Email: USF Libraries’ Budget Realignment

Message sent from Todd Chavez, Dean of USF Libraries, to USF College Deans.

I wanted to take a moment to provide some information concerning the USF Libraries’ budget realignment requirements. The budget realignment requirements are substantial and will likely impact the entire community at some level.

  • Year 1 Reduction: $1,383,500
  • Year 2 Reduction: $   650,000
  • TOTAL:                    $2,033,500

The 15.3 percent realignment includes personnel actions, program elimination/suspension, reduced operational expenditures (e.g. travel, equipment), and membership cancellations, but the majority of the impact will be in our collections budget, primarily recurring subscriptions, because this is the lion’s share of our E&G base budget.

To meet these levels we are compelled to:

  • aggressively modify our seven “Big Deals” –the large subscription bundles that includes Elsevier, Taylor & Francis, Springer/Nature, Wiley, Oxford, Cambridge, and Sage;
  • reevaluate prior “luxuries” such as maintaining subscriptions to both Web of Science and Scopus;
  • target low use/high cost content even if they are research intensive; and
  • consider cancellations of anything on the margins of our institutional mission.

It is going to be very difficult to balance our deepest desire to do no harm and meet these targets, but we think that we can manage the tightrope through an equally aggressive service plan and commitment to meeting faculty needs by any means necessary. To that end, we are launching a phased approach:

  • Now through December –Step 1: notify vendors/publishers that USF will be reviewing its current collection selections and will reacquire a subset. This is the legal step we must take to meet the terms of our contracts and licenses. This will immediately impact four “Big Deals.”
  • November through January –Step 2: conduct a comprehensive analysis of our recurring collection. Through our website (see below), we will literally flood the faculty with data that they can choose to review, or not. It will be a transparent exercise.
  • January through February/March –Step 3: reacquire content based on the analysis in Step 2.
  • March through May –Step 4: review and consider next steps on canceled content. ILL/Document Delivery and other mechanisms will be in place in January to bridge gaps.

Ironically, we anticipate (remains to be tested) that we may actually create a discretionary buffer that will allow us to permanently acquire “leased” content to lower future recurring obligations. That evaluation will go on concurrently with Steps 2-3. Because we have no discretionary funds at this time, we cannot take advantage of these opportunities.

Finally, we are preparing (an early draft is up at a comprehensive information resource to ensure 100 percent transparency in all that we do. Once we are ready, we will market this resource to the University community as a one-stop-shop for collection impacts from the realignment.

One request: if any of you can share any specific program impacts, this will be very helpful. For example, if you are considering a program’s elimination or a change from Grad 2 to Grad 1, we can consider those resources as candidates for cancellation without fear of impact.

Email from Dean Todd Chavez to the USF College Deans, 10/22/2020

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