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Board Meeting #42

April 12, 2015

1:00 - 2:30 pm


Jane Carlin, Chair
Faye Chadwell, Chair-elect
Chris Shaffer, Past Chair
Michelle Bagley, Treasurer (FY15 & 16)
John Popko, Secretary (FY15 & 16)
Lynn Baird, Member-at-Large (FY14 & 15)
Merrill Johnson, Member-at-Large (FY14 & 15)
Dalia Corkrum, Member-at-Large (FY15 & 16)
Mark I. Greenberg, Member-at-Large (FY15 & 16)
John F. Helmer, Executive Director (ex officio & non-voting)

Key Documents (all are also linked under agenda items)

* = password protected

Notes of the Orbis Cascade Alliance Board Conference Call

Tuesday, May 12, 2015, GoToMeeting, 1:00pm-2:30pm

1.  Consideration of Membership Applications

1.1.         Content Summary

Application received from Clackamas CC since last Board discussion of Whitworth’s application.  Carlin asks us to keep in mind the previously proposed phone call or webinar that might be desired or necessary for advanced preparation or consideration.

1.2.         Board Discussion Highlights

Are there CC standards or guidelines about staff, collections, and budget relative to FTE?  There are, or have been, but members are uncertain of current use or application in light of evolving regional accreditations standards and practices.  It was noted that Clackamas CC is comparable to Clark College but CCC is much smaller in staff.  Need to keep in mind the differentiation between terminal degree students (2-year) and those intending to move on to a 4-year institution.  We believe CCC is already tracking its student enrollment according to the Alliance’s definition.

There is uncertainty (page 3) about the amount of its acquisition budget and the percentage spent on e-resources.

What’s missing – what would CCC bring to Alliance?  This aspect of membership is not sufficiently  addressed.  Do we want to allow CCC the same opportunity we offered to Whitworth, to submit additional information that might address the Board’s preliminary, but crucial, concerns?

What team should review CCC application?  Same team as Whitworth or a new one?  One preference for two independent teams so that each institution is evaluated independently.  One preference for same team so that in “Round 1” we get more consistency; not that the institutions are compared but that common criteria are applied equitably.  Maybe have at least one member overlap on both teams.  It was noted that the Executive Director will be involved in both so that would ensure two overlapping members.  Suggested that it could be valuable to have a community college librarian on the team.  JH recommends a regular Board member overlap to ensure we know what we are expecting from a new member.

What about our timetable?  Move both applications along at same time or differently?

Helmer noted the greater technical complexity associated with migrating Whitworth.  His conversations with Ex Libris indicated the potential for “significant technical complications” and lots of Alliance staff time if Whitworth goes through a migration to WIN and then a subsequent migration to the Alliance.

Should we provide the applicants with more detail on the amount of people and extent of time that current members commit?  Agreed this would be a good idea.

We reviewed the questions we are asking the applicants to respond to and found them generally acceptable.  We expect to continue to refine and normalize them over time.

1.3.         Conclusions/Actions

Agreed to ask CCC for additional information, comparable to what we did with and for Whitworth, before we proceed with a telephone or webinar.  Executive Director will make the contact with CCC.  Board will finalize the questions we want to ask each institution in our preliminary phone or webinar meeting.  Board members will consider their willingness to serve on the teams.  Board Chair and Executive Director will name a second team for the CCC application, with Chris Schaffer as overlapping Board member on both.  Bagley volunteered in order to bring a specific community college perspective.  Might consider re-assigning team members based on geographical convenience.  Will work to set up preliminary meetings with both institutions sometime after the July Council meeting, with a site visit potentially in September.

2.  Summer Meeting Update

 2.1.         Content Summary

Planners have involved Policy and Coordination Team on how to make most of the Summer meeting.  There is a strong interest in reports of activities, accomplishments, and goals, but the topical teams are also working on training opportunities based on information that Cassie Schmitt has been gathering.

The preliminary structure includes:

July 7 -- Assessment Team and e-book working group plan to meet

July 8 – Emphasis on Programmatic and Training topics.  Plenary session consisting of program managers and team chairs on a panel.  Each of the Teams is developing multiple options.  At this time, no keynote address.  Each Team will have dinner together.  All topical ideas from Teams will be in Helmer’s hands later this week.  He’ll share with P&C Team, maybe Council, to see if that’s the right content and direction.

July 9 -- First opportunity for the teams to meet.  Hope that institutional representatives will be on hand and able to sit in.  Any others are also welcome to attend.  Shift into Council meeting, with lunch including the Team Chairs and Program Mgrs.

2.2.         Board Discussion Highlights

What opportunities do we have for Council to help set important topics or activities?  Could there be some form of reception, like an event or social hour on Wednesday around 5pm for all participants?  Do we want to emulate ELUNA and have an Ex Libris presence to observe, listen, etc., but not necessarily participate?  Many think this is appropriate and valuable.  Will there be any good news from Ex Libris that its staff might present to us, like Melissa Hilbert or perhaps a service person newly assigned to the Pacific Northwest?  Maybe include some report on COE? 

What are expecting of the Plenary Session and of the incoming Chair of the Board?  Last year the Plenary Session included brief reports from outgoing chair, Exec Dir, incoming chair.  There’s interest in repeating this.  Also need lots of emphasis on the new teams, putting names and faces together.  It was suggested that we create and assign a symbol to each Team and put this symbol on name tags so all participants can recognize and match them up.  If we do so, we can incorporate it other labelling and signage for the meeting.

Should we consider a small registration fee in future for the Summer Meeting?

2.3.         Conclusions/Actions

Helmer will extend an invitation to Ex Libris for a presence, most appropriately the person or person hired to be stationed in the NW if that possibility comes to fruition.  Staff will explore creating symbol, ribbon, or color designations for use on programs, wayfinding, name tags, etc.  There was some interest in creating one social event that all attendees could participate in, perhaps early Wednesday evening.

3.  Update and Future Steps on the Center of Excellence

3.1.         Content Summary

In conjunction with ELUNA in Minneapolis, Betsy Wilson, Jay Starratt, Susan Barnes Whyte, and Jane Carlin were in attendance.  Helmer led our meeting with Kathi Fountain, Anya Arnold and Al Cornish attending.  A large contingent of Ex Libris personnel was on hand.

Among the highlights of that meeting:  It’s a new era for the COE, with a lot of initiatives following our full implementation.  We will be allowed to be more public in our reporting on COE on the Alliance website.  Notes are forthcoming that will provide greater detail on the discussions and initiatives.  So far, COE has been about products and software development, but it is also supposed to be about how the system is used.  We anticipate new attention on efficient workflow and best practices.

3.2.         Board Discussion Highlights

Do we have charge and composition correct for our COE Leadership Team?  Perhaps we need to develop a glossary that would help us understand and support our work together with Ex Libris.  Carlin suggested that Ex L admitted it was not fully invested in usability and assessment.  Now hiring consultants to help them improve in this area.  ExL indicated they had not recognized and responded to our reports of multiple clicking and ergonomic concerns in a timely manner.

3.3.         Conclusions/Actions

This report meant to sensitize us to emerging developments.  Expect to hear a lot more and will report and discuss in greater detail at July meeting.

4.  WEST Update

4.1.         Content Summary

Document made available in advance of call.

Previous discussions led us to believe WEST was committed to its previously stated line on the FY16 budget and fees.

When WEST Board heard we’d be dropping, WEST surprised us by offering some variations to keep us on board for another year.  As a consortium member, we’d have flexibility to re-distribute the fees, but we’d still be subject to the same overall percentage increases, i.e., no incentive for consortial participation through discounts or other fees.

Helmer recommends we consider this closed for FY16.  Perhaps re-open consideration for FY17.

4.2.         Board Discussion Highlights

Many comments supporting our previous decision. Want to “lay back” for a year or more to let WEST stabilize itself.

4.3.         Conclusions/Actions

No change to our previous decision to drop consortium membership for FY16.


5. Short Updates (time permitting)

5.1.         Content Summary

Finance Team:

Met yesterday.  Drew Harrington and Cassie Schmitt joined for a very productive session.  Putting final touches on Collaborative Workforce Model for next Board in-person meeting. 

Pressing matter:  It’s time to file our taxes.  Debi Place has sent pertinent documents to all member of the Finance Team.  We’ve filed two extension on FY13 because of all the simultaneous activities.  We have a short turn-around time if we want to file on time without asking for another extension.

FY16 budget vote:  Last Wed was deadline to vote.  Results to-date:  34 votes in – 33 yes and 1 abstention. We’re inclined to give the last three holdouts until end of this week.

Human Resources Task Force:

A very successful recent meeting with consultants took place at the University of Oregon in Eugene.  Talked about Alliance needs and desires.  Looking at a feasibility study to determine trade-offs and alternatives between staying with UofO, moving to a private institution, or a combination.  Adriene Lim will work with UofO for possible revision in our current MOU. There have been changes at UofO , changes in Alliance, and changes in employment laws, none of which are yet reflected in the MOU.  Intend to survey Alliance staff for information on their use and the value of current benefits.  Hope to complete the survey by September 1 and present the results to Council at the November meeting. One participating Board member termed it a good meeting and was impressed with UofO amenability to work with us and our needs.

Items from the Board Chair:

June 17 in-person Board meeting will include new Board members.  We need to begin planning the July meeting.  Preliminary ideas include:  Process of reflection and assessment of Council and Board operations and effectiveness, a kind of “health check.”  If we were to do this, would we do it on our own or with an external facilitator?  Asked Board to think about it in anticipation of the June 17 meeting.

5.2.         Board Discussion Highlights

It was noted that we had planned to explore our Council meeting schedule and suggested that we conduct a survey to gather Council experiences and preferences.  It was proposed that such a survey should focus on our work and communications as they contribute to our designated goals and desired outcomes, not necessarily to personal preference or expediency.

5.3.         Conclusions/Actions

Board Chair and Executive Director will prepare a survey of Council to elicit perspectives on the effectiveness of communications between and among Council and Board members and the appropriateness of the timing and duration of Council meetings.  The results can inform an agenda item at the July Council meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

John Popko, Secretary