Minutes of Coordinating Committee Meeting for the May 20, 1998 meeting

Marianne Gaunt, Ben Beede, Mary Page, Theo Haynes, Farideh Tehrani, Ilona Caparros, Ellen Gilbert

1. Agenda revisions

-Committee Reports deleted

-added under New Business: consideration of SCC line.

2. Minutes of previous meeting approved.

3. Old Business:

-Role of Coordinating Committee as policy-making (rather than day-to-day decision making) body reaffirmed.

-Faculty Bylaws: Suggested bylaws changes (including identifying RUL units) presented at the RUL last faculty meeting will be presented at the meeting (June 12) for approval. A handout delineating these changes was circulated. Of critical concern: assuring enough A&P members (4 members, 2 alternates) for decision-making on candidates for promotion and tenure (A&P members from candidate's unit cannot participate). Combination of Public Services and Special Collections and Archives "units" as the peer group for promotion/tenure process should insure that numbers work out.

-SACs: much feedback received in response to solicitation for comments on how the SACs might be reconfigured. MIG cannot support the recently circulated NB model, which, she suggested, does not conform to a shared governance model in which we all work together. She noted that responsibilities are systemwide: AULS are accountable for their respective areas, and she is ultimately accountable for what is accomplished. Creating one committee (and numerous subcommittees) does not make clear who is responsible. She and the AULs want advice.

When it was noted that criticism of current SAC operations includes the fact that many discussions are (needlessly, perhaps) repeated at each SAC meeting, MIG observed that overlap is a fact of life and will continue to be, and is probably desirable because it insures that all bases are covered. She noted that SACs do make decisions; when they have been unable to it is because the matter at hand had to do with university-wide policy, not library policy. Cabinet will continue to make decisions, and MIG warned that we should be wary of always wanting to function as a "committee of the whole." Perhaps more discussion could occur online, she suggested, so that there isn't as much overlap at meetings. Ad hoc committees (like the committee formed to coordinate spending of Diversity money) work well for local, straightforward, short-term issues. The SACs need to focus on the five-year plan and systemwide priorities.

FT noted the importance of defining what the SACs are supposed to achieve before determining how they are made up. MIG pointed out the need for more efficient SACs, comprised of the right people who can connect as appropriate. This was, she noted a great year for the library, highlighted by the implementation of SIRSI, the Middle States Reaccreditation (for which she expects a spectacular report on the Libraries), and NB reorganization. Much is happening and we need to move fast, but this is hampered when all librarians want to be in on every decision. MIG suggested that the SACs should each be considering what is most relevant to them from the five-year plan and creating their own agendas based on achieving those goals in their areas of responsibility. The existing SAC structure can be effective toward this end.

It was noted that there have been no separate annual reports from the SACs in recent years. MIG agreed, saying that the SACs' progress is reflected in the annual reports of each unit and AUL reports. She noted that the quality of the minutes from the SACs varies, and there is a need for better communication. Materials to be discussed at meetings should be circulated early to allow for each members' preparation. Committee members have not been assuming enough responsibility and thus it appears that the AULs alone have been making decisions.

MIG reiterated the idea of creating an agenda for the year at the first meeting of each year. This "game plan" would include short and long term goals, identification of task forces needed, and policy issues. This will enable the SACs to evaluate their work at the end of the year. Rather than working from month-to-month, we need to be more focussed. Coordinating Committee endorsed this suggestion for SAC agenda-setting.

Dicussion of how the SACs should be constituted will continue at the June 12 RUL Faculty meeting. MIG repeated that the process of developing a "New Brunswick" plan sets up potential confrontation, which is not a positive approach. Returning to the question of expectations of the SACs, MIG agreed to write a statement to which people can respond online.

4. New Business

- Agenda for June 12 meeting:

-bylaws vote

-discussion of SAC composition and role

-long range plan: agenda-setting and identification of priorities.

-SCC line: MIG received a proposal from RT recommending that this be a faculty line and that an MLS not be required. Last year Coordinating Committee rejected a non-MLS option on a similar proposal. Current consensus leans towards the position being either a high level staff position or a faculty line with an MLS.

5. RUL Report

-MIG attended ARL meeting and was updated on SPARC, which now includes 75 ARL libraries. It is hoped that this consortium will create more competition in the marketplace and result in less expensive journal subscription options. MIG cited a recent PEW report on "publish or perish" that calls for a new scholarly paradigm and activity at the local level that can effect lower journal prices. A related effort is a list of Reference Annuals being started by CRL that will enable libraries to get rid of their old volumes.

-Noted: the Univ. of Illinois at Chicago is creating a website for institutions to register current digital projects.

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