Faculty Governance at the University of Florida Libraries
Library Faculty Assembly (LFA) Special Meeting
Minutes - February 11, 2008: 3:30pm
Marston Science Library, Room L107
Vernon Kisling called the meeting to order at 3:33 PM.
This meeting was called to discuss the formation of the Assembly special committee on re-organization and the Assembly and Senate schedule for discussion of Smathers Libraries re-organization matters.
Vernon began the meeting with three comments:
- Shared governance is shared with administration. Faculty have more responsibility for participation and involvement.
- The Assembly officers have been elected to represent the faculty.
- Joe Aufmuth's idea of expanding faculty representation in the discussion of the reorganization is a good one.
Vernon turned the meeting over to Joe Aufmuth.
Joe recounted the timetable that the reorganization had taken and his purposes in the discussions which were to represent the faculty, to open doors for shared governance and to assure the involvement of the faculty. Trying to find common ground he was gathering facts. According to the UF constitution, the Libraries are entitled to the same rights as the colleges. He recounted the discussions he had.
There are timetable constraints involved for approval and recruiting of new positions (the Associate Directors). A major concern for the faculty relates to changes in "tenure home". The UF Constitution implies in the departments where there will be a change (creation and dissolution), votes will need to occur.
Naomi Young clarified that Faculty outside the tenure track have the same rights as tenured faculty.
Merrie Davidson expressed concern that staff be remembered as the discussion of the reorganization continues.
Joe stated that the establishment of a committee as the process for solving the problem came in discussion. It was his understanding that the resulting proposals from the committee would come back to the faculty for a vote. The potential of additional budget cuts does loom as a reason to speed the process. We need a structure for the process.
Joe presented the timeline and activities that need to occur in order to get Senate approval for the reorganization.
The steps include:
- Faculty approval
- University Library Committee approval
- Infrastructure and Policy Council approval
- Going to the Senate Steering Committee
- Being placed on the Senate Agenda
- being voted on at the Faculty Senate
Since there is no May Senate meeting, the timeline would be for a vote at the April meeting.
Backing up the time line it would meeting that there are 16 days to form a committee and have their report for the Library Faculty Assembly to hear it in a called meeting March 13 and be presented at the University Library Committee on Mar 14 and go on to the Infrastructure and Policy committee.
A question was raised whether the Academic Policy Council would need to approve as well.
Matthew Loving reported that he had discussed with the chair of that Council and it does not since it will go through the Infrastructure Policy Council.
Joe reported that the timeline presented for the reorganization to go forward would only occur if it was a smooth and unobjectionable process.
There were questions about whether hiring could occur without a reorganization agreed on. It would be difficult to hire without a full understanding of the jobs and responsibilities of those positions which would come in an approved library reorganization plan.
Jim Cusick brought the group back to the purpose of the meeting - what does the Library Faculty Assembly want to do regarding library reorganization, what is our input, and how to we want to discuss and give input. It was recognized that the forced deadlines were unfair and unfortunate. This effort should go through a process.
Jim Cusick moved that the Library Faculty Assembly vote to set up a committee to evaluate the plan for the library reorganization and charge the committee to make recommendations on the reorganization for the best plan or alternatives for what will work best for the libraries with no specified deadline. Erich Kesse seconded the motion.
After further discussion of the timelines, Jim Cusick amended the motion to remove the phrase "with no specified deadline". Erich Kesse supported the amendment.
There was support expressed for moving quickly and having a dialogue with Dean Russell regarding the rationale for the decisions made and the plan that has been proposed.
The motion "that the Library Faculty Assembly vote to set up a committee to evaluate the plan for the library reorganization and charge the committee to make recommendations on the reorganization for the best plan or alternatives for what will work best for the libraries" was passed with no opposition.
Joe presented the charge to the committee that he had originally proposed.
Charge: to solicit and collect proposals and comments from faculty and staff; to analyze and synthesize reorganization functions and structure and make recommendations on the reorganization to the Dean and the Chair of the Library Faculty Assembly.
Carl Van Ness moved that the charge be accepted and Patrick Reakes seconded the motion.
The motion was amended to include administration in the charge which was acceptable to Carl Van Ness and Patrick Reakes. The motion carried.
The Charge to the committee which passed is:
Charge: to solicit and collect proposals and comments from faculty, staff and administration; to analyze and synthesize reorganization functions and structure and make recommendations on the reorganization to the Dean and the Chair of the Library Faculty Assembly.
At 4:30, Stephanie Haas moved that the Special Called meeting be extended past the 4:30 ending time. Patrick Reakes seconded and the motion carried.
There was discussion on the importance of the votes of the Library Faculty Assembly as they will be consulted as the Policy Councils act on the proposed plan. Votes by departments will be important.
Regarding Committee memberships Joe had suggested that tenured faculty be proposed as committee members. Committee membership and representation of the libraries was discussed.
Several alternatives were proposed and evaluated. Naomi Young moved that using the existing Strategic Planning LFA committees be a basis of membership. The motion died.
Matthew Loving moved that the committee be representative of faculty in their tenure home and that the faculty in the tenure home nominate select a tenured or tenure-accruing faculty members for the members of the committee. Merrie Davidson seconded. After discussion as to whether this was the existing tenure home or the proposed and realizing that there are some tenure homes with one member, the motion and the second were withdrawn.
It was pointed out by Carl Van Ness that the Bylaws say that LFA Chair in consultation with the LFA officers appoint committees. The standing rules of the Faculty Assembly further state that members of special committees "shall be appointed by the UFLFA Chair in consultation with the other officers while respecting the diverse membership of UFLFA in relation to the committee's charge."
Brian Keith moved that based on the existing four divisions in the libraries, that two faculty members and one staff member from each division be appointed to be members of the committee selected by the Library Faculty Assembly officers. Patrick Reakes seconded the motion and the motion carried.
In discussion it was agreed that preference would be for tenured faculty, but not limited to them.
Adjournment: The UFLFA meeting adjourned at 5:10 PM
The next meeting of the Assembly will be Monday, February 18 in Marston Science Library room L107, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Depending on the ability to teleconference the meeting, the meeting room may change.