Board Meeting Minutes: January 28, 2012


January 28, 2012, 15:05 UTC

PRESENT: Francesca Coppa, Ira Gladkova, Julia Beck, Kristen Murphy, Naomi Novik, Nikisha Sanders .

ABSENT: Jenny Scott-Thompson.




  1. Strategic plan update: none
  2. DMCA proceedings: Francesca reports an upcoming news post promoting the EFF’s proposal (found under and ongoing work on the OTW’s own testimony.
  3. Proposal on the formation of a Grants committee: no news yet.
  4. Research on server hosting: the Board agrees to Systems looking into a new hosting service committed to defending fair use/free speech rights. Concerns about what this might mean for “owning the servers” were noted; the agreement concerns preliminary research only.
  5. Appreciation: Julia will write to thank Volunteers committee for the (Still) Willing To Serve drives and their work during the term break; Kristen will write to AD&T thanking them for the latest release.
  6. Workgroups: Ira brings up the matter of Content Policy committee reforming into a work group, which requires a clear definition of “work group”. Julia and Ira are to collaborate with VolCom on this. Until then, Content Policy will remain a committee.
  7. Organization-wide meetings: Julia presents a rough outline of a possible new format and will create a writeboard with an example outline and possible February meeting dates. The Board discusses inviting volunteers to help organize the meeting, but agrees that this should not replace Board member hosts and a strong general Board presence at the org-wide.
  8. Website redesign: Kristen answers questions about the roadmap and clarifies that the upgrade to Drupal 7 and redesign will be a ground-up change, including revision of information architecture and content.


  1. Chairs and staff:
    • The remaining committee chairs are confirmed, concluding the chairs discussion.
    • VolCom is currently distributing the list of potential staffers to chairs.
  2. Work groups: Apart from Content Policy, Vidding and the planned cross-committee Documentation group are brought up as potential candidates for work group status.
  3. Committee liaisons:
    • The pros and cons of liaising with committees unfamiliar to the Board member are discussed. Building relationships of trust with diverse committees, and fostering exchange of experiences, preventing knowledge lock-in and the opportunity to familiarize oneself with different parts of the organization are contrasted with considerations of each committee’s own preferences, increased workload, ramp-up time, and potential lack of expertise or affinity.
  4. “Reverse liaising” is discussed, which would mean each committee appoints a liaison to the Board who reports on the committee’s work and acts as in-meeting expert. There are concerns about the feasibility of the idea because of the added demands on committee’s time and womanpower.
    • Concerns are noted about a close relationship between chair and Board liaison potentially excluding both the rest of the committee and other chairs. While facilitating cross-communication is part of a liaison’s job, they should take care not to substitute for communication among chairs; in order to be visible and approachable to all staff, liaisons are encouraged to attend committee meetings and share non-confidential information across mailing lists rather than personal e-mail.
    • To advance the liaison discussion, each Board member will indicate their preferences and additional thoughts in a Writeboard by next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 17:25 UTC.

Minutes approved by the Board on 23rd February 2012.

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