TEI: Minutes of the TEI-C Board Meeting, King’s College London, 9 November 2008


TEI-C Board of Directors meeting, 9 Nov 2008 Meeting held at King’s College London Chris Ruotolo

    • The meeting was certified at 09:05 GMT, with the following members present: Julia Flanders (JF), John Lavagnino (JL), Veronika Lux (VL), Daniel O’Donnell (DO), Daniel Pitti (DP), Sebastian Rahtz (SR), Laurent Romary (LR), Chris Ruotolo (CR), Susan Schreibman (SS), and Ray Siemens (RS).

    • The meeting agenda was approved.

    • The minutes from the last conference call were approved.

    • Daniel O’Donnell was reappointed as Chair. Julia Flanders stepped down as Vice-Chair, and Susan Schreibman was appointed as the new Vice-Chair. Chris Ruotolo was reappointed as Secretary. Daniel Pitti was reappointed as Treasurer. Veronika was reappointed as Executive Director. LR will continue to serve as Council Chair and Board representative to the Council.

      The Board thanked all of the incoming and outgoing officers for their service.

    • Nominating committee: JF agreed to serve. She will ask Christian Wittern to chair the committee, and will ask Malte Rehbein to serve as the external member.

      Web committee: CR will continue to chair.

      Members’ Meeting program committee: RS will serve as program organizer. SS and DO will serve on the committee and advise. Kevin Hawkins will be the local organizer. The committee will bring in others as necessary.

      SIG coordinator: SS will continue to serve.

    • The group engaged in a brainstorming exercise around setting goals and priorities. Below is an outline of the main categories and issues that emerged:

      • Grants and projects
        • Giving grants, e.g. microgrants for SIGs
        • Receiving grants — developing “revenue-positive” activities
      • Training and TEI promotion
        • Written training materials: “Getting started with TEI”, case studies, etc.
        • In-person training: more “TEI Days”, list of experts available for training, etc.
        • Create “Powered by TEI” badge
      • Restructuring
        • Makeup of Board and Council
        • Term length for Board and Council
        • Calendar issues
      • Membership
        • Increase size of the membership
        • Increase the value of membership
        • Improve opportunities for individuals to interact with the TEI
        • Liaise more broadly with other organizations
      • SIGs
        • “Meta” questions — what are they? where are they going?
        • Specific questions about how to work with SIGs
      • TEI publishing
        • Publish posters and papers from Members’ Meeting
        • Develop a TEI publishing arm?
      • Services and Guidelines
        • Specific discipline-oriented customizations
        • Articulate road map for the Guidelines
        • Improve Roma
        • Localization of the Guidelines
      • Website
        • Implementation issues
          • Internationalization and localization
          • Improved access to history/Vault
          • News/RSS feed
          • Search function
        • Content
          • Promote TEI achievements (e.g. ISO work)
          • Feature successful projects
      • Business processes
        • Enable online payment
        • Improve budgeting process
        • Change conference funding to base plus per capita
        • Go to per diem reimbursement

        • We have 97 institutional members, and 20 subscribers. Subscribers are a problem, because it takes a lot of effort to invoice them all, but only about a third of them maintain their membership from year to year. Some subscribers were added as part of registration for the Members’ Meeting, and are surprised to get an invoice the following year.

          DP suggested a better method for keeping track of non-paying members. Streamlining membership and accounting functions will be discussed in the second brainstorming session.

        • DP has tried to ensure that the TEI has a cushion of $5-$10K. He is concerned that the current state of the economy might lead to membership cancellations. DP projects about $10-$15K that we will be able to spend; recommends that we spend it in the last 6 months of the next year. DO pointed out the need to account for $10 to $12K for printing the P5 Guidelines.

          JF suggested that we need a financial model, to establish how much money we have separate from annual income and outflow. How do we know if we have a nest egg? We will discuss further later on.

        • The Council is working out how to delegate work to the SIGs, and to be more responsive to their requests. LR feels that the two year term for a Council member is too brief, given the amount of technical information to master.

          LR strongly advocates for two Council meetings each year, perhaps at the end of March and the end of September. Possible locations for 2009 are Lyon and Dublin. Both locations are central to most Council members, and close to major airports. LR also suggests a meeting in the U.S. in early 2010, tied to a one-day seminar for libraries, perhaps hosted in Virginia.

            • DO had preliminary conversations at Lethbridge, to see if they would be willing to handle administrative aspects of the finances. DP and DO will continue to pursue the possibility.

            • The WWP has a grant from the NEH to do TEI training, and has put in a lot of effort to outreach. Syd Bauman has been working with the TEI in Libraries group out of the DLF.

            • Nancy continued to handle TEI administration, including membership services. They are continuing to work on building a network of French TEI users, and are thinking about hosting an upcoming Council meeting. They’re also doing some TEI technical work (e.g. the sanity checker for Roma).

            • Oxford has done a lot of work on Roma and other tools. Large projects include manuscript description, which pays for all of James Cummings’ time, internationalization, and consultancy with ISO. LB was a paid envoy to Morocco and Russia. Oxford isn’t sure who will be the host rep for next year. It’s possible that Lethbridge could take one of the four host seats on the Board. To be discussed later.

          • DP continues to manage the TEI finances. CR and Shayne Brandon continue to manage and maintain the website. SB migrated Roma to the Virginia servers.

      • JF requested more fine-grained information about pages viewed, which would help us understand the spikes in the data. RS said that the final report will have full data in the appendix, and can be circulated to the Board. He suggested that the Board members be added to Google Analytics for the site. RS investigated the traffic spike in mid-August, and noted that it’s almost exclusively from China. It may be due to a Chinese-related project launched by Washington University around that time.

    • DO noted that the Board has made several changes in the past couple of years, including establishing working groups, and going to quarterly conference calls. What other changes do we need to make to keep things moving forward? The Board brainstormed possibilities for improving Board communication and efficiency, and came up with the following proposal:

      • Scheduling
        • More frequent meetings – every other month
        • Schedule 12 meetings, 4 months in advance
        • Choose the optimal hour given the members’ time zones, then schedule meetings on alternating days of the week
        • Cancel any meeting where not 90 minutes worth of agenda items
        • Aim for 6 “formal” meetings per year, with the other dates available for informal meetings
      • Meeting procedures
        • Teleconferences plus BaseCamp for documentation
        • More formal agendas
      • Conducting business
        • Formal process by which business gets considered: there must be a proposal
        • Formal location for working documents – e.g. BaseCamp

    • DP calculates has an unencumbered surplus of $37K. Keeping a cushion of $20K leaves $15-$20K to spend in 2009.

      The Board reviewed the three submitted proposals and evaluated them in light of the priorities that emerged from the brainstorming session. JF discussed the Community Technical Officer proposal, which fits in with the membership and liaison goals identified. The estimated cost is $8-$12K. DO suggested that JF reconceive this as a proposal for a program with a coordinator, rather than for a specific person, with updated costs. Also interested in whether the officer would focus on actual consulting, or on coordinating consulting. VL will work with JF to further develop the proposal, tie it to the goals and priorities discussed earlier. They will present back to the Board in a month.

      SS discussed the SIG grants proposal, to provide a small bit of extra money to the SIGs to help them accomplish their goals. The Board had the following questions about the proposal: Who would adjudicate these, the Board or the Council? How will this money enable SIGs to do what they’re doing better? What would be a successful outcome? What can realistically be accomplished with such small amounts of money? What is an appropriate scope for the grants? SS and JL will further develop the proposal, and present back to the Board in a month.

      DO discussed the Council meetings proposal. LR wants the Council to meet twice, using the “TEI Day” model of the Kyoto and Galway meetings, because those meetings were extremely productive. Drawing on local resources would help keep the costs down. The Board had the following questions about the proposal: What is the average cost for a meeting? How does this address the goals and priorities identified earlier? Why couldn’t the same intense level of work be accomplished via teleconference? Would it be more cost effective for the Board to spend money on videoconferencing capabilities? What is a minimum host contribution?

    • The Board divided up responsibilities for investigating goals and priorities that will require funding in the coming year:
      • Roma improvements: SR and DP (Dec)
      • Website: CR and web committee (Jan)
      • Tite benefit decided: DO (Jan)
      • Budgeting for the Members’ Meeting: DO (Dec)
      • Credit card costing: DO (Dec)
      • TEI subscribers: RS and DO (Dec)
      • Grants and projects: DO (Summer)
      • TEI publication: SS (Summer)

      The goal of the Board’s first informal meeting will be to farm out the remaining goals and priorities into discrete projects.

  • The meeting adjourned at 16:00 GMT.