TEI: TEI Board Minutes: Conference Call 2015-02-24

Published on TEI-C website, March 2015


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In attendance:

  • Elena Pierazzo (EP)
  • Kevin Hawkins (KH)
  • Marjorie Burghart (MB)
  • Hugh Cayless (HC)
  • Michelle Dalmau (MD)
  • Pip Willcox (PW)
  • Martin Mueller (MM)

Apologies: John Unsworth (JU)


  • Welcome to Hugh Cayless
  • Minutes (Michelle)
  • Updates from the conference chair (Pip)
  • Call for hosts 2016 and possibly 2017
  • Web master helper (Kevin)
  • Website
  • Investments (John)
  • TEI-TAPAS relationship

Meeting procedures and other announcements

MD: Should I insert email updates and discussions that occurred in response to the agenda into the official minutes or include them as an addendum?

EP: Reference the email reports (not in full).

MD: Needs a back-up reviewer for today’s minutes. MM volunteered.

Welcome to Hugh Cayless

EP welcomes Hugh as a new Chair of the TEI Council.

Minutes (Michelle)

EP: Martin was not convinced that the contents of the January 2015 minutes were not accurate.

EP opens for discussion stating that we can not amend already approved minutes but can clarify the issue now.

No one responded.

Minutes from January 2015 were approved via email. No amendments recorded.

Updates from the conference chair (Pip)

PW: Local organizers are doing brilliant work. Setup Trello board for managing the conference planning and hosting tasks. The local organizers have hotel proposals and have negotiated discounts with two hotels, additional discounts for hotels are in progress. They have reserved the spaces for the conference proper and have a sponsor for the reception. Currently organizing location for dinner and working on web site.

PW: Details what needs to be done: finalizing the communication dossier, keynote. (see update from local organizers below for more detail).

Program committee has 8 people currently signed up. Pip recommends that we should aim for a large program committee since people may not be as available when it comes time to review. Pip has been targeting a range of different backgrounds.

Pip then discussed having an executive sub-committee which will decide on theme, title, call for papers/workshops. Marjorie and Emmanuelle came up with a theme: TEI Ecosystem. Pip has tested the theme with colleagues and some find the theme unapproachable (perceived as too scientific).

The theme is supposed to capture the communities around TEI — people and tools. Animating TEI as another way to rephrase the theme. Pip would like to emphasize the community and how social it is and how powerful TEI is in creating or “animating” projects. Pip asked the Board for feedback on the theme.

EP: The Program Committee needs to discuss the theme with the local host. Once the programming committee and local host agree, the Board will agree.

EP: Needs the call for paper to go out very soon.

Pip supplied a report by the local hosts submitted by Marjorie and Emmanuelle for inclusion in the minutes:

  • Urgently to be done:
    • Finalize the communication dossier (which requires the theme and title of the conference, and choice of keynotes)
    • Apply for sponsorship funds (deadline March 6th): also requires precise information about the conference theme, title and keynotes
  • In progress:
    • inaugural cocktail organization
    • Dinner (location and buffet)
    • Looking for host for website
    • two other hotel pre-negotiated discount
  • Done:
    • Trello board for the management of the hosting taslk (access given to Pip Wicox)
    • Hotel proposals (night + breakfast), with pre-negociated discount):
      • Mama shelter: 105 eur
      • Axotel Perrache: 81 eur
    • Locations reservations:
      • Workshops : ok Ens de lyon
      • First keynote wednesday : OK lyon 2
      • Poster exhibits: Ok Lyon 2
      • Members meeting: OK Lyon 2
      • GIS meetings: to be done Lyon 2
      • Conference amphitheatre: to be done Lyon 2
      • Business meeting: to be done at Lyon 2, ENS de Lyon ou ISH Sponsorship
    • Consortium CAHIER pays for inaugural cocktail

Call for hosts 2016 and possibly 2017

EP: Discussion about hosting the 2016 TEI-C Members’ Meeting has been ongoing as well as the possibility of encouraging colleagues in Japan to put a forward a bid. MM, JU (and MD) would like to issue an open bid, which wouldn’t impact Japanese colleagues for submitting a bid.

EP: Based on email and phone discussions, the Council’s opinion and some people on the Board also feel that we shouldn’t limit ourselves, at this time, to recruiting bids only from North America and Europe.

EP: If we do an open call, it is a bit complicated. Last year the Board discussed encouraging Lyon to submit a bid. The Board first issued a call and then Elena targeted Lyon. Soon after, Norway then contacted EP which put her in an uncomfortable place. EP wants to make sure the process is fair.

EP: Board is also concerned that the venue for the conference is easy to get to, which is why the Board has been intervening more in recent years.

MM: Feels strongly that we should have an open call and clearly state preferences (criteria) — a good host most be a place that has a connection with the TEI, easy to get to, etc. Give people a chance to compete. If by the end of the open call, we have no competitors or not an ideal competitor, then the Board could more actively intervene.

MD: Agrees with Martin about issuing an open call and clearly setting forth the selection criteria.

PW: Make the criteria clear … to make sure we reach as broad an audience as possible.

MB: Torn. In favor of an open call. But there are schedule issues. If we have to wait to recruit after the deadline, it may be difficult to negotiate under time pressure. The idea of the Board actively seeking a host is probably a good thing — good to target people. We just need to be careful in how we combine the two — for political and scheduling reasons.

MM: The problem of “too late in the year” can be solved by having the call for host issued early-on. Doesn’t see a problem in encouraging people to submit a bid so long as there is no commitment. It has to go through a review process like all bids.

MM: In 2012, made a casual suggestion that Chicago was interested. There was never a call for 2014. We need more openness and rigor.

MM: Open the bid now, close it mid-May. Let’s give a try.

EP: There were two bids that year: College Station and Saskatoon. Both were challenging locations.

EP: After College Station, we had no bids so the Board became more actively involved in seeking out host institutions.

MM: We really should have an open bid now.

MB: We need to have the bid as early as possible. Each board member could function as an ambassador. We can target several people/institutions and encourage them to submit proposals.

PW: Need to be clear on the criteria and grateful in our feedback, especially if we need to turn proposals down.

MD: Could we clarify our criteria, then? We can do it now or over email, but since we have agreed to send a proposal, we need to agree on the criteria.

EP: Elena just forwarded the last call, sent out in 2014 for 2015. We should review that call and suggest amendments. Elena will send the call after we review the call and amend to make selection criteria apparent.

EP: In Martin’s proposal, he also asked to include 2017?

MM: That could be one way to deal with assessing multiple strong proposals. If we have two good bids, we have one in 2016 and one in 2017. Or maybe it’s more complicated.

MB: If we alternate locations, it may be too far to decide.

EP: Proposals could be solid one year, but people submitting the proposals may leave the institution.

The bid will only be issued for 2016 to keep things simpler.

PP: Needs to clarify in the call that 2017 is option for consideration as well.

MM raised confusing language in the bid proposal guidelines that makes it seem the local host will be incurring an expense when the expense is covered entirely by the TEI.

MM: If you read the current call, it can imply that the host will need to spend money. The host puts in a lot of effort and time, but not necessarily cash.

MB: Thought the bid process was a bit intimidating. The 4th point — give an indication of all financial support local organization is willing to give. That point contradicts the reality that the TEI covers the cost.

MD inquires if a host offering cash to offset cost is part of the selection criteria. EP suggests that it could be and the Board would need to decide if that is part of the decision-making process.

Website / Web master helper (Kevin)

EP: Need to create a new committee to oversee the TEI-C web site. Lou was going to chair this. Since we have Kevin as webmaster, EP asked Kevin to be part of the team and also asked if Kevin is willing to chair the committee.

KH: Was supposed to be on this committee to oversee the TEI-C web site based on past meeting minutes, but no formal invitation was issued. We need to recharter this team and he’s willing to lead the group. How do we appoint members?

EP: The Web site Team Chair would be encouraged to find people — someone from the council would be a good addition. Lou Burnard and John Unsworth could be ex-officio. Part of the chair’s mandate is to provide cost options for a HTML 5 versus TEI-native web site (philosophical point of contention that could be decided based on cost).

KH: Would secure quotes for both options.

HC: Offered to participate in the web site group.

MM: Asks why we need to change the web site?

KH: Will send a message about why we need to budget and plan for ongoing changes and maintenance of the TEI-C web site rather than to use meeting time to explain.

EP: Before Kevin was Webmaster, he was the helper. Need someone to learn the CMS structure of the site and serve as a helper to Kevin.

EP: Would like to do an open-call for an assistant webmaster (like the social media manager); in-kind service.

MB: Notes that the assistant web master is a hard task. It is a bit unfair that we don’t offer compensation for that while we compensate the social media position. Could we link the tasks?

KH: Kevin agrees with Marjorie about the discrepancy between one getting compensated and the other, not.

MB: It’s not too far-fetched for the social media and assistant web master be the same person. We might consider this the next time.

KH: Doesn’t think we should necessarily link them.

PW: Is there money in the budget to cover both? We shouldn’t privilege one or the other.

EP: Asks Kevin to clarify the nature of the work and tasks.

KH: It depends on how much the main webmaster does.

When working with David S., Kevin spent his time assisting David (or reminding) him about pending tasks and taking the initiative to do the pending work himself.

KH: Right now, mostly concerned about having a back-up person for the site and email lists. Someone who has technical capacity and is dependable. We could do an open call but we should be sure whether or not we will have compensation.

EP: The Webmaster now is compensated by covering the costs for attending the members’ meeting. We have money that we can offer to an assistant web master, but the more we use from our pot, the less we have for other strategic initiatives. Is the webmaster assistant job an essential activity of the TEI?

KH: Try an open call with no compensation offered. If we don’t get a good pool, we should reconsider compensation.

MB: Not sure we were right in compensating the social media position. It creates a precedence. It could be my social media bias.

EP: The board evaluated the social media position after one year and felt it was the best money we have ever spent. The outreach has been positive.

MB: Think of a different way of framing volunteer work. Could we offer membership to his or her institution?

EP: Agrees that this a good idea, but we need to close the meeting. Our time is up. We need to continue this discussion over email.

Investments (John)

EP: John sent a report over email that MD will include in the minutes.

On February 19th, 2015, JU sent the following update to the TEI board members list:

My brief on item 7 is … brief. Having looked around a bit, I think Vanguard funds are probably the right place to put some funds to work earning more than they do in our checking account. Non-profits can be customers of Vanguard, but the application process is more cumbersome than for individuals, and I am in the process of changing our accounting firm from the one in Evanston to one closer to me, in Massachusetts. I have a phone call with one candidate for that work today at 3:30. The Evanston accountant will file our taxes this year, and that’ll happen before too long, and I’d like to get our business shifted over to the new firm before launching the Vanguard arrangement, because I’d like their help and oversight in that process.

TEI-TAPAS relationship

Either discuss over email or place on next month’s agenda.

Next board meeting: 7 April 2015.