STAFF RESOURCES

Minutes of May 27, 2009 Meeting

Present:
Natalie Borisovets (substitute for Roberta Tipton), Jeanne Boyle, Kayo Denda (coordinator), Mary Fetzer (guest, substitute for Jane Sloan), Marianne Gaunt, Helen Hoffman, Tom Izbicki, Martin Kesselman, Jim Niessen (secretary), Jane Sloan, Vibiana Bowman Cvetkovic (remote)

1-3. Call to order, Agenda, Minutes

The meeting being called to order, its agenda was adopted and the minutes for April 22 were accepted with revisions.

4. Report of the Faculty Coordinator

Pursuant to the recommendation of User Services Council (USC) chair Jeris Cassel, Denda invited AUL for Digital Library Systems Grace Agnew to join the USC, and she agreed. Sara Harrington will see if follow-up action by the Rules of Procedure (RoP) Committee, such as revision of the bylaws, will be required. Denda invited both Cassel and Mary Fetzer, chair of the Library Resources Council (LRC), to see that incoming chairs are elected, representatives chosen, and both are reported to incoming faculty coordinator Vibiana Bowman Cvetkovic.

5. Old Business

Report from the Library Resources Council Chair (Mary Fetzer)

Fetzer reported that all four subject area representatives will go off the LRC at the same time. She therefore recommends that RoP investigate whether it can provide for staggered terms for these representatives.

Fetzer believes the LRC members work well together. There is good participation, but it often depends on the breadth of knowledge members bring to the table related to some of the topics. This is inevitable because membership includes many librarians with similar positions and experience, and others with more specialized and focused responsibilities. This frequently results in some members wondering if the time spent at such meetings is the best use of their expertise. Perhaps they should be called upon to attend depending on the agenda of the meeting. Teleconferencing does not always permit real engagement by remote members. Due to leaves among the members outside New Brunswick, there has also been discontinuity among the persons participating remotely.

Fetzer is unsure to whom the LRC reports, and recommends that the bylaws provide clarification on this.

Fetzer also notes that the chair spends time reviewing the minutes of the meetings to insure consistent quality, which frequently depends on minute-takers being very knowledgeable about all the agenda items.

The mission of the LRC is not merely to continue the work of the former Collection Development Council, as the former technical services council's activites are now included in both Councils. Grace Agnew's schedule often precludes her attendance at all Council meetings. Often it is difficult to separate technical and public service issues. Joint sessions of the two councils discussed RUcore, new books, and ETDs. To organize entire meetings as joint sessions of the councils may be difficult in terms of their overall size, however. EBooks and NJVid would be good LRC agenda items in which to also involve USC.

LRC members often do not have adequate time to digest reports that are sent to them in advance of discussion in the meetings. The solution is often to appoint a task force or subcommittee. Fetzer would like to see a product or specific action emerge from discussions, but recognizes that this is not always possible. Often she feels the need to prompt the reporter on an agenda item to elaborate on needed principles or definitions.

Fetzer has found that it is also the role of the LRC chair to chair the Team Leaders Group. She has tried to meet with them once a month, but this has not always been possible. The cancellation project and one-time purchases have required extensive discussions. Fetzer is waiting to learn if a second batch of one-time purchases will be possible this year.

Fetzer's recommendations to her successor are to keep the agenda moving, not bogging down in details; listen to all members; and try hard to induce participation from remote members.

It has been suggested that AULs contribute agenda items for the councils, and Fetzer has found that this is the case for the LRC.

Communication from the councils can be expedited by use of new technologies like wikis, or by more prompt distribution of the minutes. But not all information is of equal relevance or urgency. As a best practice, it is recommended to place an executive report at the top of the minutes that is formulated as soon as possible, if necessary with the full minutes to follow.

Denda summarized the presentation by highlighting the following issues: reporting relations, LRC functions in relation to the former Collection Development Council, LRC membership, joint meetings with the USC, and time management. The bylaws state that the councils report to the Planning & Coordinating Committee (P&CC) andthe administration it was agreed that the bylaws should be more explicit. The councils are advisory to the AULs, and the councils' reports should go to all the AULs and to the Faculty Coordinator. As to membership, the councils should address this themselves, and make any needed recommendations.

Fetzer noted that the AULs appreciate the role of the council chairs in managing the agenda. Denda concluded that the councils are policy making bodies, and communications about their activity are essential part of their role.

6. New Business

Travel funds

RUL travel policy: (http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/budget_office/travel_funds.shtml)

Ryan Womack is the chair of the Travel Committee of the New Brunswick Library Faculty (NBLF), the only such committee in RUL. He noted that there is a Faculty Travel Policy dated March 2, 2007 that indicates a 1:2 ratio in the awarding of travel funds to tenured and tenure track faculty. It is the view of the NBLF that this policy should be preserved in principle. Gaunt argued that with the current budget the pot is substantially smaller and it is essential to protect the travel funds of tenure track faculty first. Still, several members of the P&CC asserted that the 1:2 principle should be maintained, and Gaunt agreed that this was an option for individual units. It was noted that the policy of 2007 is not on the Web, and it was agreed it be placed there, on either the library faculty or staff resources page.

Faculty workload

There was an extensive discussion of this topic in 2005. Current work on the Who's Who Directory revealed uncertainty and concerns about workload. Equity in workload can be addressed, but committee commitments cannot be made more equitable for colleagues outside New Brunswick without endangering representation. Individual annual reports can be used as an evaluative tool to examine workload issues. Shared responsibility is a valid model for public service, both at reference desks and in the Ask a Librarian teams, for which there is no shortage of volunteers.

Committee chairmanships need to rotate more widely and should not be the fiefdoms of individuals. Kesselman agreed to chair a task force (to include Denda) that will look at the committee memberships of library faculty and committee overlap.

Agenda for the RUL meeting (June 5, 2009)

No report or decision items are expected, except possibly a report from Boyle's task force charged to find ways of saving money (but she noted that it is not ready yet). Kesselman reported this is a large (29 member) group that is being very creative, coming up with many serious long-term ideas.

Gaunt suggested that the open forum following the faculty meeting focus on the Institute of Jazz Studies, and that Ed Berger provide a report on the Mellon grant to the Institute for Jazz Studies for the preservation of the Goodman and Carter Collections.

7. Report of the University Librarian

Budget update

Dr. Furmanski has not accepted or rejected RUL's current plan. It has been reported that $15 million was "restored" to Rutgers from the federal stimulus package, but this is one-time money and will not be available for salaries. There has been no word regarding possible union concessions re: salary raises. Frozen lines are still in our budget, and those scheduled to be given back will still incur salary savings until the new budget goes into effect. At that point, the active job searches will also be unfrozen.

Gaunt reported that in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) almost all libraries experiencing serious cuts are planning for furloughs in the coming year, and many have hiring freezes.

Sabbatical proposals and academic merit

RUL guidelines for sabbaticals: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/lib_fac/pdfs/fasp_guidelines.pdf

RU Sabbatical Leave Program Application and Instructions (2009-10) http://ruweb.rutgers.edu/aboutru/2009-2010/sabbatical0910.pdf

The Deans' Council stressed that sabbaticals are not entitlements: deans must examine proposals for academic merit. Faculty in small units are expected to close ranks so that all faculty remain eligible for sabbaticals. A good quality proposal should be judged on its merit, and then management can be involved in a conversation about how to fill the job in the event of an absence. With regard to policies and procedures for Special Research Assignments (SRAs) policy there may be a task force in the future.

Target of opportunity hires

Cabinet continues to consider this issue. Newark campus director Mark Winston has suggested we craft a three-year plan to increase diversity, with one new hire per campus, and Gaunt asked Cabinet to identify what these positions would be. Cabinet identified three positions and three candidates for them, one for Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick. Targets of opportunity are defined primarily as racial minorities: Asian American, African American, Latino/a, and (in RUL) not only women. This form of recruitment may be a way of replacing one of the lines identified for give-back or a new position.

ARL meeting

Gaunt reported that the ARL membership meeting focused on interinstitutional collaborations. Some of the discussions included digital projects, such as the CIC (Big 10+) and Hathi Trust. Cornell and Columbia are creating a collaborative technical services department, and even joint academic liaisons. There was also a discussion at the meeting of "process vs. action," with a suggested move toward "let's just do it." There was a break-out session on OLE and on WorldCat's integrated library system, that is projected to include acquisitions and circulation modules.

8. Concluding outcomes

9. Future agenda items

The next meeting, on June 16, will include a discussion of collective research.

10. Adjournment

Respectfully submitted,
Jim Niessen, Faculty secretary



 
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