Library Update – April 21, 2017

Post Date:
Apr 21, 2017

Hello from Windsor, site of the Spring 2017 OCUL Directors meeting.  These spring meetings move around the province so that we can experience each institution over time. Some trips also make us aware of the size of this province (here’s an OCUL map). With Detroit across the river, it feels far from Kingston.

Amongst yesterday’s highlights was a presentation by Scholars Portal Director Alan Darnell on the recently announced collection of more than1000 historical topographic maps of Ontario that have been made available online in a project initiated by the OCUL Geo Community. Alan spoke about it as a model of OCUL collaboration – a good idea, coordination and work on the part of individuals in various institutions, leveraging of the Scholars Portal digital infrastructure, and the delivery of significant benefits to the community within OCUL and beyond. For example, Francine Berish engaged Queen’s in the project by contributing to the inventory and arranging for digitization and georeferencing of some maps in our local collection. If you haven’t taken a look already at the results of the project, I suggest checking out the collection highlights.

My Queen’s update to the OCUL Directors included the very significant acquisition that Alvan Bregman was able to secure for us, thanks to his sleuthing and the support of our generous donor Mr. Seymour Schulich — William Caxton’s edition of the Polycronicon (1482). By now I’m sure you’re aware that this is one of the oldest printed English-language books, and there are only about 50 known copies in the world. It is quite an amazing addition to the Schulich-Woolf Collection launched in 2016.

The last few weeks have seen many important announcements, including the release of the Fundamental Science Review (also known as the Naylor Report). I would encourage you to review the report as an important effort to improve the research enterprise. Key recommendations include the formation of a National Advisory Council on Research and Innovation, strengthening cooperation across the granting councils and a greater orientation towards investigator-led research. In particular, given our current discussions on research data management, see section 6.2.2 on Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI). It was a pleasure to hear Dr. Art McDonald, one of the review panel members, present the report highlights at a meeting of the Principal-Vice-Principals-Deans earlier this week. He reminded us that “science” in this context includes the research of the humanities and social sciences as well as the physical and natural sciences.

My own involvement with national DRI discussions has continued with several meetings of a data working group of the Leadership Council on Digital Infrastructure (LCDI), described in this recent update from CASRAI.

Also relating to research, note that the Strategic Research Plan renewal process at Queen’s is under way. A variety of forms of engagement are planned with the community, including the library. The renewal is taking place in three phases: 1) Planning, consultation and feedback, 2) Drafting the SRP and soliciting feedback, and 3) Revision of the SRP draft followed by a consultation phase culminating in Senate consultation. (For further information see the VPR website). As well, see the April 4 edition of the Gazette for a nice interview with John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). A search is about to commence for the newly titled role of Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation).

Within the library, our Research Services Working Group has launched, and various project groups and working groups are forging ahead. Remember that you can keep up with their activities on the projects and working groups pages of the staff website.

As chair of the university’s Open and Affordable Course Materials Working Group, I’ve been guiding a flurry of activity to begin campus conversations relating to our work, such as the instructor discussion groups coming up next week.Yesterday the OCUL Directors meeting included a presentation by David Porter, CEO of eCampusOntario and we’ll be arranging for him to give a similar talk at Queen’s in June.

Senate this week included a discussion of the report of the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity and Inclusion, an important report for all of us. In relation to the library’s roles in learning and research, we need to pay close attention to recommended changes in the university’s guiding planning documents, diversification of the curriculum, revisions to the Queen’s learning outcomes framework, and support for courses and research related to anti-racism.

At Senate the Provost gave a presentation about the drafting of the second round of Strategic Mandate Agreements (SMA) between Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) and the universities and colleges of the province. The first round of these agreements (SMA1) were finalized in the summer of 2014 and cover the period from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017.  Last December, MAESD announced that the process of developing and negotiating SMA2 would begin in early 2017. We have now received a near-final SMA submission template from the Ministry in which detailed information is requested on our planned enrolments and on key aspects of our academic mission: Student Experience; Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence; Access and Equity; Research Excellence and Impact; Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement. We have started to populate the template based on the Strategic Framework, Academic Plan, SMA1 and recent SMA1 progress reports. SMA2 will cover the period 2017-2020. It’s important to note that this is not a change in how we conceive of Queen’s mission or a new planning document, but rather a statement based on other materials.

Academic programs approved at Senate:

  • Establishment of a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Politics-Philosophy-Economics specialization undergraduate degree plan in the Faculty of Arts and Science, effective September 2017.
  • Establishment of a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), major in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Science, effective September 2017.
  • Establishment of a Doctor of Science (Rehabilitation and Health Leadership), School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, effective May 2018.
  • Major modifications to the PhD Program in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, effective September 2018.
  • Establishment of the David Barsky Chair in Ophthamology and Visual Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, subject to ratification by the Board of Trustees.

Senate also approved the report of the Academic Integrity Working Group.

It was a pleasure to see so many of you at the All Staff meeting on April 5. Our next event together is our planning day on May 24.

Enjoy the weekend!

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