From the Chair of the Board & Executive Director
It was great to see so many of you at the Summer Meeting. We had over 350 people attending over the 4 days, and really enjoyed the discussions and getting to meet so many of you! We hope it was a great kick-off for your summer, and you are now energized for the start of the school year.
Lynn Baird, Chair of the Board and Council
Thank You Bob Thomas!
We all benefit from Bob Thomas’ (WWU) work in the Alma Network Zone every day. Bob has served the Alliance in numerous ways – almost too many to count!
We suspect many will feel similar to Kyle Banerjee who stated:
"I cannot express how much I’ve appreciated the opportunity to work with Bob over the years. Cursed with amazing operational knowledge, an incredible capacity for work, endless patience, and being a blast to work with to boot, Bob is the first person many of us turn to for problems big and small. The Alliance simply won’t be the same without him."
As Bob retires in a few weeks, we send Thanks and Best Wishes from the entire Orbis Cascade Alliance. (See the profile in the newsletter.) Happy Retirement!
We’re also glad to welcome Milly Williams (PCC) as our new Network Zone manager. Thank you for taking on this important role!
On behalf of the entire Board, we’d like to thank the many members of the Assessment Team for their hard work and perseverance over the last years. At the July Council meeting, Council decided to restructure the Alliance’s approach to assessment, and that also meant discontinuing this team. Instead of having one team responsible for coordinating assessment, the Alliance will charter and authorize specific assessment projects, and put together unique teams for the specific purposes. Assessment remains important to the Alliance, and the A-Team led us in this tough but important task of reviewing our own work for impact. They helped support and encourage the assessment culture throughout the Alliance, and we will continue to benefit from their work.
Thank you Annie Downey, Rob Bohall, Meredith Farkas, Michele Burke, Kate Cabe, Lynn Deekin, Karen Clay & Jodi Allison-Bunnell!
We had a busy Council meeting at the end of the Summer Meeting. All the Team Chairs gave Council an update on the great achievements over the last year, as well as the plans for this next year. The Council also worked on the topics they’d like to see covered in a future Annual Report, discussed how to evaluate our use of the SILS now that we are several years into implementation, discussed whether we should be engaged in Hathi Trust as a consortium, and discussed the Collaborative Workforce Inventory Report. We are proceeding with an analysis of our work in Alma and Primo, looking for new ways to work with the SILS to move closer to our vision of a collaborative workforce. Ex Libris is also aware of our SILS Evaluation project, and we hope that the results will better inform them of areas for future improvement, as well as what we need to focus on during our upcoming contract renewal.
With the Summer Meeting, we welcome new Teams, Working Groups and a Board! The Board set its meetings for the year, and is working on the agenda items for each month. All of the updated dates are on the Board webpage, and Council meeting dates are on the Council page.
HR Transition Project
Alliance staff currently receive benefits and paychecks from the University of Oregon, but are assigned to work at the Alliance. The Board and Council decided that it’s time to establish our own HR practices and manage our own payroll to allow greater flexibility. The staff are just beginning a process, working with the HR Task Force, to establish our own HR policies and select benefits. We expect to be official Alliance employees on July 1, 2017!
We heard lots of great feedback at the Summer Meeting, and the Council has already implemented some of the changes you requested. Earlier this week, we released a call for additional Reps for two Teams – Discovery & Delivery and Collaborative Workforce & Technical Services. (Thus, Discovery has a Rep; Delivery has a Rep; Collaborative Workforce has a Rep; and Technical Services has a Rep.) Starting in September, members may keep their current Reps or add two more. Council members appoint Reps, a critical communication role for everyone. In addition, the Technical Services Working Group is talking about how to expand the number of Technical Services email lists, so allow more specialized communication about common issues. Thanks for the feedback. Feel free to be in touch with your Program Manager, or us, with more ideas!
Dana Bostrom, Executive Director