Regents Academic Committee on Libraries

University System of Georgia

RACL Spring 2006 Meeting

March 2 & 3, St. Simons Island
Minutes (DRAFT)


Nancy Anderson, Gordon College; Gordon Baker, Clayton State University; Pat Borck, Macon State College; Carol Bray, East Georgia College; Betty Childres, Kennesaw State University; Byron Drew, Gainesville State College; Mary Jo Fayoyin, Savannah State University; Kathy Gallo, Georgia Perimeter College; George Gaumond, Valdosta State University; Debra Holmes, Georgia Highlands College; Victoria Horst, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College; Charlene Hurt, Georgia State University; Lynn Kelly, Waycross College; Ben Lee, Armstrong Atlantic State University; Tamera Lee, Medical College of Georgia; Kay Lowry, Darton College; Frank Mahitab, Fort Valley State University; Callie McGinnis, Columbus State University; LaVerne McLaughlin, Albany State University; Eddie McLeod, Georgia Highlands College; Rich Meyer, Georgia Institute of Technology; Joyce Mills, Southern Polytechnic State University; Bede Mitchell, Georgia Southern University; Bill Nelson, Augusta State University; Merryll Penson, USG BOR; Bill Potter, University of Georgia; Paul Robards, Middle Georgia College; Gene Ruffin, Georgia Gwinnett College; Rachel Schipper, Georgia College and State University; Vera Weisskopf, Georgia Southwestern State University; Tracey Westmoreland, Dalton State College

Business Meeting:

  • The Nominations Committee (Richard Meyer, Carol Bray, Gene Ruffin) presented its slate of candidates. There were no nominations from the floor. Tamera Lee was elected Chair-Elect, Nancy Anderson was elected Secretary, and Tracey Westmoreland and Rachel Schipper were elected at-large members of the RACL Executive Committee.
  • Bede Mitchell asked for suggestions regarding USG library information to be shared with Georgia legislators on National Library Legislative Day. Information was distributed about how librarians and patrons can participate virtually. Anyone with information specific to their institution that they would like shared with their legislator should let Bede know.
  • Bill Nelson reported on his investigation of possible bylaws for RACL, as requested by Chairman Ray Calvert. Bill reviewed the practices of similar advisory committees and found that fewer than half have formal bylaws. Articles typically found in bylaws include membership, officers, executive committee, elections, conduct of meetings, bylaws revision process, quorum, calling meetings, and standing committees. Bill’s report led to a brief discussion of RACL’s nominations tradition, which has involved stratifying the institutions to ensure broad representation. It was suggested we discontinue stratifying for the purposes of rotating nominations among types of institutions, and instead ensure the nominating committee includes broad representation. There was skepticism that formal bylaws are needed at this time – perhaps it is sufficient to document our practices in meeting minutes. No conclusion was reached, and the issue will be considered further by the RACL Executive Committee.
  • The GIL Coordinating Committee recommended creating a grant for first-time VUGM attendees, to be capped at $1,000 and paid for by the 35 institutions as part of their GIL bills. Mary Jo Fayoyin distributed a description of the grant and also updated us on the invitation to the chancellor to attend GUGM. He is unavailable on that date, but Mary Jo hopes to persuade him to record a video message for the meeting.

Retention, Progression, and Graduation Rates:

These three measures will be critical parts of the USG’s accountability program. Three speakers provided us background information about the RPG initiative. First, Thomas Jones, President of Armstrong Atlantic State University, discussed the $3 million at risk if USG institutions do not perform satisfactorily according to the seven metrics identified by the Board of Regents –

  1. Annual retention rate
  2. Regents skill tests
  3. Graduation rates
  4. Praxis tests
  5. National nursing certification
  6. External research funding
  7. Public service (continuing education units)

Dr. Jones stressed the importance of librarians taking the initiative in developing collaborations with other campus units to address one or more of the seven metrics.

Rebecca Farrow, Director of Institutional Research and Planning at Coastal Georgia Community College, shared national and state retention and graduation data. She related how CGCC’s efforts to address the four F’s (fear, frustration, family, and finance) helped raise their annual retention rate from 53.5% to over 60%.

Assistant Vice Chancellor Kathleen Burk summarized the National Survey of Student Engagement and the Community College Survey of Student Engagement. Students at participating universities and two-year colleges answer questions about their school experiences, such as the number of lengthy papers they were required to write, the number of questions they ask in class, how much time they spend per week preparing for class, etc. Respondents are chosen from the freshman and (in the case of universities) senior classes, and the responses are compared to ideal scores and between institutions. According to Dr. Burk, USG students are marginally less engaged than their national counterparts in many areas, but are more engaged as far as having serious conversations with people with different ethnic backgrounds. She reported that more than 80% of responding USG students would attend the same institution if they had it to do over again, but 21% of first-year students and 22% of seniors said they often went to class unprepared. This dovetailed with the finding that students spend much less time preparing for class than their professors think they do.

In discussing the implications of RPG for USG libraries, we agreed it would be desirable to get a library-related question on the NSSE and CCSSE surveys. We decided we would obtain our LibQUAL results first, since they might give us some leads for what question we would propose. The Executive Committee will be responsible for ensuring we follow up on this.

Board of Regents Report:

Dr. Burk delivered this report since Rick Sutton was unable to be with us. The chair of the Board of Regents has set four goals: supporting the RPG initiative, improving communication and raising USG visibility throughout the state, assessing the impact of the USG on the state, and accelerating construction of USG facilities. With regard to the latter, there is talk of establishing a Georgia Higher Education Facilities Authority which could issue bonds to fund construction projects.

Senior Vice Chancellor Dan Papp will be the new president at Kennesaw State University.

Changes may be made to the Regents testing program, with some even thinking it should be eliminated.

The legislature will consider a proposal that would allow graduates in the upper 10% their high school classes to enroll in the USG institution of their choice.

GIL Express Report:

Claire Colombo showed the new GIL Express bags that will be used for shipping items among the Athens-Atlanta institutions on the ARCHE (Atlanta Regional Council on Higher Education) truck. This will substantially reduce GIL Express shipping on UPS and help us control those costs. Claire also reported the issue of overdue GIL Express items has not been a big problem thus far, with relatively few books lost and overdue reporting streamlined by a report developed by Bob Trotter.

GIL and GALILEO Report:

Merryll Penson distributed each institution’s estimated GIL & GALILEO costs for FY07. The estimates included the second of three GALILEO upgrade payments, contributions toward the first-time-VUGM-attendee grant (see notes from Business Meeting above), and expenses from the 3-year equipment refreshing cycle.

The GALILEO Reference Committee has provided feedback that WebFeat is processing, and we hope GALILEO Quick Search will be ready to go within a few weeks. At the end of the month work will be begin on the three different GALILEO portals (postsecondary, K-12, and public library), and Merryll is soliciting volunteers to serve on the planning committees. Some time this summer work will begin on implementing Metalib.

Two regents visiting OIIT recently, and they warned staff that budgets will continue to be tight and there will be tough questions about whether to eliminate or reduce some traditional practices, services and programs.

Merryll and George Gaumond raised the possibility of simplifying our reports to the USG Information Digest. If we accept a revised data set we can avoid a questionnaire by having all the information extracted from Voyager. The general sense of the group was this might be worth considering in the future, but with the next reporting deadline so near people did not want to make a rushed decision that would interrupt the longitudinal comparisons that are now possible.

Thompson Scientific is interested in sponsoring a workshop on science reference. Let Merryll know if you have suggestions for the program.

Government Documents Project:

Bill Potter shared the response of the government documents librarians to the ideas RACL discussed about expanding government information access by taking advantage of emerging technological options. They liked the idea of creating a statewide federal document service. Bill stressed that the guiding philosophy should be to organize the collections once, get it right, and focus on service. He and Rich Meyer have discussed beginning with GPO and agency-published documents for which we now get MARCIVE cataloging. The links embedded in the MARCIVE cataloging keep breaking because too many agencies are not committed to long-term access. Bill and Rich would like to see if Georgia Tech could capture the full text of all the documents for which there are URLs in the catalog, and saving the text on Georgia Tech servers. Another step would be to somehow archive the content on government web sites. Bill suggests a task force of library directors to manage these projects, to be appointed by the RACL Executive Committee. Meanwhile, Bill plans to talk with Ken Frazier at the University of Wisconsin about their plans for archiving government information. We do not want to duplicate their work, and there may be opportunities for collaboration.

Friday, March 3:

We met jointly with the directors of DTAE libraries and heard two presentations. First, Dawn Zenkert of the Tidelands Nature Center told us about a number of programs available for teaching science to school children, and encouraged libraries to consider ways to support such programs. We then heard about blogging, RSS Feeds, Podcasting, Axis Card, and Virtual Search.

Respectfully submitted,
W. Bede Mitchell, Secretary
March 13, 2006.