The meeting was convened at 9:22 a.m.
The discussion held today will continue at future RUL faculty meetings. In order to discuss faculty reorganization, the group moved to a Committee of the Whole. On the issue of Councils, RUL has yet to arrive at a consensus, so the Planning and Coordinating Committee offers the following proposals, to begin January 1, 2007, as we pursue faculty reorganization:
After an exceedingly brief discussion, punctuated by the comment, "Sounds good!," the group moved out of the Committee of the Whole in order to vote on the proposals. The vote was unanimous in favor of the proposals.
The group moved back into a Committee of the Whole in order to continue discussion, specifically, to consider the handout entitled "Discussion Document: 2006 Faculty Reorganization" that was distributed to the faculty in advance of the RUL faculty meeting. The discussion explored both the mandated role of the faculty in planning processes, the role of the new, incoming AUL for Research and Instructional Services, and the role and functioning of Councils.
It was pointed out that the Councils must connect the faculty to the administrative structure and the functioning of the Libraries. The current language in the bylaws also includes language about the "implement[ation] of programs and procedures." A wide-ranging discussion on Councils ensued. One participant noted that the Libraries must grapple with issues surrounding funding if Councils are indeed to 'implement programs.' Another countered that implementation does not necessarily imply the availability of funding, and that there may not in fact be any inherent conflict in the bylaws.
It was noted that perhaps the faculty does not have a sufficiently clear idea of how Cabinet decisions about funding and other issues are made, and that Faculty Coordinator and Deputy Faculty Coordinator participation in Cabinet may well rectify this situation. It was also noted that the faculty and staff do have avenues of input through the Libraries organizational structure at the unit level.
The discussion moved to proposals for the number of Councils. It was reiterated that RUL wishes to create a structure about which the faculty is enthusiastic and with which the faculty is engaged. There is no plan to eliminate Councils entirely, the discussion instead centers on the appropriate number and organization of Councils, and related issues about the potential creation and existence of working groups. If a faculty member chairs the Council and the Council agenda is set in consultation with an AUL, this may be a way to engage faculty members in Council activities.
The group first considered the two Council structure. This was the number of Councils recommended by the original subgroup assigned by the Planning and Coordinating Committee to examine the issue.
There was some support for a two-Council structure. One participant stated that the two Council structure gives focus to each. Others countered that the work of the two Councils is rather enmeshed, and that it would be difficult to differentiate the work of each group. Another participant negotiated an interim position, underscoring that while the work of these Councils would necessarily be interrelated, there is still a need to separate work out for the purposes of discussion and analysis.
It was specifically noted that 'digital resources and services' were omitted from the two Councils. This was, however, deemed purposeful, so that issues related to digital services and collections are fully integrated with the work of both Councils. The challenge remains how to maintain a 'hybrid' library (with both digital and print resources) while still managing to explore all relevant issues.
The group then considered the one Council structure. If a one Council structure were to be approved, permanent subgroups would have to exist in order to advance the Libraries work. Nevertheless, it was added, a single council might necessarily limit the kinds of issues that the Council could examine and ultimately act upon. There was some fear that in approving a one Council structure we would be creating a 'gigantic debating society.'
The RUL faculty, it was pointed out, is already an inclusive and holistic organization-it includes administration, faculty, and invited guests. If we view it as a model, it becomes clear that a single Council might be too large and overwhelming as a functioning body. It was underscored that in pursuing reorganization, the RUL faculty must view the situation holistically-we need to consider where we are going as a system, in terms of virtual library collections and services, scholarly communication and academia, and other issues. Again, divisions are necessary in order to advance work despite the fact that the work is interconnected. In answering the question, "How does work get done," the answer is often, "by a small group of dedicated people with the necessary expertise." But the necessary consultation that a small working group must undertake often slows down decision-making and implementation. The extended time periods that projects may take remains a critical aspect in RUL communication and reorganization.
Any newly created structure must balance programmatic issues with faculty governance. There remains some confusion about what Councils have to do with faculty governance. Further, some expressed the notion that Councils do not belong in the faculty bylaws because their inclusion reduces the flexibility of RUL.
There was some discussion about how it might be possible to flatten our organization. How might the faculty advance RUL work and efforts through RUL faculty meetings-in short, how can these meetings serve to galvanize work in RUL? How, perhaps, could we bring Camden and Newark faculty into the groups that work within the New Brunswick Libraries? Some concern was expressed that this action would not simplify, but rather would add layers of complexity, to the overall organization. As a practical matter, we want to avoid creating too many additional meetings, at the same time we also want to be sensitive to individual campus cultures and identities.
It was concluded that the RUL faculty must return to this issue. Yet what are the sensible next steps? Perhaps the changes approved today will illuminate what should come next. M. Gaunt encouraged faculty members to think about what business we can examine and conduct at future RUL faculty meetings. M. Gaunt offered thanks to J. Sloan and indicated that the issue would return to the Planning and Coordinating Committee for further consideration.
M. Gaunt offered thanks to those who submitted proposals for the capital campaign. The Libraries has 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. 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.
The Libraries budget contained $300,000 more than had been anticipated. These funds have been parceled out to the units; this additional funding has reduced the units' 'giveback' amount. Funds will perhaps be used to free up frozen (rather than newly vacated) positions, or for operating expenditures. Unit directors will inform the University Librarian about how funds will be used in mid-December 2006.
President McCormick has asked the units to consider where we can be more efficient, and attempt to 'work smarter.'
J. Sloan offered thanks to M. Gaunt and R. Tipton for their leadership and hard work on faculty reorganization issues. J. Sloan stated the venue used today for the faculty meeting, the Pane Room, seems to promote dialogue and we will continue to use this room for future faculty meetings. Please share any comments about the venue with J. Sloan. The Planning and Coordinating Committee continues to work on the faculty travel policy and guidelines for faculty recruitment. These issues will come to the RUL faculty in the coming months.
The Senate Faculty Affairs Personnel Committee has made recommendations that were approved by the Senate and will proceed to the Board of Governors. The recommendation states that those who hold non-tenure track appointments as instructors are eligible for more than a single year's appointment. This issue will affect those members of RUL who hold Librarian IV and annual appointments. The Senate will next take up the topic of a potential restructuring of higher education and a merger of the research institutions.
There were no additional reports by members serving on University bodies.
There were no additional reports.
Brief Summary of the Open Presentation Following the Business Meeting
Following the RUL faculty business meeting, G. Smulewitz and S. Zahorbenski made presentations on the recent Palinet conference. The conference, which took place in October 2006, had the theme "Think Outside the Books: Creating the Customer-Driven Library." G. Smulewitz and S. Zahorbenski reported on the presentations made by Andrew K. Pace and others on the subject of electronic resource management and integrated library systems. Mr. Pace, Head of Information Technology at North Carolina State University, offered the keynote address, entitled, " Dis- Integrated Library System sand the Future of Searching." Mr. Pace asserts that our current systems do not satisfy today's internet-savvy users. The system under construction at NCSU, called E-matrix, attempts to act as a comprehensive system that offers sophisticated search capabilities, table of contents, relevance rankings, and other important content on both the public and staff sides.