Faculty Governance White Paper Recommendations
Improved Communications Team Position Paper
Recommendations for improving communication between the EC and the faculty.
· The EC website was widely cited as an improvement and beneficial to EC-faculty communication; it should continue to be enhanced as described below;
· Post EC agenda and documents on the website sooner; provide a mechanism for feedback (e.g. wiki, email, etc.) on agenda items prior to EC meetings;
· Email EC minutes to LIBFAC-L along with the announcement that they are posted to the website; include the URL of the EC website in the email;
· Provide a mechanism for faculty to suggest EC agenda items;
· Post EC minutes sooner; provide more details in the minutes on decisions made and implementation steps approved;
· Provide an anonymous feedback form on the EC website for agenda items, similar to the NSM website;
· Set a deadline for all calls for feedback on EC discussion items;
· Respond to/acknowledge all feedback received from faculty; possibly implement an OTRS-like system to assure that comments are acknowledged in a timely manner;
· Have at least one open EC meeting per semester; faculty could come and observe all non-confidential (e.g. personnel, etc.) discussions.
o Alternately, schedule a timed discussion time for agenda topics before some EC meetings, when faculty could come give their opinions on a topic, after which EC would meet to discuss the topics with the direct faculty feedback in hand. Scheduling some EC meetings directly after faculty meetings might help accomplish this.
· Have an EC member visit each division at least once a semester to discuss EC agenda items; these visits would not be as "representatives" of the division, but rather a chance for more direct, small group contact between faculty and EC;
· Discuss upcoming EC agenda items at faculty meetings in addition to reporting previous meeting's minutes; provide time at faculty meetings for a more robust discussion on topics EC is discussing, and an opportunity for suggestions and feedback on possible agenda items for EC to discuss (see Faculty Meeting Review Group recommendations).
Recommendations for improving communication between the administration and the faculty:
· Achieve greater inclusiveness of faculty in determining strategic directions;
· The University Librarian should have regularly scheduled meetings with each Division;
· Increase the amount of day-to-day, two-way communication between Library administration and Library faculty;
· Associate Librarians need to do a better job of regularly communicating what they have been doing in their particular areas. In addition to concise regular reports, all AULs should hold regular open office hours. 
· The minutes and agenda of some of the key groups need to be distributed by e-mailing links to newly posted items to faculty members (The minutes and agenda of some of the key groups need to be distributed by e-mailing links to newly posted items to faculty members. (Sending just the links would avoid over-filling e-mail inboxes, and sending e-mail notices avoids the necessity to constantly monitor the committees' websites). Key groups include: Budget Group, Services Advisory Committee, Executive Committee, and Administrative Council. While there is a delicate balance between keeping people informed and overfilling their in-boxes, simply posting agendas to committee websites, which often are not up-to-date, is less effective for letting faculty know when a critical issue is up for a decision.  At the same time, calls for input on major issues require sufficient time for considered reaction, not simply at the end of the week when action needs to be taken at the following Monday's Administrative Council or Executive Committee meeting or at the next day's Collection Development Committee.
· Library administration should issue more focused communications that clearly lay out what decisions have been made, why, and with what consultation without being burdened by too much extraneous explanation/justification.
Recommendations for improved communications within the faculty:
· Clarify the understanding of shared governance, its process, and extent with the Library, and at the University of Illinois.
· Provide guidelines for faculty meeting procedure and etiquette to encourage active, broad participation at faculty meetings.
· Attempt to change the organizational culture to encourage debate, discussion, and participation. Encourage an evidenced-based culture in which facts are presented to back-up positions being discussed.
· Create one online, library-wide bulletin board which can be constantly updated by faculty members to include information about important projects, changes, consolidations, retirements, anniversaries, grants and awards, leaves, ongoing research projects, and other information such as contacts and links to additional information.
· Create more opportunities for casual interactions.
· Provide more means of across-unit/across-division communication regarding initiatives critical to the whole Library, such as best practices, metrics, and goals.
· Reduce the amount of unexplained acronyms in e-mails and documents.
· Provide training, perhaps by outside specialists, on effective communication related to difficult topics (e.g., "How to disagree in a civilized manner").
· Make more effective use of technology and build people skills so that meetings can become more efficient, information can be disseminated quickly, and dialogue can be encouraged even as we face further reductions in staff.
Faculty Meeting Review Group Paper
1. Encourage an atmosphere of discussing issues and of giving advice during Faculty Meetings. This can be nurtured by encouraging and accepting motions from the floor, consistent with the rules of order.
2. Include more real business matters that must be decided upon by votes during Faculty Meetings. This would make attendance at Faculty Meetings more meaningful in busy times.
3. The By-laws Committee should review the role of the Faculty Secretary and suggest revisions to make that role more substantive.
4. For efficiency and to enable new ideas to emerge through dialogue among colleagues, EC should solicit feedback at Faculty Meetings instead of encouraging each individual faculty member to consider issues individually and submit written comments privately. While those who wish to comment privately and confidentially should still be able to do so, we urge faculty members to post their comments to EC on the Libfac-L electronic discussion list. We think posting comments more broadly would create an atmosphere of open communication and serve the Library well.
5. The skeleton agenda for Faculty Meetings is not defined by the By-laws, and we suggest several ways of making the agenda more meaningful:
6. Issues that should always come for discussion at Faculty Meetings include:
Shared Governance Team
1. Before any of our other recommendations are implemented, interview a sample of current and recent past members of EC, AC, and the Budget Group. In addition, interview newer Library faculty who have not yet had an opportunity to serve on these groups and old-timers who have become disaffected and no longer seek a role in the administrative structure. Using the core principles outlined above as a jumping-off point, such interviews could shed light on how deeply and widely Library faculty perceive that shared governance needs "fixing," whether there is consensus on what the problems are, and whether the best solutions are structural or cultural, or both. We suggest interviews to gather this information because (a) experience shows that calls via email for input garner very little feedback and (b) the nature of the information we need calls for a qualitative, in-depth method. Our hope is that these interviews could help us to formulate more specific recommendations on the topics we have listed below.
2. Update the written charge to the Executive Committee. In particular, re-order the bulleted examples of its role in "the formulation and execution of Library-wide policy" in order to emphasize its role in high-level budgeting and planning. (See Appendix B for draft revision.)
3. Examine the potential for greater formal involvement of APs in the Library's governance structure.
4. Involve the EC more directly in the development of monthly faculty meeting agendas, to include discussions of important issues and directions to inform EC's own discussions.
5. Share policy documents with the full faculty (and/or staff, as appropriate) at earlier stages in their development - when the drafts are "draftier." Polished drafts presented for feedback with short turnaround times for comments inhibit input and perpetuate the perception that calls for input are mere window-dressing. In turn, lack of input perpetuates the perception that Library faculty are not interested in exercising shared governance rights.
6. Continue to look for means to improve two-way communication between the EC and the faculty it represents. Fleshing out the EC minutes to incorporate the major points of discussions is one suggestion.
7. Look for ways to integrate the work of the EC and the Budget Planning Group in order to increase the role of faculty in the budget process. Although previous proposals for restructuring administrative and governance functions (e.g. recommendations from the RTG process, and the recommendation of the Library Organization Working Group) have been rejected, we continue to believe that more formal collaboration between the EC and the Budget Planning Group would be beneficial.
LIBRARY'S BASIC VALUES AND CULTURAL CHANGE
The group realizes that it will take some time to change the culture at the University Library. Some specific recommendations are listed below:
1. Investigate Ideas to Create a More Civil and Inclusive Environment
· Plan open meetings, workshops, and training which continue to explore issues discussed at the January 7 retreat. A "kickoff" forum to discuss our shared values should be held shortly after the retreat.
Who's Responsible : Staff Development and Training Committee working with the Diversity Committee and the Library Staff Support Committee (LSSC), as well as the AUL for Services and the Head of Human Resources.
Timeline : Spring 2010; ongoing training should continue indefinitely.
· Explore the idea of creating a civility team. The Penn State University Libraries has created such a team, with the following charge, "Employ a total quality management approach to improve the climate in the University Libraries by addressing and retooling skill sets of employees to deal with civility and rankism (classism) issues. The ultimate goal is to build a culture of respect and to value everyone's unique contribution to the University Libraries." The PSU Civility Team has a blog at http://psulcivility.wordpress.com/.
Who's Responsible : The Diversity Committee working with the AUL for Services.
Timeline: Spring 2010 begin discussions.
· Provide the option for exit interviews for Library faculty and staff when they leave employment at the University.
2. Administer the ClimQUAL Survey
"ClimateQUAL TM: Organizational Climate and Diversity Assessment is an assessment of library staff perceptions concerning (a) their library's commitment to the principles of diversity, (b) organizational policies and procedures, and (c) staff attitudes http://www.climatequal.org/index.shtml.
Who's Responsible : Assessment Coordinator and LAWG working with the Staff Development and Training Committee, the Diversity Committee, and the Library Staff Support Committee, as well as the AUL for Services and Head of Human Resources.
Timeline : 2010 investigate feasibility for doing ClimQUAL; administer in 2011.
3. Implement Mandatory Management Training for Unit Heads
Every current and newly appointed unit head must be provided with training on management skills and supervisory techniques
Who's Responsible: The Staff Development and Training Committee working with Library Human Resources and Library Administration.
Timeline: Spring 2010 begin discussions
4. Hold a Forum to Discuss the Evolution of Library Services.
We know we will be losing subject specialists in the next few years. How will the Library manage these "holes" in our fabric? Will we just reweave with whoever is left, or will we be proactive and design a new fabric to meet the changing needs of our users?
Who's Responsible: The Library Executive Committee could sponsor this forum to be held at a special meeting of the Library faculty.
Timeline: Summer 2010.