Library Committee Handbook

Divisional Structure Task Force

University of Illinois Library

October 10, 2011

10:00-11:00
Library 230b

Members Present:

Tina Chrzastowski
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Chair
Sheila McGowan
Carissa Phillips

Member Absent:

Paula Carns
Bill Maher

Also Attending:

Emma Clausen (Information Literacy GA)

1. Agenda Review

Lisa reviewed the agenda and asked committee members if there were any additional items to add. No additions were made.

2. Approve Minutes

The committee approved September 26, 2011 meeting minutes. These minutes will be made live on the Divisional Structure Task Force (DSTF) website.

3. Open Forums

a. Review Open Forum Sessions

The committee discussed the outcomes of the open forum sessions held so far and highlighted some of the main areas of concern.

Three possible future models have emerged and have been discussed during sessions:

  1. Maintain the current divisional structure, possibly with some small changes such as merging the two science divisions and merging area studies with another division.

  2. Return to the departmental structure, either the two department structure of pre-1993 or possibly a three department structure.

  3. Eliminate divisions entirely and have unit heads to carry out day-to-day governing.

The committee noted that the suggestions for different models demonstrate a willingness of the Library faculty to be flexible and explore the strengths and weaknesses of all options.

The desire to standardize communication and have more divisional representation at meetings was discussed during most sessions. It is also coming out very clearly in most sessions that divisions range quite a bit with how they function internally, especially in communication from the division coordinator and whether staff and academic professionals participate in division meetings and decision making.

It was mentioned during multiple sessions that, without the budgeting responsibilities it previously had, the Administrative Council (AC) has been weakened to the point of non-function. To make AC more viable, suggestions have been made to restore budgetary responsibilities. It was also mentioned that there is not much communication about the work of Budget Group, which is perceived as having taken over the budgetary deliberations. It has also been noted that the Budget Group is not in the Library Bylaws.

With the changes in total number of faculty and units, suggestions have been made to combine some divisions. For example, it was suggested that Life Sciences and Physical Sciences could combine to form one Sciences division. It was also suggested that Area Studies combine with another division, possibly Social Sciences, but it is a challenge to assign it somewhere. Retirements effective June 30, 2012 and other changes in staffing were also discussed, in regards to the promotion and tenure procedures and with respect to the size of the divisions.

The committee briefly discussed how the recommendation to the Executive Committee (EC) will be structured. Recommendations will be presented as a package not a menu of possible actions to be chosen among and it will be stressed that they are made in effort to be as administratively effective as possible.

b. Possible Changes to Process/Logistics

The committee noted that following the script has been an effective way to facilitate discussion during the sessions and no changes were made.

c. Request from CPS and AULs/UL

A request was made for the committee to meet with Central Public Services (CPS) as well as the Associate University Librarians (AULs) and the University Librarian (UL). As many committee members would not be available to attend the next CPS division meeting on October 19, an alternative meeting date on October 12 will be offered to CPS as well as the possibility of meeting in late November. Kim will set up the meeting with the AULs and UL to include Lisa and at least two other committee members.

4. Benchmarking Research

The committee noted that no additional research is needed in review of the structure of CIC libraries and those at other institutions beyond what has been completed already. The committee will work to document this research to demonstrate that this aspect of the charge was addressed during the investigation. Carissa noted that she attempted to make contact with the University of Michigan, but she did not receive a response. Attendees at the sessions have asked to review the organizational charts from the benchmark institutions. The committee will look into how to post the documents on the website behind an Active Directory login in cases where the providing institution does not post the information publically.

Lisa contacted John Unsworth to find out how other single-unit campus units handle promotion. In the past, the first level of review was completed within the unit and the second level of review is completed by the Office of the Provost. The Office of the Provost would prefer a different system. The Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the School of Labor and Employment Relations, and the School of Social Work are now working to collaborate on a second-level review process. Lisa discussed with the University Librarian whether there may be value in pursuing a collaborative second level of review. The committee sees merit in exploring this as an option. The committee noted that this possibility will be outlined in the final report.

5. Documents Reviews

The committee reviewed the status of documents that the task force needs to carry out its charge.

a. University Statutes

The committee noted that the handout with relevant sections from University Statutes provided during the sessions has successfully contextualized the items in the charge related to the University Statutes for attendees.

b. Library Organizational Chart

An updated organizational chart is now available on the website. There is still some confusion surrounding the number of units in each division. The committee noted that an email for clarification may be sent to EC in advance of the final report. The committee noted that the possibility of a unit heads group was discussed during a few open forums and that the number of units has some bearing on the viability of this option.

c. Listing of Faculty by Division

Lisa is continuing to work on this.

6. Announcements/Closing Comments

The committee discussed the possibility of scheduling an Open Faculty Forum once the draft report is completed and decided to schedule a session in mid-January.

Respectfully submitted,

Emma Clausen and Lisa Hinchliffe