Date:  12 May 2010


TO:  UW-L Faculty Senate


FROM:  Tim Gerber, Chair and Faculty Senate Library Committee [including John Jax (By-law Member, Murphy Library) and Anita Evans (Consultant, Murphy Library)]


RE:  Faculty Senate Library Committee 2009-2010 Academic Year Final Report


CHARGE:  2009-10 Committee members, duties, responsibilities, and charges (bulleted items below; see )

  • Study and recommend means of improving library services.
  • Provide liaison between faculty and library staff regarding policy-related issues.
  • Special charges:

*         Continue to discuss and monitor budget and financial issues and provide any necessary recommendations to the Library, the Provost and Joint Planning and Budget.

*         Begin the process of reviewing the strategy for funding from multiple funding sources to support Library activities

*         Review and monitor the use of the MEPD monies that are generated from courses taken off campus.


SUMMARY:  Eight, one-hour Faculty Senate Library Committee (hereafter, committee) meetings were held once each month from September 2009-May 2010.  No meeting was held in January (see link above for minutes).  This academic year end report summarizes work done in regard to committee duties, responsibilities, and charges (see above link) with a focus on improving library services, budget and financial issues, and suggestions for next year’s committee.


Budget and financial issues:  The 2008-09 academic year final report addressed the fiscal crisis affecting Murphy Library and the resolutions submitted to the Faculty and Student Senates requesting support of the library budget for increasing resource acquisitions (e-resources) and access (library hours).


(1) Student differential tuition proposal:  Much of the fall semester was spent on the student differential tuition proposal which was submitted in 15 October 2009.  Attendance at multiple meetings by Library and FSLC representatives was required to answer questions and generally support the proposal.  The Regents approved the differential tuition proposal for UW-L in February 2010. The funding timeline starts with FY11 (or July 1, 2010), and thus will be part of Fall semester 2010 planning. E-resource ($120,000) and library hour ($58,000) allocations were set by the Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee (AIOC).   Student tuition differential funding lasts for five years with small inflation factors within the amounts allocated; however, allocations are reviewed annually and may be adjusted based on program assessments.



A separate Learning Center proposal was submitted by a separate UW-L committee and funded too.  The Learning Center components were moved to Murphy Library (Rooms 256 and 256) this year.


(2) Library Hours:  Eleven additional hours to the regular weekly library schedule will be added for the Fall semester 2010. Data for the additional hours selected came from the 2008 LibQUAL Survey results, a BUS 230 research project and comparison with UW System comprehensive campuses. An LTE person will be hired for next academic year.  Patron count and other measures of library use will need to be kept during the coming year to justify the additional funding.


(3)  E-resources:  John Jax presented a proposed five year budget for the use of differential tuition funds. There is a focus on multi-disciplinary resources and broad student needs.  A revised budget proposal was presented with a list of primary, secondary and tertiary e-resources.  Funding to cover all of the items was lacking.  Therefore, the primary list of items will be purchased in the first funding year with items from the secondary and tertiary lists for potential purchase in following years. Westlaw was considered for addition in the second year citing the needs of the Business Law courses in CBA.  Efforts will be made next year to publicize the new e-acquisitions and additional library hours.


(4) Periodical pricing structure:  The vendor periodical pricing structure at Murphy Library is complex and can involve any of the following or combinations thereof, student FTE totals, Carnegie classification status, package deals with add-ons pricing, single user versus unlimited user pricing, and use based pricing.  Many such deals require negotiations with vendors and can change from year to year  Although a variety of pricing variables exist, one important similarity among many of the vendors is use of the FTE variable.  As a general rule, 10,000 student FTE’s is a common benchmark for increasing periodical fees (also true with database pricing). UW-L Growth Quality & Access (GQ&A) projections suggest the campus FTE’s may approach that benchmark.  This is an important issue that needs high visibility on campus.  UW-L administration has been made aware of this benchmark and the associated rise in periodical and database costs.


Multiple funding sources:  With the passage of student tuition differential funding, Murphy Library has gotten a much needed increase in funds for this coming academic year (2010-2011).  Hopefully, this is the beginning of an upward budgetary swing as opposed to the flat budgets of the past ten years.  To continue the increase in budget, Murphy Library needs a strategy for funding with multiple funding sources to support Library activities (e.g., extramural grants). The committee needs to collect examples of current funding sources for Murphy Library (e.g., endowment, student tuition differential) where funding includes new materials, library administrative costs, etc. to determine the need for future funding strategies.


MEPD funding:  The allocations and expenses for M.E.P.D. were reviewed at the beginning of the academic year, noting the expense of sending physical materials to the remote cites.  This topic was not taken up again this year and needs future attention.



Suggested items for next year’s committee:

  • Monitor student tuition differential and assess how funding is allocated to increase library hours and e-resources.  An assessment tool should be developed to track allocated funds.  Work with the Library to inform the Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee of assessment results.
  • Continue to monitor UW-L FTE level.  Additional charges to the library budget can potentially increase if student population increased above 10,000 FTEs.  Journal, e-resource, etc. vendors have complex fee formulae; however, university student population size is a general indicator of funding costs.
  • Continue to monitor budget changes, DIN activity, equity in terms of subscription cancellations and departmental responses to modification (cancellation) requests, and department budget formulae.  The committee should work as an advocate for alternatives sources to subscriptions (e.g., documents delivery).
  • Continue to assess LibQUAL+ survey results and discuss methods of improving library services over time.



Acknowledgements:  Special thanks to presenters (G. Chilton, J. Holman, J. Jax, M. Strange) at our meetings and S. McDougal for secretarial duties.