TEI: TEI Board Minutes: Conference Call 2014-11-24

Published on TEI-C website, December 2014


In attendance:

  • Arianna Ciula (AC)
  • Elena Pierazzo (EP)
  • John Unsworth (JU)
  • James Cummings (JC)
  • John Walsh (JW)
  • Glen Worthey (GW)
  • Martin Mueller (MM, incoming Board member)
  • Michelle Dalmau (MD, incoming Board member)
  • Pip Willcox (PW, incoming Board member)

Apologies: Lou Burnard, Marjorie Burghart (incoming Board member)


  • Minutes of Business and Board meeting 
  • Discussion of final details about offering free memberships
  • Choice of the chair of the Programme Committee fore TEI 2015
  • Conference code of conduct
  • Web site scoping and costing (Lou)
  • Election of Board members; beginning of terms (Elena & Martin)
  • – Financial support for the TEI MOOC (Marjorie)
  • – Calendar for next meetings (James & Elena) 
Minutes of Business and Board meetings 

GW agrees to take minutes for current meeting, and to work with Kevin Hawkins to edit and post them quickly.

Discussion of previous minutes:

  No comments or corrections to these minutes suggested.

Thanks to Kevin, Glen & James for getting those minutes onto the website relatively quickly.  

Discussion of final details about offering free memberships to workshop attendees

Regarding our policy of offering a free TEI-C membership to attendees at TEI-listed workshops, we discussed our decision taken in Evanston not to offer free membership to TEI conference attendees.  The specific purpose of this benefit is to bring people into the community, and we assume that TEI conference attendees are already part of that community.

Elena has posted this decision/discussion to the members’ list, and MD notes that some discussion of substance followed, including questions about whether non-curricular “local training” would qualify for the benefit, and clarifications about the one-year-only policy.

All agreed that people should be invited and encouraged to join the TEI in order to qualify for the lower conference registration rate.

We formulated a requirement that any qualifying event must take place before (and not as part of) the conference.

Free membership is not offered to people who take TEI instruction as part of a regular curriculum – but rather only to those in a specialized training situation.

JU notes that this benefit only applies once, to new memberships — that is, only a person’s first year of membership is free.  JU also clarified that it applies only to individual memberships, not institutional.  JU will write these policies for posting to the members website.

Choice of the chair of the Programme Committee for TEI 2015

In Evanston, we decided to wait for new Board members to be installed before choosing the PC chair for TEI 2015. 

Possible candidates among the new Board members are: Elena, Pip, and Michelle. Martin is exempted because of recent service as PC chair; Marjorie is exempted because she is the Local Organizer. 

Discussion of responsibilities of PC chair: s/he is charged to

  • works w/local org cmte
  • organizes reviewing (via ConfTool), 
  • chooses keynotes
  • acts as liaison with Board

JU notes that a few elements of ConfTool should be handled by the Local Organizer

Keynotes should be agreed by both PC chair and Local Organizer (who bears budget responsibility for the conference), so that is a matter on which they should coordinate

Pip and Michelle both graciously volunteer as willing Chairs. After some discussion, the desirability of having the Local Organizer and the PC chair in similar time zones prevails, and Pip agrees to accept the role.

Conference code of conduct

GW presents the rationale for drafting a TEI-C conference code of conduct, and for establishing the practice of posting it on the conference websites. Shares some experience with a similar practice in ADHO.

EP notes that a growing number of employers are asking their people not to attend conferences without such a code.  GW provides one such example in his own employer, Stanford Libraries (see http://library.stanford.edu/news/2013/07/sul-supports-conference-anti-harassment-policies).

PW offers strong support for this practice, with which JC concurs (citing their successful adoption of the ADHO code for the Oxford Summer Schools).  

The other Board members present agree that we should proceed with drafting such a code soon, and presenting a text for Board approval.

AC notes that her experience in discussion of the ADHO code with her EADH colleagues should help us to present a flexible, culturally appropriate, and sensitive document, and volunteers to work with GW to draft a tweakable version before end of the current Board term (when both AC and GW rotate off the Board).

After brief discussion, this approach is approved.

Web site scoping and costing (Lou, in absentia)

Elena will act as liaison between the new Board and Lou on the scoping and costing of a website redesign (since Lou is rotating off the Board)

JU will necessarily be involved in this work, both because of his role as Treasurer, and because he supervises the work of TEI/ADHO sys admin Ian Rifkin.

All agree that Lou, Kevin Hawkins, JU, and EP will constitute the primary website group.

Election of Board members, beginning of terms

Question whether to start new Board terms at the annual conference

Some objections noted from a practical point of view, e.g., Do the elections need to be held more in advance of the conference?  Should we keep the existing brief overlap of outgoing and incoming Board members?

MM notes that ADHO officers change over at the meeting; would like not to vote at this time, but rather defer to new Board, and have some discussion over email. Would favor earlier elections in order to facilitate a transition at the conference. GW notes that ADHO changeover in officers is not quite as simple as presented.

MD generally favors keeping the overlap.

EP notes that one reason in reducing size of Board is to reduce travel expenditures (so that it would not be feasible to pay for all candidates to travel to the conference “just in case” they win and need to attend the in-person Board meeting.

AC notes that newly elected members can be notified prior to the members meeting so that they are encouraged to attend; however their expenses should not be eligible for coverage until their terms starts i.e. after the members meeting.

JW favors earlier elections, and more communications with incoming Board — somewhat less informal.  Process should be formalized more, encourage elected members. Argues that formal turnover should occur AFTER the conference, since existing members have ongoing responsibilities during and just after conf.  But agrees with MM that new members should be welcomed and encouraged to participate, but not subsidized.  Worth discussing more, and not deciding right away.

JC in favor of overlap, but would be good for new members to attend in-person board meetings, though this requires advance notice – perhaps advance warning.

EP asks whether this is feasible, given need to plan travel in advance.

MM favors written discussion, and a written proposal that can be voted upon.

EP proposes email discussion for now, with a vote in the next conference call.

Financial support for the TEI MOOC (Marjorie, presented by EP)

The “TEI MOOC” idea was presented by EP and MB in our Evanston meeting.

EP and MB have decided to do in English, not in French, fearing that not enough people will enroll if in French.  They will apply for 15K Euros to produce this MOOC; would be helpful symbolically to have official TEI financial support, even if only verbal, or minimal.  MB is the leader of this effort, with EP assisting.

MM requests more detail in writing, not having been present in the earlier discussion; EP refers to discussion in the minutes of Evanston Board mtg.

Funding deadline is 5-6 days from now, so need for a quick decision.  AC notes that endorsement was already decided in Evanston.  GW supports a quick email discussion and vote.

JC would like to see the TEI be visible in MOOC space, in spite of possible qualms about effectiveness of MOOCs in general, a sentiment shared by many on the Board.

MD asks whether MB and EP have an assessment plan in mind to determine the resulting MOOC’s effectiveness.

Resolved that EP or MB will submit a proposal by email very soon, and ask for a rapid vote (by current Board – although discussion by new Board members welcomed).

Calendar for next year’s meetings, and “getting things done” (James & Elena)

EP notes that posting a public calendar of Board meetings might increase accountability and be useful to help us get things done more efficiently.

Default time slot: 4 p.m. GMT

  • 13 January
  • 24 February
  • 7 April
  • 21 May
  • 25 June

(EP will also circulate dates by email)

Also in this same vein: the Board should adopt a lightweight task-management system. JC proposes Trello (which he uses frequently) – can be public or private; editable by whoever is delegated.  Notes that Trello is not used for Council work at the moment (since its tickets are tracked on SourceForge), but he may propose it to Council as well.

Value and specifics of Trello discussed, and its adoption agreed upon.  Action on JC to set up a simple Trello board and lead the Board into using it.


Election of new Chair of Council is ongoing during December; JC will not be running, but is on Council for another year, so will remain available in the spirit of overlap.

EP and others thanked those who are rotating at the end of 2014 off the Board (Arianna, Glen, John, and Lou — who is joining Council), and the Council (Sebastian Rahtz, Elli Mylonas).