TEI: TEI Board Minutes: Google Hangout 2016-02-09

Published on TEI-C website, 2016-04-24


KSH improved encoding of agendarevisions from Kathryn TomasekKSH tagged URLs and added date to publicationStmt.

In attendance:

  • Marjorie Burghart (MB)
  • Hugh Cayless (HC)
  • Michelle Dalmau (MD)
  • Martin Mueller (MM)
  • Kathryn Tomasek (KT)
  • John Unsworth (JU)

Apologies: Pip Wilcox (PW)

Action Items

  • MD: Contact the rest of Board by F 2/12 re: approval of January minutes.
  • JU: Write up some guidelines about banking and other money matters for the TEI MM.
  • MD: Contact the local hosts in Vienna to say that they should choose programme chair locally.
  • MD: Work with JU on licensing conftool for TEI MM 2016.
  • MD: Confer with Paul O’Shea regarding Social Media Coordinator role and documenting value of the effort; KT: Help with assembling data if needed.
  • KT: Send a message to TEI list after minutes have been approved, summarizing some points.

  • MM will serve as Conference Correspondent between the Board and the local hosts in Vienna.
  • We will leave the time set aside for meetings of the Board as is for now; MD will consult with JU as needed.

    Meeting Procedures and Other Announcements

      Volunteer for Minutes Reviewer

      Hugh Cayless, Chair of the TEI Council! Woot!

    Approve Board Meeting Minutes: 12-01-2016

    Update 2016 TEI Conference and Members’ hosted by Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities (ACDH)

      Conference dates: 26 – 30 September 2016

      Web site in the works …

      Questions about documentation …

      Programme Chair?

    Programme Chair for the 2016 TEI Members’ Meeting and Conference (see http://www.tei-c.org/Board/procedures.xml#body.1_div.4)

      Propose a new model, modify existing model or maintain status-quo?

      Role of Treasurer in the PC

      Role of Membership Secretary in the PC

    Select Social Media Coordinator

      Update from Paul O’Shea (pending)

      Call for Applicants and Timeline: Social Media Coordinator

    TEI-C Board of Directors Roadmap on Wiki

      Monthly Meetings (review existing time, second Tuesday of every month)

      Agenda Setting for March, April and May

    Update on Pending Action Items



The meeting was quorate.

1.1 MB volunteered to review minutes.

1.2 Hugh Cayless was introduced as Chair of the TEI Council and congratulated.


Board members received the minutes on the morning of the present meeting, so approval of the minutes was tabled to be handled over email.

Action: MD to contact the rest of the Board by F 2/12 re: approval of January minutes.

Minutes were approved over email, with final vote received on 15 February.


3.1 MD noted that the conference dates have been set for 26 – 30 September 2016.

3.2 The local hosts are working on the website. They have email set up and are ready to begin the work of organizing the conference.

3.3 The local hosts have many questions about procedures; the most important of these is who will act as program chair. KT noted that the documentation contains a confusing array of role names; she supports the roles as MB proposed them in her email of 31 January. MD turned to her own email of 7 February and the consultant role. MM noted that so much of how the conference is organized comes down to the local hosts and said he thought the documentation is fine as it stands. MD spoke to the large number of questions about how to proceed she has received from the current local hosts and notes that she simply does not have the information for which they are asking. They seek documentation with regard to the website, for example. This seems to be the point at which a program chair would enter the picture. MM responded that–judging from historical evidence–such questions must be resolved at the local level. MB noted that the website has always been the responsibility of the local hosts; what we need are precise guidelines regarding the conference itself–specifically, how long it should be, including workshops, how many days? There is a need for precise information/guidance. MD noted that this is where we will benefit from the forthcoming report from Pip and Marjorie and Emmanuelle. MB remarked that the entire process was baffling and problematic. They used the most recent European TEI-MM as their model (the meeting held in Rome in 2013), and that was helpful.

Action: JU volunteered to write up some guidelines about banking and other money matters.

MB responded that the difficulties arose around basic question concerning the expected schedule for the conference, how to send the CFP, confusion with regard to who should do what and when. MD noted that a calendar will be useful; the local hosts in Vienna are looking for someone to turn to for guidance. MM volunteered to act as Conference Correspondent; he will advise the local hosts to operate “as locally as possible, as globally as necessary.” He asked whether everyone agreed with that advice. MB volunteered to send the framework used for the 2015 meeting to MM; they used the same theme, etc. that was used for the Evanston TEI-MM in 2014. The main issues were about who would set up the website if it was not the local host. MD noted the big overhead that goes with the website; the webmaster is currently on leave. She wondered whether the Vienna local hosts want to use WordPress as a way to ensure interim continuity.

Decision: MM will serve in role of Conference Correspondent between the Board and the local hosts in Vienna.

3.4 Programme Chair?


4.1 Propose a new model, modify existing model, or maintain status quo?

Action Item: Since we seem to have consensus that the local hosts should appoint the Program Chair, MD will contact the local hosts in Vienna with a message to that effect.

4.2 Role of Treasurer in the PC

Discussion continued, turning to the roles of the Treasurer and Membership Secretary in the work of the Program Committee. JU noted that we often license conftool. If we are going to use conftool, we should take care of the licensing as soon as possible, but use of conftool is not a mandate. MM responded that this is another place where continuity makes sense; he suggests that we mandate use of conftool since it aids continuity.

Action Item: MD to work with JU on licensing conftool. JU is available to provide whatever information, assistance local organizers need.

4.3 Role of Membership Secretary in the PC

In further discussion of current documentation regarding the TEI MM, we noted that references to the role of Executive Director should be eliminated and some of the responsibilities can be folded into the duties of the Membership Secretary.

As discussion continued with regard to roles on the Program Committee KT asked about the outline that can be found at http://members.tei-c.org/hosting ; MD responded that this information is rather dated. MD noted that there were some comments about the length of the TEI-MM 2015, and she introduced a question about perhaps increasing selectivity. MM responded that this was a traditional pattern. The TEI-MM tends to be too long and to take an enormous amount of time to attend. He suggested that perhaps the conference portion could be held over a day and a half, with two tracks. He noted that this might facilitate overlap of meetings of the Council with the conference. KT asked whether we need an entire week, or did we perhaps e xtend across the week in order to include workshops? MB noted she has never attended workshops at the TEI-MM. In 2015, many local people wanted to attend workshops. We need not assume that an attendee will attend workshops, but they are very useful as outreach. MB argued that keeping the weeklong schedule is a good idea; we need not expect all participants to attend for the entire week.

Following up on MM’s comments, KT asked about Council’s in-person meeting in Lyon. HC reported that Council’s meeting started on Sunday. They met also on Monday, had Tuesday off, and met again Wednesday morning. It made for a very long week. MD noted that we need to let organizers know that they should reserve space to accommodate the Council meeting as well as the other activities of the TEI-MM/Conference. HC reported that Stefan Majewski is handling local organization of the Council meeting in Vienna. Council will follow the model of coordinating with the TEI-MM that they tried in 2015. It is not an absolute requirement to have the Council face-to-face meeting run at the same time as the TEI-MM; such a model is contingent on many factors.


5.1 MD noted that Paul O’Shea’s report is pending. She is working on documentation about this role on wiki. Paul is interested in continuing in this role.

5.2 Call for Applicants and Timeline: Social Media Coordinator

Do we need to issue a call or go with Paul and ask for better documentation, especially with regard to value of the role? MM repeated his skepticism about that value. MD noted that she has heard positive anecdotal feedback from James Cummings and Elena Pierazzo, and MM asked what evidence of value would look like. MD referred to the example of the work of Lynne Siemens on YouTube video and increases in interest in TEI. MD also noted that the work of the Social Media Coordinator includes not only Twitter, Facebook, but also editing the TEI blog. We have not yet quantified the value of this work. We can continue with Paul in the role and wait for evidence from him or we can choose not to do it. JU noted that having someone in this role it does not cost us much, though we do subsidize conference travel. MD remarked on the curation that Paul has done.

Action item: MD to confer with Paul; KT to help with assembling data if needed.


6.1 Monthly Meetings (review existing time, second Tuesday of every month)

We discussed whether the existing time set aside for meetings of the Board–the second Tuesday of every month–works for everyone. JU commented that we should not change the time on his account; he usually has an institutional commitment at this time.

Decision: We will leave the time set aside for meetings of the Board as is for now; MD will consult with JU as needed.

6.2 Agenda Setting for March, April and May

We also discussed other forms of communication. MD wants to try to work over email. She noted that the Google+ Hangout was working much better than the customary conference calls. KT asked what other Board members thought about using GoogleDocs to take minutes; MD said it was working for her. MB commented that if we are to make decisions via email, the issue of how to keep track of such decisions remains; we will need minutes of e-mail decision-making. MD agreed, as she had been present for discussions of this issue. Part of the pending actions from the Lyon meeting continues to be tracking action items as we move ahead. The wiki space will also be useful. We should keep track of decisions made between monthly meetings to maintain transparency and we should add such decisions to monthly meeting minutes. We have not made any decisions over email in the past month that should be added to the minutes for the present meeting.

Action Item for KT: MD suggests sending a message to the list after minutes have been approved, summarizing some points. JU suggested KT write something in wiki–compact list of decisions made, to avoid redux situations. KT seconded. MD referred to Action Items as place to deal with this concern.


7.1 Website

MD updated the Board with regard to the website. Nick is working on broken things on website; Nick and Kevin will be on the Board’s agenda for March. Some discussion ensued of onramping and similar concerns.

7.2 Governance

MD noted that we should continue to discuss issues of governance the possibility of paying someone to handle the day-to-day tasks, cleaning house, and so forth. She said she is unsure how to handle this portion of the Action Items list. She has yet to look to questions about revising By-Laws. So MD suggested we proceed with Action Items from Lyon.

7.3 Accountant

We have hired an accountant to help JU. MD asked JU to speak to role of accountant. JU reported that he has doubts about how much work can be offloaded to accountant; JU and MM had a good video chat about some tasks MM will take over on the members front.

7.4 Council and Board

MD noted that there are bigger questions, for example HC’s response about how overtaxed the Council is; we need to do a better job with communication between the Board and the Council.

HC spoke to needs of the organization and the community, noting that there is not not 100% overlap in the Venn diagram. From the perspective of Council, there might be issues of priority for handling certain concerns, for example. MM remarked that the main question is planning: we need to think about where we want to be five years from now; we need to commit to having adequate funds spent as frugally as possible and to having a clear idea of where we want to go. He noted that beyond the TEI community, the sense of who we are and what we do is quite underdeveloped. MB remarked that this is a very important question. We are very enclosed (siloed) in functions: Council sees to technical concerns and the Board keeps the ship sailing. Nobody is in charge of vision for the TEI. She remarked that she is not sure we want a single vision, though we might think of ways of encouraging initiatives from the community. This can be the way we can bring things forward in the next five years; this is a creative work–we need to find ways to facilitate it. MD agreed that the Board should channel vision, not form it. She suggested that we work on ways to reach out to the TEI community, create a road map–perhaps Social Media Coordinator can work on that. MM noted that ideas can come from individuals; we need to have framing conditions for the thriving of the organization. And MD ended the meeting on that note. The action items update are on the wiki, and she will contact people to work on documentation.

Minutes taken and encoded by KT.