University Librarian's Cabinet: Minutes of the November 29, 2011 Meeting

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

University Librarian's Report - Gaunt

Jonathan Alger, Senior Vice President and General Counsel will leave Rutgers on June 30,, 2012 to become the President of James Madison University in Virginia. His appointment there was announced earlier this afternoon.

State of the Libraries will be held tomorrow at the Livingston Student Center; I encourage you and your staff to attend; parking may be problematic, so carpool or take the bus.

Richard Edwards, Interim Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, will be meeting with the Libraries' faculty on December 1 at 9:30; he was unable to come to regular faculty meeting in November.

Overview of the Role of Assistant Chancellor and Director of Dana Library and Update on Activities - Winston

In talking about my role, there isn't an organizational chart per se; I did send the link which indicates the members of the Chancellor's staff. The structure evolved over some time. 3.5 years ago, the titles of the Provosts of Newark and Camden were changed to that of Chancellor, which coincided (coincidentally) with my arrival. With that change, there has been a similar circumstance in Camden. The then Chancellor Steve Diner did not identify anyone else as the Chief Academic Officer, so the deans still report to the him. That aspect of academic affairs responsibility for the campus falls to the chancellor. Gary Roth does enrollment management and is dean of the graduate school. He oversees issues related to the teaching side; also works with admissions, etc.

During the last school year, the chancellor appointed Alec Gates as Vice Chancellor for Research because he has been successful in bringing external funding.

My role, the other academic affairs role focuses on a few broad areas - diversity, community engagement, and areas that fall into special projects. When Diner made this appointment, one of the things philosophically he is not in favor of is exclusively diversity-related roles. His sense is that diversity becomes marginalized if just in one position. My role relates to institutional research related to diversity, and a number of things related to supporting faculty and recruitment issues.

My focus is looking at areas related to student learning, and student learning in a diverse environment. We are using a very similar model of institutional research that Michigan used in the research related to the affirmative action cases. High percentage of first generation college students, transfer students; as of this most recent commencement, 1/3 of the students were transfers in Newark.

When we look at the diversity piece, research looks at student learning and changes in perception and attitudes over the four to six years from enrollment to graduation. The question is whether all these things have been enhanced. We query students as freshman and as seniors, asking similar questions.

Part of the research we have now is based on a standardized freshman survey. The prior senior survey was customized, put together by student affairs. From a research standpoint, it didn't address issues of learning or changes in attitudes or perceptions. It consisted primarily of closed-end questions, related to the evaluation of various campus offices and services. The data showed that Dana was highly rated by students. There were a small number of open-ended questions, the results of which were difficult to quantify. Steve Diner reads all of those responses.

One of the issues with a campus so diverse is the definition of diversity. Steve Diner teaches a class and one of aspects of the course relates to looking at Census categories. Students report that they do not relate to the categories.

Now, we are using both standardized instruments - freshman and seniors surveys, designed by a research center at UCLA. The Questions don't all correlate one to one. There are a number of questions related to diversity.

The goal - this is research that is interesting nationally. Michigan research is interesting. Rutgers Newark is different than Michigan for the reasons I supplied. Ultimately we will be doing alumni surveys and surveys of employers.

At the university level, of the surveys administered to students, some are administered across all three campuses. Some administered on only one campus.

We made the case for the Data Services Librarian position, which was grant-funded initially. The Chancellor made financial investment in order for this institutional research to take place through the Diversity Research Center. The Data Services position is critical in supporting the institutional research related to diversity.

LGBT issue is complicated; my role includes advising the Chancellor on diversity issues. With the Clementi suicide, the university had to decide how to respond. There has never been a formalized structure related to certain aspects of the campus community on the Newark campus. One recommendation was the creation the position of Director of LGBT services on the campus. This individual was hired a few months ago.

Part of my role has related to doing professional development related to diversity in the classroom for the faculty. Part of my philosophy is that I don't encourage the use of specific content in their courses, for example, content representing a range of perspectives. That is the purview of the teaching faculty.

Because of the range of perspectives represented, how do you manage the classroom environment, and how do you prepare for different situations that might arise with such a diverse range of perspectives.

Initially, I conducted the training along with a teaching faculty member; valuable because this person has taught on the campus. Bit of a hurdle for the library to step into any roles not defined as a library role. I also administer a program to foster curricular development related to diversity.

The other piece we have done is to implement the Peer Information Counseling (PIC) program. This program helps support student research and access to information through their peers. Undergraduates are chosen typically in their sophomore or junior year and trained in basic reference work. The student counselors can then use this knowledge to assist students with basic reference questions, which frees librarians to address the more specific and discipline-oriented research questions. The peer counselors serve as TA's for the librarians in their instruction classes and provide advice on the use technology in engaging with students.

We have a breadth of things we do relative to diversity for the campus. Simply being diverse doesn't mean you don't have to manage the programs.

The other large part of my role relates to community engagement. The American Council on Education Fellows Program used Rutgers-Newark as its case study organization for two years. The Fellows made a number of recommendation as a result of process; one is the institution should support the Diversity Research Center; also focused on supporting service or community based learning (CBL) to encourage faculty to make use of the community in their instruction. I also administer a grant program in this area. The Chancellor supports a part-time position, to coordinate the Office of Community Based Learning, which reports to me. The course components related to the community are expected to have a clear learning based component. The Office exists to provide support, to advise faculty on how to do this in such a way that the relationships with community organizations, companies, government offices are maintained.

As Assistant Chancellor, I also work on projects. A recent project related to advising on the development of the list of peer institutions and aspirant peers for Rutgers-Newark. My role has also included sitting on the Deans' Council and the Chancellor's Cabinet.

Communications - Fredenburg

Cabinet agreed to do a communications process check quarterly and to discuss communications. Cabinet agreed to solicit members of councils or other groups to bring issues to cabinet. Cabinet committed to bringing topics back and bringing topics to councils. Cabinet will communicate with each other and the body outside. Cabinet members commit to share significant issues discussed at council meetings. Fredenburg posed the question: We have AULs on councils; what is the role of directors; and what should it be? Cvetkovic as interim director shared a possible concern of staying in the information loop. Members of the councils and leadership committees as part of their role is to keep the directors informed. At USC, Fetzer said that she emphasizes the importance of the representative from that unit connecting with the director before and after the meeting. Winston noted that the process with the reps is not clear among the reps that it is their role; because of how the membership is determined, he would consider asking his associate director to sit on these leadership councils so a communication process could be built in. Gaunt liked the idea of the debriefing; if Cabinet members meet with the librarians at least once a month, there would be a back and forth communication.

The next part of the discussion centered on opening Cabinet meetings to staff once a month. A suggestion was made to make meetings more of an open forum. Fredenburg's research showed that the only university librarian who has open meetings is at the U MA Amherst. Comment from personnel director is that no one comes. The rest of these places surveyed have monthly forums at which senior managers are present, to which all staff are invited. Some have them twice a year; important communication vehicle to keep staff in the loop; to find out the progress of things.

Womack indicated it sounds like a good idea but timing isn't right. People can't add another thing to have to go to; maybe a few times a year as a special forum might work. Maybe themes would introduce things Cabinet has been working on the past couple of months.

A suggestion was made to take Cabinet to Camden or Newark and allow staff to report on what they've been doing. Cabinet thought that if meetings were held in Newark or Camden and the purpose is to hear from the folks there and let the directors coordinate, it should do the same in New Brunswick. Cabinet agreed that holding open forums with themes was a good idea. Fredenburg will bring back a plan for an open forum in the spring and when Cabinet will have a meeting on another campus.

Robert Wood Johnson Merger - Gaunt

Gaunt submitted to Cabinet the RWJMS, CINJ, and Rutgers Libraries Integration Plan. The university set up 12 committees of the highest level composed of UMD and RU people; the libraries' committee is chaired by Gaunt and Judy Cohn, and is a sub-committee of the academic affairs. They are meeting every two weeks, and expect the libraries' committee to make a progress report every two weeks.

The chart you have has been approved; we identified areas we think we will need to have some decision on for an implementation. We will have to make progress reports to the committee. Goals have been approved; provide seamless access; identify priorities so there is the least interruption.

How are we going to do this? We have suggested to them that for each of these topics we will have small teams and they will know their area.

I have put together a list of people, and I will talk to you about the people; the teams will be HR, Access, Collections, Catalog, Services, Facilities, Existing Agreements, Communications, and IT. Our team will work on recommendations for some other group to do. Depends on area as to whether we will plan and recommend; they want to know progress is being made; we have identified areas and are working on things we've identified.

As of July 1, we are their library; they want things in place to make that happen; need to know what can be done after July 1. There will be cost associated with all of this. Trying to call together the committee meeting; will ask members to clear their dates and have an organizational meeting to go over this and talk about the givens at the highest level so we can provide updates going forward. Our plan is to have the teams self select a convenor of the group who will be the contract person to write up the report to Cohn and me, and to develop the timeline. We will have a listserv so people can share what they are doing. We will identify the cost as much as we possibly can; get data; my overall suspicion is that we will be abosorbing the cost of implementation except for real out-of-pocket expenses we need to buy things.

Winston expressed concern related to the staffing issue; one of his concerns is the actual implementation process will be labor intensive. How that works with other priorities is a real concern, particularly during implementation. The general concern and I believe the case in Camden is that during implementation, the merger will marginalize the other two campuses. From a library perspective I would be conscious of the staffing and more broadly how it relates to prirorities.


Agnew: Attended Kuali Days a week ago; we are preparing for statewide implementation; we will be compiling comments and sending them; will be reporting on it in December at USC; would be happy to do a presentation for Cabinet; will be opportunities to see it at the VALE Users' Conference.

Puniello: The dedication of the Jayceryll Malabuyoc De Chavez LC'99 Conference Room and Alpha Kappa Psi Study Rooms will be held at Kilmer Library on Friday, December 16.

Fetzer: The search committee for the art librarian has made its recommendation; an offer has been made; negotiations are in process.

Boyle: Shakedown period of LibPass entry; there was a default that we didn't know that you must submit; met with Brent Ruben about our potential participation in MAAP.

Izbicki: AUL/RIS search committee has made its recommendation.

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