Cunningham Memorial Library

Library Faculty Assembly


LFA 06/07-09                                                             Approved: 


Room 230


Present: Kathy Gaul, Steve Hardin, Betsy Hine, Rolland McGiverin, Deb Robinson

Ex-Officio: Alberta Comer, Marsha Miller

Guests:  Shelley Arvin, Anthony Kaiser, Elizabeth Wright


I.                 Call to Order and Approval of Agenda


R. McGiverin called the meeting to order at 9:09 a.m.  He amended the agenda to move the 15-minute open discussion to after New Business.  A quorum was lacking, so no business may be concluded. 


II.               Approval of Minutes (LFA 06/07-08, March 15, 2007)


Could not be done due to lack of quorum. 


III.             Chair’s Announcements/Reports


R. McGiverin reported to the Faculty Senate about the merging of the Government Documents Desk and the Reference Desk and the creation of Electronic Resources Librarian position. 


IV.            Remarks of the Associate Dean of Library Services


A.     Digital Measures – A. Comer said we discussed at a meeting the changes we wanted.  M. McCallister and she will meet with Ray Buechler and present our concerns. 


B.     Writing Center – A. Comer said the Library will be getting the Writing Center.  We sent out the floor plan showing where the Writing Center will be, which is where Cataloging is now.  At budget hearings, the President told M. McCallister he was pleased to have the Writing Center, Honors Program and ATRC move to the library.  Arts & Sciences Dean Tom Sauer asked for $25,000 for furniture for the Writing Center, and the President agreed immediately.  A. Kaiser asked whether the Writing Center should be enclosed.  R. McGiverin said the Center may grow and need more room.  A. Comer said it’s more flexible with movable walls anyway.  R. McGiverin noted the Writing Center in Root Hall will be maintained too.  How will the success of both centers be measured?  A. Comer said she thought they would be counting traffic.  The current Center in Root Hall will remain open as a satellite center for a year, at which time its continued existence will be evaluated. 


M. Miller asked where Inter-library Loan will go.   A. Comer said they don’t know yet. 


D. Robinson said keeping the Writing Center an open space, rather than adding walls, will make it more visible and appealing to students.


R. McGiverin noted the Library is supporting a half-time person, doing clerical tasks, working with training and consulting.  He said he was concerned about the library component of that training.  It should be done by a librarian instead of by a support staffer.  A. Comer said the memo doesn’t say who’ll do the training.  R. McGiverin said that needed to be clarified.  A. Comer asked if R. McGiverin was talking about the reference component.  He said he was.  K. Gaul asked if half of the position will be carved out of the library budget.  A. Comer said she believed so.  She believes we will hire someone to do all this.  S. Hardin said the distinction between the Center and the Reference Desk will be blurred; we’ll answer some of their questions, we’ll refer people to them, they’ll refer people to us.  M. Miller noted that sometimes writing problems are really research problems; those will be referred to us.    


R. McGiverin called for a motion to refer the materials to LAAC for its review, and send them back to LFA.  The vote will be done electronically; LFA will accept an electronic by LAAC.  LFA won’t need to spend much time on it unless LAAC makes some changes. 


V.              Remarks from Library Support Staff


D. Robinson noted she had returned after an extended absence.  B. Hine asked her if she’d heard anything about a University form for evaluations for support staff.  D. Robinson said she hadn’t heard about it, but she can address it at the next support staff meeting. 


VI.            Old Business


A.     Revision of Library Calendar – Elizabeth Wright


E. Wright said the revisions, as approved by LAAC, have been sent out to everyone.  Starting with summer, the library will stay open until 10:00 p.m. instead of 9:00 p.m., adding two hours to Saturday and Sunday.  In the fall, we’ll shift the Saturday hours and add a few hours on Sunday.  We’ve made changes to staffing to make Sunday work.  It’s one way to address the constant comments we get about more hours.  K. Gaul noted the Saturday shift has been moved later, which will upset some people.  M. Miller said her recent experience has been that Saturdays are quiet.  E. Wright said the idea was to make opening times on weekends consistent.  D. Robinson noted there was some inconsistency in weekend summer hours.  E. Wright recommended being open 12:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Saturday in the summer.  B. Hine moved that the proposed Saturday hours beginning May 14th be changed to 12:00 – 9:00 p.m.  S. Hardin seconded.  An email vote will be done on this amendment, and then on the whole calendar revision proposal. 


M. Miller raised a point of order.  She said it would help if the vote was recorded, along with the rationale for the change.  R. McGiverin said the email with the proposal has that information.  The LAAC approved it 3/30/07 with a 3-0-0 vote. 


VII.          New Business


A.     Organization chart – Elizabeth Wright


E... Wright noted the organizational chart was approved by the LAAC on a

3-0-0 vote 3/30/07.  M. Miller pointed out the correct name for the department labeled “Reference” on the chart is “Reference/Instruction.”  She added it’s still not clear to her why Electronic Resources reports directly to the Dean and isn’t part of Acquisitions/Serials.  B. Hine said that the Dean said at Library Executive Committee that this arrangement may not be permanent.  E. Wright concurred it’s still in flux.  B. Hine moved, and S. Hardin seconded, approval of the chart.  The vote will be conducted by email. 


B.     TPAPR (attached) – Marsha Miller


M. Miller said this proposal is LFAC’s response to Charge 07-12 to review and revise the library faculty TPAPR form.  You have a proposal that instead of there being an actual form, there’s a process.  There’s a document but no form.  It’s based on goals and objectives established at the beginning of the year.  In this process, the librarian and his/her supervisor compare goals and objectives with actual progress.  There will be forms for the beginning of the year and the end of the year.  If the LFA agrees with the idea, we’ll go through the current manual and make editorial changes to places that refer to the current TPAPR.  We voted to approve this 3-0-0 on 3/27/07.   B. Hine asked if this procedure will enable us to still keep track of who needs what signatures on annual review, tenure decisions, etc.?  M. Miller said that at the beginning of the year, there’s a place for the librarian and supervisor to sign to indicate they’ve gone through it.  At the end of year, there’s a place for the Dean to sign off on it.  B. Hine said we set up the current system so that the Personnel Committee could review throughout the process.  M. Miller said the Personnel Committee would receive copies of the newer process.  B. Hine said we need to watch it carefully and ensure it’s doing what we need it to do.  M. Miller said the basis would be buy-in that the librarian and supervisor set up goals and objectives and talk about them at the end.  This would take effect next year.  D. Robinson asked whether this would replace the older form.  M. Miller said yes.  D. Robinson asked whether the Dean would be involved in the initial set up of goals and objectives.  M. Miller said that’s implied.  The Dean should be aware of what the individual goals are.  A. Comer noted the Dean was there when this was discussed.  And we need to be aware goals and objectives can change through the year.  B. Hine moved to approve the document.  M. Miller seconded.  The vote will be taken electronically. 


C.     Emergency manual 


E. Wright said the LAAC approved it.  We discussed it last LFA meeting; when the new head of systems comes in they’ll flesh it out.  After some extended discussion on the nature of emergencies and the differences between departmental issues and issues affecting the entire library, M. Miller moved acceptance of the Emergency Manual.  R. McGiverin seconded.  Again, due to a lack of a quorum, this vote will be conducted electronically.  R. McGiverin asked E. Wright to express his appreciation for all the work LAAC has done on this. 


VIII.        15-Minute Open Discussion (moved from earlier in the agenda)


M. Miller read a prepared statement, reproduced here: 


I am reading this as a response to some public statements made by the Dean recently.



1)     Everything I do is for the students.

2)     @ 2007 ‘unit review’ [with Pres. Benjamin, Provost Maynard and others] response to what are your challenges: the element of dissention between and among administration and faculty; we are definitely not on the same track… what could we have achieved in this last year if we had been?

3)     And, your worries for new librarians, their perceiving the lack of commonality and harmony; we are losing new librarians. We need a positive outlook


These statements, especially the last one about new librarians, harken back to the statement of Juliet Kerico and Elizabeth Wright, at the March 15, 2007 Library Faculty Assembly meeting. Their statement, purporting to speak for all non-tenured faculty, indicated that non-tenured faculty feel threatened, and indeed have been threatened, by senior/tenure faculty. Another non-tenured librarian at this meeting indicated that she had not been threatened, but had only received support. This statement was full of generalities. ANY person threatening another person should be reported to a supervisor or the Dean, at the time the threat, veiled or otherwise, occurs, so that the person making the threat can be counseled or other appropriate steps taken. That is standard practice. In addition, faculty, BOTH tenured and un-tenured, have a formal University grievance procedure available to them. If the supervisor and/or dean are unable to resolve a situation that fits into the parameters of the grievance, I urge any librarian to take advantage of this. And certainly, if a librarian has been treated in a hostile manner or been intimidated, as read by Juliet Kerico, the grievance procedure fits:



All faculty members (tenured or untenured) who believe a decision adversely affects these responsibilities or the financial, intellectual, or pedagogical aspects of their appointments and results from a violation of University policy, (i.e., arbitrary, punitive, or capricious application of policies regarding work assignment, or other procedures except those exempted below), academic freedom, or inadequate consideration (this might be with regard to a working condition or assignment, except those exempted below), may petition the appropriate faculty committee for redress.


Handbook II-13


Furthermore the Kerico/Wright statement “it cannot be disputed that the work environment in this library is riddled with negativity, lack of consensus, and reluctance to change” must, to some extent, be challenged. Yes, there is some negativity and lack of consensus and reluctance to change! We have 20 librarians and 40 support staff, ie 60 fellow employees. Is there more negativity, more lack of consensus and reluctance to change right now this very minute, than, say 4 years ago, 10 years ago? In my opinion, and only my opinion, I generally perceive more negativity, more consensus and about the same reluctance to change. Can I list specific examples? Probably. Can I list specific recommendations to resolve the specific examples? Probably. But, today, in general, I want to urge us to continue to COMMUNICATE, and, especially I want to urge the Administration to better communicate.


I have heard members of the Administration tell others that the Library has become very political, which is a very loaded word, with many meanings. However, it seems to be, in my personal opinion, to mean, in this instance, that the senior faculty are meant to be perceived as the ‘enemy’, of the administration, of the non-tenured faculty, of the library staff, and most, importantly of the students. I say this because Dean McCallister repeatedly states that everything she has done, she has done for the students. Therefore, if the atmosphere is deemed political, meaning, I suppose that there are issues and sides to the issues, and the senior faculty are always against the issues, then they are against the Dean’s decisions, and therefore, against the students’ best interests.


This is my perception. I believe it is based upon many false assumptions but I believe it is also built on the fact that Dean McCallister feels that, as Dean, only she can make the decisions, and, that she doesn’t seem to want or expect the members of the library to be very involved. Since some of us keep indicating that we should be involved, and involved in ways that are not in line with the way the Dean wishes, this is what has come to be called, a political workplace, or what is being billed as dissension. I looked up the word in the dictionary: a difference of opinion; disagreement, ore, esp. violent quarreling or wrangling. I haven’t witnessed any violent quarrelling; I hope none has occurred.


Again, speaking only for myself, the library faculty and the library administration are not meant to be enemies. In our university environment of shared governance, that is exactly what is meant, shared. Nor are there just 2 sides to whatever is being discussed, planned, etc. There are many sides to the issues, but they often do not get to be discussed. The current process of decision-making is, that the library staff are not to be involved in the process of decision-making. Library governance is not to be allowed to perform its advisory roles. At the March LFA meeting, the Dean was fairly clear that she is accusing faculty governance of trying to take over the responsibilities of the Dean. Faculty shared governance seems to me to have always meant: we are ‘at the table’. At some logical starting point in a process, all appropriate parties are included in the discussions. Our involvement is expected and welcomed. To ask questions is not dissent. If the ‘appropriate parties’ are to include the entity known as faculty governance, then faculty governance acts by investigating via its main committees [LFAC and LAAC], voting, and passing on that vote, recommendation, document, etc. to the Dean, who then acts.


There are many different ‘models’ for administration and faculty governance: 

the benevolent dictator, the ‘honorable adversary’, faculty governance as oversight, faculty governance as the conscience of the dean, and do on. I do not see it as an automatically adversarial arrangement. That does no one any good. But if administration does not like the idea of shared governance, on a campus that is proud of its heritage of shared governance, then, both sides, while agreeing to disagree, as it were, must also strive all that much harder to find a middle ground, where all constituents, in-house, on campus and elsewhere are served by the administration and library governance in their proper capacities to the best of their abilities.


As far as doing everything for the students, while a laudable statement, is slightly misleading. Everyone in the library is working for the good of the University. And one could and probably should put students at the heart of that University. However, a Dean is also a manager of people. And as a manager of people, she must also consider doing things for the good of the library staff. That means, for example, not creating a hostile workplace, not complaining in public about the negativity of the library workplace, not making people feel like unworthy, unwelcome, drudges. If our Dean is guilty of that, either consciously or unconsciously, it is not good for the library, it is not good for the students, it is not good for the University.


In my worldview, accountability is not only upwards, but downwards, sideways and even diagonally.


Marsha Miller



In the discussion that followed, E. Wright said that the statement she and J. Kerico delivered in March gave the impression that we were speaking for all untenured faculty, that’s not correct.  Only their two names were on that statement.  She said it’s their perception that this is the environment for untenured faculty, but they’re not speaking for them.  D. Robinson said it seems M. Miller has drawn conclusions based on her own perceptions, saying the Dean shouldn’t create a hostile workplace.  The Dean can’t do that by herself.  M. Miller said she was sorry the Dean wasn’t at the meeting today.  We started a conversation in March; that was good.  This is one of the only places this conversation can continue.  She said she sees this as a continuation for us to discuss; we need to have more discussions rather than one person saying there is, one saying there isn’t.  A. Comer asked if M. Miller thought we’d benefit from a faculty retreat.  M. Miller responded, “Definitely.”  She added that she wants the best to go forward; she’s not trying to destroy anything.  Someone from outside the library, a neutral party, could be there.  If a conversation starts to get out of control, the neutral person can tell us to rein it in and keep things positive.  If there are things that need to be fixed, let’s fix them.  We can’t change perceptions; we can agree they’re different.  B. Hine said the most important thing in what M. Miller read is that if anyone here feels intimidated or threatened by anyone, it should be reported.  A. Comer said that’s easier said that done.  A new person won’t report it.  M. Miller said that if this thing occurred between these two people on this day, it either happened or it didn’t.  She agrees it would be hard, but if nobody goes to a supervisor or Dean to fix it, we can’t fix it.  It just becomes part of the negativity.  She added that she can’t remember casual comments she made six months ago that someone may take seriously.  B. Hine said mentoring is an important part of our jobs as faculty.  We may need to develop the mentoring process better.  The point remains that if something’s happening to someone, that someone needs to report it to the Dean or to Personnel or someone.  E. Wright said that there’s such a perception that the tenured faculty are such a tight group.  In the Personnel Committee, there’s a linking there; there’s not a sense we can talk about it.  B. Hine said then we need to work on it.  M. Miller said she doesn’t have a lot of opportunities to talk with her fellow faculty members about general things that are going on.  Maybe it’s time to bring back something like “Third Thursday.”  A. Comer said we are; you’ll get something in the Monday Messages.  M. Miller said we don’t have much opportunity for collegiality.  Maybe we’ve lost the collegiality, and that feeds into some of the problems.  People starting out who feel it may feel the edge.  But if we meet informally, maybe we can see things in a less threatening way.  A. Comer asked if she should tell the Dean we want a faculty meeting.  M. Miller said the alternative was keeping up the rumors and innuendos.  R. McGiverin said that a meeting may devolve into a yes/no discussion; it may not get anywhere.  B. Hine noted LFA had a new faculty member in attendance; she said “we want nothing but success for you.”  She added we have several more new people starting soon.  When we get all the new people aboard, maybe this summer, we can have some sort of discussion.  How can we work with you along the tenure track?  How can we make people feel more positive about the place?  M. Miller suggested making all the new faculty members watch the negativity videos so we have common reference point.  R. McGiverin said two things bothered him about E. Wright’s and J. Kerico’s statement at the last meeting: 1) no action was taken at any point to resolve the issue; and 2) the way it was presented, he felt painted with the brush as a perpetrator.  Just because one tenured faculty member did something doesn’t mean all do.  E. Wright said there was an atmosphere.  At least we’re talking about it.  That’s good.  B, Hine agreed.  E. Wright expressed the hope that we go forward.  D. Robinson said M. Miller’s comments were all negative; it’s hard to go forward with that.  She said that from her service on the Dean’s evaluation committee last year, she heard the Dean was supposed to be opposed to shared governance, but the Dean has never said that.  R. McGiverin said her actions make it clear.  M. Miller said, “Let’s go forward.”  E. Wright said everyone’s perceptions are involved; that’s why we need an outside person.  A. Comer said she’d talk to the Dean on Monday. 


VIII.        Committee Reports  (skipped) 


A.    Library Administrative Affairs Committee


B.    Library Faculty Affairs Committee


C.    Personnel Committee


D.    Search Committees


E.     Senate/University Committees


IX.            Remarks of the Faculty Senators


M. Miller submitted this report electronically for the minutes:


3/20 exec: passed Academic Integrity Policy & Procedures; discussed ISU 'student-friendly' / 'recruitment-friendly' issues; noted that Web Advisory Cttee, inactive for 2[?] years, has been re-constituted


3/22 fac senate: presentation by Foundation president -- need to de-mystify the Foundation


4/10: approval of new Financial Services Major [combining banking, insurance, investments, accounting] - had list of periodicals attached to proposal; apparently gathered by grad assistant; librarian may wish to followup on this; also approved changing Dept. of Criminology to Dept. of Criminology & Criminal Justice; discussion with Bill Herndon,  ISU's Web Content Manager [based in Communications & Marketing, NOT IT]; continued discussion about appearance/ease of use of site to prospective students/parents; currently no decent tracking software; currently, 80 'red dot' sites


X.              Adjournment


The meeting adjourned at 10:46 a.m. 


Respectfully submitted,


Steve Hardin