Task Force for Research Support Final Report December 2020 Task Force Charge The Task Force for Research Support is a second iteration of the previously charged “Task Force for Establishing a Library Pre-Tenure Track Program” (Dec 2019 – Jun 2020). With feedback received on initial ideas, this iteration will continue to develop recommendations for establishing and expanding a support program to help candidates establish a research and publication record commensurate with success in the Library’s tenure system. While our scope will continue to include the potential for new position types, our approach will be more expansive in addressing known challenges. Initial topics identified include research time, learning opportunities, practical experience, and access to expertise. Ultimately, the task force will put forward a set of recommendations that outline a “support program.” Task force members are charged with identifying program objectives, outlining program components and logistics, framing a timeline, and set of milestones for implementation, and finally, establishing criteria by which a research and tenure support program’s effectiveness will be evaluated. We will again consult the faculty for broader feedback prior to submitting recommendations to EC for consideration. Task Force Membership Peg Burnette (chair) Tim Cole Sara Holder Heidi Imker Kelli Trei David Ward Special thanks to Jen-chien Yu, Director of Library Assessment, for input and guidance regarding evaluation of recommendations. Report Contents Introduction Report Summary Information Gathering Review of the Literature Major Findings Recommendations Timeline & Milestones Evaluation 2 2 3 5 5 7 24 24 1 INTRODUCTION Library faculty must conduct rigorous research in order to be promoted. This expectation has been in place for many decades as part of the campus’ tenure track system, but the support for research in the Library over that time has fluctuated. For example, in recent years, two positions became vacant in summer 2017: the AUL for Research and Research Support Services Librarian (50%). The Research Support position was not replaced, and the AUL for Research remained open for over a year. With that lapse, the AUL for Research appointed in Fall 2018 began an assessment of research support needs and gathered feedback from Academic Professionals (APs), visiting, assistant, associate, full and emeritus faculty members. The results were presented in a “research challenges” report to the Executive Committee in summer 2019. Discussions prompted by that report lead to the idea of creating on-ramping opportunities (akin to an athletic “red shirt” track) for incoming junior faculty members. A task force to investigate a possible “Pre-Tenure Track Program” was established and conducted its work in Spring 2020. While early feedback was strongly in favor of more research support, the creation of an additional “track” was controversial for several reasons. Notably, while it would address incoming junior faculty who are under-prepared, it would not address a myriad of other gaps in support that challenges other individuals. The current group, the Task Force for Research Support, was charged as a second iteration to assess these broader issues and conducted its work in Summer and Fall of 2020. This included conducting a literature review and hosting four open forums to gather thematically focused feedback. The report below is the summary and synthesis of the Task Force for Research Support’s efforts. As indicated in the above charge, this group was tasked with developing recommendations for establishing an expanded support program. The recommendations provided here are highly reflective of, and responsive to, direct input from library faculty and APs generated from the four forums. We know that this is an iterative process. These recommendations should not be taken as necessarily fixed, but they provide a call to action for developing a support program and culture of research that bolsters the success of individuals and provides meaningful and long-lasting research contributions to the library science profession. REPORT SUMMARY The findings of the Task Force, as articulated below, were wide-ranging and included a number of possible directions to follow. There was not universal agreement on any of the recommendations, but there were strong trends and themes which emerged. Actionable recommendations are made based on information gathered from a series of four fo

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