STAFF RESOURCES

Minutes of December 20, 2006 meeting

Present:
Jeanne Boyle, Howard Dess, Mary Fetzer, Rebecca Gardner, Marianne Gaunt, Sara Harrington (recorder), Michael Joseph, Rhonda Marker, Jane Sloan, Roberta Tipton, Ryan Womack

1. The meeting was called to order at 9:37 a.m.

2. The agenda was adopted as submitted.

3. The minutes of the November 29, 2006 meeting were approved after a brief discussion.

4. Report of the Faculty Coordinator (J. Sloan)

J. Sloan spoke with Committee on Scholarly and Professional Activity chair J. Shepard about the possibility of expanding the lunchtime seminars to include members of the teaching faculty. J. Shepard will consult with SAPAC and return to the Planning and Coordinating Committee with a proposal.

J. Sloan briefly raised the issue of retirement options and standard practices. The University's position on the issue of retirement is to allow the deans maximum flexibility in negotiating with faculty members. The issue of what can be explored and discussed remains entirely up to the faculty member and dean. The AAUP is interested in considering phased retirement. As with other retirement-related issues, as long as there is nothing in the University regulations that explicitly prohibits a particular action and it is a legal action, it may be considered. It is important to note that the state pays benefits, and the University will not fund costs associated with benefits. PPAAC will not be asked to examine issues surrounding retirement.

Planning Committee Implementation (M. Joseph)

Setting priorities for and implementing the strategic plan will serve as the focus of the Planning Committee for the upcoming year. One challenge is to attach the strategic plan to the work of area groups and units. It may be useful to ask various groups within RUL to review the strategic plan in order to determine which objectives fit their areas of responsibility. The Planning Committee believes that implementation and assessment are closely related. Assessment should take place at both the micro and macro levels. It may be useful to engage a consultant on how best to implement the strategic plan.

5. Old Business

Faculty Reorganization (J. Sloan)

While the Planning and Coordinating Committee proposals on faculty reorganization were approved at the recent faculty meeting, the ensuing faculty meeting discussion demonstrated that we are of many different minds. One Planning and Coordinating Committee member underscored that the idea of conducting a survey might be interesting and useful. There are a number of thoughts and concerns about our next steps and the overall timetable. If a survey is implemented, it should be well-designed to focus on structure and the implications of any specific organizational structure. It was also suggested that it might be helpful to supplement the survey with one or two focus group sessions.

The group went on to pose a number of questions: Who will design the survey and how will it be implemented? How much does structure matter at this point? How do we reach consensus in such a diverse thinking group? It was offered that the recently approved organizational changes might need to be implemented for a period of time before the 'next steps' of the organization become clear. It is important that the organization consider the whole picture before any decisions are made.

M. Gaunt stated that one potentially interesting exercise would be to model the organizational structures under discussion, perhaps in a grid format, in order to see how the models relate to the rest of the organizational structure, and more specifically, how each model would impact on various constituencies (faculty, staff, committees, Cabinet, AULs, etc.). M. Joseph noted that the Councils are in some senses unique, in that they address special subjects or areas of professional expertise. One factor in any discussion of Council structure must be an exploration of how faculty members see their own areas of expertise. If they are not defined by traditional library modes, then how are they defined? In short, we must keep in mind a number of overarching concerns:

As the Committee considered these issues, M. Gaunt sketched out in graphic form the current organizational components.

As the discussion progressed, the issue of coordination, as distinct from planning, emerged repeatedly. It was noted that one option is for the faculty to more profoundly engage with planning and coordination in the context of the RUL faculty meetings. It was agreed, however, that the Planning and Coordinating Committee should continue to pursue reorganization issues.

Faculty Input on Hiring Priorities Guidelines (J. Sloan)

J. Sloan distributed a document entitled "Guidelines for Advice to the University Librarian on Priorities for Faculty Personnel Line Assignments and Recruitment" that includes a charge from the University Librarian on the last page. Every new vacancy is an opportunity to move the organization forward. Committee members posed a number of questions during the discussion: what do we mean by "initiate a review?" How do we specify when a position becomes vacant? It remains important to consider new position types in any review of vacated positions-how do we build this in? All of these questions underscore the importance of the library faculty position review form.

Some questions remain about the role of the Planning Committee versus the Planning and Coordinating Committee with regards to the review of position review forms before any discussion moves to Cabinet. One Committee member suggested that discussion about positions take place within the larger Planning and Coordinating Committee, and that the work of the Planning Committee center on moving the strategic plan from vision to action. Any overall review of positions should consider which needs within RUL are most pressing and should therefore be filled first. All discussions should be informed by unit discussions, and perhaps, by a wider dialogue held at the RUL faculty meeting. There exists an important role for system- wide faculty review because of the various organizational issues.

M. Gaunt shared a document containing the current open lines. A revised document will come again to the Committee for further discussion and review. A discussion ensued about the role of NBL versus RIS. There was consensus that RUL needs time to internalize and understand the NBL/RIS dichotomy.

The position review form is deemed important because it creates a paper trail and helps to create centralized documentation of positions under consideration within RUL. Should position review forms be filled out for current open positions?

Committee members raised a number of specific points about the guidelines, namely:

B.4 "A Senior Faculty Member or a Junior Faculty Member"

A final clause should be added, stating, "except for Cabinet members who review tenure cases."

B.1 "Choice of a Generalist or a Specialist"

Core competencies should be examined by the RUL faculty. Perhaps PPAAC will be asked to conduct an initial review of competencies.

The guidelines will be shared with Cabinet.

6. New Business

Impact on Libraries of Potential UMD-NJIT Merger (M. Gaunt)

There are two committees within the state looking at higher education-one on the restructuring of higher education generally and the other on the public research universities. While there is uncertainty concerning anything specific on a merger, the Libraries should be prepared to take a position on how the Libraries should operate if there is any merger. Several newspaper articles have focused recently on these discussions. One noted that there is some sense that a merger will be fast-tracked, yet there is also an understanding that any merger would be complicated, long-term process. The idea of a University of Newark has been mentioned. In a recent Star Ledger article, President McCormick indicated that a merger could only go forward given an appropriate governance model and appropriate funding. M. Gaunt suggested that the Planning and Coordinating Committee promulgate an official position on how the Libraries would operate in a collaborative environment. If RUL wishes to remain a system, we need to advance compelling arguments that a system is a better option than independent libraries. Any official Planning and Coordinating Committee statement should have wide faculty support. A number of pertinent documents exist that may be worthwhile to review, including the documents from the Vagelos report.

Scholarly Communication Discussion Forums (J. Niessen)

This item has been placed on the agenda in order to consider the potential need for faculty discussion forums on scholarly communication. Could we capitalize on an exiting meeting, or should we schedule a standalone forum? B. Sewell and J. Niessen will offer a special discussion forum on the ARL/ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication that they recently attended. A recent ARL workshop focused on the use of teams to develop a scholarly communication plan for Libraries. In short, we need to receive feedback in order to formulate any plan. This feedback should help RUL decide what the repository should contain and how we should prioritize repository content.

J. Niessen made a brief presentation, and shared a few handouts, including an authors' rights brochure created by SPARC and "Draft Priorities for Developing the RUL Scholarly Communication Program." J. Niessen stated that the Scholarly Communications Steering Committee is a place for stakeholders, and went on to state that we must bring liaisons into the process. What existing groups within RUL, he queried, could help coordinate these efforts? Cornell University may serve as a good model for our future efforts, in the sense that their library system is decentralized, much like RUL. In pondering the utility of discussion forums, one Committee member offered that RUL needs to use a more proactive term than 'discussion forums.' We want to navigate a path towards leadership within the University community as well as indicate to RUL faculty member that their input will help guide RUL efforts. Those responsible for moving work on the repository forward must attend. As a preliminary step, it was suggested that we begin an online or email campaign that will set forth the issues and ask for input and commentary. We should also establish an online library of salient documents. More than one forum will be necessary, perhaps separate forums for separate issues, such as authorial rights, would be useful. In addition we should begin a liaison outreach and education program. It was suggested that as a part of the session offered by J. Niessen and B. Sewell, perhaps they should offer an advance draft of a scholarly communication plan as a document of engagement. We may also pursue discussion at RUL faculty meetings.

New Nomination Process (J. Sloan)

The proposed process is intended to engage faculty in the hopes that a groundswell of support would encourage faculty members to accept nominations. Contested elections stimulate interest in the election itself. This process could perhaps be conducted online. This process does involve a change in the timing of the election process-the Rules of Procedure Committee would have to begin their work earlier. There was some concern that the proposed process penalizes and discourages self-nominations. As a result, a provision for self-nominations should be included, perhaps a phrase such as "The Rules of Procedure Committee maintains discretion in the election process and self-nominations are encouraged," should be added to the current document. The Committee concluded that the document would be revised, and the Rules of Procedure Committee would be included in the revision process.

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

Newark Provost S. Diner encouraged M. Gaunt to move to fill the position of Director of the Dana Library upon the retirement of L. Mullins. The campus would like to see the inclusion of faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students in the search committee. We will resurrect the Library Director position description as the basis for a new description, and the revised position description will be brought to the Planning and Coordinating Committee. The Planning and Coordinating Committee may wish to offer suggestions for non-Newark members of the search committee. The search committee will be co-chaired by a member of Cabinet and a member of the teaching faculty. The search committee may be relatively large due to the desire for campus input.

RUL will hear about capital campaign proposals from Vice-President Furmanski in April 2007. The Libraries have submitted proposals in the following broad categories: Facilities, Collections, Digital Resources, and Academic Excellence. In the area of academic excellence, the Libraries will submit proposals for endowed positions in the following areas: archivists, Institute of Jazz Studies faculty, the University Librarian, and Unit Directors. The area of collections, RUL will aim for a $20 million endowment with some named endowments in specific subject disciplines. In the area of digital services, RUL will pursue funding for the institutional repository, including a women's gateway and the Newark experience. In the area of facilities, RUL seeks construction/renovation funding for a science library, Library Annex expansion, and Kilmer, Dana and Robeson Library renovations.

8. Concluding Outcomes, Tasks, and Accomplishments

The Planning and Coordinating Committee will conduct a survey on RUL faculty reorganization.

The Guidelines for Advice to the University Librarian on Priorities for Faculty Personnel Line Assignments and Recruitment will be revised, then forwarded to Cabinet with the intent of bringing them up for approval at the next RUL Faculty meeting.

RUL will schedule a series of scholarly communication forums.

9. Future Agenda Items

There as no separate discussion of future agenda items.

10. The meeting was adjourned at 12:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sara Harrington



 
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