TEI: TEI Board Conference Call: 14 July 2009

Chris Ruotolo

    • The meeting was certified at ~14:05 UTC, with the following members present: Lou Burnard (LB), Julia Flanders (JF), Daniel O’Donnell (DO), Daniel Pitti (DP), Laurent Romary (LR), Chris Ruotolo (CR), and Christian Wittern (CW).

    • The minutes were approved.

    • The Board reviewed the Chair’s Report.
      • The Tite-Mellon RFP generated twelve bids, which have been narrowed to a short list of four vendors, selected based on management expertise and pricing. Sample texts will be sent to these vendors soon. The quality of bids is surprisingly high.
      • The Education SIG’s publication plan raised some red flags, because the editors were not planning to develop the content in TEI. The editors are now reconsidering, and LR and James Cummings are consulting on the project. An interesting discussion of CMS systems for journal publication is taking place on TEI-L.
      • The shopping cart project is running 4-5 weeks behind. It has been difficult to get information about merchant accounts from Bank of America. Conference registration needs to open soon, so DO is hoping to have an update by the end of the week.

    • Accepted speakers and poster presenters have been notified. One parallel session has been reserved for late breaking work. The call for workshops led to three proposals and two eventual withdrawals; the remaining proposal is from the University of Chicago and involves Philologic. There will also be a multi-day workshop by the Ontology SIG prior to the conference. Sponsorship activity is running a little behind. SyncroSoft will provide conference bags, and one other vendor is currently on board. Other vendors will be contacted soon. The Board will meet after the conference as usual. Board members are asked not to book their return flights on the afternoon of the Board meeting.

    • Receipts to date this year are slightly ahead of last year. The TEI has collected about $75,000 in membership dues and $900 in subscriber dues so far. However, Columbia and NYU have both resigned as Level 1 members, and additional resignations are likely given the grim budget situation at many institutions. The TEI finances are in fairly good shape for this year, but next year’s budget will be tight if the resignations continue, and we’ll want to plan our projected budget with that in mind. The Board should focus on the positive money-saving benefits of using TEI and the advantages of membership. The Board should also look at all opportunities for saving money, including possible temporary reductions in host services and reduced travel for meetings. Contingency planning should take place now.

    • LR reported that the Council is producing good results. Feature requests are being pushed to SourceForge, and even non-members of the Council are getting into the habit of using SF. Several SIGs have been very active recently. The Council plays a double role of maintaning the Guidelines and acting as “think tank”.JF asked if the Council has been working on outreach and documentation activities. LB mentioned that Council has been working on an introductory guide, due to be completed in October (although work on the project has slowed recently). Outreach activities have always been successful in generating interest in the TEI; the Board should think about how to convert that interest into new memberships and subscriberships.

    • CR had little to report. Migrating the Vault/Archive remains the top priority for the web committe, along with exploring a CMS solution for the Education SIG’s TEI-J project.

    • A new Publications SIG has just been formed, and the Education SIG is tackling its TEI-J journal project. The Manuscript SIG and Ontology SIG have also both active recently.

    • 2009 is a host renewal point Brown, Oxford, Nancy and Virginia. Board procedures dictate that a request for proposals be issued and released for open bidding. DO asked John Unsworth for some background information about this. In the past, the process has been informal and has worked well. In light of the budget situation this year, we should extend the existing hosting arrangements for another year, with the understanding that we will discuss host relationships in the coming year. DO will write to the current host reps to see if they are willing to renew for another year.The Board discussed whether and how the host representative position vacated by Sebastian Rahtz should be filled. Oxford and Lethbridge currently lack host representatives on the Board. CR questioned whether it makes sense to consider Lethbridge a host. DO agreed to have Lethbridge be the unrepresented host; he also argued that there are too many appointed positions on the Board, and that we need to rexamine the balance of elected and appointed positions. The Board agreed to have a serious discussion about the role of hosts at the Board meeting in Ann Arbor, with email discussion to frame the issues in advance of the meeting. The Board will form a committee to guide the discussion. DO will ask the two absent Board members if they’re willing to lead the committee; JF may also be willing to serve.

      LB noted that the Nominations Committee has had trouble finding sufficient candidates to run for the Board, and suggested that the vacancy be filled with an appointee who might provide new perspective and assist with the Board’s self-examination. LB was tasked with leading discussion over email to identify possible appointees.

    • The Board endorsed moving to a per diem system for travel reimbursements. DO will repost DP’s proposed per diem system to the Board mailing list for discussion.

  • Although the slates for the upcoming election are small relative to the number of vacancies, the Board agreed that they are adequate, and preferable to padding the slates with nominees who are very unlikely to be elected. Currently, the Council fills four and six slots in alternating years; it would be better to fill five slots each year. To balance the vacancies, the Council could consider appointing someone to a special one-year term for 2009-2010, perhaps to work on a special project. DO will ask LR if this would be possible.