University Librarian's Cabinet: Minutes of the September 6, 2011 Meeting

Agnew, Boyle, Cvetkovic, Fetzer, Fredenburg (teleconference), Fultz, Gaunt, Izbicki, Niessen, Puniello, Winston

University Librarian’s Report – Gaunt

Everyone is invited to the grand opening of the Scarlet Latte today at 3:30; a special thanks to Puniello, VP for Student Affairs Greg Blimling, and the Class of 1981 for helping to make it happen. The plaza in front of Alexander Library was re-done and looks fabulous. Seating will be installed this week.

Gaunt made a presentation about the Libraries at the university's new faculty welcome program at the Visitor's Center on August 31; Jim Niessen and Michele Tokar manned the table with library information before and after the formal presentations. University Human Relations has created a website for new faculty. PowerPoint presentations should be available there along with other relevant information. Winston noted that the orientation for the new faculty in Newark will be held in October.

President McCormick will be hosting a university-wide new faculty reception at his home on September 19, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.

Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Richard Edwards has accepted our invitation to attend the November faculty meeting; will discuss at the upcoming PlanCo meeting if there are any specific topics we'd like him to address.

President McCormick will give his Annual Address to the University Community on Friday, September 16, at 1:10 p.m. at the University Senate meeting in the Rutgers Student Center on College Avenue. If you cannot attend, the address will be webcast at

VP Edwards spoke briefly about the Rutgers/RWJ merger at the new faculty welcome; he anticipates that there may be two reports regarding health education in NJ – the first delivered in September that may address the RWJ merger, and a second report later this year addressing the rest of UMDNJ. He is unsure when the governor will release either report to the public. Gaunt has sent Edwards a brief report on the key issues related to the Libraries in a merger. Library units will work on more specific reports related to their own areas.

On October 20, there will be a fall event in the Pane Room on Faculty Use of Video in the Classroom; Jane Otto and Jane Sloan are spearheading. Teaching faculty will talk about challenges, problems, and importance of video in class and in research, and engage in conversations with librarians on these issues.

Winston noted that the Business School dean search is on hold.

Cvetkovic reported that the renovation projects in Camden are continuing but behind schedule for a variety of reasons. The new public library will not be completed until later this fall. Ribbon cutting will probably be in November. Gaunt will discuss challenges of building projects with Edwards.

International Projects – Gaunt

Gaunt reviewed the update memo on global affairs sent recently by VP Joanna Regulska to all deans. It outlined the many countries where the university has relations and where they wish to expand global collaborative activities. Each country presents different opportunities, and the Libraries are already engaged through our liaisons in many of these. Regulska has asked where units want to participate and their priorities. Cabinet members agreed that we need to stay abreast of these initiatives and be involved where appropriate to our expertise and where our resources permit. Study Abroad was mentioned as one area where we are focusing our efforts more strategically. It was also noted that we need to be engaged in areas that relate to our mission – potential funding for global collections, digital collection development that may be reciprocal, professional librarian development, etc. We should look at opportunities and decide if there is one or two that are compelling for us; if it's a priority, it should emerge in a discussion of our strategic plan; we would want to identify it as a priority, define it, and determine in what ways we would support it. Gaunt will respond to Regulska with our priorities and interests.

Outcome: The Libraries will ask to have appropriate selectors on some advisory committees as necessary so we can gauge where library activity/support is needed and what efforts are warranted. If specific activities are a priority they should be part of the strategic plan goals. International efforts in which we engage need to focus on specific areas of relevance to the Libraries.

Communications Discussion – Fredenburg/Boyle

Fredenburg described the background information she had prepared on communication and communication strategies within academic libraries. While we may feel we are communicating frequently, we may not be using communication tools effectively, using accessible language with clarity, assuming items/topics are already known or understood, etc. We all have examples of challenges in each of these areas. We are a large and complex organization that is working across a large geographical area amidst constant change. Formal and informal modes of communication are needed. For this discussion we will focus on the role of Cabinet in communicating among ourselves, within the libraries, and across the campuses. Gaunt noted that this discussion will be a starting point and we may continue at future meetings. The goals of the discussion are to compile ideas for improvement, while clarifying roles of Cabinet members in communication down the organization and receiving communication up the organization. This would involve Cabinet's relationship to library committees, task forces, and other groups across the Libraries.

Boyle lead a SWOT (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats) analysis in the three arenas defined: how cabinet communicates among itself; Cabinet's communication to rest of library, and communication across the library system. A lively discussion ensued with many ideas for improvement, or areas identified where more discussion was needed. Some priorities were identified, and it was agreed that many of the ideas may be implemented because a single form of communication may not be the appropriate response to a situation. Boyle will compile the results and post to the Cabinet Sakai site; will put on a future Cabinet agenda for further discussion and to identify a process for implementing agreed upon ideas.

Outcome: Boyle will compile the list of communication strategies and share on the Cabinet Sakai site. Cabinet will review the list of ideas generated at the next Cabinet meeting and discuss a plan for implementing those agreed upon, and discuss further those areas requiring more thought.

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