Teaching basic lab skills
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Interim Board Meeting: Sep 16, 2014

Software Carpentry Foundation Interim Board Meeting: Sep 16, 2014

Attending

  • NCH: Neil Chue Hong (Software Sustainability Institute) - chair
  • GW: Greg Wilson (Software Carpentry)
  • JB: Jenny Bryan (Univ of British Columbia)
  • CG: Carole Goble (U. Manchester)
  • KH: Katy Huff (UC Berkeley)
  • DI: Damien Irving (University of Melbourne / Research Platforms)
  • AS: Adam Stone (Berkeley Lab)
  • KT: Kaitlin Thaney (Mozilla Science Lab)
  • TT: Tracy Teal (Michigan State / Data Carpentry)
  • DA: David Ascher (Mozilla) - nonvoting
  • JG: Josh Greenberg (Sloan Foundation) - nonvoting

Actions

  • CG: speak with Force11 about how they had overcome issues to do with staffing / taking in money from other countries?
  • DA: elaborate on Eclipse Foundation board structure
  • GW + TT + JG: create a budget for ongoing operations [revised: was originally KH instead of TT]
  • KT: set up spreadsheet to track current budget/resourcing
  • NCH + GW + KH to draft press release and circulate for comments [revised: was originally TT instead of KH]
  • TT + JB: set up repository for tracking grant opportunities and grants submitted
  • Board: circulate proposals for announcement dates (with rationales) by email before Sept 30 meeting so we can vote
  • Board: vote on Sept 30 on (a) wording of press release and (b) announcement date
  • Board: send questions about NumFOCUS to GW by Monday Sept 22
  • e.g., can NumFOCUS be an employer for tax/insurance purposes, or would people be independent contractors paid by NumFOCUS?
  • Board: propose alternatives to 501(c)3 status to mailing list by Wed Sept 24 for discussion
  • Board: circulate proposals for handling funding streams (especially out-of-US contributions) to mailing list for discussion on Sept 30
  • Board: contribute to KT spreadsheet
  • Board: send material to TT for grant repository (past, present, and future)

Summary

  • Introductions

  • Date/time of next meeting
  • Agreed: Sept 30 at 19:30 UTC (audio + Etherpad only)

  • Discussion of timeline
  • What are our preferred dates for:
    • public announcement
    • formalizing legal status
    • reconstituting the board
  • Obvious dates for public announcement include:
    • before Train the Trainers/MozFest in UK (Oct 22-26, 2014)
    • before U. Washington Train the Trainers (Nov 12-14, 2014)
  • General preference was October (ties in with grant cycles)
    • General consensus: earlier is better to avoid confusion in the community and reduce risk of inadvertent disclosure
  • Minimum that needs to be decided before announcement can be made:
    • that the SCF is being created (done)
    • that it has an interim board with representation from organizations and instructors (done)
    • that it will have non-profit status in the US (not decided - see below)
    • mission statement (draft attached for comments)
    • process for existing organizations providing support (turned into governance discussion summarized below)
  • Governance
  • Individual (instructor/contributor) membership: uncontentious
  • Organizational/institutional/funder membership: many issues to resolve
    • Requirements for becoming an organizational member?
    • Does every organization supporting SCF get a board seat? (Could make for an unmanageably large board.)
    • KH: American Nuclear Society uses a percentage bar (so largest N contributors get seats)
    • JG: be careful not to conflate fundraising with governance
    • DI balance of institutional board members vs instructors, institutional not to outnumber instructors
    • NCH: 1/3 institutional, 1/3 instructors, 1/3 appointed is typical recommended UK charitable service foundation arrangement
  • Kinds of boards:
    • Python Software Foundation: large and active (most PSF work done by board members)
    • Mozilla Foundation: smaller; oversight rather than implementation
    • Eclipse Foundation: a large board that works successfully - could be a model in case of "catastrophic success" (DA)
    • Force11
  • Q&A
    • Do we have a governance document yet for stuff like voting, budget, throwing people out, etc.?
    • No
    • Is organizational membership the only way to contribute to Software Carpentry?
    • No: hope/expect people will write us into other grants, sponsor events (e.g., WiSE workshops), etc.
    • Is US 501(c)3 decided on?
    • No, but no other proposals have been made yet
    • Is NumFOCUS decided on?
    • No: GW will gather answers to questions in advance of Sept 30 meeting
    • Alternatives mentioned include Software Freedom Conservancy, a free-standing 501(c)3, a 501(c)6, or going through a university
    • How do people outside the US donate?
    • Unknown
  • Operations
  • What is the core budget needed to operate minimum staff and what are the projections?
    • Action item below: create budget
  • Current effort:
    • Sloan/Mozilla: 1.0 FTE for project lead, 0.75 FTE for workshop coordination, but not all Software Carpentry
    • SSI: 0.5 FTE for workshop coordination, 0.5 to fill in training, plus seed funds for workshops
    • ELIXIR: 1.0 FTE admin plus seed funds for workshops
    • ResBaz: ??? (DI to fill in)
  • Required:
    • in the center:
    • 1.0 FTE for project management/overall coordination/instructor training
    • 1.0 FTE for curriculum development
    • regionally/organizationally:
    • workshop coordinators (funded by those organizations)

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