Faculty Governance at the University of Florida Libraries
Minutes - August 16, 2010: 10:00am
Approval of Agenda & Minutes
It was moved that the agenda be approved. The motion was seconded and passed.
Approval of minutes was deferred till the next meeting, due to the lack of the previous meeting’s minutes.
Chair Dan Reboussin began the meeting by welcoming new members and introducing the officers of the Library Faculty Assembly as well as the current Library Faculty Senators. Included in the introduction was a brief recognition of Vernon Kisling, who has agreed in act as Past Chair for the Library Faculty Assembly in place of Christopher Vallandingham, and the introduction of Edward Hart, of the Legal Information Center, who will be replacing George Hack as a Library Faculty Senator.
The Chair then reviewed the current LFA structure, with brief descriptions of what each committee does. The Chair encouraged anyone to contact LFA officers if there were concerns or ideas about how committees can better represent the faculty. There was discussion about the need to modify the current committees and to look at what each committee is doing. As an example, the Strategic Planning Committee is currently inactive and the website needs to be updated to reflect that. There was also discussion of replacing Jessica de Perio Wittman on the Nominating Committee. The committee will discuss and report back to the Library Faculty Assembly.
Dean Russell introduced Diane Bruxvoort as the new Assistant Dean for Scholarly Resources and Research Services. Brian Keith announced that the budget reports for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, ending June 30th 2010, are now available online. The reports consist of both combined and separate budgets for Smathers and Health. Questions can be directed towards the budget committee or to Fiscal Services.
Michele Tennant announced the hiring of three new faculty members at Health. Those new hires include Jennifer Lyon as the new Clinical Librarian, Beth Auten as the new librarian liaison to the College of Nursing, and Rolando Millian who is the liaison to the Basic Biomedical Sciences. Kathleen Moeller announced that the Borland Library is currently in the process of hiring a new Clinical Librarian. There is a strong pool of applicants and phone interviews have just been completed.
Edward Hart announced that Kathy Price is retired and that the Legal Information Center is currently searching for a new director. Rick Donnelly is currently acting as the interim director and is scheduled to retire in March 2011. Edward Hart also announced the hiring of two new librarians, Shira Megerman and Jennifer Wondracek.
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.
Assembly Officers Reports
The Chair brought up the issue of needing to update the Library Faculty Assembly’s standing rules to include the use of electronic polling. Vernon Kisling mentioned that the bylaws for the Library Faculty Assembly also need to be updated. There is no call for volunteers yet and the issue will be raised at a future meeting.
Vernon Kisling will act as the immediate past chair in Christopher Vallandingham’s absence, with no need for confirmation. The Chair thanked Vernon for accepting the position two years in a row.
Edward Hart was elected as Senator according to LFA by-laws/standing rules, approved by the Senate and accepted by Edward. Edward will be replacing George Hack.
The Chair brought up the Open Access Fund and encouraged faculty to promote the project. The Chair brought up his personal interaction with the department chair of Anthropology and encouraged library faculty to let others know the information and responses received from university wide faculty in response to the project. The Chair also brought up the idea of having a general library faculty policy in regards to open access, inspired by the policy currently in place at Marston Science Library. It was suggested that an electronic poll be set up to gauge the opinion of the faculty, but that no immediate action would be taken. Dean Russell suggested that it may be appropriate to connect any announcement with Open Access Week in October. This discuss concluded with a reminder about the interviews for the Scholarly Communications Librarian and that to please contact LFA officers if you have any questions or concerns.
Faculty Merit Raises
The Chair began the discussion about faculty merit raises by detailing his request for comments from faculty in regards to whether the current system is a good system. He said that there was no wave of criticism and only a few comments were received. The Chair proposed a straw poll and reminded the assembly that the current minimum criteria were constructed by the University of Florida Faculty Assembly, which was approved by the LFA by a show of hands. The three-tiered model was later developed by Dean Russell and Brian Keith, once it was known the number of candidates qualified and the amount of money available. LFA officers felt this model appropriate, but due to time constraints, there was no time to reconvene the LFA in order to discuss the matter at large.
The issue of whether it was meritorious to meet expectations, in the context of this faculty, was raised as well as whether it is fair to exclude faculty who receive two exceeds in service and research, but not the primary job responsibility. The commentator noted that this may be more related to dissatisfaction with how supervisorial evaluations are handled. Dean Russell commented that there has been extensive training of supervisors to handle evaluations. She also pointed out that primary responsibility is exactly what it says and that effort may need to be redirected to that area. Dean Russell also stated that 67% of faculty was eligible this time around, up from 50% the last time, and that it is a positive sign that the majority of faculty are awarded.
Two other issues were also raised. The first being whether this criterion was problematic for new hires and people who have transferred divisions. It was commented that administration has made efforts to keep any issues from arising. The second issue was whether there should be different criteria when there are no cost of living raises during the same year. While the commentator doesn’t want the criteria to be any more subjective, there may be more layers that need to be considered when there is no cost of living raises available.
The Chair concluded that there was no general sense to poll faculty but to please let the LFA know if you feel otherwise. The Chair urged that if there is a feeling that the model needs to be changed, the issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The issue was concluded with the note that it may be pending further discussion.
The UFLFA meeting was adjourned.