LAUC-D General Membership

Meeting Minutes, March 23, 2004

Approved and corrected

 

Present: T. Malmgren (Chair), M. Sharrow, G. Bynon, B. Swanson, C. Kopper, L. Kennedy, S. Vella, K. Andrews, J. Boorkman, K. Kocher, J. Campbell, E. Franco, X. Li, M. Browne, M. Wood, S. John, S. Llano, K. Lin, A. Lin, M. Colby, D. Goldstein, R. Castro, O. Popa, D. Morrison, C. Craig, B. Heyer-Gray, R. Gustafson, J. Sherlock, J. Stratford, K. Stroud, L. Spagnolo, K. Darr, B. Hegenbart, J. Tanno, P. French, M. Meister, D. King (Recorder); 37 in total attendance

 

1. Call to order: 9:00 AM by Chair T. Malmgren

2. Announcements:
     (a). John Ward has resigned from the Review Board. For the upcoming election, there will now be openings for both Chair (one-year appointment) and Vice-Chair/Chair Elect.

     (b). To better inform new librarians and job candidates about LAUC, a brochure has been completed by R. Gustafson, D. King, and C. Craig. Copies of the brochure were passed out to the membership, and there will also be a copy on the LAUC-D website.

3. Minutes from last meeting: Minutes from the last meeting (November 2003) were passed with one correction.

4. UL Report (M. Sharrow): Much about the budget for the coming year is still unknown. UC Berkeley is doing an exercise of a 10% cut, with Santa Cruz doing an even larger one. The NRLF task force has drafted a document (not yet released) that will talk about current and future uses of the remote faculties.

The Administrative Computing Coordinating Council (AC3) and Academic Computing Coordinating Council (AC4), which advise IET, have begun looking at making merit promotion packets available electronically. There are some concerns with regard to confidentiality on this, though the Entomology Department has already accomplished completely online faculty merits. The online format cuts down on paperwork, and allows reviewers off campus to successfully complete committee work. This model will likely be developed for librarian reviews in the future. J. Boorkman added that the Academic Federation Personnel Committee had the opportunity to view the Entomology Department model, so the AF also has input.

There will be a literary dinner tomorrow night (3/24/04) in Shields Library, with a talk by Dr. Judith Taylor. The title is “Tangible Memories: Californians and Their Gardens 1800-1950.”

5. Committee Reports:
     (a). Program Committee (R. Gustafson): About 14 people attended the tour of the UCD Herbarium, which will soon be moving into the new Life Sciences addition. On April 14 in the afternoon, Ted Bergstrom will be giving a talk on journal pricing. Faculty representatives are welcome to attend this as well, and it will be publicized in Dateline. For now, the program is scheduled to take place in the LIL. Sometime in May, the committee is planning an open access program with a panel of speakers. Suggestions for speakers in humanities/social sciences fields are encouraged (send to R. Gustafson).

      (b). Professional Activities Committee (C. Craig): Important deadlines for funding were recently sent to the membership:
May 14: deadline for PAC travel applications
June 11: cutoff date for travel
June 14: deadline for turning in form for travel expenditures

     (c). Research Committee (D. Goldstein): The Statewide committee recently met to review six applications for research grants from four different campuses, and is now in the process of requesting feedback from applicants. Members are encouraged to apply for local grant money, which has no deadline. A reminder on this will be sent later in the next quarter.

     (d). Statewide Committee on Plans and Policies (J. Stratford): The committee completed an interim report (http://www.ucop.edu/lauc/lpp/report-february-2004.doc), which has been distributed to LAUC-D members. There will be a conference call on April 12; members are encouraged to contact J. Stratford with any comment on the report before then.

     (e). Nominations and Elections Committee (D. Morrison): The committee met to discuss procedures for the next election, and a call will go out to the membership soon. There will be a two-week turnaround for sending in nominations. Some positions are elected, and others are appointed. The committee encourages LAUC members to continue serving and volunteering for positions.

     (f). Professional Issues Committee (P. French): The committee has been inactive in past years due to time constraints, and has met once this year. There have not been any professional issues brought to the committee’s attention.

     (g). Statewide Committee on Professional Governance (T. Malmgren): This year, the committee has been charged with examining review procedures on each campus.

The Statewide LAUC meeting will be held on May 13 at UC Riverside. LAUC-D will have another membership meeting before then for discussion. At the Statewide meeting, there will be an afternoon web cast program on library budget planning; one of the speakers will be G. Bynon. Information about the meeting is online: http://laucr.ucr.edu/LAUCSpring04/.


6. Discussion with G. Bynon on budget and professional impact:
     (a) Introductory remarks: Over the last couple of years, the Library has seen a growth in services and the need for them, but also a tension in how to fulfill all of our professional responsibilities while maintaining work/life balance. This fiscal year, we had a 6% reduction (about $1.3 million); however, the collections budget was exempted, so the Library was in a better position to deal with increasing inflation costs. The Library permanently gave up 14 FTE and also took a reduction to the O & E budget. For 2004/05, the recent state ballot initiatives helped prevent what could have been a much worse budget picture for the Library. The Library also chose to absorb all of the debt for 2003/04 at once instead of spreading it out over more years, thus preventing us from carrying forward past debt obligations. However, the collections budget is not likely to receive another front-end exemption this year, and will almost certainly be impacted by a large reduction (possibly $1 million). Given this possibility, it may be necessary to look at a multiple year reduction period rather then one large cut. Administration will be meeting with Deans and Vice-Chancellors to present on the Library’s budget, and a target figure should be available by the end of April.

 

To deal with the implications of reductions, the Library needs to look at potential things that can be given up. This includes potential positions becoming vacant since 2003/04. Only positions that are absolutely critical will be pushed forward for recruitments. Given increasing restrictions, how do we continue functioning professionally? There are two pivotal articles in the contract that deal specifically with this matter, as well as issues related to the review process: (1) the Management Rights article [Article 16: http://atyourservice.ucop.edu/employees/policies/systemwide_contracts/lib/article_16.pdf] that administration can make assignment modifications to meet the needs of the organization; and (2) the article on Professional Development expectations [Article 3: http://atyourservice.ucop.edu/employees/policies/systemwide_contracts/lib/article_3.pdf]. Nothing has changed in terms of expectations, and there is no stated or implied notion that a librarian has a set 40-hour workweek. One should be able to accomplish both primary responsibilities and professional development. Balancing these means that librarians will need to work smart; the outcomes of the organizational assessment will bear on primary responsibilities. Also, in peer review there is a circumstance whereby a librarian can be promoted based on primary responsibilities alone.

 

     (b). Question & Answer Session:
Q. (D. Goldstein):  A significant increase in primary job responsibilities has made it more difficult for many librarians to work on professional activities and development. How is this factored in the review process? If a librarian can be promoted on the sole basis of primary responsibilities, what is the mechanism for this?
A. (G. Bynon): Collaboration with the review initiator is most important in establishing the context in which primary responsibilities may have increased and what effect this has on other areas of criteria. It is important for the initiator and the librarian under review to council each other on what to emphasize most, rather than attempting to do even more activities with less time. The review should reflect that there has been an increase in primary responsibility activity.

 Q. (R. Castro): From past experience with the Review Board, there seems to be inconsistency across the organization among review initiators’ expectations. Is there any way to ensure greater consistency, perhaps with a more detailed orientation for initiators?
A. (J. Tanno): This has been an ongoing issue, since responsibilities differ among departments. A “cookie-cutter” approach is not desirable, so communication between the librarian under review and the initiator works best.
A. (G. Bynon): The question is important because it touches on the issue of equity and receiving a balanced review. At UCD, no librarian has ever been penalized for focusing more on primary responsibilities than on professional development. Librarians are rewarded for their performance across all four requirements, and often emphasize one area more than another. We are also fortunate to be able to promote librarians in the review process, despite sustaining budget cuts.

Q. (O. Popa): Since R. Castro and I are retiring, the Library is losing expertise in several disciplines, including foreign languages. The languages require complicated coverage in many different areas, including history, culture, and literature. These are centers of excellence for the University, and the German department in particular is highly ranked nationally. How is the Library planning to deal with the issue of replacing subject specialists in these areas?
A. (M. Sharrow): The subject expertise for these fields is crucial, and the Library will ensure that it is covered.

Q. (D. Goldstein): Some members have been told that the library’s expectations have changed in recent years, and that we should not look to senior colleagues as professional role models. Is this the case?
A. (G. Bynon): This does not represent any policy or attitude by Administration. It is acceptable to focus on any one part of professional development more than other parts. In the last review cycle, there was no particular balance of all the criteria. No one criterion is more important than others. Librarians at UCD have in fact been promoted at a high rate.
Discussion: The following points related to this question were made by the membership:
* Circumstances have changed in the last 20 years. It is not always possible to replicate how people have done things in the past, which might include taking a great deal of time off to do research. We should focus on how to best package accomplishments, since the situation is different than it used to be.
* Opportunities for research have always been available. The librarians who have pursued research and publication did so through competitive grants that financed their activities.
* From past experience in the AF Personnel Committee and the Review Board, there is perennial confusion in the process about how important research and publication is for librarians as opposed to “in-house” service. Balancing this has been difficult for librarians.
* Professional excellence is required in only one area of the criteria. Librarians can choose one criterion or another and do it well, but only one is required.
* Given that there are new review initiators in the organization, it would be useful to have a more detailed conversation about the criteria before the next review cycle.

Q. (D. Goldstein): Firm order budgets in H/SS have decreased dramatically this year. Is there any prospect for restoring them to any previous level in the future?
A. (G. Bynon): Gail Yokote is the best person to address this question. Factoring in inflation and losses, it’s clear that there will be no one-time recovery and that it will be a difficult process. Because of cuts to CDL, the costs to individual campuses have increased. There is also not much room for adjustment to the Approval plans. Administration is articulating the need to focus on programs of excellence and cutting-edge new programs. We need to look at programmatic solutions on a campus-wide level.
Discussion: The following points related to this question were made by the membership:
* More and more resources are being used to pay for Tier 1 and Tier 2 electronic packages. What was formerly firm order money has become part of our ongoing commitment to CDL. Firm orders were badly hit in all departments.
* Our inability to fulfill firm order requests is resulting in a loss of good will with faculty. We will also end up with huge gaps in the collection that we cannot replace.
* All departments are hurting financially. In those departments that decided to cancel almost all print journals, there were greater savings for firm order purchases.
* One of our primary functions regarding collections seems to have changed, since we spend much of our time engaged in cancellations. The need for endowments and fundraising among faculty and donors is greater than ever, so our role may need to change even more.
* There is clearly much emotional stress on this issue across the Library departments. H/SS firm orders were mentioned specifically because the department relies so heavily on those funds for collection development.
* We may no longer be able to support the full research areas of campus, and instead work on a core teaching collection.
* The campus has been very busy hiring new faculty in areas that the library does not support, and we have been unable to purchase new materials for them.
* This is a question of how to manage resources most effectively. We currently have no method for understanding the management of our collections in an in-depth way.
* We need to help ensure some start-up funding for faculty being hired, especially in new subjects.
* (M. Sharrow): At one point, there was more automatic funding for new hires in the Letters and Sciences. Under the new structure (with three different academic program divisions), this went away as an organized process. New faculty hires need to ask for library funding as part of their package. This has been done in the past, but only sporadically. Librarians are encouraged to speak to new faculty and departments about incorporating start-up library money into the hiring package.

 

7. Meeting adjourned: 10:25 AM