TEI: TEI Board Conference Call: 09 July 2008

Licensed under


July 9, 2008 First draft

TEI Board Conference Call: 9 July 2008Chris Ruotolo

  • The meeting was certified at ~14:00 GMT, with the following members present: John Lavagnino (JL), Daniel O’Donnell (DO), Sebastian Rahtz (SR), Laurent Romary (LR), Chris Ruotolo (CR), Susan Schreibman (SS), and Ray Siemens (RS).

  • Approved. An update from RS on the viral marketing study was provisionally added to the agenda.

  • Approved with minor correction.

  • DO has been working on a way to recognize the service of the early TEI founders on the website. He proposed adding to the Organization page, listing the original steering committee members and editors beneath the current officers. Before it goes live on the website, DO will double check the list for accuracy, and will run it past Julia, Lou, John before circulating it once more for comment. He is also looking through the website for a place to possibly list all previous Board and Council members. DO plans to write letters to Board and Council members annually to add to their dossiers.

  • DO circulated a copy of the P5 printing proposal from Tom Wagner at OmniPress, who seems very eager for our business. With P4, we printed 505 copies, gave away 143, and sold 242, for a remainder of 120 copies (which are still at the U.Va. Press; we need to decide what to do with them). Unlike P4, P5 is freely available in PDF format, so we may sell even fewer copies as a result. At minimum, we will need enough copies to send to current members, and a way of providing copies as needed throughout the life of P5 (4-5 years), either from inventory or via print on demand.

    OmniPress provided several possible printing scenarios. Printing a smaller number of volumes initially, and going to POD when those are exhausted, would result in a relatively high per-unit cost, so subsequent purchasers of P5 would pay more. Alternately, printing a larger initial run would involve a higher upfront cost but a lower per-unit cost. OmniPress would keep a microinventory, and books would be cheaper for subsequent purchasers. It costs $400/yr to maintain an online store, and an extra $200/yr if we keep inventory. OmniPress would provide quarterly updates, along with any profits. There’s no minimum contract length.

    After a lengthy discussion, the Board decided to print the minimum number of copies needed initially, and rely on POD after that. This approach will reduce the TEI’s upfront costs, and the increased cost per unit seems reasonable. A small initial print run will also allow for the possibility of a reprint with corrections down the road, since OmniPress can handle updated PDFs for an additional cost.

    We need enough initial copies to cover current members, plus gift volumes to the editors and a few others, but we don’t want to have an inventory that carries over until the next year. DO will get a precice count of current members, and will talk to Tom about printing that amount plus a small overage, which will be shipped to DO and Veronika Lux to avoid the warehousing fee. All subsequent sales will be POD, with the option of sending corrected PDFs in the future. Membership copies will cost the TEI about $110 after the first year.

  • SS circulated the candidate slates for the 2008 election. One candidate has declared himself a candidate for both Council and Board, and the Nominating Committee expressed concerned that allowing this would work against the goal of encouraging wide participation, given that every year there are good candidates who don’t get positions. The Board discussed whether it should move to prevent this practice. LR felt we should discourage candidates from serving on Board and Council simultaneously, since it’s hard to give full attention to both, and we need to leave room for new people to get involved. SR argued that the issue should be left up to the voters; he noted that it has been permitted in the past, and that barring it would lead to questions about what happens when an appointed member (such as a host representative) wants to run for an elected position. DO noted that cliquishness is a problem for the TEI, and having the same people in multiple posts could exacerbate that.

    The Board agreed in principle that it’s a bad idea to have candidates running for multiple posts, but was split on the question of whether or not to do anything about it in the case of this year’s ballot. A committee was formed to come up with a proposal to address this problem in the future; DO, SS, JL, and RS volunteered, and SS will ask Katherine Walter to participate. This group should also revisit the role of the Nominating Committee.

  • The Council will hold a conference call to discuss the possibility of another face-to-face meeting before the MM.

  • There have been 45 responses to the survey so far, and the answers have been mixed. We may be missing a number of potential respondents. DO will try to post the survey to the ACH list.

  • The other outstanding reports (Budget, Web Status & Priorities, MM2009, Viral Marketing) will be emailed to the Board list.