Much of this week has had an external focus for me, but first, an update on some local matters.
At the Provost-Deans group meeting this week I described our Public Services Renewal project, the central topic for our all staff meetings at the beginning of last week. Our consultant, Rebecca Jones, has been reviewing the feedback accumulated from those meetings, the subsequent drop-in sessions, and comments sent to her directly, as she works on her final report. Discussions of implementation planning began with the PSR project group last week as well.
The Queen’s Research Data Centre Advisory Committee met this week and heard the very interesting observations of researchers who have relied on the QRDC. Their stories were striking examples of how an awareness of available information, such as data sets, is crucial to both sparking and answering research questions.
The Information Services and Technology Faculty Advisory Committee had its first meeting of the academic year last Monday. Topics included a draft procedure for de-provisioning IT access privileges when an employee leaves the University, a draft procedure relating to the authorization required for providing access in exceptional circumstances to an employee’s IT resources such as email, calendar, etc., and cloud-based collaboration and productivity services for Queen’s faculty and staff. Materials are posted on the Committee’s website.
The Information and Communications Working Group of the Queen’s Accessibility Framework caught up on various topics last week, including the work that ITServices has been doing to support website accessibility compliance and the Library’s plans to address details relating to the upcoming AODA requirement to make available accessible or conversion ready format of print-based resources or materials, upon request. For the latter, Library Services for Students with Disabilities will be providing recommendations to the Library Leadership Team this fall.
A meeting of the Campus Community Appeal co-chairs was a nice opportunity to reflect on the reasons people want to give back to Queen’s. We talked about ways to thank the hundreds of faculty, staff and retirees who make a gift to an area where they feel it is most needed. It has certainly been a pleasure for me, in my role as faculty co-chair, to see people from the Library at various thank you events.
Now, externally… between the CARL Board meeting in Ottawa on Monday, a CARL-CRKN Board teleconference on Tuesday, the CANARIE Summit on Wednesday and Thursday, and the CARL Project ARC meeting today, it has been a very Canadian week. The CANARIE Summit, which I attended on behalf of CARL, was illuminating as a fairly new community for me, and opened new conversations about Project ARC and the Canadian digital infrastructure landscape.
I also engaged in a bit of cross-border activity this week with the inaugural teleconference of an ARL group relating to the recent Strategic Thinking and Design process. The ARL Board appointed a small transition team (Brian Schottlaender (UC-San Diego), Anne Kenny (Cornell) and myself) to provide an assessment of the existing ARL committee structure and recommendations on new structures to engage the membership and move forward with the new ‘system of action’ framework that emerged from the design process. It’s quite fascinating to consider how an organization shifts its focus from supporting activities within each of its member institutions to facilitating cross-institutional collaboration and cross-sector engagement. I’ll look forward to sharing the reports with you in the coming months.
Relevant to this ARL work, and strategic change in any organization, is an interesting research project that two students in the Queen’s School of Business have discussed with me. They’re looking at the impact of ‘imprinting’ on organizational strategic change. The idea is that the basic characteristics of every organization – its structures, values, roles, and relationships – are influenced by its history. They see the Library as an ideal context for exploring questions relating to the impact of imprinting, noting that the organization has existed since the university’s founding in 1841 and has experienced numerous periods of technological and organizational change during its history. When their research plans are confirmed they’ll provide information I can circulate for your interest.
I hope you’re looking forward to a lovely September weekend. Mine includes a joint Board-Senate retreat on the topic of the broader student learning experience within a changing post-secondary environment, and the opening of the Isabel. A proud moment for Queen’s!