The Libraries Advisory Committee on Diversity has been charged with developing recommendations relating to the recruitment of library faculty from underrepresented groups. The committee will suggest language to be used in position announcements and active methods of recruiting minority candidates.
The next forum on scholarly communication will be devoted to identifying the Libraries' priorities in regards to scholarly communication.
The Marketing Team solicited advice from the committee in developing a "brand" for the Libraries.
Mary Fetzer wrote and the Committee approved "Guidelines for Writing Personal Statements for Promotion and Tenure Actions."
The Institute for Jazz Studies has received a Rutgers Human Dignity Award.
The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. The agenda was approved. The minutes of the March 2007 meeting were approved via email.
The results of the RUL Faculty elections will be announced shortly. The Rules of Procedure Committee will organize an election of faculty representatives to the new Scholarly Communications Committee in the near future.
The Planning Committee will report in May on its progress in implementing the new two-council governance structure that was approved by the RU Faculty at their meeting on March 2. Thereafter it may be worthwhile to have a joint meeting of the Rules of Procedures Committee, the Cabinet, the Planning Committee, and the Planning and Coordinating Committee to discuss this issue.
Michael Joseph, chair of the Planning Committee, distributed the minutes of their latest meeting and reported on their progress in working with area work groups on implementing the Strategic Plan. The committee continues to collect data from bodies in the Libraries with system-wide functions in order to apportion responsibility for various objectives in the plan. Joseph moderated a wide-ranging discussion of the committee's work, particularly as it relates to the new two-council structure approved by the Libraries Faculty on March 2. One fact that has become clear in the committee's work thus far is that no one council or committee will have complete "ownership" of any single goal within the strategic plan. This means that communication between groups is critical, so that the Libraries can move ahead in a coordinated fashion on all fronts. The Planning and Coordinating Committee also discussed the use of ad hoc committees to pursue specific initiatives. This is often an efficient strategy to accomplish discrete tasks. However, for long-term projects, especially those that address major issues, ad hoc committees can be problematic. They can be seen as effectively disenfranchising faculty and run the risk of creating services or resources without developing consensus and support for them.
At its last meeting the Planning and Coordinating Committee decided not pursue the idea of developing a list of core competencies for librarians. However, the committee felt it would be worthwhile to hone the language we use in our position announcements to attract more candidates from underrepresented groups. The Deputy Faculty Coordinator has discussed this with Triveni Kuchi, chair of the Libraries Advisory Committee on Diversity and handed out a draft charge to the committee. The Planning and Coordinating Committee discussed the recruitment and retention of minority faculty generally. One member emphasized that this is an issue that goes beyond simply the language in our position announcements, that energetic, proactive recruiting of minority candidates should be institutionalized within the Libraries. It was pointed out that such efforts are primarily the responsibility of individual search committees, since the Libraries Human Resources Office generally does not have the staff to do this. One member commented that for most positions we require a considerable amount of experience, which tends to limit our candidate pools generally. Another stressed that recruitment is only the first step, that we need to focus on the retention and promotion of faculty from underrepresented groups as well. All agreed that developing a more diverse faculty within the Libraries is an important goal and that the charge to the Diversity Committee is productive step in that direction.
The University Librarian would like to continue our series of forums on scholarly communication. Especially now that the institutional repository, RUCore, is functional it is important for the Libraries to continue to move forward on this issue. She led a wide-ranging discussion on the topic of the next forum and on scholarly communication at RUL generally. She stressed that the forums will be informal, productive dialogues among faculty, staff and administrators and that they will address issues relating not solely to the repository, but to scholarly communication broadly speaking. The committee agreed that the next forum should be devoted to identifying our priorities in relation to scholarly communication. Members also discussed the ways in which RUCore might forge links between scholars in various teaching departments, its potential for fostering interdisciplinarity within the University. In a sense, the repository could help reinvigorate the traditional role of the library as a meeting place for scholars and a facilitator for the exchange of ideas within the scholarly community.
Harry Glazer, the Libraries' Communications Coordinator, and John Brennan, from the Marketing/PR Group, spoke with the committee about their project to develop a "brand" for RUL. They began by discussing and soliciting definitions of this somewhat nebulous term. A brand is not simply a slogan, a wish list of desirable attributes, or a "PR cover up." Rather it is a succinct, positive identification, an "affirmation of what you are." The goal is to create for the Libraries immediate, positive associations in the minds of our users. As part of the process of creating a brand for RUL, the Marketing Team has been generating a list, which Glazer distributed to the committee, of specific terms we might use. The Planning and Coordinating Committee suggested several, among them "service," "stewards," "ouchless," and "honorable." In addition, members voiced a number of concerns about the marketing plan generally. Some felt, for example, that word "library" itself has historic, venerable connotations and that any attempt to devise a "brand" for it would inevitably be inadequate and ephemeral. At the conclusion of a wide-ranging discussion, the Faculty Coordinator thanked the Marketing Team for their efforts.
Mary Fetzer, with input from the Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee and other faculty members, has written draft "Guidelines for Writing Personal Statements for Promotion and Tenure Actions." Fetzer, who has for the past two years served as ad hoc chair for the New Brunswick tenure actions, felt it was important to provide written guidance to untenured faculty crafting this important document. It recommends, among others things, careful documentation, an emphasis upon "impact," and a confident, yet factual tone. It also recommends succinctness, that the personal statement not exceed ten to twelve pages. Fetzer noted that panelists at the AAUP tenure workshops recommend no more than five. The committee strongly endorsed the guidelines without amendments.
The University Librarian distributed a handout and reported on open lines system-wide. In the Libraries Administration, the new Associate University Librarian for Research and Instructional Services position is in recruitment. An interview is scheduled for May 1 and 2. The position announcement for the Director for Administrative Services has been posted. Gary Golden, Director of the Robeson Library in Camden, will chair the search committee. In Newark, the vacant director's position has been advertised and we are receiving resumes. There are also two lines filled with temporary librarian Vs. In New Brunswick, interviews have been completed for the East Asian Librarian and interviews for the Social Sciences Data Librarian are in progress. The newly hired Humanities Librarian will start work in the summer. We may wait to recruit for the new the Instructional Technology Development Librarian position until the new AUL for Research and Instructional Services is here. There are also seven frozen lines in New Brunswick, some filled with temporary appointments. In Technical and Automated Services, there is one frozen line, two temporary appointments scheduled to expire at the end of June, and a proposal to recruit a cataloger as a librarian V. This line, however, may be recruited as a tenure-track position if the AUL for Digital Library Systems can secure sufficient funding next fiscal year.
Jeffrey Apfel, Senior Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer, has resigned. Bruce Fehn, Associate Treasurer, will serve in his stead until his replacement is hired.
The Rutgers Foundation's five priorities committees responsible for selecting projects for the upcoming capital campaign continue to meet. They will eventually identify six or seven "showcase proposals," some of which may be combinations of proposals that were submitted separately. There were a number of building projects, but these would probably require some state money as well as contributions to the capital campaign. None of the library proposals were rejected. The entire selection process will probably be complete by June 1.
Approximately $68,000 that was left over from this year's Equipment Leasing Fund (ELF) allocation was used to upgrade the Libraries' Novell software. The University Librarian and the Libraries' Business Manager are conferring regarding the status of the budget as the end of the fiscal year approaches. They are collecting requests from the units for equipment and other purchases so that we can plan to spend all of our funds by June 30. AUL for Collection Development Robert Sewell will discuss the status of collections funding with the Collection Development Council to assure that we will balance the budget at year's end.
The Institute for Jazz Studies has received a Rutgers Human Dignity Award.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.