Proposals being made to consolidate resources in library and IT departments

The Senate Executive Committee will meet Monday to discuss consolidating resources in the library and IT departments in order to save money and improve efficiencies on campus. Additionally, a new proposal for Global Campus 2.0 will be presented and nominations for the search committee for the new provost will be made.

Efforts to centralize campus’ resources are being made in several departments, but with the number of small libraries on campus, special attention is being direct towards the library department.

“There are libraries that are very small that maybe don’t make as much sense in distribution,” said Nick Burbules, chair of the Senate Executive Committee. “There’s a cost issue, there’s an efficiency issue, but no decision is being made, we’re simply discussing a proposal.”

With fewer libraries, resources can be consolidated and costs can be cut. Also, with a more concentrated body of staff, skills can be redirected.

“The basic idea behind [consolidating libraries] is achieving some economies of scale,” said William Maher, University archivist and chair of the University Statues and Senate Procedures committee. “There are costs that are rising all around us and the library has to figure out a new way to conduct business.”

On that same note, the SEC is discussing proposals to centralize the IT department.

“There are professionals all over campus,” Burbules said. “There is a proposal to look at reorganizing the IT staff and maybe bringing them under more centralized administration.”

Both issues are coming from the same general issue-the budget. The University needs to continue to look at where money is being spent and cut down on inefficiencies and reduce costs, Burbules said.

It is not just about money, however. It is also about improving services.

“I think it can be mistake sometimes to rush through academic decisions solely for budget considerations. The fact is the budget goes up and down,” Burbules said.

“The right proposals can do both-improve services and reduce costs,” he added.

Additionally, a proposal for Global Campus 2.0, an improved version of Global Campus, will be presented during the meeting, but it is only an informational item. The Board of Trustees will be meeting to discuss it and until then, there will not be any input made by the Senate.

The SEC will also be discussing the search for a new provost and nominating people to serve on the search committee.

“The Committee on Committees put out a mass e-mail asking for nominations for the provost search committee,” said Kim Graber, chair of the Committee on Committees.

Based on those nominations, a ballot will be formed and the top five will be selected for the committee. Along with those members, a student, academic professional, and nominees that the Chancellor recommended will also serve on the committee.

There is no set date for the nomination of the new provost. It will be made as quickly as possible, but it must be a careful search in order to ensure that the best possible candidate is elected, Graber added.

“There are really serious implication about [electing a new provost] and I think its issue that really cannot be treated lightly,” Burbules added.