TO: Planning Committee Members: Mary Gilles, Co-chair; Marilyn Von Seggern, Co-Chair; Janet Chisman, Vicki Croft, Rhonda Gaylord, Daryl Herbison, Lauren McNiece, Ingrid Mifflin, Barbara Paulson, Jill Palmer, Kay Vyhnanek, Sharon Walbridge, John Webb, Leslie Wykoff, Christy Zlatos
FROM: Nancy L. Baker, Director of Libraries, 5610 (335-4558)
DATE: April 18, 1997
SUBJECT: DIRECTOR'S COUNCIL RESPONSE TO THE PLANNING DOCUMENT
On behalf of Director's council, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the extensive time and effort you devoted to this task. Overall, the Director's Council is very pleased with your proposal. As you will see, we have made only a few changes to your proposed organization chart and its accompanying narrative.
First of all, the Values, Mission, Vision, Principles and Philosophy Statements are well written and present an excellent direction for the WSU Libraries at this time. Director's Council agrees with these statements as written. We embrace the idea of the working groups, recognizing that we all will need some additional training for effective implementation. We also think it would be helpful to everyone in the library to have a list of who will coordinate whom and who will supervise whom for clarity since some of this is changing with this mode.
Organization Chart and Accompanying narrative -- In general, the overall organization and general recommendations you have proposed are fine. We think it will contribute to resolving a number of issues that have been raised throughout this process. There are only a few areas that we would restructure or revise. We also believe that implementation would be an excellent time to establish more consistent titles for positions across the organization.
Director's Cabinet -- Given the mission and scope of responsibilities afforded to the Library Council, we believe the Director's Cabinet should only consist of the Assistant/Associate Directors and the Director. Otherwise, it will be necessary to create another group above the Cabinet to handle those items for which representation by the Assistant/Associate Directors is appropriate. The vast majority of matters currently handled by Director's Council would be handled by the Library Council, in this new model. Those few items which would need to be handled by a higher level group, would need to be restricted to a Cabinet of administrators. A specific example would be the merit rating review for library faculty currently discussed by Director's Council. It would be inappropriate to have other library employees participate in that process. We would expect the Cabinet to meet infrequently since most of the work would be conducted by the new Library Council or within working groups and departments.
Library Council as Implementation Committee -- Given the general description of the Library Council, it would be appropriate to have this group serve as the implementation committee rather than another separate group. We would structure a 16 member Council as follows:
- Classified Staff Representation:
Staff represented by each of the 4 bargaining units will be offered an opportunity to elect 1 representative from their respective bargaining unit. In addition, those staff members who are not represented by a bargaining unit will have the opportunity to elect 1 representative to the Council.
- Library Faculty and Exempt/Professional:
The Head of Sciences Libraries and the Head of Humanities/Social Sciences will each be ex-officio members by virture of their positions. In addition, library faculty and exempt/professional staff will elect 3 additional members to represent them.
- The Assistant/Associate Directors and Director of Libraries will be ex-officio members, i.e., members by virtue of their positions.
- Each of the elected representatives will serve for 2 year terms. During the first year, half will serve for 1 year in order to insure that there is some continuity and some change on the committee from year to year.
Outreach Coordinator -- We all like the idea of this position, but have to admit that if we had an opportunity for a new position, this would not be the highest priority on the entire organization chart. In addition, as the Director is freed from some of her current responsibilities as Head of Humanities/Social Sciences and Head of Collection Development, she would have more time to devote to many of these external matters. For these reasons, we would like to put this position in abeyance, noting that we may want to create it in the future, but we would not be moving immediately to fill it. In the meantime, various external projects can be assigned to one of the Assistant/Associate Directors for coordination, allowing each of them to have some opportunities to participate in thse new and interesting projects.
Two New Assistant Director Positions -- We would consider these two new positions high priority. It will be virtually impossible to restructure the organization without them.
Office Manager -- Many years ago, the Library Administrative Office had an office manager. When that position became vacant, many of the positions that reported to the manager were promoted to levels capable of handling most of the responsibilites previously handled by the Office Manager. Therefore, it is unclear what this Office Manager would actually do.
Director's Council did discuss ways to make some aspects of these duties more streamlined and take some of the burdens of these responsibilities from the current Associate Director. For example, if the Assistant Directors were able to approve special, non-routine purchases of supplies up to a set dollar limit with additional Associate Director or Director approval, it would shift some workload and and streamline the process. In our plan, the Associate Director would continue to manage these operations.
Budget Allocation -- We have some concerns about allocating all the budget at a divisional level. The only budget held centrally is Goods & Services which primarily funds supplies and travel and equipment. (Although we have a budget line for equipment, for the last six+ years, we have not had sufficient funds to allocate to that line). We buy supplies in bulk to save money and to avoid detailed, expensive and time-consuming recordkeeping about which department is using which supplies. There may be other ways to streamline our purchase of supplies, other than through direct allocation to units. Certainly, this issue should be a discussion item for Library Council when this group discusses budget allocation.
Associate Director -- While I appreciate the reasoning behind the suggestion that the five administrative positions all be equitably titled Assistant Directors, in reality the WSU Libraries need to have someone clearly and regularly designated to be "in charge" when the Director is away. This indiviual needs to be kept abreast in detail of most ongoing activities, budget requests, personnel situations, etc., so he/she is able to step in and handle most everything that can and does arise in the absence of the Director. It is not practical to assume that all five administrators will be kept abreast of all these activities in sufficient detail to handle them in the absence of the Directr.
During any given year, the Director will likely be gone over 25% of the time. For the last couple of years, I have spent much more time here in Pullman than a Director should, because of my workload. Once the two new Assistant Director positions have been filled, I will once again be able to assume more of these external responsibilities. The kinds of issues that frequently occur in my absence that cannot wait until I return are almost always budgetary and personnel. For this reason, the Associate Director positon (Human Resources and Administrative Services) is the only position well suited to serve this role.
As a next step in this process, it will be necessary to send this document to the Chief Stewards of the bargaining units which represent some of the library staff. It will be the responsibility of the Chief Stewards to solicit feedback from the library staff represented by those bargaining units. In order to insure that everyone has this opportunity to provide input before this plan is finalized, I will be sending copies of this memo to the staff who are not represented by a bargaining unit, to all exempt/professional staff, and to all library faculty. Feedback will be requested by May 30, so the Director's Council will be able review this feedback and decide on the final plan the first week in June. At that point, we will want to begin implementation.
Attachment: Revised Organization Chart
cc: Chief Stewards -- BU 2, 5, 9, 10
All non-represented classified staff
All library exempt/professional staff
All library faculty