Email sent to libusers

Date: June 16, 1997

From: (Nancy Baker)


Subject: DC Response to Planning Document

I want to thank all of you who submitted, either individually or as a group, feedback on the DC response to the Planning Document. This e-mail message represents my attempt to summarize the revised response from DC, to respond to some concerns and misinformation that surfaced in this feedback, and to outline a course of action to get us moving to the next phase.

A number of you noted that the ex officio presence on the Library Council of the Head of Hum/Soc and the Head of Sciences was contrary to the intent of the Planning Document. After some consideration, we agree with this observation. A number of you also suggested a great variety of other configurations for the Library Council. After much discussion DC has agreed on the following structure:

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 represented by a bargaining unit will have the opportunity to elect 1 representative to the Council.

Library Faculty and Exempt:

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 elected representative will serve 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 Council from year to year.

The Library Council will be configured in July. Since we will not have all the Assistant Director positions in place, some interim arrangement will need to be made to insure representation from those departments without Assistant Directors during our transition.

In much of the feedback, there appeared some real confusion about difference between Library Council and Library Cabinet. Library Council will be doing much of the work currently handled by Director's Council (allocation of Libraries operating budget, for example). Library Cabinet will be dealing with those items that are inappropriate for a broader forum (library faculty merit ratings, for example). The Council does not report to the Cabinet; they are two distinct groups.

Someone expressed concern that the DC response did not address the proposal for working groups, a critical component of the plan. DC is fully supportive of the working groups. Our support is included in the statement in my original memo, "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." The concept of the working groups is included in these statements.

One last point I would like to address - the issue of the creation of the new Assistant Director positions. Several staff groups were concerned that these positions would be created by laying off existing classified staff. To my knowledge, we have never done this during my last six years here. To my knowledge, it was not done prior to my tenure here. If we are able to create these positions, it will be out of vacant positions, as we have always done.

Of any of you have other individual points that you raised in your feedback and would like to call me for clarification, I would be happy to talk with you.

Finally let me say, that it is important for us to move on ahead with our plan. We cannot implement everything overnight. It is clear from the feedback, there are many different ideas about how this all should work. Over time, we will undoubtedly change our mind about parts of it, in light of the changes we face at the university. Already, we have had a proposal to consolidate two of the administrative divisions on the new plan to accommodate our current 1% cut. I do not know whether we will choose to make this change. There wll undoubtedly be other ideas and needs that will give us a somewhat different configuration over time from what we currently have on paper. The organizational structure is really a small part of what is being proposed. The most important changes are the way we operate as an organization. It is important tht we move ahead and get the process going.

I will be contacting the Chief Stewards of the appropriate Bargaining Units asking them to elect their representative to Library Council. Similarly, we will be sending out ballots to the appropriate individuals outside of the bargaining units to elect the members of Library Council. This group will serve as our Implementation Committee for the Plan. So it is especially important that we get this Council in place so we can proceed.

I appreciate everyone's time, thoughts, and efforts in this process to date. If you have any questions, give me a call.

Nancy L. Baker

Director of Libraries