Minutes for March 3, 2006 Meeting

G. Agnew, R. Becker, N. Borisovets, J. Boyle, R. Brown, E. Calhoun, J. Cassel, K. Denda, M. Fetzer, C. Finlay, J. Gardner, R. Gardner, M. Gaunt, T. Glynn (recorder), R. Golon, S. Harrington, K. Hartman, R. Jantz, T. Kuchi, L. Langschied, P. Libutti, M. Lo, J. Mardikian, K. Mulcahy, L. Mullen, J. Niessen, F. Olin, M. Page, P. Page, F. Perrone, F. Puniello, R. Sewell, J. Shepard, J. Sloan, E. Stec, F. Tehrani, R. Tipton, M. Weber, M. Wilson, R. Womack, C. Wu, M. Xia.

Executive Summary:

The faculty voted to implement a two-year pilot program for mentoring tenure-track librarians.

The Strategic Plan Steering Committee will issue its report shortly.

The faculty voted to revise the charge of the Scholarly and Professional Activities Committee (SAPAC) in the faculty bylaws. The clause referring to the compilation of an annual list of faculty publications was removed.

There will be budget cuts in fiscal year 2006-2007. The University Librarian's Cabinet and the Planning and Coordinating Committee will discuss various strategies to meet the shortfall.

The University is preparing for the next Middle States accreditation review.

The State Library has begun an advocacy campaign to secure continued funding for the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative.

There will be a workshop for tenured librarians on post-tenure review and on the process for promotion to Librarian I.

The meeting was called to order at 9:15 a.m. The agenda was adopted and the minutes of the faculty meeting on November 11, 2005 were approved.

1. Introduction of New Faculty

Jing Feng Xia is a new Librarian III at Dana Library. His responsibilities include reference and bibliographic instruction. Larry Weimer is a new Librarian V in Special Collections and University Archives. He is in a grant-funded position to process the papers of Senator Harrison Williams.

2. Unfinished Business: Library Faculty Mentoring Program - M.B. Weber

Mary Beth Weber, chair of the Mentoring Task Force, presented a final report proposing a two-year pilot program for mentoring new library faculty. The report was discussed at some length. Some faculty members expressed concerns about implementing such a program. They felt, for example, that a formal program would tend to narrow the range of advice available to new faculty members, that it would discourage the informal mentoring that already takes place in the Libraries. Weber and others stressed, however, that it is not intended to change in any way the critical role that a new librarian's peers and unit director play in the tenure process. The program would simply provide additional opportunities for advice and guidance, particularly in regards to service and professional development. It was also emphasized that the untenured librarians have clearly expressed a need for such a program. There was a general consensus that the final report adequately addresses the issues raised in this and previous discussions. It was also suggested that mid-way in the pilot program its progress could be discussed at a library faculty meeting. The question was called and the faculty voted to implement a mentoring program.

3. Unfinished business: The Libraries' Strategic Plan - R. Becker

Ron Becker, chair of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee, reported that the committee will issue its report shortly. He noted that the committee's Writing Subcommittee would be meeting that afternoon to complete work on the Strategic Plan. It will be discussed at a future meeting of the faculty and will eventually be used by various bodies within the Libraries to develop annual goals. Becker expressed his appreciation for everyone who participated in the strategic planning process.

4. New Business: Change to SAPAC Charge - T. Kuchi

Triveni Kuchi, chair of the Rules of Procedure Committee (ROP) lead a discussion of a proposed change to the charge in the faculty bylaws of the Scholarly and Professional Activities Committee (SAPAC). This was a result of an on-going review by the Planning and Coordinating Committee of the RUL Group Questionnaires that were submitted last July. Currently the charge reads that SAPAC "shall assist the University Librarian in the publication each year of a list of publications by faculty members." Tom Glynn, SAPAC's chair, pointed out that this clause does not accurately reflect the activities of the committee, since that list is compiled by the University Librarian with assistance from the unit directors and the associate university librarians. After a brief discussion, the faculty voted to remove that clause from the charge.

5. University Librarian's Report - M. Gaunt

The outlook for fiscal year 2006-2007 is not promising. There will almost certainly be a reduction in our budget, and at some point the University will give us a percentage upon which to model our expenditures for the coming academic year. It will probably not exceed five percent. Although the legislature will not pass a state budget until the end of June, the University Librarian's Cabinet and the Planning and Coordinating Committee will be developing strategies in the meantime to meet the expected shortfall. This will almost certainly include prepaying some memberships and subscriptions this year in order to reduce our commitments next year. We might also consider a selective hiring freeze. This would mean holding some lines open for a time or hiring temporary librarians in order to realize salary savings. It is important to begin planning now and the University Librarian welcomes any ideas we may have. If the cut is especially high, there may be a special meeting of the faculty to consider our options.

The University is preparing for the next Middle States accreditation review. It will be coordinated by Gerald Warshaver, the University's Director of Special Projects and will focus in particular on undergraduate education. Several committees are being constituted for the review and librarians may be asked to serve on them. One important aspect will be how different units within the University assess learning outcomes. This may be an opportunity for the Libraries to explore ways of evaluating instruction beyond Project SAILS and LibQUAL+. For more on Middle States accreditation, see: http://oirap.rutgers.edu/reports/MSA/

The New Jersey Knowledge Initiative was initially funded for two years. As we enter the second year of the project, the State Library is coordinating a marketing and advocacy campaign to secure continued support from the legislature. This includes a survey that was forwarded to library faculty by the University Librarian. The State Library is particularly interested in gathering "storylines," telling anecdotes that illustrate how important the Knowledge Initiative has become to the citizens of the state. Especially in the current budget climate, it is important to the Libraries that funding be continued. We save approximately $750,000 annually through the Knowledge Initiative.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant for the New Jersey Digital Highway (NJDH) ends September 30. The State Library will probably continue to support through individual grants small libraries and archives that wish to digitize primary material for the project. It is unclear whether there will be continued support for the project's technology infrastructure. If the State Archives joins NJDH, they may be in a position to help fund the infrastructure.

There will be a workshop for tenured librarians on post-tenure review and on the process for promotion to Librarian I.

6. Faculty Coordinator's Report - M.B. Weber

The Planning and Coordinating Committee has met four times since the last faculty meeting. Important issues discussed by the committee include: a mentoring program for new faculty; the RUL Group Questionnaires submitted last summer; the reorganization of the RUL structure; and the draft of the Strategic Plan. The committee also considered a study of faculty "committed time," but after extensive discussion decided not to pursue it. A review of open lines system-wide is now a regular agenda item at every meeting. In the coming months, the committee will work on strategies to meet the budget shortfall in 2006-2007; examine current policies for travel funds and relocation costs for new faculty; and continue its review of the RUL Group Questionnaires.

7. Communications

There were no communications.

8. Report of Members Serving on University Bodies

These reports were distributed earlier via email.

Natalie Borisovets, who serves with Kevin Mulcahy on the Faculty Senate, reported further that that body has discussed at length and offer thirty-eight recommendations in response to the report of the Task Force on Undergraduate Education. The complete report passed by the Senate on February 24 may be viewed at: http://senate.rutgers.edu/senatetfueresponseadoptedfinal.pdf

Sara Harrington, who serves with Mary Page on the New Brunswick Faculty Council, reported further that the local council also considered the report at length. This included an interesting discussion of various incentives to encourage faculty to become more involved in undergraduate education.

Tricia Libutti reported further that the Rutgers University Disabilities Committee will hold a conference on April 28 on the transition for disabled students from high school to university.

9. Report of Standing Committees

These reports were distributed earlier via email.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 a.m. Following the regular faculty meeting there was a special open meeting to discuss the reorganization of Rutgers University Libraries.

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/rul_faculty/minutes/rulfac_06-03-03.shtml
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