The meeting came to order at 9:30am. A warm welcome was extended by the members of the Planning and Coordinating Committee (PlanCo) to Judy Cohn, Associate Vice President for Scholarly Information and University Librarian, UMDNJ. Cohn has been invited to attend PlanCo as a UMD liaison.
Agenda was adopted with one change: Rules of Procedure (RoP) presentation was moved up in the order from #6 to #4.
Womack will ask the chairs of User Services Council (USC), Library Resources Council (LRC), and CSC (Committee on Scholarly Communication (CSC) to be sure to send invitations to UMDNJ representatives identified as liaisons to those committees. UMDNJ librarians have already been added to lists on committee webpages and will begin attending meetings. There may be representation on Web Board in the near future. Womack asks that PlanCo members review the minutes of the last meeting so they can be approved by email by the end of this week. The Sakai poll was inconclusive.
Wen-Hua Ren and Mei Ling Lo, representing the Rules of Procedure Committee (RoP) presented a demonstration of a new electronic method for future use in the faculty nomination and election process. The current practice is to use email and print for nominations, and printed ballots for voting. The RoP committee firmly believes that an electronic process will be much more efficient (and will encourage much more participation) while reducing the chance for human error and invalidation of votes.
Lo worked with Sam McDonald and Yuhwei Ling to fully develop the online form. RoP seeks feedback in order to move to electronic voting for the 2014 election. The online nomination form (using Drupal) was demonstrated. This is a restricted form for RUL faculty only, with NetID authentication. The faculty nomination form mimics the current email process.
Questions and answers followed:
Womack reports that more editing needs to be done. Womack provided a summary piece, and wants to add consistency to the final report. He will individually consult with each section's author to make sure the report is accurate in its recommendations, but also to maintain a particular consistency of style throughout.
PlanCo, in this report, is recommending certain services which will fall into the "leadership" and "collaboration" areas; RUL will keep working on services that have not been identified in one of those two categories, but will not emphasize them. The report will show that we will increase emphasis on scholarly publishing, look at other kinds of OA publishing, engage fully in the Rutgers Open Access Policy initiative, and continue to take a leadership role in research data, copyright, citation management, and archiving of presentations. Collaborative services will involve other groups in the university; the libraries would not develop these services without support from others. Womack asks if we can go ahead with the finalizing of the report and recommendations, and then he will present the information to the New Brunswick Faculty Council (Feb.), and to the Senate Research and Graduate and Professional Committee (March). For the upcoming university strategic planning process, we are ready to contribute in areas of research services. How do we get from this framework to actual action? We might want to clearly identify any gaps in our ability to provide these services. Transition time to some new priorities is apparent, and our work will change in many ways. So many areas are multidisciplinary. PlanCo will consult with responsible groups for each service in order to move forward with implementation, and identify potential gaps where new organization may be required to implement services. Having clearly defined organizational processes and strategic directions are important and allow RUL to acquire more resources. Womack will continue to work on this initiative, as well as on sections of the report.
The research services work has been a wonderful group effort. Womack is complimented on the positive tone to this report. CSC is working on creating a webpage that will complement the report nicely. It is hoped that the webpage will be an effective and attractive gateway to RUL's aggregation of research services.
How would we imagine the skill set and attributes of the librarian of the future? What kind of world will we be in 10 or 20 years from today? Womack circulated (via Sakai) some background readings to inform this discussion, and he plans to add more reports to the Sakai site as we go along. It is interesting to look at reports from even a few years ago and see how the profession is evolving. This discussion is intended to be "way out there;" we are talking about the librarians of 2023. We need to try to envision where our profession is going.
The committee discussed the report "Redefining the Academic Library" by the Education Advisory Board. Womack identified some important lessons in the report such as: fastest growth and easiest access to information occurring outside the library context (internet); demand declining for traditional library services; traditional organizational boundaries fading; services of the future will see breaking ties to old ways, and we will still have technological constraints. In the long term, we can predict that the technology will evolve, and we need to separate from the best decisions for today. Local print collections are large and not used; books housed in open stacks are more expensive to store, and high density is cheaper. Womack shared a table of possible transitions in various library areas. The table included the concepts of historical, emerging and future roles. Womack asks if others can recommend articles about student services of the future. We are thinking about the 8 year old of today. What will their libraries and services look like? Universities are changing. Are we being proactive in changing? We should be aware of what we are doing, and why we are doing it. We have to be aware of changes that are happening to higher education overall.
Unlike research services, this discussion will be for our internal benefit. We might want to add the ACRL Environmental Scan to the available materials. The outcome of the discussion will be to identify what kind of librarian of the future do we want to see here at RUL? PlanCo members suggested that we use general rubrics, include emotional intelligence requirements such as adaptability and flexibility for jobs, reexamine library school requirements and understand what our LIS programs are teaching, the need for librarians to be able to work independently, and even to have hard core technical skills. In terms of services, what will we need? Data will be one area that will likely be important. Rutgers is looking at graduate education, and it is possible that some graduate programs will not exist. Disciplinary differences will drive the discussion also. Distance education is growing. We will need to bring the library and resources into that space; everyone is focused on the learning management system shell in medical education and containing everything there. Students may not think beyond the learning management system. It is difficult to get people to think outside or beyond what is required. How do we think about collaborating or influencing others- or the institution- when we are working in that type of system? We may find ourselves sitting "outside the container." Imagining the future is a challenge but allows for realizing strategic direction.
The action plan for this discussion is: we will generate a list that will include the role of technology skills, the role of MLIS degree, and the role of the organization. We can brainstorm with this list, and then narrow it down in order to identify important future roles and skills. We can use research services as a jumping off point and generate further discussion. We will generate a list of questions. Should we bring in someone for a speaker at the March faculty meeting to get everyone thinking far out into the future? The meeting should have a discussion topic as well as a speaker. We will likely focus on faculty aspects at this time.
Gaunt reports that President Barchi spoke to the deans last week, about the university's strategic plan. He wants to have a draft going to the Board of Governors in June. This is a very short timeframe, and 5-8 themes will emerge as strategic directions for the university. He wants to use this strategic plan as a tactical plan. Success will be measured over a five year time period. The consulting firm (BCG) is not writing the report; they are overseeing the process to make sure that the report can be written within the timeframe. They have an assignment to benchmark Rutgers. The Lombardi report focuses on research universities and is being used, in part, to benchmark Rutgers in the strategic planning process. Our standing will rise with the UMDNJ integration. It is difficult to increase in rankings when everyone else is going up simultaneously. Rutgers will be benchmarked against 10 aspirant schools that will be identified. Over the 5 years, improvement needs to be demonstrated which means that some form of measurement is required. Units will also be asked to do their own comparisons-we will choose the same 10 institutions-and compare ourselves to them. We have traditionally performed comparisons, but in addition to the usual statistics, what will we quantify? If we choose other measures besides those things on which we usually compete, we need other measures. Some members of PlanCo have volunteered to test the faculty survey for the strategic plan. Templates sent to the units will focus on feedback related to what is important for the university. Gaunt will let us know when that template comes out. How do we want to get feedback from those in RUL? There will be a very short time frame. We could have a full faculty meeting including our UMDNJ colleagues. Do we want to have a whole unit discussion, or do we want to break into groups? The March faculty meeting will be too late. Small discussion groups would provide for some cross fertilization. It is important that everyone be heard. If time permit, we will have a full group discussion; each campus could have its own discussion in advance of the large discussion. The template for discussion will result in a unit response from the faculty.
There will be a retreat in February for deans to talk about the data gathered, and to identify university strengths and weaknesses. Funds will go to those units that can advance those plans. Dr. Barchi will build in those areas where it can be clearly demonstrated that the university is heading. The university will head in the direction of its goals; units will be measured by how that unit aligns with those goals. Some things may change. The faculty to student ratio is unlikely to change over the next five years because of financial constraints. University endowments need to increase.
Gaunt mentions that a recent faculty posting that went out without vetting by PlanCo was due to circumstances. Otherwise, all postings would come to PlanCo before going out.
PlanCo members approved an electronic election process and thanked RoP for creating the new process. The committee reviewed the summary portion of the research services report, and this report will come back as an edited draft version at a future PlanCo meeting so that members can take a final look. The committee kicked off a discussion about "librarians of 2023" and looked at different ways to approach that issue in terms of RUL's future. We will generate a list of questions on that topic, we will plan the March faculty meeting, and it will be necessary to block off time on everyone's calendar for one or more meetings related to the university's strategic planning process.
Gaunt announces that there will be a full working meeting of all committees working on the RU/UMDNJ integration on Jan. 31. RUL could have a full meeting on the integration. This will need to be a special meeting, with details forthcoming.
Meeting adjourned at 11:52am.
Recorded by Laura Mullen; Submitted by Tao Yang, Faculty Secretary.