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Faculty Governance at the University of Florida Libraries

Minutes - April 19, 2010: 10:00am

Smathers 1A  

Approval of Agenda & Minutes

The Agenda for the April meeting and the minutes for the November meeting were approved as submitted.

Administration Updates


The search committee for the Legal Information Center Dean includes Library faculty and staff, as well as Dean Russell. This is a significant improvement over the previous search committee for the LIC Dean, which did not include Library representation. The LIC has hired a new reference librarian, and is planning to hire a staff member in charge of student services, particularly the orientation of first-year students. Christopher Vallandingham will be serving his reserve commission later this year, probably between June and November.

Smathers & Budget

Dean Russell will be presenting the Libraries’ projected budget to an RCM committee of deans, as part of the meeting to describe the mechanism by which academic departments will be assessed for library services. Last week, she made a presentation to the University Budget Review Council, which makes nonbinding recommendations to the University administration concerning budget requests. This is not the Libraries’ assigned year to give an in-depth justification of their budget. However, since most units were told to prepare a flat budget for this year, and the Provost directed Dean Russell to prepare a budget for the Libraries that restored lost purchasing power, she wished to present this budget proposal to the Council explicitly. She and Cecilia Botero also made a presentation to the deans of the health sciences to explain the HSCL's budget proposal. The library assessment for the six colleges in the Health Sciences Center will directly support the HSCL budget.

Increases to the Smathers Libraries budget include offsets for: lost purchasing power, the budget recall, salaries for positions previously funded externally, and funds lost from personnel taking advantage of the retirement incentive plan. (Normally, funds surrendered through the retirement incentive were not to be restored to their colleges.) Win Phillips has pledged 2% of all indirect costs (IDC) funds to the libraries, which increases our share of DSR funds overall to 4.5%.

Outstanding Librarian Award

Dean Russell presented possible guidelines for potential Outstanding Librarian Award, modeled on the awards for outstanding teaching and advising. She suggested that the LFA refine these guidelines and determine the weight of various factors, and the procedure for nominations. It was suggested that this responsibility might be added to an existing committee rather than creating a new committee specifically for the purpose of judging this award.

Senate Report

Dean Russell gave a presentation on the Institutional Repository and the new Open Access Publishing Fund Pilot Project on behalf of the University Libraries Committee. Unfortunately, the discussion of open access textbooks later in the Senate meeting gave the impression that deposition in the Institutional Repository could damage graduate students’ chances for later publication. Fortunately, Dean Russell was able to correct this misapprehension by explaining that access can be restricted for a period of time determined by the publication’s author.

Faculty Enhancement Opportunity (FEO) funds are still available, and faculty are encouraged to apply. The libraries have a perfect record of approval for FEO proposals, with the most recent awards going to Betsy Simpson and Elizabeth Outler.

Scott Nygren was elected Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate for the coming year. There is one Senate meeting remaining this year, which will be held on May 6. It is not expected that a projected budget will be available from the Legislature in time to be discussed at this meeting.

Chair's Report & Assembly Business

Christopher discussed the meetings he and Dan had attended for college assembly chairs. He noted that some of the larger colleges have sub-assemblies that elect representatives to the larger assembly, and wondered whether this model might also be appropriate for the Libraries. This led to a broader discussion of how we might increase participation, and what factors might be affecting attendance at Assembly meetings and the willingness of individuals to bring up specific matters at our meetings. Some of the points discussed included:

  • It may be inhibiting to some people that our administrators are visible presence in assembly meetings; however, our administrators are primarily tenured faculty and are represented by the assembly.
  • Tenured faculty have an obligation to take a leadership role in communicating potentially unpopular, difficult, or awkward matters to the administration.
  • Shared governance is a do-it-yourself proposition.
  • Assembly meetings are not simply venues for information flowing outward or downward to the faculty; we should expect to take action and vote on specific proposals.

Christopher passed the (virtual) gavel to Dan Reboussin, and the assembly expressed appreciation for Christopher's leadership over the past year.


The UFLFA meeting was adjourned.

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