November 4, 2019 Meeting of Executive Committee

Time and Location of Meeting

November 4, 2019428 Library

Agenda Details




November 4, 2019


428 Library


  1. Approve minutes – October 28
  2. Question Time
  3. Agenda for AULs– 11/11
  4. AULs – 2-3pm – Strategic Staffing
  5. PRC’s for full Professors

Minutes Details




November 4, 2019


428 Library


Present: Dean Wilkin, chair, David Ward, vice-chair, Lynne Thomas, Bill Maher, Paula Carns, Mara Thacker, Jennifer Teper, Bill Mischo, Tom Teper, Heidi Imker, Cherie’ Weible



  1. Approve minutes


The minutes from October 28, 2019 were approved.


  1. Question Time


EC discussed Dean Wilkin’s note on transformative agreements in the Library Office Notes newsletter. The United States is behind compared to other parts of the world and we need to think about the implications of the switch from subscription agreements to “publish and read” agreements. The Dean acknowledged Bill Mischo’s work on moving things forward with IEEE in this area.


There was a question about MIT publishing agreement—are we or BTAA doing anything in relation to that? We aren’t doing much in this area, and are not sure whether an endorsement of that statement is useful to us.

The Dean encouraged all of us to read the sexual misconduct report that came out recently.  The report is posted here:  It’s very important and will shape things going forward. It’s 130+ pages but there is a box on the front with advice to the reader. The Dean thinks we will see some changes in campus policy and action.

Dean Wilkin, Tom Teper, Tim Newman, Dennis Craig, and Matthew Tomaszewski (provost’s office in charge of facilities from academic side) met with some preliminary cost information about building project. Dennis broke down the costs. Encouraging discussion about affordability, sources of funding, strategies going forward. This discussion included special collections building piece as well.


  1. Agenda for AULs– 11/11

Regular reports from AULs will be sufficient.


One additional suggestion is to have Tom talk about steps and phases now that we have final scenario for the library building projects.


  1. AULs Discussion of Strategic Staffing Proposals (Cherie’, Heidi, Tom)

Tom is the designated spokesperson but AULs felt they were in consensus with their rankings. There was a clarification that EC’s role is advisory and focused on giving feedback to Dean Wilkin. The Dean clarified that the overarching goal for the proposals was to generate ideas and discussion about directions to move forward. The proposals are not supposed to be a substitute for a fulsome job description.


Some proposals are very forward thinking, strategic, innovative. Other proposals sought support for activities they are doing now but which don’t have enough support to execute at the desired level. Some of these are strategic advances from years past and these positions still don’t have support. The characterization that some of this is playing catch up isn’t wrong. There is a need to begin filling in some of those desired objectives from years past.  As much as it’s important to position ourselves towards strategic advancement we need to be cognizant of creating new positions or areas where in the future will have larger support needs.

There are only 3 faculty positions out of all 20 requests. Reflective of some infrastructure gaps. The faculty positions that are here are targeted towards leadership and pushing out capacity.  Faculty positions might need more time to be “socialized” – some of the positions that don’t have a clear home yet or might impact multiple units may take some additional time to get all the units on the same page and get people used the to the idea and how that new role might fit in with their work. More faculty positions in the next round will make sense.

We need to be careful about how we characterize the positions. Particularly in terms of blurring the lines for qualifications—think about professional qualifications vs. civil service qualifications. Same with faculty and the need for justifiable research promise. Otherwise we may run into trouble with HR.

Question: Are there any positions that didn’t seem well classified? The AULS did review the position classification and revised where necessary.


The AULs looked at all proposals submitted and criteria for highly ranked proposals was: positions that were typically broader in scope, more innovative, and served broader vision of the library.  They ranked positions in tiers, with a recommended list of positions to pursue in the top tier.  Greg has come up with numbers that have confirmed that the initial top tier recommendations can be funded by the $500K set aside this year.


There were several proposals in “Tier II” that they also thought were very promising if they were to rethink scope and reporting. For example, some positions had overlap with existing positions [outreach positions as example].  The AULs suggested these might be good positions to revise and resubmit with next year’s hiring plan


Finally, some proposals we were unable to support because they were not as fully developed as top tier proposals, or did not advocate for a need that fit the criteria for the program.


Some requested positions were already supported by soft money, including gift funds and hourly money, and as part of the process submitters asked to convert the positions to full time.


After discussion, EC verbally agreed with the top tier rankings from the first pass made by the AULs, and passed this recommendation on to the Dean.  There were a few specific areas designated for follow up as good candidate’s for next years round of proposals.  It was suggestion that EC charge two task forces around outreach and digital collections to specifically work on Outreach/Public Engagement librarian, and Digital Collections/Special Collections Metadata Coordinator positions.  There were multiple, overlapping requests in this area that need to be resolved and reformulated for next year’s round of proposals.


We will need to stage searches to protect people’s time. EC will discuss later as part of follow up of this discussion.


Next steps: Dean Wilkin will respond to EC’s advice and produce a final list which we will then act on and discuss staging.



  1. PRC’s for full Professors

A PRC appointment for an associate professor beginning the 3 year process to apply for full. One faculty member volunteered and Lucretia will ask a faculty member who was suggested. If the faculty member is unwilling to serve another faculty member has volunteered as a back-up option.


Question about whether there would be conflict for an AUL to serve on a PRC given his administrative role.


  1. Budget Group Update

David Ward shared budget group update going back through October, especially budget group position requests, and civil service upgrades. There was a discussion of processes related to civil service upgrades and audits.