal of faculty meeting discussion is to gain input on the potential Council structure and help us flesh out a future proposal. The faculty structure will change when there is consensus on the changes that should be instituted. It is important to remember that if changes are made to the faculty structure after the Spring 2007 elections, some faculty members may be elected to positions that shift or cease to exist. Despite this potential inconvenience, Planning and Coordinating Committee members concurred that it does not make sense to institute changes without broad consensus.

The Planning and Coordinating Committee emerged with a series of concrete proposals, as follows:

There was continued discussion about the constitution and functioning of the Planning Committee. Specifically, how do we determine what subset of the Planning and Coordinating Committee will serve as members of the Planning Committee? How, in short, will the Planning Committee be populated? What is the process for seating Planning Committee members-will they be elected, appointed, or invited? University regulations do not require that Planning Committee members have tenure, but is tenure status an important factor? There was some sentiment that the Planning Committee should remain relatively small, so as to activate the planning process, which might tend to get bogged down in the context of a larger group. It has been deemed important to have the Planning Committee work on moving the new Strategic Plan from paper to practice. Indeed, the Planning Committee must engage with both faculty and staff members at large. There was some debate about including staff as permanent members of the Planning Committee. It was agreed that staff should and would be consulted on planning issues. There was some discussion about the importance of geographic distribution in the representatives who will serve on the Planning Committee. How will RUL ensure a broad range of expertise and a connection to campus constituencies? It was noted that the Chair might appoint additional members in order to fill perceived gaps. Committee members concluded that a discussion of constitution of Planning Committee membership should be revisited as we move forward.

The Committee briefly reexamined the existing proposals for Councils. M. Gaunt underscored that the Councils should have central and important roles in the RUL structure, and that it might not be useful to have Councils report directly to the University Librarian. In order for any potential Council structure to work, we have to determine how the Libraries work gets done. It is useful to funnel work and decision-making to those who manage both people and activities. How do we connect the dots, so to speak, in the organization? We want to avoid a situation in which the Councils would be alienated from the work of the organization-instead, we want to forge a strong connection between the Councils and the work of the organization. The situation is complicated, some participants noted, by the absence of a consensus on the role of the Councils. Councils must build bridges between administrative silos, coordinate efforts, bring in expertise from across the institution, and introduce innovation into the organization.

A number of additional questions were posed: How does work flow to and emerge from these groups? How do activities become associated with digital initiatives? Where are these initiatives likely to come up? We want to have a home for everyone in the new structure. Discussions related to digital initiatives would, it was pointed out, have a home in the proposed Library Resources Council, where digital issues could be discussed in conjunction with public services, collections, etc. In conclusion, there is as strong desire on the part of Committee members for faculty to actively engage in the full range of library issues.

Faculty Input on Hiring Priorities discussion was postponed to the December 2006 Planning and Coordinating Committee meeting.

6. New Business

SAPAC Lunchtime Seminars
J. Sloan will speak to J. Shepard, Chair of SAPAC, about expanding the lunchtime seminars to include members of the teaching faculty.

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

The Libraries budget contained $300,000 more than had been anticipated. These funds have been parceled out to the units; this additional funding has reduced the units' 'giveback' amount. Funds will perhaps be used to free up frozen (rather than newly vacated) positions, or for operating expenditures.

The AUL for Research and Instructional Services position has a fully constituted search committee and the position description has been prepared.

8. Concluding Outcomes, Tasks, and Accomplishments
and
9. Future Agenda Items

Planning and Coordinating Committee will continue to examine:

The December 8, 2006 RUL faculty meeting will focus largely on the issues of faculty reorganization.

The RUL faculty meeting will be followed by an open session with a presentation by G. Smulewitz and S. Zahorbenski on the recent Palinet conference.

10. The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sara Harrington



 
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