TEI: TEI Board Minutes: In-Person Meeting 2015-11-01

Published on TEI-C website, January 2016


TEI-C Board Meeting Lyon, France; The Mama Hotel1 November 2015, Mama loves you!


  • Marjoie Burghart (MB)
  • Michelle Dalmau (MD)
  • Nick Homenda (NH)
  • Stefan Majewski (SM) for Hugh Cayless (HC)
  • Martin Mueller (MM)
  • Elena Pierazzo (EP)
  • John Unsworth (JU)
  • Pip Wilcox (PW)

  • Meeting Procedures and Other Announcements
  • Debriefing the TEI MM2015
  • Work and Workflow of the Board
    • Back Office and Administration of the TEI-C
    • Membership
  • TEI Journal
    • New Managing Editor
    • Board of Advisors
    • Reference to Martin Holmes email dated 24 August 2015
  • The TEI-C Website
    • Assessment report from the Webmasters
  • TAPAS: Continuation of Support
  • Election Procedures for the TEI Board & Council
    • Nomination procedures; Ballots procedures
    • Election Calendar
    • Changes to the Bylaws
    • Travel expenses if Calendar changes — who will be covered?
  • Scheduling the Election fo the Chair
  • Offices
    • Secretary
    • Membership Secretary
Action Items

  • EP and Michelle Dalmau (MD) will work together in November-December 2015 to update, improve and create the needed procedural documentation for the various functions of the TEI-C under the Board’s purview. We will consult the following document as a starting point: http://www.tei-c.org/Board/procedures.xml.
  • JU volunteers to add section on specific duties of the Treasurer for the internal procedures document.
  • EP asks that PW, MB and Emmanuelle Morlock to review the current documentation to clarify points of ambiguity based on their experiences as Program and Local Chairs
  • Secretary needs to ensure that decisions made over email are recorded in minutes (amended or next set of minutes?)
  • JU has quotes for accountants that are willing to file taxes and manage bookkeeping; will need to inquire further about reimbursements. U will talk to the Arlington CPA who issued a quote … report back by email
  • JU will review the reimbursement form and post an update.
  • EP will contact the proposed Managing Editors in the order listed above to see if one of them would be interested in assuming this role. EP will also mention the possibility of serving on the JTEI Advisory Board for a renewable 2-year term; cc: Martin Holmes and John Walsh.
  • EP will ask Martin about existing documentation and the duration of the Managing Editor term.
  • EP will contact John Walsh about asking existing Advisory Board members if any of them would like to stand again (another 2 years).
  • EP will inform the Editor-in-Chief and relay our great thanks and provide feedback that the Board has heard about the elongated publishing cycle. We value the extensive peer-review process and that should not necessarily be compromised in the turnaround time, but look for ways to increase efficiencies. The Board will also propose raising the rate for the copyeditor who seems to be paid under market value.
  • Secretary to send a summary of Board minutes after every meeting (or once the minutes are posted to the TEI-C website).
  • Need to create a task force for internationalization
  • Council Chair to ask James Cummings or Kevin Hawkins to allow council members to access Google Analytics for the TEI-C Website; Board Chair should inquire about relevant Board members who should also have access to the web stats
  • EP to follow up with Julia Flanders re: TAPAS increase of $15,000 and additional reporting / data tracking by TAPAS to better measure outcomes
  • EP will send a formal proposal to SyncroSoft about the two month trial license for Oxygen for TEI-branded workshop attendees.
  • Improving the nomination and ballot submission procedures is under the purview of the Nominating Committee.
  • MD as Secretary of the Board will run this internal election of Chair based on procedural documentation.
  • MD will review the TEI-C Bylaws in light of strengthening existing roles and adding new roles. MD will propose revisions to the Board for their review.
  • Recruit new Social Media Coordinator
  • Issue a Call to Host the TEI Members’ Meeting for 2018 in early 2016

Meeting Procedures and Other Announcements

Elena Pierazzo (EP) opens the meeting at 9:05 am. We will be using a Google doc for collaborative note-taking during this meeting to encourage thorough documentation.

Debriefing the TEI MM2015

Pip Willcox (PW) reported that the conference went well and extended thanks to the local organizers, Marjorie Burghart (MB) and Emmanuelle Morlock, for their great work. Everyone was overall pleased with the program. EP was especially impressed with the posters. A/V support was a recurring issue (as it can be) and the Board agreed that they need to carefully consider optimal technical support from local hosts, which may also need mean not scheduling a conference over the weekend.

The Board discussed the overall length of the conference stating that perhaps it was a little longer than usual though MB reminded us that this year’s program was the same length as the Rome’s Members’ Meeting. The Board agrees that we should consider ways to shorten or make more compact the conference schedule.

Approximately 170-180 attendees were present for the 2015 Members’ Meeting with 100% acceptance rate for the papers.

PW reported that coordinating was a bit challenging at times, partly as someone new to the Board and also as a result of not being personally acquainted with the local organizers. PW wasn’t clear whether she served the role as Program Chair or Conference Chair due to conflated information in existing documentation (https://sites.google.com/site/teiconferenceplanning/conference-protocol-of-the-tei-consortium, http://members.tei-c.org/hosting, and http://www.tei-c.org/Board/procedures.xml (see Appendix A). Sometimes, PW was not clear about the expectations or what actions to take. The Board discussed the concept of a Conference Chair, and the value of having someone more formally fill this role as the peer Local and Program Chairs navigate and negotiate the finer points of planning for a conference. The Conference Chair would serve as the “go-to” person whenever clarification or guidance is needed, including coordination when needed. Most of the Board felt that the Chair of the Board is a natural fit for this role. MB is not convinced we need a Conference Chair and echoed PW’s sentiment that perhaps a new Board member should not take on the role of Program Chair.

The Board agreed that procedural documentation (for conferencing hosting, running the business of the Board, etc.) will need an overhaul and will include the proposition of the Board Chair serving as a Conference Chair.

EP and Michelle Dalmau (MD) will work together in November-December 2015 to update, improve and create the needed procedural documentation for the various functions of the TEI-C under the Board’s purview. We will consult the following document as a starting point:http://www.tei-c.org/Board/procedures.xml.

PW reported that we might consider that future Call for Papers (CFP) coincide with the publication of the conference web site. Based on anecdotal feedback, many wanted to know details about the conference so they could fully consider the CFP.

Marjorie Burghart (MB) noted that it has not been part of practice to have a conference web site posted before the CFP. Once the CFP was announced and the conference web site published, the CFP was posted on the web site and circulated through various mailing lists.

Some discussion followed about local laws and regulations that can cause unexpected or undesirable delays even in launching web sites (bound to use certain infrastructure, etc.).

EP asks that PW, MB and Emmanuelle Morlock to review the current documentation to clarify points of ambiguity based on their experiences as Program and Local Chairs:

Work and Workflow of the Board

Issues around asynchronous communication, long spacing between meetings, difficulty in tracking decisions made over email, and actually making decisions were all raised. We revisited several discussions we have had during earlier Board meetings and emails and determined that we don’t necessarily need task-tracking tool, but perhaps consider communication/discussion-making tools (none specifically explored). For instance, we noted that the Secretary needs to ensure that decisions made over email are recorded in minutes (amended or next set of minutes?).

Members of the Board ultimately agreed that we need to elaborate the existing function of the Board and roles of Board members, which is part of the documentation that EP and MD will be working on in the next two months. We may also need to consider making proposed revisions to the By Laws in order to strengthen the existing roles and perhaps create new roles.

EP recognized that this year was atypical in that 4 out 5 of the Board Members were newly elected for 2014, and two of those, MD and PW, had never served on the Board before. For 2016, we will only have one new Board member joining, Kathryn Tomasek, so we should have a more productive year, especially in light of improved documentation and clearer roles.

Martin Mueller (MM) would like to emphasize that while documentation is important, communication is more so and needs to remain a constant to and fro.

Back Office and Administration of the TEI-C

Before exploring options for the best path forward for the TEI-C in terms of handling the overhead of back office work, John Unsworth (JU) reminds us that we are an all-volunteer organization. And while this can be challenging, it’s a good thing in terms of minimal liability and overhead in maintaining salaries. It is also a good thing because it is our contributions as volunteers that keeps the TEI-C community engaged and collaboratively working together. However, JU and others on the board recognize that the work of the treasurer, possibly the secretary, and a redefined role of the membership secretary is not particularly fun work, and it is work that requires continuity.

EP is concerned with bloating the Board. It goes against the principles of streamlining the Board in the first place.

Some of us feel similarly about bloating the Board, but we also recognize that we may need to appoint longer-term positions or outsource the back office work that needs to be done. We also need to ensure continuity for the TEI-C through the roles of Treasurer, Secretary and a re-imagined Membership Secretary.

MM asks for clarification: What is the difference between paid employees and people appointed to do these tasks, when the money is paid by the TEI-C in some way?

JU responds that paid employees would incur additional liabilities. Most of the work is in-kind and is usually handled by travel reimbursements for in-person meetings in order to conduct business. It is possible to that an umbrella organization that has administrative staff could take on this work for a cost as part of re-aligning.

EP focuses the discussion on defining the essential back-office work and services we need to address:

  • Filing Taxes
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Reimbursements
  • Membership Management
  • Legal address that is not JU’s home (preferably)

JU: It is possible to secure an accountant to take on the first three essential duties: filing taxes, bookkeeping, and managing reimbursements. JU has quotes for accountants that are willing to do the first two; will need to inquire further about reimbursements. One quote from an Arlington, Massachusetts accountant is $1,500/year for bookkeeping and taxes.

A local law office could serve as a legal address, possibly even an accountant.

EP: Assuming an accountant can handle a few extra tasks, we are left then with managing the membership activities.

MM: Emphasizes that the work of a Membership Secretary requires a personal touch. At the moment, the Membership Secretary doesn’t have a direct communication channel to the member base (unless they have access to Wild Apricot, the membership software used by the TEI-C).

MM: The TEI-C Board should either raise money or do work.

JU: The TEI-C has raised money and increased membership.

There is consensus among the TEI-C Board that the Membership Secretary would do both outreach and manage the finer details of membership enrollment. The membership software, Wild Apricot, automates some of this work by sending out reminders for membership dues.

The Board also discussed the closely intertwined the roles of the Nominating Committee Chair and the Membership Secretary. In many ways, it would make sense for the Membership Secretary to also manage the TEI-C elections, especially since Wild Apricot, the membership software, is used to contact members for voting. It is also used for invoicing. Should the Membership Secretary take on election-related responsibilities, this person would work closely with the Treasurer to help reconcile accounts. Again, Wild Apricot can automate much of this work by assigning categories that would correlate to bookkeeping categories. Membership payments sent via PayPal reconcile automatically while paper checks and wire transfers require human intervention.

JU noted that the Membership Secretary would need Wild Apricot training, and suggested we need to augment our documentation of these practices as well, which are all currently handled by JU directly.

EP reminds the Board members that we are all responsible for outreach, not just the Membership Secretary. The outreach component of the Membership Secretary’s role should be shared by members of the Board as a whole.

We then discussed the value of making the Membership Secretary an appointment position keeping in mind that we are trying to spend less on supporting the Board’s work. However, strengthening the Board is still more cost-effective than outsourcing back office work to a third party.

Discussions returned to sustaining the role of Treasurer especially since we anticipate JU will want to retire as TEI-C Treasurer one day. As part of this discussion, JU mentioned that we do have a legal address associated with an law office in the state of Virginia, which is there the TEI-C was incorporated as a non-for-profit organization. Every year, the state of Virginia sends paperwork to renew the TEI-C’s charter ($25/annual fee) to that law office. That may be another option for a legal address for the TEI-C though most business that requires the legal address is part of an accountant’s domain.

As part of JU revisiting accountant quotes, he will confirm that the accountants with whom JU consults are setup well to work remotely. We would not want to change accounting offices every time a new Treasurer is appointed. We would need someone very comfortable with conducting business electronically.

EP sums up what we have discussed thus far:

  • Create an appointed Membership Secretary position for minimum of 3 years whose role would include outreach, managing memberships and somehow interfacing with the TEI-C Nominating Committee.
  • Revisit quotes for accounting and bookkeeping including reimbursements; consider having the legal address be the accountant’s office

JU will talk to the Arlington CPA who issued a quote … report back by email. If the CPA is willing to do all of the above for a reasonable fee (current quote is $1,500) and is able to work remotely, does JU have the Board’s permission to sign up the CPA on the spot?

The Board members unanimously agreed.

SW: From the Council’s point of view, we need to find a payment method that can handle wire transfers to Europe and PayPal. European banks charge high fees to cash American checks.

PW noticed that the reimbursement form is out of date: http://www.tei-c.org/Admin/TEI_travel_form.pdf. Paypal and wire transfers to Europe are not included as repayment options. PW asks that we consider payment options in other parts of the world as well. JU will review the reimbursement form and post an update.

MM: Do we really need another appointed person to handle memberships?

JU: The problem is the membership person needs access to the bank account in order to do their job so the responsibilities will be greater than how they are currently conceived in the Bylaws.

MD reiterated MM’s question to clarify that we also need five elected members of the Board since only elected, not appointed, members are allowed to vote.

JU: This proposal would require a change to the bylaws.

MD offered to review the Bylaws and propose revisions to the various roles under review today.

MM: What’s in it for this re-imagined Membership Secretary?

JU: Service. Building community.

MM: Why do we need a Board at all?

JU: We need a group to make decisions. The largest budget item for the TEI-C is the Council expenses having the Council serve the role of the Board would present a conflict of interest.

PW: While the large quotation is inappropriate, the work we need done will cost that much, if not paid externally, then by us in unpaid work: it is not insignificant.

JU: Particularly as the quotation includes services we don’t need and wouldn’t use.

JU retracts the suggestion of an appointed Secretary role.

EP: The Secretary should serve as Vice Chair and assist in the transition from old Board to new Board.

EP clarifies the role of the Secretary:

  • takes notes at all official meetings
  • ensures decisions reached are recorded promptly and prominently (practice to be suggested by EP and MD as part of procedural documentation they have been charged to draft)
  • acts as Vice Chair

EP suggests that the Bylaws need to be updated to clarify the roles of the Secretary, Membership Secretary and Treasurer.

JU volunteers to add section on specific duties of the Treasurer for the internal procedures document.

TEI Journal (JTEI)

New Managing Editor

EP sums up the issues:

  • The Managing Editor position ends in two months time
  • We have some recommendations for successors; need to identify a few others.

EP will contact the proposed Managing Editors in the order listed above to see if one of them would be interested in assuming this role. EP will also mention the possibility of serving on the JTEI Advisory Board for a renewable 2-year term; cc: Martin Holmes and John Walsh.

EP will ask Martin about existing documentation and the duration of the Managing Editor term.

Board of Advisors

It’s time to renew the Board of Advisors. EP will contact John Walsh about asking existing Advisory Board members if any of them would like to stand again (another 2 years).

The Board needs to plan for the renewal of the Technical Editor; need to find someone who is highly technical.

Review JTEI Report

EP summed up the report submitted by John Walsh and Martin Holmes (see report presented to 2015 TEI-C Business Meeting for more information):

  • Requested $2,000 last year for copy editing expenditures
  • Issue 8 “the monster issue”
  • Rolling publishing workflow
  • When complete, introduction and sectioning of existing articles into thematic categories
  • Issue 9: MM2014
  • Issue 10: TEI and Materiality
  • Moved to all-odt workflow
  • Use subversion for copy editing

Various Board members have received anecdotal reports that the publishing timeline is rather long, but also the peer review process was rather thorough. Which is good, but perhaps a bit too much.

JTEI report was approved by the Board; financial support renewed. EP will inform the Editor-in-Chief and relay our great thanks and provide feedback that the Board has heard about the elongated publishing cycle. We value the extensive peer-review process and that should not necessarily be compromised in the turnaround time, but look for ways to increase efficiencies. The Board will also propose raising the rate for the copyeditor who seems to be paid under market value.

The TEI-C Website

EP opens the discussion with a summary from the assessment report from the TEI-C Webmasters, Kevin Hawkins and Nick Homenda: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cqCIpuelv38q7Cj2r_Bw6o8DKYRnyrBWwh9rpzfNCLE/edit#

  • Obsolescence of current content management system (OpenCMS), not easy to manage and update
  • JU provides a bit of history; the TEI-C web site was built on a content-management system that could handle TEI.
  • In 2014, the Board decided that the website shall continue TEI support. The core of the web site should be in XML.

Nick Homenda sums up options for moving forward listed in the report:

  • Option A: Upgrade OpenCMS, but then we would want to customize the latest version (again). The new version does handle permissions so back-end access can be extended. Uses responsive design. Supports multiple languages.
  • Option B (serve TEI to the browser directly)
    • TEI Boilerplate (web-based, CSS) or Kiln (server side, Cocoon)
    • These are not content management systems.
    • Both of these are created by members of the TEI community.
    • Cost to create a “content management” system around these two solutions would be involved
    • We need an environment that can be constantly updated.
  • Option C: CMS that lots of people use (Drupal, WordPress, Joomla)
    • Drupal and WordPress as preferred
    • ADHO is multi-hosting Drupal
    • Large user communities, lots of existing plugins, or the possibility to build plugins
    • TAPAS was working with Drupal and possibly TEI Boilerplate; TEI plugins for WordPress
    • The easy way to implement, the majority of the site should not be in TEI in order to facilitate ease of use and quick updates

Lots of legacy of content (“the vault”) on the TEI website — the archive needs to be considered as well as new content moving forward. Also need to consider integration with Wild Apricot; currently integrated into current web site using CSS.

Need to also overhaul design after platform is selected.

MM offers a prioritized list for the migration: 1) User documentation (i.e., TEI Guidelines) is the first, most important (and maybe the hardest), 2) get current business updated online quickly, and 3) access to the Vault.

EP: Could use Boilerplate for the Vault, for example. Working part of the web site on a CMS? Not sure if two different systems would be more trouble.

JU suggests separating out the archiving function by placing it a repository perhaps TAPAS.

JU notes that we don’t have a food TEI authoring solution for publishing and is keen on supporting platforms developed by members of the TEI community. What would it cost to integrate, for example, TEI Boilerplate with Drupal?

MD mentioned John Walsh’s TEI Boilerplate NEH grant that was not funded, which included Boilerplate plugin for Omeka and WordPress. We should ask JW if he’s willing to share the narrative and the budget — could also be reworked and submitted in pursuit of federal funding.

MD also suggests that the Webmasters talk with Syd Bauman. She recalls TAPAS was using Boilerplate at some point, possibly with Drupal.

SM reports that the Council is especially busy as they try to figure out how to maintain Sebastian Rahtz’s style sheets. They are tackling this by determining which parts of the style sheets are essential to Council work. As part of this activity, the style sheets are undergoing a reassessment.

Discussions return to the TEI-C web site and general agreement that the TEI Guidelines must remain in TEI/XML and should be featured prominently on the web site.

NH suggests that we consider a hybrid Web environment, and if we are in agreement, we need to be clear about which content will be native TEI and which will not.

EP mentions that the Digital Medievalist needed to move to WordPress though their journal is native TEI. Considering how important it is for community engagement to have a current Web site, EP is leaning toward a broadly supported CMS. Others on the Board are in general agreement.

NH asks the Board for more functional requirements beyond what was stipulated in the Web site Assessment Report.

SM: From the Council’s perspective, documentation created apart from the Guidelines will reside in GitHub with plans to generate on the fly documentation that needs to be posted to the Web site.

SM suggests that we find a solution that can serve HTML in cases of documents in native XML/TEI since we can’t rely on XSLT support at the browser-level in the foreseeable future. For the Council to publish documentation to the TEI-C web site environment, we may need to support GitHub to CMS pipelines for publishing.

EP reminds the Board of the current TEI-C Website Task Force members: Hugh Cayless, Ian Rifkin, JU, Kevin Hawkins (Chair) and Nick Homenda. EP suggests that after a platform is selected, we will need another task force for info architecture, design, usability and accessibility. PW emphasizes the importance of factoring usability testing especially with people not familiar with the TEI. This can be expensive, but is worth it.

MM: What are we willing to spend on the web site? What is the rough cost?

EP suggests, based on the budget for an unrelated project that design work could be up to $10,000 USD and perhaps development work another $10,000 USD for plugins? This is just a rough estimate.

JU looks over our budgets and suggests a $25,000 USD as a rough cap for web site work.

NH states that once the Web site Task Force has a complete list of requirements, they could more accurately estimate costs.

The Board breaks for lunch. Upon our return NH will guide the discussion for generating a more complete list of requirements.

We are back from lunch and jump right into identifying web site requirements:

  • Ability to make edits easily (web-based way)
  • Ability to assign permission for others
  • Levels of access
  • Assignable groups
    • Some parts may be password protected
  • Ability to deliver the TEI / XML in CMS
  • Archive content on the current site; usually are XML files
    • Need to be transformed somehow (CSS, XSLT)
    • Is the Vault in one TEI version?
      • Likely all in P5.
      • Should not have to migrate the TEI
    • At minimum, the Vault needs to be browseable.
    • A search layer for the Vault would be a future project. Not a top priority.
  • Need a design update
    • Navigation (IA)
    • Usability/Accessibility
    • News section needs
      • Currently, managed by a WordPress Blog (hack) that automatically generates the RSS; Using Blog as a News Service
  • Need RSS support (Twitter, Blog, Facebook, etc.)
  • Blog facility is not a top priority, but allow for blogging in the future.
    • Editorial workflow would need to be established for blog publications
    • MM: If one wants to send monthly/quarterly letter from the Chair to members?
    • EP: Email is sent using Wild Apricot.
  • Consider a space for more stable news from the Council and Board
    • MD: Has it ever been our practice to send a summary of Board Minutes to the TEI-L — after every meeting? After face-to-face meeting?
    • Not always, but something we should do.
  • Simple, clean design
    • May need maintain hierarchical structure because of the amount of content rather than the vertical layouts more commonly seen on sites today
    • Profile the users to create pathways to content …
      • New Users
        • Intro / Training, etc.
      • Existing Users
        • Guidelines
      • Members of the Board / Council (documentation)
      • Senior Management (need a call-out; an enticement why TEI rocks!)
      • For Trainers
        • “Teach Yourself the TEI” page is important and we need a way to keep it current
        • Task of the Board to support teaching …
        • Crowdsource teaching materials without harming the web site (email, form, etc.)
  • Support multiple languages, but we need to figure out the overhead of keep translations aligned. Perhaps only parts of the site would be multilingual:

    • What is the TEI?
    • How to get to the Guidelines …For beginners (so wouldn’t need to be updated frequently)
    • Need to break up all of the content into chunks (para or page length) for easier translation.
    • Stefan: Council discussed that most of the Guidelines are not translated at all. The rendition bring examples into specifications where the multilingual content is presented in odd ways. Focus more on proper translation to specification.
    • MM: The TEI responsibility is to make their content as translatable as possible. Still need to track the translation workflow.
    • TEI Board expressly recommended in jTEI in different languages; advisory board investigated how to support multilingualism.
    • Need to create a task force for internationalization and/or create an Internationalization Officer on the Board
    • MD: Look to DHQ — they have grappled with this on/off over the years and had an Internationalization Editor of sorts as I recall
    • Marjorie: Not against multilingualism, but the overhead may not be worth it to translate the Guidelines.
    • Need an automated mechanism to alert translators which pages have been updated (needs to be sustainable); need for crowdsourcing translations
  • Responsive design (not gimmicky)
  • Need stable URLs
    • Need to prepare a list of critical redirects
  • Server space? Not an issue and a Google drive account is associated with the server to ensure storage overflow.

NH: Talk to John Walsh, Syd Bauman, etc. about integrating Boilerplate into a CMS. And are we okay to author XML documents outside of the site?

  • Yes, authoring can happen outside the web site infrastructure.
  • At a minimum, we will want to expose the TEI/XML source for relevant documents

SM asked if Council members’ email addresses could be added to access the Google Analytics for the TWE-C web site? Need to ask Kevin H. or James Cummings.

TAPAS: Continuation of Support

The Board members have received the TAPAS Annual Report. EP summarizes the report (see report presented to 2015 TEI-C Business Meeting for more information):

  • Bulk of tech development should be complete by August 2016; NEH grant runs through Feb 2017
  • Requesting $15,000 for a research assistantship; an increase of $5,000

MM: What is TEI is supposed to spend money on? How much do we set aside for investment? What is our general philosophy about spending annual revenue?

JU: Not sitting on a fixed amount of $200,000. Money comes in and goes out. We bring a little more in than we pay out.

JU suggests that the Membership Coordinator work closely with TAPAS (Julia Flanders) to track new members joining through TAPAS. JU feels that it’s a good investment, but we need a way to assess the investment.

MB: How many current members are using TAPAS now and how are they using it?

Access to TAPAS is contingent upon TEI-C membership so all who are using TAPAS now should be TEI-C members.

As part of approving TAPAS increased request of $15,000, TAPAS coordinators will be asked to do the following:

  • Work for TEI-C Board Membership Coordinator to create a TAPAS category membership and track members coming through TAPAS
  • Verify that access to TAPAS is authenticated through the TEI-C membership system, Wild Apricot. If not, how is TAPAS managing access?
  • Survey the TEI Community about the use and value of TAPAS

EP will follow-up with Julia Flanders.

Election Procedures for the TEI Board & Council

Continuing a discussion raised at the 2015 TEI-C Business Meeting (see minutes), the issue of whether we should allow individuals who are offered a 1-time, free annual membership to vote for Council members. EP shared with the Board an email sent as a follow-up from a concerned member of the TEI Community. The concerned member feels that the new member benefit (one-time, free individual membership) offered to workshop participants as part of TEI-approved workshops may not be knowledgeable enough about the TEI Community to vote.

PW echoes Julia Flanders point made at the 2015 Business Meeting that we should be inclusive and that though some of these people may be new TEI members they are not necessarily new to the TEI Community.

SM: Perhaps that the concern is that people will cast their vote randomly. But those people are likely not voting at all.

EP suggests that we leave voting as-is and review the membership/voting patterns after this full year (2015) now that JU is able to categorize these one-time memberships in Wild Apricot.

In related news, EP reports that she and others have negotiated with SyncroSoft a two month (as opposed to 1 month) license for Oxygen for those who participate in TEI-approved workshops so that workshop participants have some time to continue exploring TEI adoption post-workshop. EP will send a formal proposal to SyncroSoft about this.

JU: Do we need to centralize that information?

EP agrees that we need a mechanism to manage benefits to workshop participants with the workshop coordinator. One way to do this is to use the registration capability through Wild Apricot to manage this workflow. This would fall under the revised role of the Membership Coordinator.

Nomination procedures; Ballots procedures

How to manage the nomination process to minimize and ideally safeguard against errors and oversights? EP noted that we had over 40 nominations this year.

The Board discussed procedures for both nomination and submission for the ballot. One way we can do this is by automating as much of this workflow as possible using something like Google Forms.

We would have a Nomination Form that would at a minimum include the name and email address of the nominee, their suggested role (Board, Council or TAPAS Advisory Board) and the name of the nominator. Once the Nomination Form is submitted, ideally an email (i.e., form letter) would be triggered to the nominee that would invite the nominee to formally accept or decline the nomination (through a URL?). If a nomination is accepted, the prospective candidate will be presented with a submission form, which will include a field for entering a brief bio and candidate statement along with identification of the governing body (Board, Council and/or TAPAS Advisory Board). As submissions are received, the nomination spreadsheet should be updated for the most current recordkeeping. At various points, the Nominating Committee would reference the nomination spreadsheet to issue reminders or follow-up with individuals.

Even if only part of this process is automated, something needs to be implemented before the next election cycle (late Spring/early Summer). Improving the nomination and ballot submission procedures is under the purview of the Nominating Committee.

Election Calendar

This part of the discussion resulted in lots of back and forth including a proposal to redo a vote, which was seconded.

Factors complicating this discussion included: exploring possibility of face-to-face meeting for the outgoing and incoming Board members to ensure continuity, minimizing the stress and possible oversights of last minute voting, informing newly elected TEI-C representatives with enough lead time that they are able to attend the TEI-C Conference and Council and Board meetings even if costs are not covered or minimally subsidized, and the impact of changing the election calendar for the Council.

Many Board members favored ending the election sometime before the annual Conference and Members’ Meeting. Currently, elected members are announced at the Business Meeting, which usually occurs on the last day of the Conference. It was noted that the ByLaws would need to be updated and approved if we change the election calendar, which based on a calendar year (new members officially join the governing bodies in January).

Discussions started on two separate but related proposals: 1) hold elections earlier in the year ahead of the Conference and 2) consider Board transition earlier in the year as well.

The Council doesn’t necessarily object to moving up the election cycle, but would prefer to keep transition close to the end of the year. The Board entertained an earlier transition so that it doesn’t take a whole year for Board members to meet face-to-face to facilitate a smoother transition (the Council meets twice a year, the Board only once a year).

JU: If we push the election back a month, the last minute requests to vote will not be an issue. If we elect people at end of September, will give people time to overlap in the Council. We could then invite new Board members to participate as non-voting guests at the Conference and Board Meeting.

EP is not comfortable having old and new members paid by the TEI-C because it goes against the spirit of streamlining the Board. EP also felt that voting should not happen during the summer months (July and August). This will be a problem next year when the Conference is scheduled for September so voting needs to occur more than a month before the conference to not overlap with summer months.

MM feels strongly that the election should be settled before the Conference. He also stresses that it’s important that the Board overlap.

MD and PW voiced that it is important for new Board Members to get integrated and caught up somehow whether that’s done as part of an in-person meeting or some other way.

JU: In favor as Treasurer and willing to support travel for new Board members.

EP: If we have an election much earlier, then there’s too much overlap.

SM felt that the adjoining Council Meeting and Conference was strenuous, but overall fruitful. He believes the Council will continue to meet adjacent to the Conference. This scheduling is advantageous for Conference attendees curious about Council work since the Council sets aside time for an open invitation to the Community to witness and learn about their work.

JU presents another option. Leave the election timing as-is though have the election end by the first day of the conference to minimize last minute voting frenzy, and for Board Members that are elected and happen to be present at the Conference, the TEI-C will cover fees, within reason, for changing flights and extra lodging so that newly elected Board members could participate in the meeting.

EP addresses the fundamental issue at-hand, which is we need a system in place much like the Council’s mentorship model for incoming Board members.

EP suggests keeping the current election calendar to facilitate Council overlap.

MD suggests that we announce election results at the start of the Conference to provide more time for meeting new people and overlap.

[Discussion about the “theater” of unveiling the election results at the Business Meeting. Some feel it is unnecessary and others appreciate the anticipation. NH confirms that OpaVote could be configured to not alert folks once voting is closed. EP mentioned that 128 votes were cast in this election.]

JU suggests advancing discussion by itemizing the issue and perhaps voting on each issue separately:

  • Close election at least a month before the Conference versus closing elections on the first day of the Conference
  • Board members who are elected and happen to be at the conference; TEI-C will cover the extra day costs to facilitate in-person meeting

EP presents the first vote on the length of the election. The Board unanimously passes that the election cycle should remain open for at least one month.

EP presents the second vote of the election end date. The election should end:

  • First day of conference: 1 vote
  • At least one month before the conference: 3 vote; 1 abstention

Discussions continue around mentoring newly elected Board and Council members. Newly elected Board members who are present at the TEI Conference will be invited to attend the Board meeting as non-voting members.

JU proposes an additional vote that elections should not run the month of August.

MB feels that we are over-complicating the issue. Is the point of changing the election calendar to encourage overlap and face-to-face meetings? Is it to streamline the election process?

Discussions about possibly splitting the election for Council and Board ensue. Most felt that the Council is working well and we should not disrupt their election cycle. We return to discussing subsidizing newly elected Board Members who happen to be present at the Conference – an extra day subsidy.

PW re-opens the vote on account that voting on discrete parts of the issues may have made earlier votes unnecessary or irrelevant. Especially after it was decided that that newly elected Board members could be subsidized to attend the Board meeting IF they happen to be present at the Conference.

EP puts forth a new proposal for voting: Leave the election calendar as-is, but announce the results by end of first day of conference, focus on ensuring mentoring models are in place for newly elected Board and Council members, and that travel subsidies will be offered to newly elected members who happen to be at the Conference to participate in official meetings, schedule permitting.

Four board members voted in favor; 1 opposed.

Scheduling the Election of the Chair

Bylaws indicate that the Secretary will run the Election for Chair in January. The new Board members will elect their new Chair and MD as Secretary of the Board will run this internal election of Chair based on procedural documentation.


The Board revisited the existing roles of Board members in light of proposed updated roles and the creation of an appointed Membership Secretary.


The role of Secretary seems to be defined properly in the Bylaws. Procedural documentation needs to be updated to provide the Secretary with guidance on how to document decisions made outside of meetings. The Secretary serves as the Vice Chair of the Board in all contexts – not just meetings, but also in activities that may require additional help or guidance.

Membership Secretary

We recapped the requirements for the newly imagined role of Membership Secretary discussed at-length above. The position will be appointed and therefore serve as a non-voting member of the Board with a minimum three year commitment. At least 6 months notice is required as part of stepping down to allow sufficient handover and training time. The Membership Secretary will take on more discreet, day-to-day membership management responsibilities and will assist in the running of the elections.

EP asked the Board to vote on the creation of this new Membership Secretary role. The Board unanimously approved this new position.


We discussed that the Treasurer’s duties (another appointed role) need to be clearly detailed in an internal document. JU will work on this. Like the Membership Secretary, the Treasurer will also serve a minimum of 3 years with 6 months notice when stepping down.

Next we discussed with the Board should create an Internationalization Officer role for the Board. This person would be part of the TEI-C Website Task Force and the jTEI Advisory Board. They would also liaise with the Council. At this point, it is unclear whether we need to create a special position, but we do need to investigate sustainable ways to support internationalization.

MD will review the TEI-C Bylaws in light of strengthening existing roles and adding new roles. MD will propose revisions to the Board for their review.

Meeting adjourned at 16:45.