Draft Submitted: April 26, 2007
Approved: June 8, 2007
The faculty voted to adopt a two-council structure to replace the current three-council structure. The new structure will be comprised of a User Services Council and a Library Resources Council.
The faculty voted to adopt a document entitled "Guidelines for Advice to the University Librarian on Priorities for Faculty Personnel Line Assignments and Recruitment." The document sets out a procedure and criteria by which the units make recommendations for filling open lines.
The faculty voted to adopt a new travel policy that increased the amounts allocated to tenured and non-tenured librarians and that sets forth principles upon those allocations will be based.
The faculty discussed the creation of a Scholarly Communication Committee. This issue will be discussed further at an open meeting.
The faculty unanimously and heartily adopted a resolution expressing their heartfelt appreciation for Lynn Mullins' years of service to the Libraries, upon her retirement as the Director of the Dana Library.
The meeting was called to order at 9:20 a.m. The agenda was adopted and the minutes of the faculty meeting on December 8, 2006 were approved.
The simple survey of preferences regarding the councils structure that was distributed via email several days before the meeting was effective and informative. Twelve faculty members each preferred two councils and three councils, nine preferred one council, and seven had no preference. Sixteen faculty preferred one council least, eleven preferred three councils least, five preferred two councils least, and eight had no preference. In light of these results, Jane Sloan, the Faculty Coordinator, proposed that the two-council structure was the most preferred and the least objectionable of the options we have considered. Under a two-council structure, here would be a User Services Council and a Library Resources Council, both chaired by an elected faculty member.
The question was called, and the faculty voted. Twenty-two voted in the affirmative, no one voted in the negative, and there were four abstentions. The Faculty Coordinator will therefore ask the Rules of Procedure Committee, and perhaps some additional faculty members, to make recommendations for implementing the new council structure. She thanked the Planning and Coordinating Committee for their efforts on this important issue.
Michael Joseph, chair of the Planning Committee, has met with various bodies within the Libraries to discuss the implementation of the strategic plan. In order to provide direction for the committee's work, the objectives in the plan have been arranged in a grid and groups have been asked to assume "ownership" of them. There is also a series of podcasts under development that will appear on the committee's Sakai site (sakai.rutgers.edu), which faculty and staff are welcome to join. The next meeting of the Planning Committee is scheduled for March 21.
A subgroup of the Planning and Coordinating Committee comprised of Jane Sloan, Mary Fetzer, and Rhonda Marker presented a document entitled "Guidelines for Advice to the University Librarian on Priorities for Faculty Personnel Line Assignments and Recruitment." The committee is required by university regulations to advise the university librarian regarding priorities in line assignments (policies.rutgers.edu/PDF/Section50/50_1/50.1.9.pdf). This draft policy is designed to establish principles and inaugurate a process for engaging the library faculty in providing such advice. It was emphasizes that the filling of lines should be an integral part of long-term, continuous planning and that lines should be filled with tenure-track appointments, unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise.
The policy recommends establishing standing exploratory committees in all units. The role of the exploratory committee when lines become open would be to articulate what types of skills and experience are required to meet the unit's long-term needs and to carry out the Libraries' strategic plan. The committee's work is intended to begin the process of discussion within the unit, which, in turn, would inform a "Library Faculty Position Review Form" drafted by the unit director. The University Librarian would then share these forms with the Planning and Coordinating Committee. Finally, the form and the Planning and Coordinating Committee's recommendation would be discussed in Cabinet, which would make the final decision.
The document and the recommended procedure and criteria for filling lines were discussed at length. It was stressed that, whenever possible, we should meet our institutional needs with the current faculty and always try to use an open line to bring in new skills, talents, and experience. It was also pointed out that a particular need might be met by number of faculty, rather than a single individual. The faculty discussed the need for technological expertise in relation to the recruitment process. It was held that some level of familiarity with technology should be a part of every position description. For faculty hired with assignments that include a significant technology component, fairness requires that we make very clear what is expected of them. Finally, it was agreed that we should always try to look ahead, that we should anticipate and plan for our needs before lines become vacant. With this in mind, the University Librarian proposed beginning the process in the spring. Units will be requested to make projections of their personnel needs for the 2007-2008 academic year.
The question was called and the faculty voted unanimously to endorse the document. The University Librarian thanked the Planning and Coordinating Committee and the subcommittee for their hard work on this issue.
Julie Still, chair of the Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee (PPAC) presented a draft policy for funding travel by Library Faculty. The principle departures from the current policy are that it increases the amount allocated to non-tenured librarians ($300 to $600) and tenured librarians ($200 to $300) and it also states more clearly the principles upon which the allocations are based. The document was discussed at length. There was a general consensus that faculty travel is an important part of professional development and should therefore be supported as generously as funds will allow. Some members felt that there should be a more precise distinction between administrative and faculty travel. It was also suggested that the Libraries publish regularly, perhaps bi-annually, a list of how travel funds were spent. The policy was approved unanimously, with the understanding that the PPAC will develop a separate draft policy for administrative travel.
Bob Sewell, Associate University Librarian for Collection Development and Management, proposed the establishment of a Scholarly Communication Committee. This proposal followed an open forum on that topic led by Sewell and Jim Niessen on February 28. Scholarly communication has assumed increasing importance within the academic community as libraries struggle with exorbitant subscriptions to academic journals and as the Internet offers scholars alternative means of communicating with their peers and publishing their work. This is an especially timely issue for Rutgers University Libraries in particular. Goals relating to scholarly communication are an important part of the Libraries' new strategic plan and the Rutgers' institutional repository, RUcore will soon be made available to our user community and will enable us to meet many of those goals.
Sewell proposed configuring the Scholarly Communication Committee in two stages. During the first stage, the committee would be comprised of appointed and elected library faculty, an appointed staff member, and all of the associate university librarians except the AUL for Administrative Services. At this point, the committee would focus, among other matters, upon the process by which projects for the RUcore will be selected and the role of liaisons in developing the repository. During the second stage, the membership would be expanded to include administrative, teaching and research faculty involved in various aspects of scholarly communication and would move on to actually developing the repository to meet the needs of the Rutgers community. The timetable for the two stages would be set by the committee during the first stage.
The proposal was discussed at length. Some faculty members felt that it was important to make clear the authority and responsibilities of the Scholarly Communication Committee and any existing committees, including the Digital Repository Review Committee. One suggested that the proposal should include the subcommittees and task forces that would be part of the larger committee. Others stressed that it was important to move forward quickly and that administrative, teaching, and research faculty should be involved from the very beginning. One faculty member recommended that the elected membership should be described more explicitly, that it should be made clear whether the library faculty members would represent the entire faculty, units or campuses, or the academic disciplines (humanities, social sciences and sciences). There was also some concern that the proposal did not address the need for an adequate, stable budget to support the repository.
Sewell will refine the proposal in light of comments and suggestions offered by the faculty. The proposal will then be discussed further at an open meeting.
Michael Joseph introduced the following resolution:
Whereas, Lynn S Mullins, while Director of the John Cotton Dana Library, has demonstrated vision and leadership on the Newark-Rutgers Campus and within the Rutgers University Libraries; and,
Whereas, during the twenty years as Director, Ms Mullins has significantly enriched The John Cotton Dana Library, which has been acknowledged as the emotional and intellectual center of the campus; and,
Whereas, she has been innovative in creating the library as a catalyst for art and culture; and,
Whereas, she has been a tireless advocate for learning and for the exchange of information between the Libraries and the various communities they serve, through the development of diverse scholarly collections and public programs; and,
Whereas, Ms Mullins has been an exemplary colleague and librarian, and contributed with elegance and imagination to the profession of librarianship through her lifelong service; and
Whereas, Ms Mullins is retiring from the Rutgers University Libraries;
Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Rutgers University Libraries expresses its gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to Lynn S Mullins.
The resolution was passed by hearty exclamation.
In order to allow time for the open meeting on the RUcore which followed the faculty meeting, the reports of the University Librarian, the Faculty Coordinator were deferred. Reports of members serving on university bodies and standing committees were distributed earlier via email.
The meeting adjourned at 11:40.