NYSHEI Web Changes

NYSHEI News is moving.

From now on the news blog will be found at http://nyshei.org/blog.  This change will not affect you if you traditionally come to it through the NYSHEI home page or through links in the NYSHEI E-News.  However, if you have bookmarked https://nyshei.wordpress.com or subscribed to the News feed here you will want to change your browser’s bookmark and your news feed subscription

If you have not subscribed to the NYSHEI news feed in the past, please try it out at http://nyshei.org/blog – if you use Firefox’s live bookmarks, Google’s Reader (or numerous other news readers/aggregators) add this new feed URL and you are ready to go.  If you have never subscribed to a news feed, it is a great way to read over the latest headlines and tidbits of information on your own terms.  Wikipedia.org has a nice overview on web (or news) feed http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_fee

Why we are moving the blog?  While we have have happily used the WordPress.com hosted service for over a year now, moving NYSHEI news to a local blog we give us more control over the look and usability of the blog.  I hope you enjoy the change.

Senate Snafu Saga

As if the coming budget process would not be difficult enough, the Senate has announced that there will not be any staff changes – until right before the budget deadline. I understand that is “inside baseball” news, but it will radically confuse lobbying during the coming session. Here is the news from the Albany Times Union politics blog.

Senate staffing in a holding pattern until March 31

December 30, 2008 at 5:05 pm by Irene Jay Liu

Senate majority staffers are breathing a little easier this holiday season – there won’t be any of the post-election expected layoffs, at least until March 31, 2009. The delay in staff changes is by agreement between Senate Republicans and Democrats, confirmed Senate Majority spokesman Mark Hansen.

The delay in transitioning staffs is because the Senate has yet to determine which party will lead the Senate – neither party has been able to do much in terms of transition since Democrats won the majority in November, because three rogue Democrats have not committed their support of Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm Smith.

At the moment, Senate Democrats are also in a holding pattern in regard to hiring – they are looking at resumes and in some cases, interviewing candidates, but no commitments have been made.

Despite the agreed-upon delay, some staffers are jumping ship before Dec. 31, 2008, so they can avoid a new law taking effect in the new year that would restrict them from lobbying for two years after leaving state employment.

This means that even if Smith wins the leadership vote on Jan. 7, 2009, his administration will take time to ramp up, which would normally have happened the period between the election and the opening of legislative session.

This puts even more pressure on Gov. David Paterson, who has asked legislative leaders to pass a $1.7 billion midyear budget reduction bill by February 1.

So Smith, if he becomes majority leader, will have to lead and make serious budget decisions by the seat of his pants, but he’ll be in good company. Paterson had a five-day transition period before he ascended to the governorship in March of this year.

Kramer Interviewed

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The Empire Page, the premier news website for New York government and politics, interviewed NYSHEI executive director Jason Kramer as part of its “Improving New York” series.

The Improving New York section of the Empire Page explores solutions to New York’s government-related problems. Future interviews will examine educational funding, government waste and property tax issues.

The Empire Page is published by PoliticalNewsToday.com, LLC, which seeks to provide information and opinion on the key issues of the day through websites that aggregate news and opinion and provide useful content for people active in government and politics. The partnership consists of Peter G. Pollak, who is the majority shareholder and actively manages the company, Schwartz-Heslin Group and Wynantskill Capital.

American Chemical Society Offer

NYSHEI is pleased to announce a new pricing arrangement with the American Chemical Society.

Under the terms negotiated by a committee of NYSHEI members comprised of representatives from Colgate, CUNY, RPI & Vassar your current ACS contract will increase by the following rates over the next five years. These flat rates contrast favorably with projected annual increases that ranged from 7 to 16 percent, depending upon institution.

The rate increases are for 2009, 5.25%; for 2010, 5.60%; for 2011, 5.75%; for 2012, 5.75%; and for 2013, 5.75%.

EBSCO will manage the contracts.

Contact NYSHEI, EBSCO or ACS for more details.

New NYSHEI Policy

The NYSHEI Governing Board has unanimously adopted a new policy.

The policy provides enhanced support for advocacy for specific projects that meet NYSHEI criteria, spelled out below. The intention is to leverage the enhanced advocacy focus (executive director and retained lobbying firm) of NYSHEI for subsets of member institutions.

The Policy

Upon approval of a proposal, the Executive Director of NYSHEI will serve as a consultant to any New York academic library group. Advice, support, and strategic consultation will be provided based upon the nature of the project and its congruence with NYSHEI’s mission. Collaboration between public and independent academic libraries will also be a value that will be considered when reviewing project proposals.

Upon a majority vote of the Governing Board, NYSHEI may agree to support an advocacy agenda item submitted by a New York State-based association, consortium or other collaborative group that serves academic and research libraries, provided that:

1) A minimum of two-thirds of the members of the petitioning group are also NYSHEI members, and

2) The proposed agenda item serves the interests of the petitioning group and not the exclusive interests of one or more of its members, and

3) The proposed project fits the NYSHEI mission;

To petition for NYSHEI advocacy consultation, an interested group should submit a 2-3 page proposal to the NYSHEI Executive Director for discussion at the next meeting of the Governing Board. The petition should include the scope and cost of the proposal, as well as a description of previous advocacy and any relevant limitations or opportunities related to the success of the proposal. Following the NYSHEI Governing Board meeting, the Executive Director will respond directly to the petitioner.

Proposals for advocacy consultation projects adopted by NYSHEI must be resubmitted with each newly seated legislature (every two years).

Stavisky Named Higher Ed Chair

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Queens lawmaker, Toby Ann Stavisky, has been named Chair of the State Senate Committee on Higher Education.

Mrs. Stavisky was elected to the State Senate in 1999 upon the death of her husband, Leonard Stavisky, a former university professor. Mrs. Stavisky has previously served as the ranking minority member of the Higher Education Committee.

In the past the Senator received recognition from CUNY for her support of public higher education. Mrs. Stavisky holds degrees from Syracuse University, Hunter College and Queens College.

NYS Higher Education Too Expensive

So says the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.

“Even if you’re prepared, you’ve got to be able to afford to go,” said Doyle, an assistant professor of higher education at Vanderbilt University. “… Based on our measures, it’s very expensive to attend higher education in New York.”

Read the full news article

Mission Focused

The NYSHEI Governing Board has honed the organization’s mission statement. The new statement (below) is intended underscore NYSHEI’s commitment to influencing public policy and promoting the needs of academic and research libraries.

NYSHEI Mission, Vision and Values
Mission
To strengthen New York State as an innovative leader in research and business by providing statewide access to the digital information resources needed by college and university students and faculty, entrepreneurs, and small businesses.

Vision
All New York State students, faculty, entrepreneurs, researchers, and small businesses have access to quality information which stimulates learning, academic and applied research, and economic development.

Values
Commitment to New York State innovation.
Collaboration among academic and research libraries and economic development agencies.
Engagement in economic policy making.

Feel free to post your comments.

ARIA to Maximize State Assets

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Jason Kramer, NYSHEI Executive Director, today testified before the New York State Commission on State Asset Maximization.

Mr. Kramer argued that New York’s higher education sector is the state’s greatest asset. By using ARIA to “maximize” that asset an information infrastructure could be created to improve educational opportunities, spur research, lower the cost of business and empower.

“Commissioners seemed interested in ARIA, and reassured that ARIA has already been vetted and endorsed by the Commission on Higher Education,” said Mr. Kramer. “NYSHEI will continue to push ARIA at every available opportunity – it is too important to our libraries.”

A full copy of the testimony is available.

Be the Governor

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As part of his ongoing effort to fully explain the magnitude of the budget situation challenging the state, Governor Paterson today unveiled a new website.

At the heart of the website’s goal is a state budget calculator that lets you try to balance the budget.

Critics will quickly note that the calculator does not allow you the option of raising taxes. This is keeping with the Governor’s pledge to focus only on cuts by ruling out tax increases. Paterson, in a stark reversal of his liberal Democrat years in the Legislature, has embraced the Laffer Curve in his opposition to tax increases.

There is a place on the new website to share your comments with the Governor and his staff.