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Faculty Governance at the University of Florida Libraries

Minutes - December 1, 2005

Faculty Governance Working Group

Room 107, Marston Science Library: 10-11:15am


Chelsea Dinsmore, Michelle Foss, Ed Hart, David Hickey, Carol Kem, Vernon Kisling, Carl Van Ness

Senators Present:

Joe Aufmuth, Naomi Young, Cathy Mook-Martyniak

Meeting Minutes:

Cathy and Joe redefined the less-involved role of senators in the ongoing group dynamics. These will be open meetings per the sunshine laws, so all decisions have to be discussed openly, not between individuals via e-mail. The name for this group was debated, with "Faculty Governance Working Group" eventually accepted provisionally.

UF Faculty Senate guidelines pertaining to college representation were reviewed, with the idea that the Smathers Libraries Faculty Assembly would take the inclusive approach in terms of associate-ins and assistant-ins, based on the senate rep determinations of most colleges.

The group recommended the Faculty Assembly discuss the problem of the UF Administration "not purchasing" the Second Faculty Survey comments from the survey takers, per the President's e-mail response to Gary Cornwell, who had inquired about the promulgation of these comments. Senators present were also urged to bring up this group's objection to this non-release to Kim Tanzer, the current Senate President.

Dr. Machen's response in his meeting with the librarians on the subject of faculty definition-tenured and tenure-track are the key ingredients-elicited discussion in light of the library's shared governance prospects. Some in the group felt that some role for non-tenure-track and support staff representation is necessary, even if it is deigned "ex-officio." FGWG will have to grapple with this further.

The avenues to pursue governance issues elicited much discussion, with one concern expressed that in areas covered by the faculty collective bargaining agreement, faculty assembly and FGWG leaders should be careful to alert the union of library faculty needs, in order that these be incorporated in any negotiations with the administration.

The group agreed to examine faculty assemblies that exist in other UF schools or colleges, such as the College of Education, Fine Arts School and Journalism. A question came up about the Museum of Natural History as a good model, since unlike the Harn, it is understood that the professional staff are not subsumed under Fine Arts. Carol volunteered to check on the status of various internal UF arrangements for faculty assemblies, and Cathy will create a link on the Library Shared Governance website to the constitution and by-laws of the College of Education Faculty Assembly.

Organizational procedures for the Faculty Governance group were next discussed, with a consensus that at a future Faculty Assembly meeting, probably the January 18 larger group meeting of all interested librarians, a vote can be taken to establish a formal Assembly and Governance Group, with the intent to define faculty governance responsibilities officially over time. The language used in the establishment of the A&P Assembly, which had permission from the Provost to form, can be looked at. The group was reminded that the "shared" of shared governance is paramount, with full administrative and faculty conversation throughout the process.

Carl promoted the more "organic" view of what we are trying to do in developing the tasks that lie ahead for the FGWG: his feeling is that shared governance in the library's context has to be more than further talk on exclusively-faculty concerns like T & P. While issues like sabbaticals and tenure/promotion are certainly important, library faculty have to see day-to-day concerns in a more professional light, as is done by colleagues in the academic departments.

David and Carol agreed to attend the Communication Committee meeting on December 8 to report tentatively to that group on the FGWG deliberations so far.

Carl volunteered to schedule the next FGWG meeting. A motion was passed to approve the minutes from Nov. 17. Cathy will arrange the Faculty Assembly meeting logistics for December 12 and January 18. It is hoped a preliminary structure for faculty shared governance will be presented on January 18.

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