This semester seems to be vanishing more quickly than ever before, most likely because it’s my last one at MU. Thanks to all of you for keeping up with the demands placed on us as the semester unfolds.
Today I want to invite you all to an informal gathering I’m hosting before my official farewell party in the Staff Lounge which is from 2-4 on Nov. 22. The informal gathering will be a happy hour in the U Club dining room at Reynolds Center, from 3-6 on November 20. I hope you can join me for both. Plan now to write a little bit about working in the University Libraries in the Memory Book I’m going to bring to both events; a paragraph or so of what you love about the Libraries (or what you remember, anyway) is the only thing I want from anyone to mark my time at MU.
In good news, we have several new librarians as a result of our recent searches. I hope you’ve seen the announcements. I have one more—John Henry Adams joins us in Special Collections on Nov. 1, replacing Tim Perry. The Acquisitions Librarian search has begun recently, too.
The Open Access Task Force I was chairing for the UM System is issuing its final report, and we are NOT recommending cutting off our Elsevier contract. We are recommending increasing emphasis on Open Access education for faculty and researchers, and an eventual move toward fewer paid subscriptions. I don’t know how much money we will be able to get from campus or the System to renew Elsevier, but we hope to know soon. The Libraries still have a 500K reduction for this fiscal year, so some cuts are still necessary. More, much more on this, later on.
On this Thursday, Vice Chancellor for Finance Rhonda Gibler will be the speaker at our Staff Advisory Group Town Hall meeting in 114A at 2pm. She will be talking about the new campus budget model and taking questions. Currently I don’t think the new budget model will be harmful to the Libraries, and I hope we can all listen to her and ask frank questions without negativity. She makes decisions and we need her good will, whatever happens. The big positive of the new budget model is transparency—it should be more objective than the current budget process, and more clear and understandable.
As you all read in the announcement of my retirement that the Provost sent out last week, a national search for my successor will take place in the coming spring. I’ll share word on who the acting Vice Provost and University Librarian will be just as soon as I know it.