Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

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Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Jan-Bart de Vreede-2
Dear all,

As most of you know, the Board of Trustees met at the Foundation's new
San Francisco headquarters a few weeks ago. At that meeting, we talked
about how best to represent the full array of community members, and how
best to provide professional oversight for the work of the staff. As a
result of those conversations, we're announcing today some changes to
the makeup of the Board, and to the Board member appointment process. We
think these are positive changes that will help the Board to safeguard
the Wikimedia Foundation's ability to fulfill the mission. We hope you
agree.

I've laid out the most significant changes below.

We are increasing the number of Board positions to 10 overall, comprised
of the following:

* Three seats elected by you, the community
* Two seats to be selected by the chapters
* One Board-appointed 'Community Founder' seat
* Four 'specific expertise' seats, also to be Board-appointed

The most significant change here is probably the addition of two
chapters-selected seats. This has been under consideration for a long
time, and we are glad to finally be implementing it. We want to
acknowledge that the chapters are an important player in the fulfillment
of the Wikimedia Foundation's mission, and that they therefore deserve a
voice in the governance of the Foundation. Please note that the two
chapters-selected seats are not intended to represent the interests of
the chapters vis-a-vis the Foundation. The chapters are being asked to
pick trustees who they feel will represent the interests of the
Wikimedia Foundation, and help it fulfill its mission as well as it
possibly can.

We are also specifically naming four seats as designated for “specific
expertise.” The goal here is to add skills and capacities to the current
board. For example, we might decide to actively recruit board members
with deep non-profit governance experience, or fundraising expertise.

We are also formalizing Jimmy's role as Community Founder, by
designating a seat for that purpose.

These changes are effective today, but we will not be filling all of
these roles immediately. It will take some time -likely several months
to a year- before all the changes are implemented. Here's how that will
work:

Nothing changes immediately. The current Board membership will stay in
place, and will fill out the new roles/positions as follows:

* Three community-elected seats:
- Florence Devouard (seat up for election July 2008; then, next up for
election July 2009)
- Kat Walsh (seat up for election July 2009)
- Frieda Brioschi (seat up for election July 2009)
* Chapter-selected seats:
- Domas Mituzas, Executive Secretary (to be held until chapters make
their own appointment)
- Michael Snow (to be held until chapters make their own appointment)
* Community Founder
- Jimmy Wales (term expires December 31, 2008)
* 'Specific expertise' seats
- Jan-Bart de Vreede , Vice Chair (term expires December 31, 2008)
- Stuart West, Treasurer (term expires December 31, 2008)
- Vacant (term expires December 31, 2008)
- Vacant (term expires December 31, 2008)

The 'specific expertise' seats, and community founder seat, will be
re-appointed starting in January 2009. The chapter-selected seats will
be filled as soon as the Chapters appoint representatives. Domas Mituzas
and Michael Snow, who were originally asked to sit on the Board until
June 2008, will be extended in their seats until the chapters make their
choices.

Both the community-elected and chapter-selected seats have a duration of
two years. These seats will expire in alternating years, which means
that community-elected seats will be up for renewal on the July 1st
2009, 2011, and 2013, and chapter-selected seats will be up for renewal
on July 1st 2010, 2012, 2014, etc.

In the short-term, the next significant date for the Board is the
election for the one seat, which expires in July of this year. This is
the seat currently held by Florence Devouard. The term of that seat will
last for one year, to July 2009. This is a shorter term than normal, but
the intent is to have the three community-elected seats all line up to
one consistent election date in July 2009. You will hear more later
today from the elections committee.

Once all of these positions are in place, we trust we will have built a
strong Board that is well-positioned to safeguard the Wikimedia
Foundation's mission, and our ability to fulfill it. We hope you agree.

We know this is all pretty complicated and hard to follow, so we asked
Jay Walsh, head of communications, to put together an FAQ and a “board
makeup” graphic, intended to help make it more understandable. He'll be
posting both on the Foundation wiki in about an hour.

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board

Thanks,
Jan-Bart de Vreede
Vice-chair, Board of Trustees

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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Bryan Tong Minh
On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 9:19 PM, Jan-Bart de Vreede
<[hidden email]> wrote:
[...] Very important things
>
>  http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board
>
Professionally looking new pictures! I'll be transwikiing them to Commons.

Looks very nice. However, Jay, when linking to external sites in
single bracket mode, you don't need a pipe: [http://www.fetching.net
www.fetching.net], not [http://www.fetching.net| www.fetching.net].
WikiText can be complicated at times ;)

Bryan

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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Bryan Tong Minh
In reply to this post by Jan-Bart de Vreede-2
On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 9:19 PM, Jan-Bart de Vreede
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>  The most significant change here is probably the addition of two
>  chapters-selected seats. This has been under consideration for a long
>  time, and we are glad to finally be implementing it. We want to
>  acknowledge that the chapters are an important player in the fulfillment
>  of the Wikimedia Foundation's mission, and that they therefore deserve a
>  voice in the governance of the Foundation. Please note that the two
>  chapters-selected seats are not intended to represent the interests of
>  the chapters vis-a-vis the Foundation. The chapters are being asked to
>  pick trustees who they feel will represent the interests of the
>  Wikimedia Foundation, and help it fulfill its mission as well as it
>  possibly can.
>
Have the details of this already been worked out? Are those two seats
divided via an election where every chapter has an X number of votes,
or is it a more consensus orientated process where all chapters
discuss together which two candidates are the best suited?


>
>  Both the community-elected and chapter-selected seats have a duration of
>  two years. These seats will expire in alternating years, which means
>  that community-elected seats will be up for renewal on the July 1st
>  2009, 2011, and 2013, and chapter-selected seats will be up for renewal
>  on July 1st 2010, 2012, 2014, etc.
>
That sounds like a good idea as the past has shown that organizing
elections is a time costly effort.

Bryan

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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

David Gerard-2
2008/4/26 Bryan Tong Minh <[hidden email]>:

>  Have the details of this already been worked out? Are those two seats
>  divided via an election where every chapter has an X number of votes,
>  or is it a more consensus orientated process where all chapters
>  discuss together which two candidates are the best suited?


It'll be a tricky one. e.g. WM-DE is an organisation with actual money
and an employee, whereas WM-UK has existence and nothing much else.
Let's assume "details to be worked out" :-)


- d.

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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Paul Williams-13
In reply to this post by Jan-Bart de Vreede-2
On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 8:19 PM, Jan-Bart de Vreede <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> As most of you know, the Board of Trustees met at the Foundation's new
> San Francisco headquarters a few weeks ago. At that meeting, we talked
> about how best to represent the full array of community members, and how
> best to provide professional oversight for the work of the staff. As a
> result of those conversations, we're announcing today some changes to
> the makeup of the Board, and to the Board member appointment process. We
> think these are positive changes that will help the Board to safeguard
> the Wikimedia Foundation's ability to fulfill the mission. We hope you
> agree.
>
> I've laid out the most significant changes below.
>
> We are increasing the number of Board positions to 10 overall, comprised
> of the following:
>
> * Three seats elected by you, the community
> * Two seats to be selected by the chapters
> * One Board-appointed 'Community Founder' seat
> * Four 'specific expertise' seats, also to be Board-appointed
>
> The most significant change here is probably the addition of two
> chapters-selected seats. This has been under consideration for a long
> time, and we are glad to finally be implementing it. We want to
> acknowledge that the chapters are an important player in the fulfillment
> of the Wikimedia Foundation's mission, and that they therefore deserve a
> voice in the governance of the Foundation. Please note that the two
> chapters-selected seats are not intended to represent the interests of
> the chapters vis-a-vis the Foundation. The chapters are being asked to
> pick trustees who they feel will represent the interests of the
> Wikimedia Foundation, and help it fulfill its mission as well as it
> possibly can.
>
> We are also specifically naming four seats as designated for "specific
> expertise." The goal here is to add skills and capacities to the current
> board. For example, we might decide to actively recruit board members
> with deep non-profit governance experience, or fundraising expertise.
>
> We are also formalizing Jimmy's role as Community Founder, by
> designating a seat for that purpose.
>
> These changes are effective today, but we will not be filling all of
> these roles immediately. It will take some time -likely several months
> to a year- before all the changes are implemented. Here's how that will
> work:
>
> Nothing changes immediately. The current Board membership will stay in
> place, and will fill out the new roles/positions as follows:
>
> * Three community-elected seats:
> - Florence Devouard (seat up for election July 2008; then, next up for
> election July 2009)
> - Kat Walsh (seat up for election July 2009)
> - Frieda Brioschi (seat up for election July 2009)
> * Chapter-selected seats:
> - Domas Mituzas, Executive Secretary (to be held until chapters make
> their own appointment)
> - Michael Snow (to be held until chapters make their own appointment)
> * Community Founder
> - Jimmy Wales (term expires December 31, 2008)
> * 'Specific expertise' seats
> - Jan-Bart de Vreede , Vice Chair (term expires December 31, 2008)
> - Stuart West, Treasurer (term expires December 31, 2008)
> - Vacant (term expires December 31, 2008)
> - Vacant (term expires December 31, 2008)
>
> The 'specific expertise' seats, and community founder seat, will be
> re-appointed starting in January 2009. The chapter-selected seats will
> be filled as soon as the Chapters appoint representatives. Domas Mituzas
> and Michael Snow, who were originally asked to sit on the Board until
> June 2008, will be extended in their seats until the chapters make their
> choices.
>
> Both the community-elected and chapter-selected seats have a duration of
> two years. These seats will expire in alternating years, which means
> that community-elected seats will be up for renewal on the July 1st
> 2009, 2011, and 2013, and chapter-selected seats will be up for renewal
> on July 1st 2010, 2012, 2014, etc.
>
> In the short-term, the next significant date for the Board is the
> election for the one seat, which expires in July of this year. This is
> the seat currently held by Florence Devouard. The term of that seat will
> last for one year, to July 2009. This is a shorter term than normal, but
> the intent is to have the three community-elected seats all line up to
> one consistent election date in July 2009. You will hear more later
> today from the elections committee.
>
> Once all of these positions are in place, we trust we will have built a
> strong Board that is well-positioned to safeguard the Wikimedia
> Foundation's mission, and our ability to fulfill it. We hope you agree.
>
> We know this is all pretty complicated and hard to follow, so we asked
> Jay Walsh, head of communications, to put together an FAQ and a "board
> makeup" graphic, intended to help make it more understandable. He'll be
> posting both on the Foundation wiki in about an hour.
>
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board
>
> Thanks,
> Jan-Bart de Vreede
> Vice-chair, Board of Trustees
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>


Interesting changes. Do these changes affect the amount of seats available
for election in the upcoming elections? I was under the impression there
were three, but the graphics appear to indicate only a single seat is up for
election this year.

~ Paul Williams
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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Bryan Tong Minh
Bryan Tong Minh wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 9:19 PM, Jan-Bart de Vreede
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>  The most significant change here is probably the addition of two
>>  chapters-selected seats. This has been under consideration for a long
>>  time, and we are glad to finally be implementing it. We want to
>>  acknowledge that the chapters are an important player in the fulfillment
>>  of the Wikimedia Foundation's mission, and that they therefore deserve a
>>  voice in the governance of the Foundation. Please note that the two
>>  chapters-selected seats are not intended to represent the interests of
>>  the chapters vis-a-vis the Foundation. The chapters are being asked to
>>  pick trustees who they feel will represent the interests of the
>>  Wikimedia Foundation, and help it fulfill its mission as well as it
>>  possibly can.
>>
> Have the details of this already been worked out? Are those two seats
> divided via an election where every chapter has an X number of votes,
> or is it a more consensus orientated process where all chapters
> discuss together which two candidates are the best suited?

The chapters read this announcement for the first time right now. The
chapters will be the ones defining this process. It is entirely up to
them to decide how they will elect the two representatives. So, no
details have been worked out.

Ant


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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Michael Snow-3
In reply to this post by Paul Williams-13
Paul Williams wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 8:19 PM, Jan-Bart de Vreede <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>  
>> We know this is all pretty complicated and hard to follow, so we asked
>> Jay Walsh, head of communications, to put together an FAQ and a "board
>> makeup" graphic, intended to help make it more understandable. He'll be
>> posting both on the Foundation wiki in about an hour.
>>    
> Interesting changes. Do these changes affect the amount of seats available
> for election in the upcoming elections? I was under the impression there
> were three, but the graphics appear to indicate only a single seat is up for
> election this year.
>  
There are still three elected seats, but only one up for election this
year. We couldn't shorten Kat and Frieda's terms when they were already
elected to serve until July 2009, so to allow the chapters to make their
selections it needed to be the seats Domas and I currently occupy.

For answers to additional questions relating to this announcement,
please look at the FAQ:
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees/Restructure_Announcement_Q%26A
Please take a look, although we'll certainly respond to any issues that
aren't covered there.

--Michael Snow


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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Paul Williams-13
On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 9:38 PM, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Paul Williams wrote:
> > On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 8:19 PM, Jan-Bart de Vreede <
> [hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> We know this is all pretty complicated and hard to follow, so we asked
> >> Jay Walsh, head of communications, to put together an FAQ and a "board
> >> makeup" graphic, intended to help make it more understandable. He'll be
> >> posting both on the Foundation wiki in about an hour.
> >>
> > Interesting changes. Do these changes affect the amount of seats
> available
> > for election in the upcoming elections? I was under the impression there
> > were three, but the graphics appear to indicate only a single seat is up
> for
> > election this year.
> >
> There are still three elected seats, but only one up for election this
> year. We couldn't shorten Kat and Frieda's terms when they were already
> elected to serve until July 2009, so to allow the chapters to make their
> selections it needed to be the seats Domas and I currently occupy.
>
> For answers to additional questions relating to this announcement,
> please look at the FAQ:
>
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees/Restructure_Announcement_Q%26A
> Please take a look, although we'll certainly respond to any issues that
> aren't covered there.
>
> --Michael Snow
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

Certainly looks like the race is going to be a lot tighter than I
anticipated this year. Should be quite interesting to see how far I end up
getting, because, to be honest, I don't see a committed board member like
Florence being outvoted.

~ Paul Williams
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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Michael Snow-3
Paul Williams wrote:
> Certainly looks like the race is going to be a lot tighter than I
> anticipated this year. Should be quite interesting to see how far I end up
> getting, because, to be honest, I don't see a committed board member like
> Florence being outvoted.
>  
Well, she'll have to decide whether to run. The election committee will
have more details soon I hope about how the election part will work. By
the way, if you plan to be a candidate, you might want to update your
English Wikipedia user page so that people realize you're eligible.

--Michael Snow


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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Paul Williams-13
On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 9:50 PM, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Paul Williams wrote:
> > Certainly looks like the race is going to be a lot tighter than I
> > anticipated this year. Should be quite interesting to see how far I end
> up
> > getting, because, to be honest, I don't see a committed board member
> like
> > Florence being outvoted.
> >
> Well, she'll have to decide whether to run. The election committee will
> have more details soon I hope about how the election part will work. By
> the way, if you plan to be a candidate, you might want to update your
> English Wikipedia user page so that people realize you're eligible.
>
> --Michael Snow
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

Can you tell that enWP isn't my primary project? :P

Thank you for the heads up.

~ Paul Williams
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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Katie Chan
In reply to this post by Jan-Bart de Vreede-2
On Sat, 2008-04-26 at 21:19 +0200, Jan-Bart de Vreede wrote:

> - Jimmy Wales (term expires December 31, 2008)

Can someone with access correct
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees/Restructure_Announcement so that it doesn't say 2009 and thus contradicting both this email and the foundation's own Board page? ;)

KTC

--
Experience is a good school but the fees are high.
  - Heinrich Heine

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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Casey Brown-3
Hmm, let's let a board member update that one... they might have
extended the appointed members' terms at another meeting. ;-)

On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 8:28 PM, Kwan Ting Chan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, 2008-04-26 at 21:19 +0200, Jan-Bart de Vreede wrote:
>
>  > - Jimmy Wales (term expires December 31, 2008)
>
>  Can someone with access correct
>  http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees/Restructure_Announcement so that it doesn't say 2009 and thus contradicting both this email and the foundation's own Board page? ;)
>
>  KTC
>
>  --
>  Experience is a good school but the fees are high.
>   - Heinrich Heine
>
> _______________________________________________
>  foundation-l mailing list
>  [hidden email]
>  Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
>



--
Casey Brown
Cbrown1023

---
Note: This e-mail address is used for mailing lists. Personal emails sent to
this address will probably get lost.

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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Nathan Awrich
I'll be curious to see how the various chapters determine amongst
themselves, without guidance for the board, how to select the two board
members allocated to them. Will they use the existing inter-chapter
structure, the Chapters Committee, to coordinate discussion? I'm also
curious as to the rationale for this change -- have the two chapter seats
been created because it was felt that the non-English project participants
have been under-represented in past elections? Do their members vote at
lower rate of participation than the English project members? I'm assuming
that all the folks who might participate in local chapters continue to have
a vote for the community seats, so will the net effect be that their
individual votes are the equivalent of some multiple of a vote from a
community member without a representative chapter?

Nathan

On 4/26/08, Casey Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hmm, let's let a board member update that one... they might have
> extended the appointed members' terms at another meeting. ;-)
>
>
> On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 8:28 PM, Kwan Ting Chan <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Sat, 2008-04-26 at 21:19 +0200, Jan-Bart de Vreede wrote:
> >
> >  > - Jimmy Wales (term expires December 31, 2008)
> >
> >  Can someone with access correct
> >
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees/Restructure_Announcementso that it doesn't say 2009 and thus contradicting both this email and the
> foundation's own Board page? ;)
> >
> >  KTC
> >
> >  --
> >  Experience is a good school but the fees are high.
> >   - Heinrich Heine
> >
>
> > _______________________________________________
> >  foundation-l mailing list
> >  [hidden email]
> >  Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >
> >
>
>
>
>
> --
> Casey Brown
> Cbrown1023
>
> ---
> Note: This e-mail address is used for mailing lists. Personal emails sent
> to
> this address will probably get lost.
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Dan Rosenthal
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the rationale was explained: The  
Board wants the Chapters to have more involvement in the governance of  
the foundation, and since the chapters presumably would know good  
candidates for the board (as they'd probably have already identified  
some as candidates for their own boards) the move benefits both Board  
and Chapters. Presumably, these would be something like "appointed  
community seats"  as opposed to "elected community seats".

-Dan
On Apr 26, 2008, at 10:55 PM, Nathan wrote:

> I'll be curious to see how the various chapters determine amongst
> themselves, without guidance for the board, how to select the two  
> board
> members allocated to them. Will they use the existing inter-chapter
> structure, the Chapters Committee, to coordinate discussion? I'm also
> curious as to the rationale for this change -- have the two chapter  
> seats
> been created because it was felt that the non-English project  
> participants
> have been under-represented in past elections? Do their members vote  
> at
> lower rate of participation than the English project members? I'm  
> assuming
> that all the folks who might participate in local chapters continue  
> to have
> a vote for the community seats, so will the net effect be that their
> individual votes are the equivalent of some multiple of a vote from a
> community member without a representative chapter?
>
> Nathan
>
> On 4/26/08, Casey Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Hmm, let's let a board member update that one... they might have
>> extended the appointed members' terms at another meeting. ;-)
>>
>>
>> On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 8:28 PM, Kwan Ting Chan <[hidden email]>  
>> wrote:
>>> On Sat, 2008-04-26 at 21:19 +0200, Jan-Bart de Vreede wrote:
>>>
>>>> - Jimmy Wales (term expires December 31, 2008)
>>>
>>> Can someone with access correct
>>>
>> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees/Restructure_Announcementso 
>>  that it doesn't say 2009 and thus contradicting both this email  
>> and the
>> foundation's own Board page? ;)
>>>
>>> KTC
>>>
>>> --
>>> Experience is a good school but the fees are high.
>>>  - Heinrich Heine
>>>
>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> foundation-l mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Casey Brown
>> Cbrown1023
>>
>> ---
>> Note: This e-mail address is used for mailing lists. Personal  
>> emails sent
>> to
>> this address will probably get lost.
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/ 
>> foundation-l
>>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l


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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Michael Snow-3
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
Nathan wrote:

> I'll be curious to see how the various chapters determine amongst
> themselves, without guidance for the board, how to select the two board
> members allocated to them. Will they use the existing inter-chapter
> structure, the Chapters Committee, to coordinate discussion? I'm also
> curious as to the rationale for this change -- have the two chapter seats
> been created because it was felt that the non-English project participants
> have been under-represented in past elections? Do their members vote at
> lower rate of participation than the English project members? I'm assuming
> that all the folks who might participate in local chapters continue to have
> a vote for the community seats, so will the net effect be that their
> individual votes are the equivalent of some multiple of a vote from a
> community member without a representative chapter?
>  
The chapters, or at least those that are able to attend, have a
previously scheduled meeting coming up in May. Hopefully they'll be able
to get a start there on figuring out the process to pick the two board
members they will select. Delphine as the Chapters Coordinator, along
with Jan-Bart on behalf of the board, will be there to help as well.

As for the rationale, I would say that it's primarily a sense that the
connection with the chapters needed to be stronger. The chapters are
valuable partners for the global Wikimedia Foundation, but haven't been
integrated into its governance as well as they could be. Sometimes this
created the impression that the chapters are dependent organizations
which can do things with the foundation's permission, without a way for
them to have independent input. Giving chapters an explicit role in
selecting board members recognizes them as stakeholders who rightfully
should contribute to governing the foundation.

That also ties in with my comments on the Volunteer Council proposal.
Rather than create a new foundation-level structure and figure out what
it might be good for, I think it was important to work better with the
pieces that are already in place. By that I don't wish to discourage
development of a council as a community-level structure.

I don't think the issue of representation played a big factor in the
restructuring, at least in the sense you're asking about. The elections
have resulted in board members like Florence and Frieda; if anything the
last election had people concerned that the rate of voter participation
from the English projects was too low, until a "get-out-the-vote" drive
materialized and presented its own issues. We are of course an
international organization and I'm sure board selections will continue
to reflect that somehow. The chapters can consider this along with other
issues - the point is for the chapters to choose whom they believe to be
the best available people, rather than falling into a trap of "we have
to pick somebody from Portugal this year because we picked somebody from
Japan last time."

--Michael Snow


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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Michael Snow-3
In reply to this post by Michael Snow-3
Michael Snow wrote:
> For answers to additional questions relating to this announcement,
> please look at the FAQ:
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees/Restructure_Announcement_Q%26A
>  
One question has been raised privately that's not covered, and I think
is worth explaining: With 10 seats planned, did the board take into
consideration the possibility that this could result in a deadlock?

The answer is that we did touch on the issue in our discussions, but
concluded it was a relatively minor concern at this point. For one
thing, a 5-5 vote would fail to pass whatever is being voted on,
appropriately so. Working toward agreement is usually better, to me a
measure with that kind of opposition is a sign that problems need to be
worked out before moving forward with it. For another thing, as the
membership of the board changes, inevitably the numbers will change
between odd and even at various points. Right now we have eight members,
in fact, but we certainly didn't want to wait longer to add a treasurer
just because that's an even number.

--Michael Snow


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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Michael Snow-3
In reply to this post by Katie Chan
Kwan Ting Chan wrote:
> On Sat, 2008-04-26 at 21:19 +0200, Jan-Bart de Vreede wrote:
>  
>> - Jimmy Wales (term expires December 31, 2008)
>>    
> Can someone with access correct
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees/Restructure_Announcement so that it doesn't say 2009 and thus contradicting both this email and the foundation's own Board page?
Sorry about that, I just fixed it. Jimmy's term expires at the end of
this year; the same is true for Jan-Bart and Stu; it also would apply to
anyone else appointed in the near future specifically for their expertise.

--Michael Snow


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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Brianna Laugher
In reply to this post by Jan-Bart de Vreede-2
Hi,

I had the impression that Florence's "elected" position had been
converted into an "appointed" one. But now I see it is listed as a
community one.

Will the Board look to the community first to fill the appointed
'expertise' seats? (I understand in many, probably most cases, that
expertise + willingness may not exist.)

Under this new structure, will it be possible that community-elected
positions may be converted to board-appointed? (Expert in the
community?)

Are the 'specific expertise' seats going to be for specifically named
areas of expertise?

Community Founder seat seems to be locking Jimmy into the Board for,
well, indefinitely. Presumably he is happy with that, but it will mean
the rules need to be changed when he can't do it any more, right?
(Yer, maybe decades from now :))
I mean, there are no other people in the community, and there never
will be, who fufil the role of "community founder". What is the point
of "formalizing Jimmy's role as Community Founder" - why not just make
his seat one of the Board appointed ones?

It will be interesting to see how the chapter seats play out.

regards,
Brianna


--
They've just been waiting in a mountain for the right moment:
http://modernthings.org/

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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
The seat occupied by Anthere was changed in order to be up for re-election a
year later. It has always been a community seat. The motivation was that
being the chair and the amount of instability at the time, it gives the
board of trustees a little more needed stability.

Jimmy IS in a class of its own. I am convinced that when his seat were a
"community seat" he would easily keep his position. On the other hand his
influence and support makes a world of a difference to Wikipedia and the
Wikimedia Foundation. If he occupies the "community founder" seat and does
this as well as he has done so far, I would not begrudge him not to have to
stand for elections. When you compare his seat with the "specific expertise"
seats, it is hard to express what exact expertise makes Jimmy qualify, I
think that his constant involvement from the start and his intimate
awareness of much what goes on gives him this "specific expertise". In the
end by giving him the "community founder" seat, you express his unique
position that qualifies him as an expert and recognises his position in the
community.
Thanks,
     GerardM

On Sun, Apr 27, 2008 at 8:35 AM, Brianna Laugher <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I had the impression that Florence's "elected" position had been
> converted into an "appointed" one. But now I see it is listed as a
> community one.
>
> Will the Board look to the community first to fill the appointed
> 'expertise' seats? (I understand in many, probably most cases, that
> expertise + willingness may not exist.)
>
> Under this new structure, will it be possible that community-elected
> positions may be converted to board-appointed? (Expert in the
> community?)
>
> Are the 'specific expertise' seats going to be for specifically named
> areas of expertise?
>
> Community Founder seat seems to be locking Jimmy into the Board for,
> well, indefinitely. Presumably he is happy with that, but it will mean
> the rules need to be changed when he can't do it any more, right?
> (Yer, maybe decades from now :))
> I mean, there are no other people in the community, and there never
> will be, who fufil the role of "community founder". What is the point
> of "formalizing Jimmy's role as Community Founder" - why not just make
> his seat one of the Board appointed ones?
>
> It will be interesting to see how the chapter seats play out.
>
> regards,
> Brianna
>
>
> --
> They've just been waiting in a mountain for the right moment:
> http://modernthings.org/
>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Board-announcement: Board Restructuring

Michael Snow-3
In reply to this post by Brianna Laugher
Brianna Laugher wrote:
> Will the Board look to the community first to fill the appointed
> 'expertise' seats? (I understand in many, probably most cases, that
> expertise + willingness may not exist.)
>  
We consciously avoided calling them "external experts" for that reason.
The priority for those positions is the expertise, though. A marginally
qualified candidate from the community would not take precedence over a
fully qualified "outsider". But in case of similarly qualified
candidates, someone from the community would have the advantage by being
familiar with the culture already.
> Under this new structure, will it be possible that community-elected
> positions may be converted to board-appointed? (Expert in the
> community?)
>  
Depends what you mean. In the bylaws amendments that will implement this
plan, we are specifically providing that a majority of the positions
(not counting Jimmy) are to be selected by the community/chapters. The
structure as outlined is 5 and 4 (3+2=5 community seats, 4 expertise
seats, and Jimmy), so no, the position itself could not be changed in
this fashion.

If you're referring only to the person, someone who was once elected
could later be given an appointed position. That depends on whether the
person has expertise of the kind the board is looking to appoint. Nobody
can occupy two seats at once, though.
> Are the 'specific expertise' seats going to be for specifically named
> areas of expertise?
>  
We'll be reviewing exactly what expertise the foundation most needs on
the board. It's possible that this may change over time, so we may not
want to attach an area of expertise permanently to a specific seat. It
also remains to be seen what expertise comes out of the selections by
the community and the chapters.
> Community Founder seat seems to be locking Jimmy into the Board for,
> well, indefinitely. Presumably he is happy with that, but it will mean
> the rules need to be changed when he can't do it any more, right?
> (Yer, maybe decades from now :))
> I mean, there are no other people in the community, and there never
> will be, who fufil the role of "community founder". What is the point
> of "formalizing Jimmy's role as Community Founder" - why not just make
> his seat one of the Board appointed ones?
>  
This is touched on in the FAQ, but maybe the reasons for it aren't fully
explained. The distinction is partly because of the balance outlined
above, by which a majority of the board would come from the community in
one way or another. It would be ridiculous and insulting to say that
Jimmy is not from the community, but it's also desirable not to have the
community majority depend on him always being around, so he's set aside
as a special case. Jimmy can of course resign anytime he wants to, and
the board can choose not to renew his term if it wants to, but in either
scenario the seat disappears.

--Michael Snow


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