[Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

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[Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Denny Vrandečić-2
In the following I want to present a personal account of events leading to
James’ removal as a Board member, as I remember them. It was written while
I was still on the Board, and the Board agreed on having it sent. The text
was heavily discussed and edited amongst members of the Board, but in the
end it remains my personal account. I realize that it potentially includes
post-factum sensemaking, affecting my recollection of events.

October 1 and 2 2015, Dariusz, James, Patricio and I received phone calls
from a small number of Wikimedia Foundation staff expressing concerns about
the Foundation. They asked explicitly for confidentiality. I wanted to
approach the whole Board immediately, but due to considerations for
confidentiality, the sensitive nature of the topic, and the lack of an HR
head at the time, the others decided against at this moment. Effectively,
this created a conspiracy within the Board from then on for the following
weeks.

With Patricio’s approval, Dariusz and James started to personally collect
and ask for reports from staff. Unfortunately, this investigation was not
formally approved by the whole Board. It was also conducted in a manner
that would not secure a professional and impartial process. After a few
weeks, we finally reached out to the rest of Board members. They
immediately recognized the necessity for a separate formal task force which
was set up very quickly.

The formal task force was created end of October. This task force involved
outside legal counsel and conducted professional fact finding. The first
request of the task force to the Board members was to ask for all documents
and notes pertaining to the case. Unfortunately, although there has been
more than a week of time, this has not happened in full.

The task force presented its result at the November Board meeting, where it
was discovered during the second day of the Board meeting that the previous
investigation has not provided all available information. Thus, the fact
finding had to be extended into the Board meeting. At the Board meeting
itself, James in particular was repeatedly asked to share his documents,
which only happened on the very last day of the retreat and after several,
increasingly vigorous requests. Some members of the Board were left with an
impression that James was reluctant to cooperate, even though it was
expected that since he participated in an investigation done in an improper
manner, that he would be more collaborative to make up for these mistakes.

Due to that lack of transparency and information sharing, the Board retreat
in November turned out to be extremely ineffective. If we had all
information that was gathered available to the Board in due time, and if
that information was gathered more openly in the first place, the Board
could have acted more effectively.

I was worried that the confidentiality of the Board would not be
maintained, and I was particularly worried about James’ lack of
understanding of confidential matters, a perception also fueled by his
noncooperation and conduct. Some of his behaviour since unfortunately
confirmed my worries. I raised this as an issue to the Board.

While discussing the situation, James remained defensive, in my eyes
answered questions partially, and, while formally expressing apologies,
never conveyed that he really took ownership of his actions or understood
what he did wrong. This lead to a malfunctioning Board, and in order to fix
the situation I suggested James’ removal.

I voted for James’ removal from the Board because of his perceived
reluctance to cooperate with the formal investigation, his withholding of
information when asked for, his secrecy towards other Board members, even
once the conspiracy was lifted, and him never convincingly taking
responsibility for and ownership of his actions and mistakes. This is why I
get triggered if he positions himself as an avatar of transparency. The
whole topic of the Knowledge Engine - although it played a part in the
events that lead to the November meeting - did not, for me, in any way
influence the vote on James’ removal. It was solely his conduct during and
following the November meeting.

I am glad to see that, since James’ removal until I left, the Board has
been functioning better.

I hope that this account helps a little bit towards renewing our culture of
transparency, but even more I hope for understanding. The Board consists of
volunteers and of humans - they cannot react in real-time to events, as the
Board was never set up to do so. Trustees - myself included - made
mistakes. By opening up about them, I hope that we can facilitate a faster
and more complete healing process, and also have this knowledge and
experience available for future Board members and the community.

Denny
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Michel Vuijlsteke-2
Just to be sure I understand the issue: staff members reached out
specifically to the four of you and asked for confidentiality, and then the
Board demanded 'all documents', presumably including some confidential
staff information, and James only very reluctantly shared it?

Michel
On 2 May 2016 19:10, "Denny Vrandečić" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> In the following I want to present a personal account of events leading to
> James’ removal as a Board member, as I remember them. It was written while
> I was still on the Board, and the Board agreed on having it sent. The text
> was heavily discussed and edited amongst members of the Board, but in the
> end it remains my personal account. I realize that it potentially includes
> post-factum sensemaking, affecting my recollection of events.
>
> October 1 and 2 2015, Dariusz, James, Patricio and I received phone calls
> from a small number of Wikimedia Foundation staff expressing concerns about
> the Foundation. They asked explicitly for confidentiality. I wanted to
> approach the whole Board immediately, but due to considerations for
> confidentiality, the sensitive nature of the topic, and the lack of an HR
> head at the time, the others decided against at this moment. Effectively,
> this created a conspiracy within the Board from then on for the following
> weeks.
>
> With Patricio’s approval, Dariusz and James started to personally collect
> and ask for reports from staff. Unfortunately, this investigation was not
> formally approved by the whole Board. It was also conducted in a manner
> that would not secure a professional and impartial process. After a few
> weeks, we finally reached out to the rest of Board members. They
> immediately recognized the necessity for a separate formal task force which
> was set up very quickly.
>
> The formal task force was created end of October. This task force involved
> outside legal counsel and conducted professional fact finding. The first
> request of the task force to the Board members was to ask for all documents
> and notes pertaining to the case. Unfortunately, although there has been
> more than a week of time, this has not happened in full.
>
> The task force presented its result at the November Board meeting, where it
> was discovered during the second day of the Board meeting that the previous
> investigation has not provided all available information. Thus, the fact
> finding had to be extended into the Board meeting. At the Board meeting
> itself, James in particular was repeatedly asked to share his documents,
> which only happened on the very last day of the retreat and after several,
> increasingly vigorous requests. Some members of the Board were left with an
> impression that James was reluctant to cooperate, even though it was
> expected that since he participated in an investigation done in an improper
> manner, that he would be more collaborative to make up for these mistakes.
>
> Due to that lack of transparency and information sharing, the Board retreat
> in November turned out to be extremely ineffective. If we had all
> information that was gathered available to the Board in due time, and if
> that information was gathered more openly in the first place, the Board
> could have acted more effectively.
>
> I was worried that the confidentiality of the Board would not be
> maintained, and I was particularly worried about James’ lack of
> understanding of confidential matters, a perception also fueled by his
> noncooperation and conduct. Some of his behaviour since unfortunately
> confirmed my worries. I raised this as an issue to the Board.
>
> While discussing the situation, James remained defensive, in my eyes
> answered questions partially, and, while formally expressing apologies,
> never conveyed that he really took ownership of his actions or understood
> what he did wrong. This lead to a malfunctioning Board, and in order to fix
> the situation I suggested James’ removal.
>
> I voted for James’ removal from the Board because of his perceived
> reluctance to cooperate with the formal investigation, his withholding of
> information when asked for, his secrecy towards other Board members, even
> once the conspiracy was lifted, and him never convincingly taking
> responsibility for and ownership of his actions and mistakes. This is why I
> get triggered if he positions himself as an avatar of transparency. The
> whole topic of the Knowledge Engine - although it played a part in the
> events that lead to the November meeting - did not, for me, in any way
> influence the vote on James’ removal. It was solely his conduct during and
> following the November meeting.
>
> I am glad to see that, since James’ removal until I left, the Board has
> been functioning better.
>
> I hope that this account helps a little bit towards renewing our culture of
> transparency, but even more I hope for understanding. The Board consists of
> volunteers and of humans - they cannot react in real-time to events, as the
> Board was never set up to do so. Trustees - myself included - made
> mistakes. By opening up about them, I hope that we can facilitate a faster
> and more complete healing process, and also have this knowledge and
> experience available for future Board members and the community.
>
> Denny
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Adam Wight-2
What Michel said...  This is a very interesting story, but I'm left to
imagine some crucial, looming details.

I have no first-hand knowledge of what really happened, but your
description of staff contacting a small number of Board members, and asking
for confidentiality, strongly indicates that the staff were fearful of some
sort of retribution, and each chose Board members who they personally
believed would protect them.  This is an educated guess, based on our siege
mentality at the Foundation last November.

When the four of you were asked to hand over all information about the
case, that would naturally include any personal email communications.  If I
were in your position, I would have respected the agreement of confidence
with anyone who had contacted me, up to and maybe even beyond a subpoena,
unless I had the authors' permission to release.  If there is some legal
reason the Board members are not allowed behave according to this standard,
we need to make it very clear going forward.  I doubt the staff would have
had these conversations if this is the case, and they had been informed so.

I'm also concerned that there seems to be a conflation between several
incidents--the original "Gang of Four" investigation was clearly a huge
mess and I would hope that apologies were made all around for what happened
there.  However, protecting some sort of possibly compromising or personal
information is another thing entirely.

Hoping for more clarity,
Adam

On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:39 AM, Michel Vuijlsteke <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Just to be sure I understand the issue: staff members reached out
> specifically to the four of you and asked for confidentiality, and then the
> Board demanded 'all documents', presumably including some confidential
> staff information, and James only very reluctantly shared it?
>
> Michel
> On 2 May 2016 19:10, "Denny Vrandečić" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > In the following I want to present a personal account of events leading
> to
> > James’ removal as a Board member, as I remember them. It was written
> while
> > I was still on the Board, and the Board agreed on having it sent. The
> text
> > was heavily discussed and edited amongst members of the Board, but in the
> > end it remains my personal account. I realize that it potentially
> includes
> > post-factum sensemaking, affecting my recollection of events.
> >
> > October 1 and 2 2015, Dariusz, James, Patricio and I received phone calls
> > from a small number of Wikimedia Foundation staff expressing concerns
> about
> > the Foundation. They asked explicitly for confidentiality. I wanted to
> > approach the whole Board immediately, but due to considerations for
> > confidentiality, the sensitive nature of the topic, and the lack of an HR
> > head at the time, the others decided against at this moment. Effectively,
> > this created a conspiracy within the Board from then on for the following
> > weeks.
> >
> > With Patricio’s approval, Dariusz and James started to personally collect
> > and ask for reports from staff. Unfortunately, this investigation was not
> > formally approved by the whole Board. It was also conducted in a manner
> > that would not secure a professional and impartial process. After a few
> > weeks, we finally reached out to the rest of Board members. They
> > immediately recognized the necessity for a separate formal task force
> which
> > was set up very quickly.
> >
> > The formal task force was created end of October. This task force
> involved
> > outside legal counsel and conducted professional fact finding. The first
> > request of the task force to the Board members was to ask for all
> documents
> > and notes pertaining to the case. Unfortunately, although there has been
> > more than a week of time, this has not happened in full.
> >
> > The task force presented its result at the November Board meeting, where
> it
> > was discovered during the second day of the Board meeting that the
> previous
> > investigation has not provided all available information. Thus, the fact
> > finding had to be extended into the Board meeting. At the Board meeting
> > itself, James in particular was repeatedly asked to share his documents,
> > which only happened on the very last day of the retreat and after
> several,
> > increasingly vigorous requests. Some members of the Board were left with
> an
> > impression that James was reluctant to cooperate, even though it was
> > expected that since he participated in an investigation done in an
> improper
> > manner, that he would be more collaborative to make up for these
> mistakes.
> >
> > Due to that lack of transparency and information sharing, the Board
> retreat
> > in November turned out to be extremely ineffective. If we had all
> > information that was gathered available to the Board in due time, and if
> > that information was gathered more openly in the first place, the Board
> > could have acted more effectively.
> >
> > I was worried that the confidentiality of the Board would not be
> > maintained, and I was particularly worried about James’ lack of
> > understanding of confidential matters, a perception also fueled by his
> > noncooperation and conduct. Some of his behaviour since unfortunately
> > confirmed my worries. I raised this as an issue to the Board.
> >
> > While discussing the situation, James remained defensive, in my eyes
> > answered questions partially, and, while formally expressing apologies,
> > never conveyed that he really took ownership of his actions or understood
> > what he did wrong. This lead to a malfunctioning Board, and in order to
> fix
> > the situation I suggested James’ removal.
> >
> > I voted for James’ removal from the Board because of his perceived
> > reluctance to cooperate with the formal investigation, his withholding of
> > information when asked for, his secrecy towards other Board members, even
> > once the conspiracy was lifted, and him never convincingly taking
> > responsibility for and ownership of his actions and mistakes. This is
> why I
> > get triggered if he positions himself as an avatar of transparency. The
> > whole topic of the Knowledge Engine - although it played a part in the
> > events that lead to the November meeting - did not, for me, in any way
> > influence the vote on James’ removal. It was solely his conduct during
> and
> > following the November meeting.
> >
> > I am glad to see that, since James’ removal until I left, the Board has
> > been functioning better.
> >
> > I hope that this account helps a little bit towards renewing our culture
> of
> > transparency, but even more I hope for understanding. The Board consists
> of
> > volunteers and of humans - they cannot react in real-time to events, as
> the
> > Board was never set up to do so. Trustees - myself included - made
> > mistakes. By opening up about them, I hope that we can facilitate a
> faster
> > and more complete healing process, and also have this knowledge and
> > experience available for future Board members and the community.
> >
> > Denny
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

SarahSV
In reply to this post by Michel Vuijlsteke-2
Denny, you wrote: "I was particularly worried about James’ lack of
understanding of confidential matters ..." But you seem to be saying that
James wanted to respect the confidentiality that had been promised to staff.

Sarah


On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:39 AM, Michel Vuijlsteke <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Just to be sure I understand the issue: staff members reached out
> specifically to the four of you and asked for confidentiality, and then the
> Board demanded 'all documents', presumably including some confidential
> staff information, and James only very reluctantly shared it?
>
> Michel
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Denny Vrandečić-2
In reply to this post by Adam Wight-2
The protection of any personal or confidential information was, to the best
of my knowledge, at all time guaranteed and has not been compromised. The
official task force, set up by the Trustees, worked under the standards of
keeping confidentiality, obviously. I thought this goes without saying, but
I am explicating it.



On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:44 AM Adam Wight <[hidden email]> wrote:

> What Michel said...  This is a very interesting story, but I'm left to
> imagine some crucial, looming details.
>
> I have no first-hand knowledge of what really happened, but your
> description of staff contacting a small number of Board members, and asking
> for confidentiality, strongly indicates that the staff were fearful of some
> sort of retribution, and each chose Board members who they personally
> believed would protect them.  This is an educated guess, based on our siege
> mentality at the Foundation last November.
>
> When the four of you were asked to hand over all information about the
> case, that would naturally include any personal email communications.  If I
> were in your position, I would have respected the agreement of confidence
> with anyone who had contacted me, up to and maybe even beyond a subpoena,
> unless I had the authors' permission to release.  If there is some legal
> reason the Board members are not allowed behave according to this standard,
> we need to make it very clear going forward.  I doubt the staff would have
> had these conversations if this is the case, and they had been informed so.
>
> I'm also concerned that there seems to be a conflation between several
> incidents--the original "Gang of Four" investigation was clearly a huge
> mess and I would hope that apologies were made all around for what happened
> there.  However, protecting some sort of possibly compromising or personal
> information is another thing entirely.
>
> Hoping for more clarity,
> Adam
>
> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:39 AM, Michel Vuijlsteke <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Just to be sure I understand the issue: staff members reached out
> > specifically to the four of you and asked for confidentiality, and then
> the
> > Board demanded 'all documents', presumably including some confidential
> > staff information, and James only very reluctantly shared it?
> >
> > Michel
> > On 2 May 2016 19:10, "Denny Vrandečić" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > In the following I want to present a personal account of events leading
> > to
> > > James’ removal as a Board member, as I remember them. It was written
> > while
> > > I was still on the Board, and the Board agreed on having it sent. The
> > text
> > > was heavily discussed and edited amongst members of the Board, but in
> the
> > > end it remains my personal account. I realize that it potentially
> > includes
> > > post-factum sensemaking, affecting my recollection of events.
> > >
> > > October 1 and 2 2015, Dariusz, James, Patricio and I received phone
> calls
> > > from a small number of Wikimedia Foundation staff expressing concerns
> > about
> > > the Foundation. They asked explicitly for confidentiality. I wanted to
> > > approach the whole Board immediately, but due to considerations for
> > > confidentiality, the sensitive nature of the topic, and the lack of an
> HR
> > > head at the time, the others decided against at this moment.
> Effectively,
> > > this created a conspiracy within the Board from then on for the
> following
> > > weeks.
> > >
> > > With Patricio’s approval, Dariusz and James started to personally
> collect
> > > and ask for reports from staff. Unfortunately, this investigation was
> not
> > > formally approved by the whole Board. It was also conducted in a manner
> > > that would not secure a professional and impartial process. After a few
> > > weeks, we finally reached out to the rest of Board members. They
> > > immediately recognized the necessity for a separate formal task force
> > which
> > > was set up very quickly.
> > >
> > > The formal task force was created end of October. This task force
> > involved
> > > outside legal counsel and conducted professional fact finding. The
> first
> > > request of the task force to the Board members was to ask for all
> > documents
> > > and notes pertaining to the case. Unfortunately, although there has
> been
> > > more than a week of time, this has not happened in full.
> > >
> > > The task force presented its result at the November Board meeting,
> where
> > it
> > > was discovered during the second day of the Board meeting that the
> > previous
> > > investigation has not provided all available information. Thus, the
> fact
> > > finding had to be extended into the Board meeting. At the Board meeting
> > > itself, James in particular was repeatedly asked to share his
> documents,
> > > which only happened on the very last day of the retreat and after
> > several,
> > > increasingly vigorous requests. Some members of the Board were left
> with
> > an
> > > impression that James was reluctant to cooperate, even though it was
> > > expected that since he participated in an investigation done in an
> > improper
> > > manner, that he would be more collaborative to make up for these
> > mistakes.
> > >
> > > Due to that lack of transparency and information sharing, the Board
> > retreat
> > > in November turned out to be extremely ineffective. If we had all
> > > information that was gathered available to the Board in due time, and
> if
> > > that information was gathered more openly in the first place, the Board
> > > could have acted more effectively.
> > >
> > > I was worried that the confidentiality of the Board would not be
> > > maintained, and I was particularly worried about James’ lack of
> > > understanding of confidential matters, a perception also fueled by his
> > > noncooperation and conduct. Some of his behaviour since unfortunately
> > > confirmed my worries. I raised this as an issue to the Board.
> > >
> > > While discussing the situation, James remained defensive, in my eyes
> > > answered questions partially, and, while formally expressing apologies,
> > > never conveyed that he really took ownership of his actions or
> understood
> > > what he did wrong. This lead to a malfunctioning Board, and in order to
> > fix
> > > the situation I suggested James’ removal.
> > >
> > > I voted for James’ removal from the Board because of his perceived
> > > reluctance to cooperate with the formal investigation, his withholding
> of
> > > information when asked for, his secrecy towards other Board members,
> even
> > > once the conspiracy was lifted, and him never convincingly taking
> > > responsibility for and ownership of his actions and mistakes. This is
> > why I
> > > get triggered if he positions himself as an avatar of transparency. The
> > > whole topic of the Knowledge Engine - although it played a part in the
> > > events that lead to the November meeting - did not, for me, in any way
> > > influence the vote on James’ removal. It was solely his conduct during
> > and
> > > following the November meeting.
> > >
> > > I am glad to see that, since James’ removal until I left, the Board has
> > > been functioning better.
> > >
> > > I hope that this account helps a little bit towards renewing our
> culture
> > of
> > > transparency, but even more I hope for understanding. The Board
> consists
> > of
> > > volunteers and of humans - they cannot react in real-time to events, as
> > the
> > > Board was never set up to do so. Trustees - myself included - made
> > > mistakes. By opening up about them, I hope that we can facilitate a
> > faster
> > > and more complete healing process, and also have this knowledge and
> > > experience available for future Board members and the community.
> > >
> > > Denny
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

SarahSV
On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 11:07 AM, Denny Vrandečić <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> The protection of any personal or confidential information was, to the best
> of my knowledge, at all time guaranteed and has not been compromised. The
> official task force, set up by the Trustees, worked under the standards of
> keeping confidentiality, obviously. I thought this goes without saying, but
> I am explicating it.
>
> Was information passed to people on the task force without the original
sources' consent?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Oliver Keyes-5
+1 to that question, which is the biggest flag I have here.

"The highest standards of confidentiality" is nice but, as you note,
people presumably reached out to these individual Board members,
rather than the whole Board, because they felt the individuals could
be trusted a lot better than the Board as a whole. Which in my mind is
totally understandable.

If people reached out in confidence, demanding that their experiences
and information be turned over to the entire Board - without noting
that as a caveat when first interacting with the source, or without
asking for the source's permission - well, I'd be cagey too. Anyone
who has ever dealt with human subject research would be cagey.

if people *did* grant permission, obviously that's an entirely
different situation. But if they didn't, James was doing entirely the
right thing by refusing to turn over, wholesale, information
communicated to him and him alone, to a wider body that was quite
clearly not trusted by the people making these reports.

On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 4:03 PM, SarahSV <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 11:07 AM, Denny Vrandečić <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> The protection of any personal or confidential information was, to the best
>> of my knowledge, at all time guaranteed and has not been compromised. The
>> official task force, set up by the Trustees, worked under the standards of
>> keeping confidentiality, obviously. I thought this goes without saying, but
>> I am explicating it.
>>
>> Was information passed to people on the task force without the original
> sources' consent?
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

jmh649
WMF staff reached out to a few chosen Board members, including myself,
specifically with a request to maintain confidentiality. They were afraid
of retribution.  We followed with an earnest but incomplete investigation.
In early Oct I pushed for moving the investigation from the initial group
of 4-6 board members to the entire board. Instead another subsection of
five board members were chosen to continue the investigation (a group which
included Denny and Patricio but not myself).

I was involved, along with WMF staff, in preparing a summary of relevant
details and submitted this to this new board group. Additionally Patricio,
and Denny were cc'ed on the majority of my emails regarding the situation
in question, and therefore I had the understanding that they would bring
this information forwards. The information I shared was a full reflection
of what I had learned during my conversations with staff.

As for my willingness to share all communications with the entire board, I
believe I managed to communicate all relevant details without violating the
explicit confidence requested of me by staff members. (Note that in later
conversations I was informed that it may not be legal for board members to
promise confidentiality to individual staff, as our ultimate duty is to the
WMF as a whole).

On the other hand, I however, had requested multiple times before the
November board meeting to see what information those 5 investigation board
members were looking at. I was denied access to these details. Some of the
documents contained key information I only become aware of in the last
couple of months.

That we were not all looking at the same relevant evidence, I would argue,
was one reason why the November board meeting was less than a success.

James Heilman

On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 11:33 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> +1 to that question, which is the biggest flag I have here.
>
> "The highest standards of confidentiality" is nice but, as you note,
> people presumably reached out to these individual Board members,
> rather than the whole Board, because they felt the individuals could
> be trusted a lot better than the Board as a whole. Which in my mind is
> totally understandable.
>
> If people reached out in confidence, demanding that their experiences
> and information be turned over to the entire Board - without noting
> that as a caveat when first interacting with the source, or without
> asking for the source's permission - well, I'd be cagey too. Anyone
> who has ever dealt with human subject research would be cagey.
>
> if people *did* grant permission, obviously that's an entirely
> different situation. But if they didn't, James was doing entirely the
> right thing by refusing to turn over, wholesale, information
> communicated to him and him alone, to a wider body that was quite
> clearly not trusted by the people making these reports.
>
> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 4:03 PM, SarahSV <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 11:07 AM, Denny Vrandečić <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> The protection of any personal or confidential information was, to the
> best
> >> of my knowledge, at all time guaranteed and has not been compromised.
> The
> >> official task force, set up by the Trustees, worked under the standards
> of
> >> keeping confidentiality, obviously. I thought this goes without saying,
> but
> >> I am explicating it.
> >>
> >> Was information passed to people on the task force without the original
> > sources' consent?
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Fæ
On 2 May 2016 at 23:27, James Heilman <[hidden email]> wrote:
...
> On the other hand, I however, had requested multiple times before the
> November board meeting to see what information those 5 investigation board
> members were looking at. I was denied access to these details. Some of the
> documents contained key information I only become aware of in the last
> couple of months.

*This* is breathtakingly crappy governance by the WMF board. Trustees
are trustees, there's no "grade A" trusted trustees and lesser "grade
B" less trusted trustees.

We are overdue to clear out the self-selected "grade A" trustees that
have become far too used to claiming that they are irreplaceable and
have unique talents. There's a vast pool of community members with
fantastic experience to choose from, and who have absolutely no
undeclared commercial conflicts of interest, or are seeking to puff up
the 'tech' side of their resumeés, so they can charge higher fees for
speaking engagements or attract contracts as special advisors for
politicians.

Thanks for factually explaining events more clearly James.

Fae
--
[hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Justin Senseney
In reply to this post by Oliver Keyes-5
On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 5:33 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> +1 to that question, which is the biggest flag I have here.
>
> "The highest standards of confidentiality" is nice but, as you note,
> people presumably reached out to these individual Board members,
> rather than the whole Board, because they felt the individuals could
> be trusted a lot better than the Board as a whole. Which in my mind is
> totally understandable.
>
> If people reached out in confidence, demanding that their experiences
> and information be turned over to the entire Board - without noting
> that as a caveat when first interacting with the source, or without
> asking for the source's permission - well, I'd be cagey too. Anyone
> who has ever dealt with human subject research would be cagey.
>
> The perspective of human subjects research makes a lot of sense here.  A
lot of research studies are asking the question, can we share data between
studies now that we have the "cloud" technology to do it? In every case
I've seen, researchers have to explicitly ask for two consents, one to
collect the data from the subject, another to share it.  I would expect
anyone in the medical profession to operate the way James has.

Most internal review boards won't even allow you to ask human subjects for
the broad ability to share their data, you have to identify the specific
place it will be shared, before you collect it.  In the US, these rules
come from Institutional Review Boards.  These IRBs function in a similar
way to the Board, by providing an independent level of oversight to medical
research, and are given a wide latitude to go as far as halt research
studies and punish misconduct, even though they are not medical researchers
themselves.

I wish the Board had the same respect of confidential data that James has
shown, and that Institutional Review Boards throughout the research
community have when it comes to human data.  IRB members aren't necessarily
medical professionals, they are the same people you would find sitting on
any board.  So I think it's reasonable for us to ask the Board to treat
confidential data in the same way any IRB would, the same way James has.

-Justin


> if people *did* grant permission, obviously that's an entirely
> different situation. But if they didn't, James was doing entirely the
> right thing by refusing to turn over, wholesale, information
> communicated to him and him alone, to a wider body that was quite
> clearly not trusted by the people making these reports.
>
> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 4:03 PM, SarahSV <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 11:07 AM, Denny Vrandečić <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> The protection of any personal or confidential information was, to the
> best
> >> of my knowledge, at all time guaranteed and has not been compromised.
> The
> >> official task force, set up by the Trustees, worked under the standards
> of
> >> keeping confidentiality, obviously. I thought this goes without saying,
> but
> >> I am explicating it.
> >>
> >> Was information passed to people on the task force without the original
> > sources' consent?
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Anthony Cole
In reply to this post by Fæ
Denny, regarding "The formal task force was created end of October. This
task force involved outside legal counsel and conducted professional fact
finding."

Who was on the task force, besides you and Patricio? What do you mean by
"professional fact finding?"

Regarding, "The official task force, set up by the Trustees, worked under
the standards of keeping confidentiality, obviously. I thought this goes
without saying, but I am explicating it."

This is still ambiguous. Was the new task force expecting James to share
information that was given to him on the understanding he wouldn't share
it?

As a general point, crises always start out messy. That you moved from an
ad hoc inquiry to a formal one is perfectly normal. Characterising the
initial attempt to understand the situation as "unprofessional" and the
next (that excluded James) as "professional", if that's what you're doing,
strikes me as a bit sly.





Anthony Cole


On Tue, May 3, 2016 at 6:56 AM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2 May 2016 at 23:27, James Heilman <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ...
> > On the other hand, I however, had requested multiple times before the
> > November board meeting to see what information those 5 investigation
> board
> > members were looking at. I was denied access to these details. Some of
> the
> > documents contained key information I only become aware of in the last
> > couple of months.
>
> *This* is breathtakingly crappy governance by the WMF board. Trustees
> are trustees, there's no "grade A" trusted trustees and lesser "grade
> B" less trusted trustees.
>
> We are overdue to clear out the self-selected "grade A" trustees that
> have become far too used to claiming that they are irreplaceable and
> have unique talents. There's a vast pool of community members with
> fantastic experience to choose from, and who have absolutely no
> undeclared commercial conflicts of interest, or are seeking to puff up
> the 'tech' side of their resumeés, so they can charge higher fees for
> speaking engagements or attract contracts as special advisors for
> politicians.
>
> Thanks for factually explaining events more clearly James.
>
> Fae
> --
> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Nathan Awrich
In reply to this post by Justin Senseney
On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:11 PM, Justin Senseney <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 5:33 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > +1 to that question, which is the biggest flag I have here.
> >
> > "The highest standards of confidentiality" is nice but, as you note,
> > people presumably reached out to these individual Board members,
> > rather than the whole Board, because they felt the individuals could
> > be trusted a lot better than the Board as a whole. Which in my mind is
> > totally understandable.
> >
> > If people reached out in confidence, demanding that their experiences
> > and information be turned over to the entire Board - without noting
> > that as a caveat when first interacting with the source, or without
> > asking for the source's permission - well, I'd be cagey too. Anyone
> > who has ever dealt with human subject research would be cagey.
> >
> > The perspective of human subjects research makes a lot of sense here.  A
> lot of research studies are asking the question, can we share data between
> studies now that we have the "cloud" technology to do it? In every case
> I've seen, researchers have to explicitly ask for two consents, one to
> collect the data from the subject, another to share it.  I would expect
> anyone in the medical profession to operate the way James has.
>
> Most internal review boards won't even allow you to ask human subjects for
> the broad ability to share their data, you have to identify the specific
> place it will be shared, before you collect it.  In the US, these rules
> come from Institutional Review Boards.  These IRBs function in a similar
> way to the Board, by providing an independent level of oversight to medical
> research, and are given a wide latitude to go as far as halt research
> studies and punish misconduct, even though they are not medical researchers
> themselves.
>
> I wish the Board had the same respect of confidential data that James has
> shown, and that Institutional Review Boards throughout the research
> community have when it comes to human data.  IRB members aren't necessarily
> medical professionals, they are the same people you would find sitting on
> any board.  So I think it's reasonable for us to ask the Board to treat
> confidential data in the same way any IRB would, the same way James has.
>
> -Justin
>
>
Justin - many of these elements of current research ethics, enforced in
some instances by IRBs, have grown in no small part due to the regulatory
environment around personal health information. The legal framework for
information held by a corporate board member is very different. It may be
that James' approach to confidentiality is drawn from his experience as a
physician, but it perhaps speaks to inadequate board training that he
discovered the import of the different legal environment only after things
fell apart.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Oliver Keyes-5
While *some* of research ethics comes from the medical world -
particularly from the Belmont report and the Western-centric research
atrocities of the last century - much of it does not. Things like the
Zimbardo and Milgram experiments have had a marked impact on our
conceptualisation of appropriate ethics and IRBs, and it is not
unusual for institutions to even separate out behavioural and social
studies from medical studies in training, IRB composition and expected
practices.

And yet the social sciences contain the same duties and
responsibilities around ethical principles that medical studies do.
The principles of confidentiality, of transparency to the participant,
of the participant taking the lead in defining what is and is not
acceptable. Ethical principles along these lines are a common and core
part of the IRB process, if you're involving humans, regardless of the
nature of that involvement. And I note that the current board contains
(not to single him out, but simply because he is the best example
Dariusz Jemielniak, full name *Dr*  Dariusz Jemielniak, who is an
_ethnographer_, one of the social fields of study that pays very close
attention to these things.

So it is not as simple as "James's experiences were shaped by his
medical background, other people did not have that". The need for
ethical principles is enshrined in a lot of fields, including not just
medicine, but those several other board members have as a background.
This should have been a known. I agree that there is apparently an
inadequacy in Board training, but I'm mostly amazed (and disappointed)
that the people who wrote Denny's statement didn't twig that,
actually, ethics in these areas are both paramount and much more
complicated than just "well my legal duty says..." for the
participants involved.


On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:44 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:11 PM, Justin Senseney <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 5:33 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> > +1 to that question, which is the biggest flag I have here.
>> >
>> > "The highest standards of confidentiality" is nice but, as you note,
>> > people presumably reached out to these individual Board members,
>> > rather than the whole Board, because they felt the individuals could
>> > be trusted a lot better than the Board as a whole. Which in my mind is
>> > totally understandable.
>> >
>> > If people reached out in confidence, demanding that their experiences
>> > and information be turned over to the entire Board - without noting
>> > that as a caveat when first interacting with the source, or without
>> > asking for the source's permission - well, I'd be cagey too. Anyone
>> > who has ever dealt with human subject research would be cagey.
>> >
>> > The perspective of human subjects research makes a lot of sense here.  A
>> lot of research studies are asking the question, can we share data between
>> studies now that we have the "cloud" technology to do it? In every case
>> I've seen, researchers have to explicitly ask for two consents, one to
>> collect the data from the subject, another to share it.  I would expect
>> anyone in the medical profession to operate the way James has.
>>
>> Most internal review boards won't even allow you to ask human subjects for
>> the broad ability to share their data, you have to identify the specific
>> place it will be shared, before you collect it.  In the US, these rules
>> come from Institutional Review Boards.  These IRBs function in a similar
>> way to the Board, by providing an independent level of oversight to medical
>> research, and are given a wide latitude to go as far as halt research
>> studies and punish misconduct, even though they are not medical researchers
>> themselves.
>>
>> I wish the Board had the same respect of confidential data that James has
>> shown, and that Institutional Review Boards throughout the research
>> community have when it comes to human data.  IRB members aren't necessarily
>> medical professionals, they are the same people you would find sitting on
>> any board.  So I think it's reasonable for us to ask the Board to treat
>> confidential data in the same way any IRB would, the same way James has.
>>
>> -Justin
>>
>>
> Justin - many of these elements of current research ethics, enforced in
> some instances by IRBs, have grown in no small part due to the regulatory
> environment around personal health information. The legal framework for
> information held by a corporate board member is very different. It may be
> that James' approach to confidentiality is drawn from his experience as a
> physician, but it perhaps speaks to inadequate board training that he
> discovered the import of the different legal environment only after things
> fell apart.
> _______________________________________________
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> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Nathan Awrich
On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 10:56 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> While *some* of research ethics comes from the medical world -
> particularly from the Belmont report and the Western-centric research
> atrocities of the last century - much of it does not. Things like the
> Zimbardo and Milgram experiments have had a marked impact on our
> conceptualisation of appropriate ethics and IRBs, and it is not
> unusual for institutions to even separate out behavioural and social
> studies from medical studies in training, IRB composition and expected
> practices.
>
> And yet the social sciences contain the same duties and
> responsibilities around ethical principles that medical studies do.
> The principles of confidentiality, of transparency to the participant,
> of the participant taking the lead in defining what is and is not
> acceptable. Ethical principles along these lines are a common and core
> part of the IRB process, if you're involving humans, regardless of the
> nature of that involvement. And I note that the current board contains
> (not to single him out, but simply because he is the best example
> Dariusz Jemielniak, full name *Dr*  Dariusz Jemielniak, who is an
> _ethnographer_, one of the social fields of study that pays very close
> attention to these things.
>
> So it is not as simple as "James's experiences were shaped by his
> medical background, other people did not have that". The need for
> ethical principles is enshrined in a lot of fields, including not just
> medicine, but those several other board members have as a background.
> This should have been a known. I agree that there is apparently an
> inadequacy in Board training, but I'm mostly amazed (and disappointed)
> that the people who wrote Denny's statement didn't twig that,
> actually, ethics in these areas are both paramount and much more
> complicated than just "well my legal duty says..." for the
> participants involved.
>
>

Please forgive me if it seemed like I was suggesting that research ethics -
and the centrality of the needs of subjects - were solely sourced from the
medical world. My point is that confidentiality of sensitive information is
an iron law in medicine, where the critical duty is owed to the person who
is the subject of the information. [My familiarity with these laws comes
from the U.S.; I am not specifically trained in the medical confidentiality
regime in Canada, but I suspect its laws are equivalent or stronger.] I
would expect this to be his initial frame of reference when it comes to
respecting the desire of confidentiality from a source providing sensitive
information.

The key point here is that the critical duty that James' owed as a board
member was to the WMF; this duty is is not (solely) a matter of ethics but
a matter of law.  That this was not apparent to all board members upon
joining the board is a flaw in the board training process. I can see how a
misunderstanding or disagreement on the nature of this duty could lead to
difficulty between board members, but it still is a bit of a mystery to me
how it rose to the level of kicking James off the board altogether.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Andreas Kolbe-2
In reply to this post by Denny Vrandečić-2
On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 6:10 PM, Denny Vrandečić <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The formal task force was created end of October. This task force involved
> outside legal counsel and conducted professional fact finding.
>


What were the prime motivations for involving outside legal counsel, and
how much money did this cost the Foundation?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
What is the point of this question. As if money is an issue in matters like
this.

When is it enough, why is it for you to want more and more and in the
process make it less a Wikipedia thing and more something personal to you.
The board decided on a quality team including outside council that is in
their remit.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 3 May 2016 at 06:57, Andreas Kolbe <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 6:10 PM, Denny Vrandečić <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > The formal task force was created end of October. This task force
> involved
> > outside legal counsel and conducted professional fact finding.
> >
>
>
> What were the prime motivations for involving outside legal counsel, and
> how much money did this cost the Foundation?
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

SarahSV
In reply to this post by Andreas Kolbe-2
On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 9:57 PM, Andreas Kolbe <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 6:10 PM, Denny Vrandečić <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > The formal task force was created end of October. This task force
> involved
> > outside legal counsel and conducted professional fact finding.
> >
>
>
> What were the prime motivations for involving outside legal counsel, and
> how much money did this cost the Foundation?
> _______________________________________________
>


And why was James excluded from the task force?

Sarah​
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Tim Starling-2
In reply to this post by jmh649
On 03/05/16 08:27, James Heilman wrote:
> As for my willingness to share all communications with the entire board, I
> believe I managed to communicate all relevant details without violating the
> explicit confidence requested of me by staff members. (Note that in later
> conversations I was informed that it may not be legal for board members to
> promise confidentiality to individual staff, as our ultimate duty is to the
> WMF as a whole).

Board members have a duty to act in the interests of the WMF as a
whole, but it does not follow that denying anonymity to whistleblowers
is in the best interests of the WMF. In fact, I think this Lila/KF/KE
case demonstrates the opposite.

I would encourage the Board to extend the current whistleblower policy
to provide protection to employees making anonymous complaints via
certain intermediaries (such as active Board members), rather than
requiring complaints to be made directly to the Chair of the Board;
and to specify that the forwarding of such anonymous reports by Board
members to the Chair would be permissible.

If we want to avoid a repeat of this affair, then employees should be
encouraged to communicate serious concerns to the Board as early as
possible.

-- Tim Starling


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

MZMcBride-2
Tim Starling wrote:

>Board members have a duty to act in the interests of the WMF as a
>whole, but it does not follow that denying anonymity to whistleblowers
>is in the best interests of the WMF. In fact, I think this Lila/KF/KE
>case demonstrates the opposite.
>
>I would encourage the Board to extend the current whistleblower policy
>to provide protection to employees making anonymous complaints via
>certain intermediaries (such as active Board members), rather than
>requiring complaints to be made directly to the Chair of the Board;
>and to specify that the forwarding of such anonymous reports by Board
>members to the Chair would be permissible.
>
>If we want to avoid a repeat of this affair, then employees should be
>encouraged to communicate serious concerns to the Board as early as
>possible.

https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Whistleblower_policy

You mention anonymous complaints and serious concerns, but the current
whistleblower policy seems to be pretty clear that it only applies to
laws, rules, and regulations. The text of the policy indicates, to me at
least, that even alleged violations of other Wikimedia Foundation policies
would not be covered by the whistleblower policy. Would you extend the
Wikimedia Foundation whistleblower policy to cover regular (i.e.,
non-legal and non-regulatory) grievances?

My understanding is that the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees sought
out and then appointed a tech-minded chief executive, who came from a tech
organization, in order to "transform" the Wikimedia Foundation from an
educational non-profit to be more like a traditional tech company. Many
employees of the Wikimedia Foundation disagreed with this decision and the
chief executive made a series of poor hires who ran amok (looking at you,
Damon), but I don't think anything rose to the level of illegal behavior.

From my perspective, whether rightfully or wrongfully, the staff mutinied
and ultimately successfully deposed the appointed executive director. I
don't see how this whistleblower policy or most variations of it that a
typical non-profit would enact would really be applicable here.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Andrea Zanni-2
Pardon my naivety,
but is it possible that "whistleblowers" didn't want the whole Board to know
their identity, because other Board members were very close to Lila?

It's pretty clear to me that there was serious fear of retribution (not
implying that
retribution was likely, just saying that the *fear* of that was real).

There is no guilt whatsoever
in being friend/close with Lila, but it just makes things *much* more
complex:
given that, whistleblowing staff probably did really want to remain
anonymous
and speak only with certain Board members.

Am I missing something?

Aubrey

On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 4:02 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Tim Starling wrote:
> >Board members have a duty to act in the interests of the WMF as a
> >whole, but it does not follow that denying anonymity to whistleblowers
> >is in the best interests of the WMF. In fact, I think this Lila/KF/KE
> >case demonstrates the opposite.
> >
> >I would encourage the Board to extend the current whistleblower policy
> >to provide protection to employees making anonymous complaints via
> >certain intermediaries (such as active Board members), rather than
> >requiring complaints to be made directly to the Chair of the Board;
> >and to specify that the forwarding of such anonymous reports by Board
> >members to the Chair would be permissible.
> >
> >If we want to avoid a repeat of this affair, then employees should be
> >encouraged to communicate serious concerns to the Board as early as
> >possible.
>
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Whistleblower_policy
>
> You mention anonymous complaints and serious concerns, but the current
> whistleblower policy seems to be pretty clear that it only applies to
> laws, rules, and regulations. The text of the policy indicates, to me at
> least, that even alleged violations of other Wikimedia Foundation policies
> would not be covered by the whistleblower policy. Would you extend the
> Wikimedia Foundation whistleblower policy to cover regular (i.e.,
> non-legal and non-regulatory) grievances?
>
> My understanding is that the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees sought
> out and then appointed a tech-minded chief executive, who came from a tech
> organization, in order to "transform" the Wikimedia Foundation from an
> educational non-profit to be more like a traditional tech company. Many
> employees of the Wikimedia Foundation disagreed with this decision and the
> chief executive made a series of poor hires who ran amok (looking at you,
> Damon), but I don't think anything rose to the level of illegal behavior.
>
> From my perspective, whether rightfully or wrongfully, the staff mutinied
> and ultimately successfully deposed the appointed executive director. I
> don't see how this whistleblower policy or most variations of it that a
> typical non-profit would enact would really be applicable here.
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
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