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Faculty Governance at the University of Florida Libraries

Draft Minutes - October 19, 2009: 10:00am

Smathers 1A  

Approval of Minutes of Previous Meetings

The minutes of the September meeting were approved as submitted.

Chair's Report

Chair Christopher Vallandingham reminded the Assembly that it is his intention to vary the general format of the meetings, with meetings devoted to a specific topic alternating with more general meetings dealing with Assembly business. Although it was previously planned to discuss committee structures at this meeting, that discussion was deferred so that the meeting would not take up too much time.

Christopher reported Leah Rosenberg, the Chair of the University Libraries Committee, wishes to know: What are the concerns of the Library Faculty that should be brought to the attention of the University Libraries Committee? One concern is: What will the effect of the RCM budget model on the libraries? How can the Libraries best prove our value? Answers can be discussed later in the meeting, or forwarded to Christopher.   It was suggested that the University Libraries Committee review recommendations in the Future of the Libraries report  to determine concerns that were identified at that time.

Christopher reported the charges he has given to two committees. He has asked the Budget Committee to determine whether our input is sufficient in the library budget process. There is a sense that much of the information received about the budget is after the fact, when decisions have been made. He has asked the Strategic Planning Committee to assess the effectiveness of shared governance in the Libraries. Also, should the Libraries involve themselves in external initiatives, such as promoting a campus-wide open access policy?

Administration Updates


Kathie Price will be retiring June 2010, during which time Rick Donnelly will be the acting director. Rick Donnelly will be retiring in 2011. The time frame for the search for the library director is unclear. The Legal Information Center Director is a member of the Law Faculty, and the library faculty and staff have had no direct input into that appointment in the past.


There was no report from the Smathers Libraries.

Committee Reports from Assembly Standing Committees

Career Development Committee

Rich Bennett presented several proposed changes to the Mentoring program, outlined at and asked for faculty feedback by the end of the week.

He asked us especially to note:

  • For tenure-track faculty - the mentoring relationship will last until the mentee has submitted the T&P packet (instead of only lasting until completion of the midterm review).
  • The mentoring relationship is formalized. A signed Mentoring Agreement will exist, and mentors will include this activity as Service to the Libraries in their annual activity report.
  • Formalizing the feedback mechanism through the Annual Evaluation Process with a particular role for the Supervisor and/or Departmental Chair.
  • Non-tenure track faculty and staff pursuing or holding a degree in librarianship may also elect to participate in the mentoring program.

He also encouraged all faculty to attend the Tenure and Promotion workshop October 27, 10:30 AM – noon, in MSL 107. The topic will be the Mid-Career Review, with an emphasis on a new requirement in all tenure and promotion packets to include a statement about the candidate’s professional responsibilities.

Open Access Mandate

Stephanie Haas pointed us toward the proposed Open Access Mandate for UF Library Faculty She encouraged feedback and further discussion, and reminded us of the Open Access activities all this week.

Market Equity Salary Adjustment Process

The Chair moderated discussion of the following questions:

  • Is the MLS a necessary professional credential before one can be considered a librarian?
  • Is the term librarian defined by function or by possession of the MLS?
  • Should possessors of an MLS be favored over applicants without the MLS?

A lively discussion ensued, including these points:

  • It may be important to distinguish between “librarians” (persons who hold an MLS) and library faculty (persons who are employed in a faculty-rank position).

  • Taking into consideration the applicant pool and the skill set needed for a given faculty position, requiring an MLS may not be realistic in every case
    • This may be especially true in cases where high-level subject knowledge is needed
    • However, changes in the library environment may require us to develop subject knowledge apart from our formal degrees

  • Librarianship is a profession, a body of knowledge, skill set, and set of values that can be agreed on
    • However, formal library education is not the only way this professional identity can be acquired

  • Faculty in other departments and colleges may not understand how our work is like that of other faculty.
    • This may be increasingly problematic as the RCM model makes each college’s contribution to library funding more transparent
    • Can we use our tenure packets as a marketing tool

  • It may be desirable to expand and formalize liaison programs such as those at the HSCL

  • Can we increase awareness of our services by educating and providing services at the point of need?


The UFLFA meeting was adjourned.


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