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Proposal to Split Scholarly Commons Coordinator Responsibilities

Proposal to Split Scholarly Commons Coordinator Responsibilities

Submitted by Merinda Hensley, JoAnn Jacoby, and Sarah Shreeves



Proposal: Currently the Scholarly Commons Coordinator appointment is at 35%. We would like to propose to increase the appointment to 50% but to split the appointment between Sarah Shreeves and Merinda Hensley.


Rationale: The Scholarly Commons Coordinator (a three year appointment at 35% starting in

October 2009) is responsible for the general development and management of the Scholarly

Commons, a suite of innovative services and space that support scholarly activities offered in collaboration with partners within the Library and elsewhere on campus.


While the Scholarly Commons was successfully launched in Fall 2010, the ongoing management of the space, services, and staff along with the planning and groundwork to establish new collaborations and services has proven to be far more than a 35% appointment.

Sarah currently spends approximately 50% of her time on Scholarly Commons related activities.

About half of these are more on the ground logistical and management efforts (managing the graduate assistants and their projects, working with Scholarly Commons leads to coordinate hours and services, developing marketing and outreach activities, and assessment) while the other half are more strategic and future oriented activities (developing partnerships and collaborations, monitoring the environment for emerging trends and best practices in various areas, and investigating potential new services and tools to offer). In addition, Sarah remains the IDEALS Coordinator – which now encompasses a large variety of scholarly communications activities - and has also taken on a larger role in the emerging data stewardship activities on campus. This has meant that some activities have not gotten the focused attention that they deserve.


Merinda Hensley has been the lead for Research Support Services in the Scholarly Commons since its inception. This has principally meant the coordination of the Savvy Researcher Series (working with a variety of instructors to provide a broad range of workshops), as well as work with the GAs on outreach activities. We are proposing that Merinda take on a larger portion of the coordination and management efforts (which would include the 314 instructional space) and that Sarah continues to manage and build the campus collaborations and strategic activities for the long term success of the Scholarly Commons. Both would work closely together to implement new services and tools within the SC. This would allow Sarah’s workload to shift to a more manageable distribution, while recognizing and expanding the role that Merinda already actively plays in the Scholarly Commons.


While both Merinda and Sarah will work together on many aspects of the coordinator’s duties below, we propose that primary responsibility be allocated as follows:




Merinda’s current responsibilities overlap between RRGIS and the Scholarly Commons. Her current responsibilities include:



Responsibilities that have been reduced or reassigned elsewhere:



Current library service commitments:



We have consulted with Merinda’s PRC (Karen Hogenboom and David Ward) who have both indicated that this seems to be a feasible proposal given Merinda’s responsibilities and interests. The only caution offered was that Merinda should be careful about taking on too much or spreading her responsibilities among too diverse a set of duties. Both Sarah and JoAnn will work closely with Merinda to ensure that this does not happen.


This proposal is in accord with the recent restructuring that brought the Scholarly Commons and RGGIS together with Web Technologies and Content Creation to form the new Reference, Research and Scholarly Services unit. It will help to further align services and personnel across the new unit, and redirects effort toward high value research support services.


The stipend for the Coordinator work (which would remain the same) would be split evenly between Sarah and Merinda.