Minutes of November 24, 2004 meeting

J. Cassel, M. Gaunt, J. Niessen, J. Gardner, K. Mulcahy, S. Harrington, R. Gardner, T. Glynn, F. Perrone (recorder), M. Weber
J. Maxymuk, R. Tipton

[Approved December 15, 2004]

1. J. Cassel called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m.

2. The Agenda was adopted by consensus.

3. The Minutes of the Previous Planning and Coordinating were approved.

4. Report of the Faculty Coordinator: There was no report. J. Cassel noted that the new chair of the Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee is Eileen Stec, and the new chair of the Committee of Review is Pat Piermatti.

5. Unfinished Business.

a. Guidelines for Faculty Research Salons. S. Harrington distributed a revised document. A brief discussion ensued, where a few minor changes were suggested. It was decided to add language indicating that staff could also participate in the research salons, and to distribute the document to RUL_EVERYONE and mount it on the Library Faculty web site.

b. Open Faculty Lines: M. Gaunt distributed a document showing changes in the number of faculty lines since 1977-1978. During this period, the number of lines has fallen from 103 to 86.4, primarily due to budget reductions (9.4) and conversions to staff lines (7.4). As of January 1, RUL has 12 potential faculty lines available, some of which do not have sufficient funding to recruit a tenure- track librarian. RUL has funds to hire five tenure track librarians, and a possibility of hiring two additional positions contingent on budget. Many of these positions are currently being filled by Librarian Vs or voucher employees. M. Gaunt noted that it was extremely unlikely that RUL will receive additional funding for faculty positions from the university in the near future. She also noted that historically lines have not been moved from one unit to another within RUL. On a related point, the University Senate has recently received a request to consider increasing the number of Clinical Faculty, a term currently used in the School of Pharmacy for non-tenure track faculty members, who have all the benefits of faculty without tenure. Mason Gross School of the Arts, the Graduate School of Social Work, and the School of Nursing are interested in using this designation, probably under another name. Of course this possibility has overall implications for the tenure system and the AAUP will undoubtedly be involved in the discussion.

M. Gaunt recommended that the Planning and Coordinating Committee look at the existing open positions in light of the upcoming strategic plan, evaluating them in the context of Rutgers University's priorities. Discussion arose over how the Libraries can support the university's recently identified priorities, such as transportation studies, while maintaining excellence in established areas of strength. M. Gaunt noted that transportation as a focus reflects research that is being done in many areas of the university, rather than a new specialty. Several selectors are currently purchasing transportation materials. Discussion ensued as to the challenges the increasingly inter-disciplinary nature of the academy poses for collection development, particularly in terms of funding. It was generally agreed that there was a need for the Libraries to work more closely with the University in the development of new academic programs. Areas like South Asian Studies will require language expertise not currently available in the Libraries, although there may be potential for cooperation with other institutions in the state.

J. Cassel summarized the discussion of open faculty lines. Plans for filling five open faculty lines are currently going forward. The two remaining lines will be reconsidered once the new strategic plan is in place.

c. Unedited Data Summary from Sheila Creth. J. Cassel introduced the discussion. M. Gaunt noted that the consultant had been asked to provide a process by which the Libraries could address challenges it sees for the future, rather than making specific recommendations on structure. The raw data represents comments made by participants in the process, not group consensus on recommendations. It is our role to help identify commonalities, as well as potential changes to address structural, cultural, policy and practice barriers to advancement. Discussion ensued. R. Tipton questioned whether law students were included in statistics that showed high use of the Dana Library by graduate students. Others noted that many of the comments reflected in the data were concrete, and could lead to immediate action if warranted. Discussion ensued. M. Gaunt suggested going through each person's summary and identifying issues related to policy, process, structure, and culture on which action could possibly be taken. It was also noted that some issues, particularly regarding communication, could be resolved through providing clarification rather than necessitating a change.

T. Glynn inaugurated the discussion by reporting on governance. He identified three major issues. As regards policy, staff generally expressed a desire for more of a voice in decision-making. Secondly, in regard to culture, he identified a need to address misunderstandings between campuses. As regards structure, he identified confusion between the roles of councils, campus directors, and RUL. Discussion ensued over ways to improve cultural understanding among campuses such as, for example, holding meetings on different campuses. It was noted that successful informal cooperation exists in cross-campus teams like Ask-a-Librarian. There was discussion on the possibility of volunteering at different reference desks, but it was generally felt that logistical issues would make this difficult. J. Gardner mentioned that similar issues concerning culture, policy, and structure came out of her summary, and there was general agreement that everyone had found these issues to be critical. Several people commented on redundancies among the councils, the structure of which was created many years ago. The fixed monthly schedule of council meetings sometimes causes delays. Furthermore, the size of New Brunswick Libraries creates an additional committee structure, leading to further redundancies. Possibly smaller, less highly-structured, cross-campus groups like the Instructional Services Committee, or task-oriented working groups, would be more effective. R. Tipton mentioned that the Business Selectors have worked across campuses successfully for years. J. Cassel suggested that everyone identify key cultural, structural, and policy issues from their reports and distribute them electronically before the next Planning and Coordinating Committee meeting. Recommendations can be made via bullet points, which will then lead to further discussion.

6. Continuing Business: In the interest of time, the discussion of mentoring was tabled for the next meeting.

7. New Business: None.

8. Report of the University Librarian. In the interest of time, no report was given. M. Gaunt announced that R. Becker, Head, Special Collections and University Archives, has been appointed to head the Strategic Plan Steering Committee.

9. Concluding Outcomes, Tasks, and Accomplishments: J. Cassel summarized the meeting.

10. Future Agenda Items: Further discussion of the Sheila Creth report and faculty mentoring will be on the Agenda for the next meeting.

11. J. Cassel adjourned the meeting at 12:27 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Fernanda Perrone
Faculty Secretary

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/fac_coordinating_com/minutes/coordcom_04_11_24.shtml
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