Minutes of May 18, 2005 meeting

J. Cassel, M. Gaunt, K. Mulcahy, M. Weber, F. Perrone (recorder), J. Gardner, R. Gardner, R. Tipton, S. Harrington, T. Glynn, R. Marker, E. Stec (guest)


Executive Summary:

  1. 1. Bylaw revisions, including a new preamble and expanded voting rights were approved and will be brought to the next RUL faculty meeting.
  2. Issues related to staff engagement will be brought to the next faculty meeting. Most concerns center on communication and cultural issues.
  3. A revised affirmative action statement for job postings will also be brought to the next faculty meeting.
  4. The committee recommends that Librarian Vs holding MLS degrees be hired at the NJLA minimum salary.


1. J. Cassel called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

2. The agenda was adopted unanimously.

3. The minutes of the meeting of April 20, 2005 were approved by electronic mail.

4. Report of the Faculty Coordinator:

The invitation to the mentoring workshop was distributed May 17. Librarian Vs have been invited as well. M. Gaunt, J. Cassel, and Mary Beth Weber will be meeting to discuss the search process. Several searches for librarians are currently ongoing.

5. Unfinished Business: Bylaws Revisions

A revised document was distributed by e-mail. After a few minor changes, a motion was made to approve the revisions, which was accepted by consensus. The document will be presented at the next Rutgers University Libraries Faculty Meeting.

6. Continuing Business:

a. Committee Composition and Staff Engagement

M. Gaunt reported on her meetings with staff members and distributed a summary statement. Four meetings were held, all of which were well-attended. Most of the issues raised did not relate to structure, but rather to process and culture. Several issues related to the conduct of committees. Although most staff members felt they had opportunities to participate in committees, they raised issues related to communication. For example, some people felt that they did not know whom their committee representative was, and sometimes did not receive feedback after committee meetings. Some concerns could be addressed by making adjustments on the Web site. Some non-supervisory staff experienced a lack of engagement beyond their unit or department, which might be addressed through occasional building meetings, or through open sessions after faculty meetings. Other comments related to best practices for distributing minutes. Minutes should indicate who is responsible for implementing recommended changes. Executive summaries are useful. Minutes and agendas should also be distributed in a timely manner. Possibly the Training and Learning Committee could plan a workshop or provide a handout on committee best practices. Other suggestions for disseminating information were blogs, message boards, a soapbox, and the opportunity to attend or be part of a mailing list for a committee when not a member.

Cultural issues concerned how staff perceives faculty. The faculty has a culture of independence and collegiality, while staff has an administrative, hierarchical culture. These different cultures surface in a number of ways, especially in the digital library environment. It is difficult to move an agenda forward if both faculty and staff are not contributing together to the same agenda. These issues will be brought to the next faculty meeting.

Discussion ensued over methods of disseminating information. While an online soapbox for communication may be appealing, it could become destructive if there was no accountability. It was suggested that RUL_EVERYONE be reconfigured as a moderated, open list on which people could raise issues of concern to them, and another list be created for announcements. Another alternative is a blog, which would reduce e-mail traffic. The question of creating a listserv or blog will be brought to the faculty meeting.

b. Workload Issues

J. Cassel distributed the revised committee self-study. She may do a preliminary survey of chairs to see if the self-study can be completed by August 1. M. Gaunt recommended adding a question about the frequency with which a committee meets. The self-study will be sent out immediately to faculty committees for which the Planning and Coordinating Committee is responsible for coordinating activities.

7. New Business:

a. Affirmative Action Statement

The revised Affirmative Action Statement was distributed. Discussion ensued. R. Marker moved that the statement be brought forward to the faculty meeting. The motion was seconded and approved by consensus.

b. Beginning Salaries for Librarians

J. Cassel introduced Eileen Stec, Chair of the Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee. E. Stec distributed charts comparing beginning salaries for librarians, that were prepared for PPAAC by Ryan Womack.

The survey is based on beginning salaries reported by public institutions that belong to ARL (Association of Research Libraries), and are adjusted by cost-of-living in the areas where these institutions are located. Discussion ensued. In summary, Rutgers ranked twenty-fifth among thirty-five institutions. This ranking may make Rutgers less competitive, especially considering the stringency of tenure requirements. M. Gaunt noted that ARL statistics might not reflect the actual salary at which most librarians are hired, but rather the minimum salary. The NJLA beginning salary for librarians with an MLS degree is $41, 295. The committee recommended that Librarian Vs holding the MLS degree be hired at this salary. M. Gaunt agreed to look into this matter. J. Cassel thanked E. Stec for her presentation.

c. Agenda for Faculty Meeting of June 3, 2005

The agenda will include the bylaws revisions and faculty-staff cultural issues. During the open session, Grace Agnew will speak about the Institutional Repository. The Strategic Plan Steering Committee will give a presentation at a separate meeting.

8. Report of the University Librarian:

M. Gaunt reported that the first Fedora Conference was a success, with major institutions from throughout the world participating. Many attendees came from Institutional Technology departments. University of Virginia will host the next conference.

LibQual data is coming in. The Texas A & M report will be released soon, and Susan Beck is encoding comments by Rutgers faculty for internal use.

9. Concluding Outcomes, Tasks and Accomplishments:

Bylaw revisions were approved and will be brought to the next faculty meeting. Issues related to staff engagement will be brought to the next faculty meeting. The revised affirmative action statement will also be brought to the next faculty meeting. The committee recommends that Librarian Vs holding MLS degrees be hired at the NJLA minimum salary.

10. Future Agenda Items:

Feedback from committee self-studies will be on future agendas. The June meeting of the Planning and Coordinating Committee may be cancelled.

11. J. Cassel adjourned the meeting at 11:45 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Fernanda Perrone
Faculty Secretary

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/fac_coordinating_com/minutes/coordcom_05_05_18.shtml
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