A short follow-up to a previous post that left some questions unanswered. Nothing very new or profound here, but since our review of assignments connects to our liaison reorganization goals, I thought I should provide a short update.
Written on November 4:
Back in May I wrote about our planned holistic review of social science liaison assignments being postponed. The posting of our First Year Instruction position (which will include a small number of social science liaison assignments) was also delayed due to a late budget coming out of our state legislature. Recently our Provost gave us the green light to post that position.
Since Nancy our senior colleague is retiring at the end of the semester, she would like to be able to inform her 10 departments who their liaison will be (or least their interim liaison). So the Social Science Team meet on October 30 to (finally) work on a holistic review of assignments.
The team wrote on a whiteboard all the social science departments and programs for which we have liaison assignments. We did generally apply the strategies listed in my May post:
- considering our existing relationships with faculty in those departments
- considering our current skill sets and subject knowledge
- grouping related academic programs
We identified a few departments — Gerontology, Human Development & Family Studies, Social Work — for which we don’t really have liaisons with relevant backgrounds, frankly. Will our new colleague? There is a lot of health science research done in those departments, but our Health Sciences Librarian is already very busy serving the needs of many programs, including growing PhD programs. So I’m curious to see what we will do with those three departments.
It was an interesting discussion and we all felt kind of proud with ourselves for having it I think.
The next step is to give all the liaisons a chance to weigh in on the team’s recommendations. It’s not essential for everyone to be there, but we should at least have representation from the Humanities and Science Teams. Some of the proposed changes might affect them, and the process may help us better handle when a senior colleague with a large number of mostly humanities departments retires someday.
Written today, November 20:
On Wednesday, Mary our liaison leader led an all-liaison meeting to discuss the Social Science team’s plan from October 30. The SocSci folks reviewed what we thought should factor into a holistic discussion and shared our ideas for temporary coverage of Nancy’s areas until we hire our new colleague.
I wasn’t there – had to help evaluate final presentations in the feasibility analysis class – but friends in our Humanities and Sciences team told me the discussion was without controversy. They liked the holistic approach. Someone suggested it should be done every few years even if we don’t have new liaisons on board. They also reaffirmed having liaisons collaborate on the more interdisciplinary departments, like Geography, as needed.