UW-L Faculty Senate Library Committee Meeting

Meeting Minutes

11:00 a.m. – noon, February 29, 2008



In Attendance:  Paul Beck (Library), Barb Bennie (Mathematics), Linda Dickmeyer (Communication Studies), William Ross (Management), Missy Ruplinger (Student Representative), Shauna Sallmen (Physics), Chia-Chen Yu (Chairperson, Exercise and Sports Science), William Barillas (English)


Consultant:  Anita Evans (Murphy Library Director)


Dr. Yu called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m.


1.         The minutes of Feb.1, 2008 were reviewed.   M/S/P to approve the minutes (6 – 0).


2.         Dr. Yu announced that Joshua Hockett will replace Sarah Putnam as a Student Representative.


3.         The differential tuition request was discussed.  The committee considered the memo that Dr. Yu and Director Evans had submitted on Feb. 18, 2008 to the Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee (AIOC) in response to “Phase II” questions that they had posed in a memo on Feb. 11, 2008.  It was mentioned that the AIOC had not yet responded to the Feb. 18th memo; nor had they presented any additional questions.  Dr. Yu said that she would keep committee members advised of further developments and any AIOC decisions regarding the Library’s differential tuition request.


4.         Dr. Yu will present the Faculty Senate Library Report to the Faculty Senate on Thursday, March 6, 2008.  It was noted that Director Evans will also be there to also answer Senators’ questions.


5.         The draft of the Faculty Senate Library Report was considered.  Numerous wording suggestions were offered, including the following:

            -           The title might be “Report on a Fiscal Crisis at Murphy Library.”

            -           The “tone” in the overview should be quite serious and frank.

-           The implications of Growth, Quality, & Access (GQA) for the library should be clear.  The Senators should be made aware that costs will rise as we increase student enrollment, and they will increase significantly if enrollment rises above 10,000 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) students.  Thus, the impact will be one of decreasing the quantity and quantity of material resources and decreasing access to information through databases.

-           Differential tuition funds (if approved) and service fees (if implemented) will not be enough to offset additional costs that occur from GQA and from inflation in library materials.

-           It was suggested that the “Overview” of the report (page 1) state, “Murphy Library faces a financial crisis.  This report will present facts describing the growing inadequacy of current funding to address this crisis.”

-           It was suggested that under I. 1. “Acquisitions Budget Crisis” (page 1) explain the 8-10% inflation rate a bit more (this is an inflation rate in the cost of library materials and access to databases, caused, in large part, by library suppliers and vendors).

-           Give the total amount needed to be able to provide the level of service in FY 2001 and FY 2007.

-           Mention that this report emphasizes acquisitions and student services; other areas of the Library (e.g., staffing) face crisis as well.

-           Give examples from each college (e.g., College of Liberal Studies).  Put the ‘Accountancy’ example given in the AIOC memo in the report.

-           Give a graph to make the LibQual + Survey information (bottom of page 5) clearer.

-           Explain the meaning of “DES” on the graph currently on page 5.

-           Give graph(s) for total Inter-Library Loan (ILL) requests and costs mentioned on page 5.

-           Mention that UW-L is required to make certain expenditures as part of UW-System Library programs.  These expenditures are poised to significantly increase.

-           Mention that “If accredited programs are required to have sufficient materials and the library cannot afford those materials, then the day may come when the departments and programs that are seeking accreditation may be asked to fund those materials themselves.  UW-L has a number of accredited programs and the library committee members want to maintain those strong programs.  However, accrediting review boards expect to find strong library resources related to their fields.  In order to avoid jeopardizing accreditation of certain programs, additional library funding is needed.”

-           Identify the number of program shifts:  new majors, “upgrades” of concentrations to minors or majors, etc. and note that each of these increase the demand for library resources.

-           Note that GQA may increase the number of new majors and minors at UW-L. 

-           While describing the Librarians’ efforts to cope with reduced funding, mention that the committee sees additional funding as the only solution in order to maintain quality service, collection, and access.

-           Should the “Overview” be broken into two paragraphs?

-           Dr. Barillas had additional wording suggestions.  He will work with Dr. Yu to finalize language of the report.


6.         The UW-System Library Director’s Group is seeking additional funding from the UW-System Board of Regents.  However the state budget has its own projected shortfall, so the outcome is best described as “uncertain” and UW-L Senators and Administrators cannot count on those possible funds for solving the fiscal crisis at Murphy Library.


7.         Director Evans presented 2006 FTE data for comparable campuses along with their staffing levels.  She noted that Murphy Library “doesn’t look good” when compared to similar campuses.  She noted that staffing levels were low because an open position has remained unfilled since 2004 due to UW-L budget cuts.  There was discussion about whether this fact should be mentioned in the report.


8.         Director Evans noted that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a new policy, effective April 7, 2008.  Any NIH-funded research reports must be filed with the free “Pub Med Central” website.  This will promote open access to information. 


9.         Murphy Library is “re-doing” its website.  Jenifer Holman will give the committee an update of this effort at an upcoming meeting (either March 28 or May 2).


Meeting adjourned, 11:58 a.m.