Libraries, Information Science and Computing (LISC) Council

Meeting Minutes

October 4, 2004




Present: Thomas Bessette, Meredith Butler, Susan Faerman, Martin Fogelman, Roger D. Gifford, Christine Haile, Thomas Hoey, Raef Lawson, Lawrence Raffalevich, Peter Schrock, Barbara Via, David Wagner


Chair’s report (David Wagner)

1.   Open computing resolution.   Passed by LISC and the Senate in May 2004.

2.   Journal publishers resolution.  Passed by LISC and the Senate in May 2004.   See Meredith Butler’s report for the update.

3.   Wireless computing committee.  CIO Haile has asked LISC to name a member to it.  The new committee has not met yet.

4.   Mass mail distribution policy violations.  See CIO Haile’s report for details.

5.   Common data set.  This is a set of institutional research data that is now available on MyUAlbany.  Kathy Lowery demonstrated it to LISC last spring.  LISC members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with it.

6.   University mission review - the Libraries, ITS, and each of the Senate councils have been asked to review the document.  Input to Provost Mumpower is due by late November.  LISC will meet in about three weeks to discuss it.


CIO’s report (Christine Haile)

1.   Mass mail distribution policy violations.  The David Soares political campaign gained access to a print University directory through a University faculty member, and used it as the source of email addresses to send political campaign email to large numbers of University faculty and staff.  One of the documents included the name and University affiliation of a UAlbany faculty member within a list of supporters.   The issues are:

a.      University employees cannot use their University title or affiliation in political campaigns


i.        Followup with the individual faculty member

ii.       Human Resources sent a letter to all University faculty/staff reminding them not to use their University title or affiliation in political campaigns


b.      Mass-mailings using a University directory


i.      Possible responses including legal action were considered but options were limited.  Christine Haile sent a latter to the Soares Campaign asking them to stop.  There has been no response yet.  A total of  three emails have been sent so far.  The main concern is that this will escalate as election day approaches.

ii.      Stronger language will be used in the University directory preface to prohibit such uses.


S. Faerman said it is more of an ethics issue than technology since the directory probably could be obtain through the Freedom of Information Action. She suggested sending the issue it to CAFE.  Revising the permitted use language for the online directory was also suggested.

2.   Wireless Computing


Based upon a survey initiated by Telecommunications by an outside firm, the cost of bringing  wireless access to public areas on all three campuses is estimated to be $600-700,000.  Chris Haile is meeting with the Provost and the Vice-President for Finance to discuss budget issues including wireless and other issues.  If funding cannot be made available, “Plan B” might be just do the “hotspots”.


Director of Libraries Report (Meredith Butler)

The Senate’s approval of the resolution about Elsevier last spring was a welcome show of faculty support of the Libraries’ efforts to rein in escalating serial costs.   Unfortunately, SUNY was not in a position of strength to negotiate and Elsevier “did not negotiate in good faith”, so a five year SUNY-wide contract was signed “at a price that UAlbany can ill afford”.

Meredith also tried unsuccessfully to change the apportionment of Elsevier costs among the SUNY campuses.  The four university centers still pay most of the total cost.  UAlbany’s cost/use has proven to be several times that of other university centers.

Meredith reported that there is some progress toward “open publishing” at the University, which is seen as an alternative and deterrent to escalating serial prices .  The Libraries sponsored a workshop on it last spring, educating faculty authors and encouraging them to know and protect their rights.

There is a proposal before Congress that any federally funded project would be put into PubMed after publication.  Faculty should be encouraged to show their support by writing their congressional representatives. 

Each dean has been asked to prepare for a budget reduction.  The Collection Development Advisory Committee will probably be convened once the reduction amount is known.


CETL Report (Sue Faerman)

Sue is now representing CETL on LISC since Kathy Turek has retired.  She has been Director since Kathy Turek retired, Steve Delong is Associate Director, and there are five web developers.


Information Technology Usage and Policy Committee (Michael Matis)

This committee is also known as “Little LISC”.  Chair Michael Matis encouraged “fresh faces” to join Little LISC.

The committee responded to the CIO’s request about the mass email distribution violations.  One concern was that it might escalate as the election draws nearer. Little LISC recommended review of the State laws about solicitation, particularly whether email to or from the University constitutes “on University property”.


Library Acquisitions Committee (Meredith Butler)

Covered under Director of Libraries report.


Old Business



New Business

1.      Representative for the Wireless computing committee.  Several members volunteered.   M. Butler suggested it might be better to have a faculty member on the committee.   Lawrence Raffalevich from Sociology agreed to serve as the LISC representative.


2.   Institutional repositories.  Roger Gifford from the Libraries gave a brief presentation with handouts about institutional repositories.  His handouts included definitions, several examples of existing institutional repositories, and a comparison of faculty/staff roles between traditional publishing and “open source” publishing.  He noted that the technology already exists to implement institutional repositories, but that it is a “huge project” that is likely to take years to fully implement.   Dean Butler noted that the scope of “institutional repositories” is broader than faculty publishing or strategies for dealing with rapid serial price increases.  CIO Haile noted that institutional repositories are an emerging trend that the University needs to address. Gifford’s handouts asked fundamental questions about how and whether UAlbany should become involved in institutional repositories.  Others agreed that LISC appears to be the appropriate group to consider these issues and questions.



Respectfully submitted,

Roger D. Gifford