Software Carpentry Foundation Interim Board Meeting: Sep 16, 2014
- 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
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- Do we have a governance document yet for stuff like voting, budget, throwing people out, etc.?
- 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?
- 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)
- in the center:
- 1.0 FTE for project management/overall coordination/instructor training
- 1.0 FTE for curriculum development
- workshop coordinators (funded by those organizations)
Dialogue & Discussion
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