Minutes of March 23, 2005 meeting

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

Executive Summary

  1. The committee discussed issues arising from the open faculty meeting on RUL culture and structure. Precise data on the number of RUL Committees is being compiled. The committee also discussed the issue of workload arising from Sheila Creth's data and the open faculty meeting. Information about how this issue is dealt with at peer institutions is being sought.
  2. The Rules of Procedure Committee is reviewing inconsistencies in the Faculty Bylaws and will present a summary for the next Planning and Coordinating Committee meeting.
  3. M. Wilt gave a progress report on the Training and Learning Advisory Committee, which is planning programs this spring, summer and fall.


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

2. The Agenda was approved


3. Minutes Approval Process

It was decided to try circulating the minutes to the committee and approving them again through electronic mail.

4. Report of the Faculty Coordinator

Because of the special open faculty meeting on March 4, the scheduled research salon was postponed to a later date.

5. Unfinished Business: None

6. Continuing Business

a. Follow-up on Cultural and Structural Issues. The minutes of the special meeting between Cabinet and the Planning and Coordinating Committee and the special open faculty meeting taken by J. Fultz will be edited and distributed. A web site has been set up to continue the discussion.

M. Gaunt distributed a document with a revised list of RUL committees. Cabinet has been discussing which core operations are being accomplished through committees, and which groups are developing new core activities. R. Sewell and J. Boyle are addressing public services and collections. Cabinet is also discussing how to move from creative ideas to sustainable programs, particularly in the area of digital projects. G. Agnew has been looking at digital projects, developing the digital project life cycle, and identifying core competencies in metadata creation, which may lead to the development of new positions such as project managers. Cabinet has also been looking at the grants process, with a view towards updating guidelines. Because of the pressure of meeting deadlines, proposers often do not realize that grant projects often involve more people and resources than initially anticipated and therefore do not include that information in the grant proposal. Once the grant is awarded, others who are called to participate have not budgeted this time into their workload. Defaulting on a grant is not an option, as it reflects poorly on the individuals involved and the Library. It can result in our not getting future grants. Cabinet will develop an outline of the questions and issues related to managing grants

The open meeting also brought up the issue of workload. Faculty members have a large role in creating their own workload. It is necessary to create a balance between department liaison work, instruction, reference desk service, and electronic reference, bearing in mind the need to protect untenured librarians. Committee work is highly dependent on volunteers, leading some people to often assume heavy responsibilities. Discussion ensued over how much freedom faculty members have in determining what their work should be. Some Rutgers schools have faculty agreements over expectations of workload. Functional groups could analyze their workloads. It may be appropriate for the Planning and Coordinating Committee to discuss the role of tenured librarians in determining workload. R. Tipton and S. Harrington volunteered to look at how peer institutions have dealt with workload issues and to search the literature on workload.

In answer to a question about the issue of clinical faculty, M. Gaunt replied that the New Brunswick Faculty Council, the Senate, and the AAUP have been discussing the issue.

Sheila Creth's data also brought out the question of engaging staff more in the decision making process. Discussion ensued over whether the RUL structure discourages staff participation. Staff may be included in faculty committees not dealing specifically with personnel actions. Although committee minutes are distributed via electronic mail, the important information may need to be better communicated at the local level. A question arose over whether staff representation on a committee like Planning and Coordinating would be symbolic or would serve a purpose. It is important supervisors who attend committee meetings share the information appropriately with those they supervise. Staff members need an opportunity to take part if they wish to become involved.

It was decided that the Rules of Procedure Committee will review the regulations regarding composition of committees, and that M. Gaunt may plan small informal meetings with staff to discuss some of the issues raised. It was pointed out that many staff members hold highly responsible positions and have advanced degrees, and that staff and culture issues vary among campuses and buildings.

7. New Business

a. Bylaws Update: R. Womack, Chair, Rules of Procedure Committee (guest) reported findings of a recent review of the bylaws.

(1) Because the number of faculty members is shrinking and many are overcommitted, it is difficult to find two candidates for every open position as mandated by the bylaws. Possible solutions are reducing the membership of committees or inviting staff members to serve. (2) The preamble to the bylaws is ambiguous and needs clarification. (3) The bylaws refer to unit librarians, which will need to be changed if structural changes are made. (4) New Brunswick Libraries recently voted to give Librarian IVs and Vs voting rights, which is inconsistent with RUL faculty policies. New Brunswick FAS allows faculty members of any rank to vote. (5) The question of whether staff members are allowed to serve on Libraries Councils is not clearly delineated.

Discussion ensued over which are true faculty committees and which are true faculty issues. Staff can be appointed to committees, but have no governance structures or mechanism for elections. Councils deal both with governance and programmatic goals. Although they can make recommendations for change, they possess no direct means for making their recommendations happen, and are dependent on volunteers. At the unit level, unit directors can make changes by assigning responsibilities.

R. Marker suggested that the Rules of Procedure Committee look at the bylaws and see which committees could lose members and which could have staff members added to them. S. Harrington (Rules of Procedure Committee) suggested looking at the election mechanism as well. It was agreed that Rules of Procedure will summarize the issues and report back to the Planning and Coordinating Committee. The Planning and Coordinating Committee will also review the list of RUL committees and check for omissions. J. Cassel thanked R. Womack for his report.

7.b. M. Wilt, RUL Training and Learning Coordinator (guest) presented a progress report on the strategic directions of the Training and Learning Advisory Committee, "Creating our Future: Leading the Way." Last summer, people were invited to submit applications to join this committee. The committee's activities fall into three streams: discovering, energizing and celebrating. The committee has created partnerships with the Center for the Advancement of Teaching to present technical skills programs, with the PC Working Group to create a technical training program for new employees, and with the Center for Organizational Development and Leadership to develop programs in emotional intelligence. The committee has been influenced by the latest research in organizational development, which emphasizes building on strengths, authentic leadership, and employee development. When considering change, it is important to look at strengths rather than deficiencies.

The project kickoff in National Library (April 10) will include banners, a message from President McCormick, and a celebration of student workers. M. Wilt will present a poster session on the project at NJLA April 13. An event celebrating Library Associates is being planned for April 14 in the Teleconference Hall. During the summer, several non-traditional programs designed to celebrate and build engagement will be held, including a creativity fair, brown bag discussions, and a "meet your counterpart" day. Emotional intelligence workshops are being set up with Brent Ruben of the Center for Organizational Development and Leadership, beginning with Cabinet. In the fall, RUL will participate in the Super Supervisor series developed by New Jersey librarians.

Planning for the mentoring program is underway. Mark Winston (SCILS) will do a program for the tenure-track librarians, followed by a needs assessment. Later Kathryn Deiss (ARL) will do a program for the tenured librarians building on the needs assessment. It was agreed to try to hold both programs in early summer if possible. J. Cassel thanked M. Wilt for her presentation.

8. Report of the University Librarian

The LibQual survey starts on Monday. M. Gaunt is meeting with Vice President for Student Services Blimling to help engage students in the process and an ad has been placed in the Targum encouraging them to participate. The survey is being sent to a random sample of faculty, students, and staff on three campuses.

Last night, over 75 people attended the celebration of recently-published faculty authors in New Brunswick.

The Annual Report has been published. There is no more news about the Libraries budget at this time. M. Gaunt will meet with the university-wide Library Advisory Committee at the end of the month.

9. Concluding Outcomes, Tasks, and Accomplishments: R. Tipton and S. Harrington will report on workload. The Rules of Procedures Committee will summarize bylaws issues.

10. Future Agenda Items:

a. Unfinished Business: None.
b. Continuing Business: Discussion of workload and the bylaws.
c. New Business: None at this time.

11. J. Cassel adjourned the meeting at 12:35 p.m.

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/fac_coordinating_com/minutes/coordcom_05_03_23.shtml
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