Faculty Governance at the University of Florida Libraries
Letter sent to Kim Tanzer on April 4, 2006 in response to Dr. Machen's University Work Plan
The Library Faculty, Administration, and Senators read President Machen's draft Work Plan with great interest and we appreciate the opportunity to provide our comments and recommendations. We believe the library is a vital component of the University's efforts to achieve Top 10 status and were pleased to see that he views the completion of Library West and the Legal Information Center as important aspects of reaching that goal. As you and the President know, the vast array of physical and virtual library resources, and the dedicated library faculty and staff, as well as the refurbished physical space, underpin the mission of the University by providing much needed curricular and research support.
In the spirit of shared faculty governance, Library faculty and administration have worked with the Library's Senators to coordinate our response. While some Library faculty have individually taken the opportunity to respond directly to you and President Machen, the Library Senators felt it necessary for the Libraries to provide a unified response. As a result, attached is a modified draft Work Plan which includes suggestions made by library faculty and administration. As Senators, we feel the recommended changes demonstrate the UF community's recognition of the important role the Libraries play in promoting and supporting academic programs, express in a positive way our goals to "ensure that Library resources meet the needs of students and faculty," and are in keeping with the positive tone and nature of the Work Plan. A cover sheet identifying our suggested changes is included with the attached amended draft.
In 2002 former President Young had a very limited statement about Libraries in his Strategic Plan. The Libraries responded to his plan and the deliberations of his Task Force on the Future of the University in a letter dated June 18, 2002. Many of the problems addressed in that letter remain relevant today. The letter's conclusion stated "In summary, the Libraries strongly support the efforts to focus and direct the University of Florida toward greatness in the 21st century. Great universities have great libraries and UF's Libraries play a central role in assuring the University's vitality and success. Certainly, universities that reach the top ten have libraries at the same level. That outcome will require a much greater proportion of university resources than UF has historically committed. If there are not dramatic increases in collection building and facility support, the plain fact is that planned campus and academic program expansion (e.g., the graduate student increase) will have the net effect of making the libraries even less adequate.
We hope that you and President Machen will look favorably upon the positive goals we have outlined and include our changes in future revisions of the President's Work Plan.
Respectfully Submitted on behalf of the Library Faculty,