Jim Niessen and Bob Sewell presented the RUcore Collections Policy document on behalf of the Committee on Scholarly Committee, then they and the members of the committee present (Boyle, Kuchi, and Womack) answered questions. In response to comments from the faculty, the Faculty Coordinator asked the committee to consider whether the document might be revised to better facilitate the submission to RUcore of undergraduate honors essays.
There was an extensive discussion of requirements for faculty positions. At issue were the questions of whether the MLS/MLIS degree should be required for library faculty positions and whether a position need always be defined as a faculty or staff position in the job notice. There is need for flexibility in order to secure the best candidates and respond to changes in the job market, the profession, and our local needs. At the same time many colleagues feel the MLS defines our profession and provides a needed framework for faculty promotion and tenure. Human Resources will conduct an electronic poll to gauge faculty sentiment on the MLS issue.
Marianne Gaunt provided an update on preparations for the November 24 budget report to Dr. Furmanski. We are being asked to make savings of $943,000. The Libraries' strategy is to find savings of $300,000 in the collections in the collections budget, and the remainder in salary. Of 22 frozen positions, we must identify 8 to surrender, and prioritize 14 others for recruitment. Colleagues also discussed other ideas for making savings, and plans for a scholarly communication forum in the coming year.
Kayo Denda reported the new Councils are functioning well. A new formal relationship between the Councils and RUcore's User Services and Applications Working Group is intended to keep the Councils involved in the development of RUcore.
1.-2. The meeting was called to order at 9:22, The agenda was adopted and the minutes for June 13, 2008 were approved without amendment or dissent.
Mark Winston, Assistant Chancellor and Campus Director, Newark
Earline Harris, Research and Information Services, Librarian 5
Niessen and Sewell presented a summary and rationale for the draft RUcore Collections Policy on behalf of the Committee on Scholarly Communication (CSC). The document is slightly over a letter size page in length and concisely states the purpose of the repository to preserve and make accessible scholarly products of Rutgers faculty, students, and staff that are of lasting value. The bulk of the document provides answers to the questions: Who may deposit? What types of collections are acceptable? What type of preservation will RUcore will support? Can a deposited item be removed?, Can an item be embargoed?, and What kinds of projects can RUcore support?
Some of the open, non-prescriptive terminology led to questions about how it might be interpreted. What is of enduring value?, it was asked. The presenters explained that this was an aspiration for RUcore, and no qualitative criteria or selection process were envisioned. Some questioned the references to "a variety of collaborations" and "any potential collaboration" in the final section. The Repository Manager explained that it was undesirable to limit our options by defining the potential collaborations.
Several colleagues noted that RUcore should be able to preserve and provide access to undergraduate theses from the honors and Aresty programs. For instance, Duke uses D-Space to disseminate its undergraduate research. In consideration of these suggestions, the Faculty Coordinator recommended that the CSC consider rewording of the document that accommodate undergraduate theses.
Denda distributed and presented the results of a survey she conducted of the language used in advertisements for professional librarian positions at our peer institutions. She noted especially the wording employed by UC Irvine and UC San Diego, which is flexible about the MLS (or MLIS) requirement in order to facilitate the goal of recruiting the most qualified candidate. The Mann Library at Cornell hires scientists who are not librarians, but this is to produce productivity tools and not to do other librarian work. Our experience with science searches has shown that it is the science degrees that set candidates apart; and there is a growing trend to hire science librarians without the MLS.
Gaunt stated that this question came up because we left the MLS qualification open in a recent search: should we leave it open, and occasionally hire as library faculty individuals without the MLS? Several colleagues asserted that we should remain flexible, with individual advertisements deciding one way or the other. Job descriptions also should be clear as to whether a position will be faculty or staff. There are other relevant degrees, like information technology, informatics, or information management.
However, almost all the advertisements in the survey do in fact state an MLIS requirement. Concern was expressed that "MLS only" librarians may devolve into a lower class. Librarians are above all information specialists, which makes the MLS the distinctive qualification. The lack of a common intellectual foundation makes evaluation of faculty for tenure, and the definition of one's job, more difficult. Some colleagues felt strongly that should be a requirement for all RULF positions.
Gaunt stated that Human Resources will hold an online poll among faculty as to whether job advertisements can be flexible or should have a common MLS requirement.
There was a tremendous turnout at the State of the Libraries meeting on November 5. Gaunt made a PowerPoint presentation, then there were breakout discussions for which the summaries will go online.
Dr. Furmanski has asked us to present a budget scenario by November 24. We have to explain the cost to Rutgers of anticipated sacrifices. There might not be a give back this year (we will know in spring 2009), but we still have to anticipate it in our report.
Cabinet is working with a $943,000 target for cuts. Its strategy is
1. Initiate a hiring freeze to give us flexibility for later on
2. Find cuts from three pockets
c. below the line (the smallest pocket)
As a practical matter, we will not get back any lines that we give up. Rutgers is likely to give any new lines to academic departments. It is easier to get money for collections than for lines. We plan to find $300,000 savings from collections, and $643,000 from salary. We'll give up 8 lines, hold onto 14 of the 22 that have been frozen. We need to identify the 14, in priority order.
Gaunt has apportioned the salary portion among the units and asked them which lines they would be willing to give up permanently. She wants input from the units and the Councils on this, and then will consult Cabinet. We can unfreeze lines at any time, but then if the give back increases we might be forced to supply more of the savings from collections funds. Gaunt has requested a list of the 20 next faculty lines that should be recruited.
RUL has $88,000 from the AAUP contract for hiring that will not be affected by the budget cuts. We can use this for "new" faculty hires or for currently frozen positions. $60,000 is the current norm for new hires, so this does not completely cover a new hire but it might help us to go from 14 to 16 new hires.
In conclusion, Gaunt emphasized that we must provide a list of 8 lines that we might give up, but also a story of what it would cost us to lose them.
What are other ideas for achieving savings? A ten month calendar for faculty lines has been suggested, but Gaunt states that because of benefits this innovation would not save very much. Another possibility is the sharing of lines across units, and we will be looking at this. But we cannot compromise our infrastructure for the future, especially RUcore.
We need to communicate to the administration the cost to the university of sacrificing our effectiveness as a research library due to the cuts.
Gaunt noted ongoing plans for a campus forum on scholarly communication. Dr. Pazzani is particularly interested in the connection of open access to the impact of scholarly publications in promotion and tenure. He would like to see a new discussion in the academic departments about how you demonstrate impact. ARL, NASULGC, and AAU are all interested in facilitating a discussion across the disciplines about Open Access and the dissemination of scholarship.
Colleagues stressed the importance of making sure the forthcoming forum make a connection to local Rutgers concerns and initiatives.
The discussion concluded with two additional goals, the role of Library as Place in our planning, and the potential use of public figures in our fundraising efforts.
The Library Resources Council and User Services Council are functioning effectively. Denda thanked chairs Mary Fetzer and Jeris Cassel for their leadership. RUcore's User Services and Applications Working Group (USAWG) gave a presentation to the Planning and Coordinating Committee. It now has a formal relationship with the two Councils, which will be vital for the development of RUcore. Denda thanked Rhonda Marker and Linda Langschied for their leadership of USAWG.
There were none.
--were distributed electronically
--there were none
--there were none
The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 AM.
Jim Niessen, Faculty Secretary