Minutes: March 5, 2009
Libraries’ Staff Association Meeting
March 5, 2009, 2:30pm, N410
Libraries Advisory Board Report: Lisa Gould
- There is a new refrigerator in the staff lounge and it has been designated for faculty and staff, and the other for students and custodial staff.
- There will be a Libraries green plan presentation at the Spring All Libraries Meeting on March 18th, 10:30-12:30 CBIS by the Library Advisory Board.
- They are working on a few minor issues with the “Create List” function in millennium.
Staff Council Report: Jennifer Davis and David Anderson
- The Staff Council Spring Luncheon is next Thursday. Please see him for details or check the Norlin List.
- Elections for Staff Council are coming up and David is running.
- Everyone is encouraged to wear something CU related, whether academics or sports, on Spirit Fridays. You can wear school colors (black and gold), CU apparel from the book store, or find some other way to show your school spirit every Friday.
- They are working on updating their bylaws.
- PERA is waiting to make any legislation about retirement monies until the economy is better. With the budget cuts and market losses, there was a question as to whether PERA was changing its rules. There has been no legislation as yet. They will reevaluate soon. It was suggested that LSA or LAB could have a PERA representative come and have an open meeting or have a person from Boulder Staff Council come and report on the status of PERA. Let Jane or Adam know if there is any interest in this.
- In a recent meeting with President Benson, Staff Council found out that they have 35 candidates for interim chancellors. They will make a decision after consulting with the regents on March 11th. The University is looking for someone on the Boulder campus to maintain continuity. For the permanent chancellor, they are looking for someone who has staying power, is familiar with Boulder and the campus (i.e., this would be their last job). Dean Todd Gleason and our own Dean Jim Williams have been recommended for chancellor.
- The campus smoking committee-- made of faculty, staff, and students--reports that we will soon be a smokeless campus but as of yet there are no definitions of when and where you may/ may not smoke, nor is there talk of enforcement. It will be a Boulder Campus rule that the chancellor will have authority over. The Health Sciences campus has already enacted it. Two years ago, this was discussed with the LAB to create smoke free zones around certain building. A concern for the hill neighborhood was brought up, if people are not allowed to smoke here, they may go there. Right now, they are still working to define the parameters of the campus and no decision has been made yet.
Colorado WINS Report: Teresa Ortega
Colorado WINS (Colorado Workers for Innovation and New Solutions) can be found at www.ColoradoWINS.org and they are group of union staff employees who are fighting for our rights. Our representatives for CU-Boulder are Craig Cameron (bookstore) Marilyn Mensing (Spanish and Portuguese Department). If there are to be furloughs, they should only be voluntary.
Questions for Dean Williams
- Request for an American flag to be displayed in the redesigned east-side of Norlin.
The Dean has no plan to display an American flag in or around the new commons area. The dean did mention that there are flags displayed in front of the UMC building, and he would be willing to discuss the matter with the donor of a flag.
- Does the Dean have any plans for our library to join the HathiTrust?
Google has a plan to digitize millions of books. Ten libraries have joined forces and allowed Google to digitize their stacks and to create a digital archive called HathiTrust. They will provide access on subscription basis. 7 million books have already been digitized. CU-Boulder may join if there is pressure from the faculty to join. Unfortunately, no cost of subscription has been defined yet and Google is going through a legal battle with publishers because books may have been digitized without permission. There is the option of purchasing a particular collection with HathiTrust without subscribing to their entire collection. Last year’s material budget increase was 10% and we are acquiring 30,000 books a year, but the ILL team is still cancelling more and more article requests because the information is on Google. We are also purchasing more e-books and saving money that way. Stay tuned for more news on HathiTrust.
- We understand that there will probably be no performance pay bonuses this year. Instead, could staff be awarded administrative leave—one or more days off (WITH pay)—for performance reviews of “meeting expectations” or “exceeding expectations”? (And of course, the time off would depend upon the supervisor’s approval, sufficient staffing being available, etc.) This non-monetary reward would help to bolster morale at a time when dollar raises may be impossible.
Jim will take to HR Council, as he understood that deans are not authorized. Many of those in the room were interested. The Dean felt this would have to be a campus-wide policy & that Deans cannot declare these changes. HR Council is meeting tomorrow morning. It was suggested the length of award should be a week and go down from there.
- If people are thinking of retiring in next 6 months, will their position be filled?
This all depends on the financial update coming March 20th. The budget deficit right now is 100 million. When there is a freeze, the administration scoops up all the vacant positions and we have to apply to get them back. We may not get them back. In the last budget cut, we lost $1 million and have not gained that back. We lost $400,000 in 2003-2004 and haven’t gotten that back, either. Since we have made cuts, we have not lost any more positions; there are more vacancies in faculty than in staff. The Dean tries to fill them so they are not swept up. We have 6 search committees and it’s a lot of work to do national searches for faculty positions. If we have staff vacancies right now, we should still try to push them through. We can only hope that the budget forecast is not too bad and that we’ll be able to absorb it without a lot of stress.
Dean Williams is not worried about this fiscal year and not too worried about next fiscal year. July 2010 is the worrisome one. The campus is looking at a restructuring program to keep budget from surprising us in 2010. Furloughs have been killed by state legislature for this upcoming fiscal year. There is a little frustration about the state of Colorado -- historically we have had little to no lobby effort in Washington to get our fair share of the monies available. There will be a discussion with university regents on whether or not to do furloughs. Dean says we will get another prediction on March 20th on how state is doing, but the real predictor will be the census of students in September. We’ll know where we are based on how many students actually come here and pay tuition. Research institutions like NASA are not seeing cuts yet. There is also more money for PELL grants, but enrollment is the deciding factor. Dean Williams would like to emphasize that the University has eaten the budget cost for this fiscal year, it is July 2010 that we should worry about.
A big thank-you to the Theatre and Dance Department and the Opera Department for providing our door prizes for this meeting. Congratulations to those who won. Thank you to all who came and voiced your concerns.
Minutes submitted by Adam White & Jane Zumwalt, LSA representatives