November 16, 2015 Meeting of Administrative Council

Time and Location of Meeting

November 16, 20151:30 pm - 3:00 pm 428 Library

Agenda Details


  1. Budget reduction discussion (Dean Wilkin)

Minutes Details


John Wilkin, chair; Melody Allison, Tom Habing, Shuyong Jiang, JoAnn Jacoby, JoAnn Kaczmarek, Cindy Kelly, Mary Laskowski, Chris Quinn, Lisa Romero, Jeff Schrader, Tom Teper, Sandy Wolf, Beth Woodard


1.       Discussion of budget reduction process and Q and A on Library Hiring Plan (Dean Wilkin and AULs)


Hiring plan – in the past when issues of urgency came up, such as a departure of someone whose role is critical to the Library, we had the opportunity to get the position approved through the Provost. Those are the sort of positions we should give attention to instead of programmatic hiring. In the latest hiring plan process we had eight positions authorized. We’ve been fortunate in our hiring plans up to this point; we can afford to pause and move into the June hiring plan, basing it on our Strategic Plan. Feser was pleased with our decision to not submit a February hiring plan. The question arose as to how we determine what’s critical? A vacancy, doing work we cannot get by without, is critical. More strategic things can be held until June.


Budget Process – we should be looking at a reduction of the same sort as last year; approximately $900,000 in reductions. The state budget woes will continue in the same directions. The ultimate impact on the University are “payments made on behalf of.” These are paid by state but not in budget, such as benefits. In the future, the University may be required to pay for these expenses out of our budget, instead of them being provided by the State. Long-term planning will have to take into consideration absorbing these costs, which make up about 5% of operating funds overall, including some funds that are not part of anyone’s budget. Our best approach is to target areas of reduction in the 3, 5, and 7% range. If we get started earlier this time, we can work on things that take longer to deal with, such as changing processes that may take longer or things that cannot be in place at the beginning of the fiscal year.


We have a fairly good sense of the numbers but are waiting for final personnel budgets for each area from Greg Knot.


JoAnn Jacoby – one advantage we have is that we did some modeling last year targeting 1, 3, and 5%. User Services has to be a multi-level process. Once we have the final numbers, JoAnn will share them with the units and divisions. In some instances she will have conversations with individual units. In addition, she will have conversations with divisions as well as with groups like the Main Library-UGL plus Communications. It is important that those units work together in ways that will help those conversations. JoAnn will reach out to Division Coordinators and others to start getting dates for unit head meetings that aren’t already scheduled. This year, the AULs will have conversations to a greater degree than last year in some of these areas as they work across establishing efficiencies. Opportunities and ideas that come up may have implications across different areas.


GAs allocations – last year they were late. We need to look at making GA allocation decisions earlier, so this can be taken into account when planning for budget reduction planning and also so that the Library and GSLIS don’t lose the opportunity to attract top candidates for GA position and acceptance into the GSLIS program. JoAnn and Greg Knott will work with EC and the Budget group to set the scheduled for GA requests and they are working GSLIS to get information about GA opportunities out to candidates and on a visit day after spring break. It is an opportunity for students to see GSLIS and the Library and engage with people in the Library with open GA positions. We will try to get position descriptions out to perspective GAs before the visit. We will also look at how to make time with GAs productive. Beth Woodard suggested Skype interviews for those who can’t get here for the visit.


GSLIS has heard the desire for folks at the Library to have the opportunity to review the info about all candidates, before we make a decision. Beth Woodard stated that by March 15 we should be making offers. Students are supposed to honor anything they accept, by April 15.


JoAnn said our GA process is problematically late. A number of units had offers declined or missed the opportunity to extend offers last year because of timing.  She will soon send something to EC regarding an earlier start, with GA requests due before winter break and decisions by the end of January.


Tom Habing built a new grad application database last year and would like feedback regarding how people are using the database and what is and isn’t working. Please send Tom any feedback you have in the next few weeks, so they can make tweaks by January.


Beth Woodard mentioned that we can use the training calendar to sign up for interviews with GAs.


There was some discussion around training for GAs and getting people on the payroll for training hours beyond their assistantship.  This has been done through academic hourly appointments, which now require a background check.   GAs participating in reference training get funded centrally for those sessions, but no other sessions are supported in this way.  People will need to know how training will be handled when they make an offer. John said this will be an ongoing discussion. John is not worried about the money involved but about procedures. Beth Woodard will discuss the appointment issues with Cindy Kelly and Greg Knott and JoAnn will bring the idea for a more uniform approach to funding GA participation in training to the Budget Group.


Tom Teper – unit heads in Tech Services have met twice. Initially, our discussions have started from where things left off last year. A lot of the items that were on the table for last year’s planning are still on the table. Indeed, the figures identified last year as part of the 1, 3, 5% exercise are still accurate enough to provide a starting point as vacancies that existed in units are all accounted for in the bottom line. So, we are going ahead with that as a starting point and will adjust the numbers and tweak from there as Greg wraps up final numbers, on the operations side. On the collections side, I have been talking with CDC. I think that we are hoping for a flat budget, which does have impact across the organization. There have been conversations between the AULs and across the organization. Of course, one concern on the operations side is how we cover things at the 5 & 7% levels as decisions about how we cover items in one area impact other units.


John stated, everyone should think about the relative value of what we do and the services that we provide. Sometimes we try to protect the way we’ve done things in the past. We need to protect services and collections. If we can save money doing things streamlined we must. This is the time to do that.


There are many things we can do to allow us to work more efficiently and effectively. We will be looking at where we can save money and incorporate these efficiencies.


Someone asked about an early retirement program. John has not heard anything new.


Tom offered – through the Technical Services unit heads – that they want ideas from anyone in the division, and he is happy to talk to any faculty, AP or staff member who has any ideas about doing thing differently that might result in a savings.



JoAnn will look at past NSM recommendations to see if there are any ideas for saving that haven’t been followed-up.