Librarian Resignations

March 2, 2017

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: Elizabeth Curry, Dean, UNF Library

Many faculty librarians have resigned and left the University. How is the University acknowledging this problem?

Response: 

Attached is information about librarians who have left UNF. I think this should be shared with faculty as part of the answer to the question asked at the last Faculty Association meeting. I think getting information and the facts is important.

Elizabeth Curry, PhD
Dean, Thomas G. Carpenter Library
University of North Florida
1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224
e.curry@unf.edu
904-620-2553 Administrative Office
904-620-2587 Direct Line

In the past three years that I have been at the UNF Library we have experienced some retirements and some changes in faculty. Of the library’s twenty faculty positions five librarians have left UNF for their own professional enhancement and personal benefit. They took positions that were promotions and/or excellent opportunities for professional development. These librarians honed their skills while at UNF, but just like other UNF faculty their salaries were at the low end of the competitive scale. Also librarians can get promotions in rank at UNF but are not eligible for tenure. There are only a few opportunities for advancement. The librarians who left were given great opportunities to develop their skills and scholarship at UNF. This resulted in their ability to enhance their careers and salaries. We wish them well in their new endeavors.
Examples of these positions include:

  1. One librarian was recruited and left UNF to become the director at the library where he started his career. Becoming a library director of a small college had been his long-time ambition. He did not have a Ph.D. so he was not eligible to be dean of UNF library.
  2. One librarian accepted a position with much more responsibility at a Research I university, with an ARL level library.
  3. One librarian moved in order to work at a prestigious presidential library with historic special collections. This was a rare opportunity for career advancement.
  4. One librarian went to a private liberal arts college to pursue her career.
  5. One librarian with technology skills accepted a position with a vendor of library software that had been his responsibility when he worked at UNF. His new position allows him to work from home and provides flexibility for his family.

In the past three years there were three faculty members who retired after long careers. This month one of the librarians who filled a retirement position resigned due to personal health issue.

The Library has been recruiting new faculty who have much to contribute to UNF. Both of the most recently hired librarians have experience working at Research I universities and they bring a high level of professionalism to the UNF library. We are continuing our recruitment.
Answer also from the floor by FA President Radha Pyati: The Provost will be holding a confidence vote for the Library Dean this spring.

Artworks on Campus

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: Debra Murphy, Associate Professor & Chair, Arts and Design

What happened to the large, yellow duck that was floating near the library and business building? Will we be seeing this artwork again?

 

Written response from Dr. Debra Murphy:

“I get the important, intellectual question. The duck has had a very interesting few months of adventures. As you know, it was in the pond by Coggin and the library. Apparently, a group of students decided to ride it like a bronco, and there was some minor damage. (Inaudible) But there was writing on the duck, and it was kind of a triumphal boast, and the poet couldn’t resist adding that word that rhymes with “duck.” And so, it had to be repaired and repainted. It has been at the zoo for the last month; rumors have it that Sergeant Quackers received a few proposals from the aviary. He’s back on campus now, and I’m happy to report that he’ll be returned to the pond tomorrow.”

Library Designation Proposal

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: David Fenner, Co-chair, Faculty Affairs Committee

Comments:  “If Library personnel are able to be given the designation of emeritus, why are senior instructors also included in this proposal?  It seem as if the Library personnel are attempting to obtain benefits that are exclusionary for senior instructors who have served for longer than the five years library staff is requesting. Why are instructors not included in this plan?”

 

Written response from Dr. David Fenner, Co-Chair of Faculty Affairs Committee:

Ellie, please confirm that the language below is the FINAL language we settled on in Faculty Affairs.  I think it is, but I don’t have the minutes of that meeting (actually, would you mind sending me electronic copies of all the minutes you’ve taken?  That would help me out a lot!  THANK YOU!)

The title “emeritus” is an honor that may be conferred upon a tenured professor or associate professor or associate or university librarian upon retirement, in recognition of a distinguished record at the University of North Florida. It is expected emeritus faculty will have made significant contributions in the areas of teaching, research, or service (including administrative service); or any combination thereof. Faculty who held a title in addition to professor or associate professor or associate or university librarian for at least five years at UNF (e.g., dean) shall be eligible to have that title included in their emeritus honor.

 

The process for receiving the honor is as follows:  A nomination is sent to the department chair (or equivalent) including the emeritus title requested; self-nominations are allowed. The tenured faculty of the department or library faculty at the rank of associate or above shall vote by secret ballot on the candidacy. If the majority of the department’s  tenured faculty or library faculty approves, the vote of the faculty, the candidate’s vita, and recommendation letters from the department chair or equivalent and college or library dean shall be forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs for final approval and action.

 

Gordon, if these are the final adjustments to the Faculty Handbook, then the answer to the question below is that instructors are not on tenure lines nor do they have ranks that include “professor/university librarian” or “associate professor/associate librarian.”  This is why instructors are not included in emeritus designations.

 

If there is a wish to include instructors among those eligible for emeritus designations, a proposal for this first must be presented to Faculty Affairs.

 

David