TEI Board Minutes: Conference Call 2015-01-13


TEI Board Minutes: Conference Call 2015-01-13

In attendance:

  • Elena Pierazzo (EP)
  • Marjorie Burghart (MB)
  • Michelle Dalmau (MD)
  • Pip Willcox (PW)
  • Martin Mueller (MM)

Apologies: John Unsworth

Action Items

November 2014 minutes need to be added to the TEI-C web site; Send approved minutes to Kevin Hawkins for posting online Michelle Dalmau
Board meeting minutes compiled in pairs (note take and reviewer); reviewer for January 2015 Minutes Pip Willcox
Repost to board list conference planning documents Marjorie Burghart
Share tentative conference schedule with Pip Willcox, Chair of the Program Committee for MM2015 Marjorie Burghart
Assist John Unsworth in the selection of a new accountant for the TEI-C Martin Mueller
Survey 2015 Member’s Meeting attendees for feedback on the 2015 meeting and locations for 2016 meeting None Assigned

Agenda

  1. Minutes
  2. Updates from TEI MM2015
  3. Roles: Membership secretary, treasurer, secretary
  4. New accountant
  5. TEI Hackathon at DH2015 in Sydney
  6. TEI MM2016

Meeting procedures and other announcements

MD volunteered to take minutes; PW volunteered as reviewer of the minutes; MD agreed to send approved minutes to Kevin Hawkins for posting

Hugh Cayless has been elected Chair of the TEI Council for 2015!  Congratulations!!

Minutes

November 2014 minutes need to be posted to TEI-C web site. (Kevin Hawkins had posted the minutes over a month ago: http://www.tei-c.org/Board/bm55.xml.  Thank you, Kevin!)

EP: restated the minutes-publishing workflow. Minutes should be written and checked within 15 days of a call. The checked minutes should be sent to the mailing list for emendation or approval. Silence will be taken as approval after 48 hours, when the approved minutes should be sent to Kevin for posting online.

Updates from MM 2015

Bids in process for reserving locations (booking rooms, etc.)

Prospective schedule has been drafted; the schedule needs to be shared with PW.  Currently consists of 48 time slots, including SIG meetings, with rooms booked for 2.5 days before the meeting for workshops

When will we send the call for paper?

PW: Skype call booked for this Monday, 19 January, with Program Committee to plan Call for Papers

MD:  Is there a procedural documentation to help with conference timeline and planning?

EP:  There is a document … MB will repost to the Board list.  Arianna Ciula significantly updated the documentation for conference planning (http://www.tei-c.org/Board/procedures.xml#mtgReq)

Suggestion to send Call for Papers late February/early March and close by end of March/early April (to allow enough time for peer-review). Invitations to present should be sent out by June (to allow time to booking travel).

Chair of local meeting and Chair of Program Committee are expected to report updates at each board meeting

Roles: membership secretary, treasurer, secretary

Several members of the Board have already expressed interest in the roles of membership secretary, treasurer and secretary.  If all in agreement, the roles are to be filled as follows:
  • Membership Secretary: Martin Mueller
  • Treasurer: John Unsworth
  • Secretary: Michelle Dalmau

In this instance, these are only one year positions, so they do not outlast Board members’ elected time. All present are in agreement.  

MM has ideas about improving TEI-C membership and reported the current profile of institutional members:
Figure 2. 75 institutional members:
34 United States over $40,000
8 France $10,500
13 Germany $6,250
4 UK $2,000
3 Norway $2,000
2 Canada $1,750
(Full listing of institutional members is available: http://members.tei-c.org/Institutions)

MM:  Pattern of funding seems to be changing.  First decade of the TEI … fair number of $5,000 contributors.  Memberships at this level have dwindled.  Task will be to get more members in more modest ranges to create a broader base and more buy-in.  Revenue (from institutions?) is currently about $70,000/year.

MM: Would like to run a TEI-C Membership campaign — perhaps wait for TEI Simple to be ready and offered as yet another benefit — may be especially enticing for newcomers to TEI.

MM:  Would like to target colleges in the US, Canada, and up the numbers for the other countries; noting Germany has had quite an increase in the last couple of years. The membership campaign should appeal to our civic responsibility to pitch-in, however little, please!

Role of Chair is a two-year role.  EP will serve as chair through the end of 2015.  She has been on the Board for 4 years and has served as Chair most of that time.  It’s time for new Chair, who will need to be elected in 2016.

EP:  Urging newly elected board members to consider the position of Chair, noting that board members joining this year would only, if elected, serve as Chair for just one year.

EP: Reminder that the Secretary is the Vice Chair, and can be called to run a board meeting if the Chair is absent

New accountant

John Unsworth is seeking a new accountant, but will work with current accountant for the filing of the 2014 taxes.

EP:  Appeals to the US board members especially to help JU in the selection of a new accountant; MM volunteered to assist JU.

Hackathon in Sydney

James Cummings was unable to attend this meeting, but sent an email to the Board on 13 January 2015 with an update on the TEI Hackathon he’s co-organizing with Conal Tuohy in Sydney as part of DH2015

The hackathon topic will have a “technical bent” in hopes to encourage participation from developers less familiar with the TEI

The DH2015 deadline for the hackathon proposal is 17 February 2015.  EP will help James and Conal with the proposal, but will not be able to help on the day of the event due to a workshop conflict.  EP is hopeful other TEI-active members will be there to help the day of the hackathon.  

TEI MM 2016

EP reported discussion at the in-person Board meeting during the 2015 TEI Members’ Meeting in Evanston to seek collaboration with colleagues in Japan — imagined as a joint conference of the TEI Members’ Meeting and Japanese Association for Digital Humanities.

The Members’ Meeting currently alternates between Europe and North America, with the Council meetings historically taking place in areas that benefit from bolstering TEI adoption.

Big uptake in TEI in Japan; EP suggested it was a good time to show support of TEI in Asia by hosting the 2016 Members’ Meeting in Japan

South America is another target area … Stimulate TEI activity across the globe, not just US and Europe.

MB strongly supports global outreach; Members’ Meetings in areas with burgeoning TEI activity may be less attended, but attendance is not the only measure of a conference’s success … We [the TEI-C Board] should be able to manage one conference every so often that may be less attended.

MM is skeptical and would like further discussion and to follow traditional procedure for open-call to see who comes in for hosting the 2016 Members’ Meeting.  MM reminds us that we have few members in Asia, no members in Australia or New Zealand (1 in Japan, 1 in Taiwan). Perhaps focus on building membership first.  MM would like to survey current TEI-C members for their feedback on Members’ Meeting locations.  

MD agrees with MB that global outreach is important and that it would be a useful exercise for the Board to forecast the costs of a conference once every few years in one of these TEI-emergent areas.  MD also agrees with MM that an open call for hosting the MM 2016 should be disseminated.  

EP would also like see one Members’ Meeting every X number of years (every 5 years was suggested) hosted in a TEI-underrepresented area … She feels we can afford to do this every so often.

PW offers the suggestion that the TEI-C could establish or sponsor regional conferences — based on themes or sub-themes of the primary Members’ Meeting.  The local host for these regional conferences would have some level of support from the TEI-C, and use these smaller, regional conferences to build support for TEI before holding the annual Members’ Meeting there.

Discussion about attendance at past conferences and attendance profiles at these conferences.  The Rome MM2013 was named as one of the most-attended conferences (over 200) while conferences in North America have historically been more poorly attended.  The Board’s sense is that most in attendance are European delegates.  TEI MM2014 in Evanston had nearly 100 attendees; most highly-attended Members’ Meeting in North America in the past 7-8 years. (Attendance figures for all past conferences available: http://www.tei-c.org/Board/procedures.xml#mtgReq).

MM suggests sending the Board and Council chairs to attend the DH meeting in Japan to build connections and goodwill and assess TEI interest.  The following year, after additional groundwork is completed, a conference in another continent like Asia becomes more feasible.  

PW notes that if the ambition of TEI is global, we should reach out to people using the TEI for non-European/N American work.  One of the two P5 translations was done in Chinese — in support of a rising TEI community.  Contributions from Asia have gotten silent and worth exploring the cause of this silence.  

MB: What would be lost by members?

EP:  The Members’ Meeting is not just a conference, but a meeting for the members.  The members are invited to participate, contribute, vote, etc.  

We couldn’t plan the next Members’ Meeting without considering our membership (mostly US and Europe).  

MB wonders since US conferences are much less attended; does the US not value the TEI?  MB states:  if US members won’t attend meetings in the US, they won’t attend meetings in Japan so there’s no loss.  MB expressed more concern about the “old hands of the TEI” not being able to attend.  If European delegates indeed represent the largest number of attendees, then traveling to Asia costs about the same as traveling to North America.   

PW noted that the financial implications both to individual members and to the TEI-C should be considered in selecting Members’ Meeting hosts.

MM again advocates for building membership in core constituencies and encouraging them come to conferences.  He mentioned Montreal as an important location (also suitable for a bilingual conference in French and English).

MM supports building membership in an area before locating a Members’ Meeting there. The suggestion of a conference in an under-represented area is to encourage membership. Which should come first should be discussed further.

MM also points to the greatest increase in membership from German institutions.  Focusing on areas of uptake like Germany to further increase membership is also strategic.  

MM also reminds the Board that the US has lots of longstanding institutional commitment — Illinois, Indiana, Michigan that may likely fall away in the coming years.  In anticipation of that, we need to build membership and presence in these areas.  MM strongly feels that we have urgent business in the places we have been — we need to solidify those commitments and then focus on the places we want to go.  

PW asked if we send follow-up emails to conference attendees to gauge how they enjoyed the Members’ Meeting and identify/rank locations for upcoming conferences. EP responded that we haven’t, and probably should.     

It was suggested that we need to discuss plans for MM2016 further, perhaps over email.  Some concern that we wouldn’t be as responsive over email.  Newly elected members reminded the rest of the board that this is the first time they heard anything about plans for the 2016 Members’ Meeting and current discussions with colleagues in Japan.  

MD asked whether the procedure for Call for Hosting is documented and where one can access that document.  

EP responded that the Call for Hosts is part of the program planning documentation that MB will share with the board.   

Though the Board will issue a public call for a host, the Board could also make strategic decisions about lobbying for hosts to submit a proposal.  

It was agreed to continue this discussion by email and decide whether the Board will encourage a 2016 Members’ Meeting in Japan.

Next meeting board meeting: 24 February 2015.