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Executive Committee Meeting

  March 28, 2005
428 Main Library


Present:  Paula Kaufman (Chair), Bill Mischo (Vice-Chair), Lynne Rudasill (Secretary), Jane Block, Cindy Ingold, Janis Johnston, Kathleen Kluegel, William Maher, Lynn Wiley


1.  Minutes – Minutes of the March 14, 2005 Executive Committee meeting were approved with one editorial correction.


2.  Question Time -  In response to a question about  a second phase for the Oak Street facility, Paula Kaufman indicated that the Acting Provost is supportive of the idea, but Kaufman does not at this point have a written commitment for the development of the facility.


Paula Kaufman requested advice from the Executive Committee concerning the search for the Digital Reference Librarian position.  It was the advice of the committee that the search be cancelled at this point.  Kaufman will meet with the search committee and offer interim help.


3.  Request for Rollback – Action on this request was postponed until the next meeting.


In another matter, Kaufman announced that the spousal hire had been approved for a position to be split between digital services and the Mathematics Library.


4.  Discussion of the format for presentation of the BITF report at the April 20 faculty meeting – Discussion of this item was deferred until the next Executive Committee Meeting.


5.  Statement on Principles and Criteria for Academic Professional and Faculty Positions -  The Committee discussed a document prepared by Kathleen Kluegel which seeks to articulate the differences between academic professional and faculty positions for the Library.  Discussion revolved around the issues of administrative direction, academic degrees, and subject and technical expertise.  After incorporating suggestions from the Committee, Kluegel will revise the draft and re-send it to the members of the Executive Committee.  Paula Kaufman will send the final draft of the document to the members of the Budget Group for comment.  A final draft will then go out as a report from the Executive Committee for general faculty comment.


6.  Use of the title “Assistant University Librarian” – Paula Kaufman provided the Committee with background information concerning the use of this title.  Usage of various titles across campus was discussed as was the use of the titles currently given to heads of units in the Library.  Kaufman requested that a sub-group of the Committee look at this practice throughout the library in order to develop a set of consistent, non-demeaning titles for those who work here.  Lynn Wiley and Lynne Rudasill will work on this project


7.  Area Studies “Models for the Future” – Paula Kaufman initiated discussion about the Area Studies division at a conceptual level.  Fundamental issues about what Area Studies are becoming and how marginalized these libraries are becoming were raised.  Kaufman shared some of the issues discussed at the ARL Global Studies conference she attended recently and identified trends in other institutions.  These include more collaborative work, less focus on traditional area studies through thematic approaches to global programs, some collapsing of funding, and getting out of area studies.  Questions on this campus revolve around how we integrate collections and expertise of our Area Studies colleagues and help them to become “differently productive.” 


8.   Karen Schmidt – Models for the Future – Karen Schmidt joined the meeting to discuss some concerns she has with the current model for fund allocation.  Her concerns are two-fold.  First the current allocation models and methods can’t seem to decouple from representing divisional interests and members of the Collection Development Committee are often unable to step back and view the process outside of these interests.  Second, the membership on the Collection Development Committee is very large and it is often difficult to talk about over-arching issues and the future of funding.  She asked the Executive Committee’s advice on what might be a better way of configuring the Collection Development Committee and choosing the members of this group. 


Discussion of these issues began with the possibility of electing members from the general library faculty rather than employing divisional representation.  This alternative was not seen to be an immediate solution.  In the past, a Budget Sub-Committee was used, but some members of this group were still perceived as coming to the table with departmental prejudices and the remedy was to meet as a body of the whole on budget allocation issues.  A large part of the problem is that funding is a vested interest for members.  It was suggested that the Association University Librarian for Collections make all of the funding decisions, but problems with that model in the past was the impetus for the creation of the Collection Development Committee.  Whether vested in one individual or a committee, trust in the decision-making will be diminished as long as tough decisions must be made.


Paula Kaufman asked if vetting decisions through the Executive Committee would be helpful.  Karen Schmidt suggested that a small but significant change in the bylaws might redefine the Collection Development Committee as an advisory group to the AUL for Collections.  In this model, the CDC would provide information and advice, the AUL for Collections would make the decisions and bring these to the Executive Committee.  It was also suggested that the CDC be used as a conduit for information both to the AUL for Collections and the individual divisions represented on the committee.  The discussion of these issues will continue.