Minutes for March 7, 2008 Meeting

Grace Agnew, Ka-Neng Au [remote], Stephanie Bartz, Ron Becker, Natalie Borisovets, Jeris Cassel, Caroline Caviness, Joseph P. Consoli, Kayo Denda, Judy Gardner, Rebecca Gardner, Tom Glynn, Sara Harrington, Karen Hartman, Helen Hoffman, Tom Izbicki, Ron Jantz, Triveni Kuchi, Linda Langschied, Elizabeth Leister, Mei Ling Lo, Jackie Mardikian, Rhonda Marker, Kevin Mulcahy, Laura Mullen, Jim Niessen, Mary Page, Fernanda Perrone, Francoise S. Puniello, Donna Schulman, Robert Sewell, John Shepard, Jane Sloan, Eileen Stec, Farideh Tehrani, Roberta Tipton, Judit Ward, Mary Beth Weber, Myoung C. Wilson, Ryan Womack

Executive Summary

The meeting discussed a draft document on non tenure-track librarians, which had been requested by a university task force that has been meeting with the deans. Grant-funded positions are an important category of such appointments for RUL, and our tenure track faculty have research requirements and participate in governance far more than non tenure track. A new draft clarifying these distinctions will go the Planning & Coordinating Committee in April before presentation to the task force.

Stipulations regarding librarianship in a state document on the licensure of higher educational institution were found to be unnecessarily detailed and potentially intrusive. Gaunt will advise Furmanski of these concerns.

A faculty resolution to the AAUP regarding exclusion of librarian from provisions for additional family leave was approved as amended.

Faculty approved a change in the bylaws requiring that every committee should select a chair, or co-chairs.

The University Librarian reported on the non-renewal of state funding for the New Jersey Initiative. RUL will fund these databases for the remainder of the fiscal year with salary savings.

RUL is modeling 3% and 7% budget cut scenarios as requested by the administration.

1.-2. Meeting called to order

The meeting was called to order at 9:15, The agenda was adopted and the minutes for November 17, 2007 approved with minor amendments.

3. Unfinished business

Non tenure-track librarians (Gaunt)

A task force has been meeting with the deans about particular needs in the respective units for tenure track or non-tenure track faculty. Various RUL units held discussions to gather views on this subject. Gaunt's draft document, distributed at this meeting, identified two ways in which RUL uses non-tenure track faculty: during vacancies before a hire and to economize after a budget cut. The document then lists some cases in which we appoint non-tenure track librarians on a "permanent" basis, especially to address special conditions of scheduling and availability.

We need a rationale to explain why we need tenure-track librarians beyond just permanence. If requirements for scholarship and service are removed, do we still need tenure track librarians? What is the basis for having tenure track librarians in RUL?

Is the administration inclined to deny the tenure track to librarians because they don't teach? Gaunt replied that no, this is not the case. Faculty hired by the Writing Center in Newark teach four courses per semester, yet are not tenure track. They are hired just to teach, just as some librarians are hired only to provide librarianship.

This question relates to governance: the Rutgers Senate is concerned about whether non-tenure track faculty participate in shared governance. Governance may be undermined if the number of clinical faculty grows too large. Special life circumstances may cause a higher percentage of clinical faculty among women and minorities. University-wide, 51% of the instructors are contingent (full- and part-time) faculty, but this percentage is much smaller in RUL.

Clinical faculty tend to be unit-specific, appointed because that unit wants people with certain skills but without tenure track requirements. Non-tenure track faculty provide a certain level of skill combined with flexibility and short terms. The tenure track on the other hand encourages the quality of independent, unbiased and mature judgment and discretion, and long term investment in the institution. Faculty hires are expected to demonstrate a higher level of expertise, autonomy, and professionalism, but limited funds may prevent us from tenure track appointments. Units often need the flexibility non-tenure track permits.

Grant-funded faculty are often true faculty and yet not tenure track. For instance, tech services or Special Collections and University Archives hires are often project-oriented and production-focused, hence research is not required. The problem is that this is a very specific need about which it is difficult to generalize.

The administration defines non tenure track faculty as people who fill some of the roles that the faculty do, but on a term appointment. The task force is concerned that different units deal with these people differently, for instance RUL gives them travel money; they want to know what we're doing and why.

In conclusion: The Libraries' non-tenure track positions are a small percentage of our overall faculty, and there is no need to create a new category of permanent non-tenure track positions. The current definition and use suits us well.

4. New Business

Licensure (Gaunt)

Gaunt distributed the portion of a New Jersey document on the licensing of institutions of higher education that relates to libraries, with suggested changes italicized. The new licensure text is intended to address the changing nature of academic libraries and institutions, such as the University of Phoenix. The new text is not fundamentally wrong, but unnecessarily detailed and potentially intrusive. Gaunt will accept additional comments until the next week, and advise Furmanski of these concerns.

Faculty resolution to the AAUP regarding exclusion of librarian from provisions for additional family leave (Glynn, Niessen, Womack):

Glynn spoke for the working group. This resolution takes exception to the distinction made between RUL faculty and academic or "teaching" faculty.

The contract was concluded in a negotiation in which RUL faculty had failed to represent itself; it should be sure to rectify this in the future. Still the AAUP let us down and it is fitting to express our displeasure. The resolution was approved, after a friendly amendment, with two nays and no abstentions. It will go to the President of the AAUP, its officers, and the bargaining team.

Committee chairs (Joseph)

Rules of Procedure proposed a change in the bylaws requiring that committees select their own chairs. It was not appropriate for the committee to create a rule as to who (tenure, untenured, or non tenure track) could chair a committee without faculty guidance. As a general rule, faculty agreed that untenured faculty are encouraged to aspire to leadership wherever a committee does not explicitly exclude them from chairing. The bylaws change was approved with one opposed, no abstentions.

5. Report of the University Librarian

The New Jersey Knowledge Initiative (NJKI) was denied additional funding to carry it through the current fiscal year; RUL provided bridge funding for our own access to the NJKI databases from salary savings for the remainder of the fiscal year. The renewal of this funding will be in our budget request for Dr. Furmanski if the NJKI is not funded by the state at its full amount. NJKI is in the Governor's budget for next year at a level of $2 million. Gaunt expects the state will support RefUSA, but doesn't know about the others. Experience shows it's better for government to hear from users than just librarians about issues like NJKI. Faculty and students did a good job of getting the word to the government about NJKI.

The dust hasn't settled on the budget for FY09. Around the state, the cut will vary from one institution to another. For instance, the penalty for out of state students hurts Rutgers disproportionately. The reduction in state support for Rutgers will be between 8.5% and 10-11%. Gaunt will participate in the budget committee that will address this. Nobody knows if early retirements will apply to Rutgers or even to higher education. RUL has been asked to model 3% and 7% cuts. We might use remaining salary savings for maximum prepayments on next year's renewals. Furmanski has given the deans a lot of leeway in how they deal with the cuts.

The New Brunswick faculty authors event will be in late March. Liaisons should attend, encourage departmental faculty's attendance. This year a faculty author will talk about her research.

At 1 PM there will be a webcast in the CORE building on NIH compliance. RUcore's support for NIH compliance is an important service to the university. Vice President Pazzani is himself submitting his research to RUcore.

Diversity education: The university is supporting diversity with various cluster hires. In December there will be a big conference at Rutgers on diversity including Lee Bollinger, Richard McCormick, and Jonathan Alger. There may be a library track in this conference. Meanwhile RUL Human Resources has begun its diversity education program.

The New Jersey Senate budget hearing on March 12 will be on campus at the College Avenue Gym and chairing by Rutgers grad Barbara Buono. This is an opportunity to plea for Rutgers and RUL needs.

6. Report of the Faculty Coordinator (Joseph)

Appeals for draft statements of appreciation for our four retiring faculty members.

7. Communications


8. Reports of Members Serving on University Bodies

New Brunswick Faculty Council: Representative Sara Harrington encouraged colleagues to attend the SAS open forums on the core curriculum. Gaunt noted there is some sentiment that the process of introducing the core curriculum is too rushed

9. Reports of Standing Committees

Questions and Discussion of Reports Disseminated Previously via Email-None

10. Adjournment 11:30 AM

Respectfully submitted,
Jim Niessen, Faculty Secretary

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/rul_faculty/minutes/rulfac_08-03-07.shtml
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