The week ahead — August 8, 2022

What I’m reading

Misconceiving Merit (Blair-Loy & Cech) –> still 20% done. I left it at home and didn’t read it there.

The Promise of Access (Greene) –> 10% done

The End of Ownership (Perzanowski and Schultz) –> this is a reread, focused on refreshing the legal principles in the first few chapters. Highly recommend this book, btw.

I need to start something new to replace Beyond Accommodation, but I am not sure what yet. I usually move on to a similarly focused book, but I am feeling a desire to read some history. I know I could do both, but we’re edging up on not-really-reading-anything-well territory with five work-related books going at the same time.

What I’m thinking about

What I am preparing for

Strategic planning. Our strategic plan ends in 2023, so we really should be on developing a new one. Talking to the library about it, I am getting a lot of understandable exhaustion. From this I know that we are not interested in a full-on, consultant led process (the last one took 18 months). But at the same time, I get enough questions about the plan – current and future — that I know I have to figure something out. I think I have the outlines of a strategy in mind, but I am going to need to have some conversations. How to get that done is the problem I am working now.

Associate Dean hire. We have had an interim Associate Dean for over a year — and that’s too long. Getting this PD done and the search ready to launch is a priority.

Meetings of note

Records Manager search committee. Of note, this is the first new position my library has been funded for since like 2008, and only the second in my 18 years here. Needless to say, we are pretty excited. I worked hard on the proposal for this position and I did it collaboratively with colleagues from the general counsel’s office, the compliance office, the research office, and university relations and marketing. I’m super excited that some of those people also agreed to join the search committee. I’m not the hiring manager for this search, so I don’t technically have to be there, but I’m going to anyway.

LOTS of 1:1s. When I was trying to figure out how to reorganize the library administration department post-COVID and post-me-as-Dean I talked to lots of people and one thing I found out was that our culture here where supervisors and direct reports meet 1:1 weekly or (more commonly) biweekly is both 1) not as common as I thought and 2) very appreciated.

Admin briefing. This is a 1/2 hour to 1 hour meeting once a month that could definitely be an email. BUT, one thing I have learned in my time in big organizations is that you can’t ever find the perfect communication channel. You have to communicate things multiple ways using multiple platforms (and sometimes also multiple times). So this is a briefing on stuff different people in Admin are working on, hearing about, needing help with, etc.

College of Vet Med library prep. This is a really hard problem that all of us who are currently working on it — from university admin, the library and the college — inherited. TL;DR — this is a library that’s independently staffed, managed and funded and which is struggling. All of us from that list above are meeting next week to talk about the future, so this week I’m meeting with the librarian who has been the liaison for this situation to get our thoughts in order.

Donor/stewardship strategy. When we reorganized admin, part of the goal was for me, my executive assistant and the building and space manager to have more capacity with external and donor relations. This is one of several meetings figuring out what that looks like and how it fits with the other work already happening in admin.

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