Board Meeting Minutes: 14 March 2019

Organization for Transformative Works – Board of Directors

Minutes of the meeting: March 14, 2019, 17:00 UTC


Claire P. Baker
Danielle Strong
Jessie C.
Natalia Gruber


Freja Kalm
Frost The Fox
Jaiden Stark
Violet Hunter

Decisions taken since the last meeting

  • Approved last meeting minutes
  • Approved new staffers for Finance, Translation, Elections, Fanlore, Volunteers & Recruiting, Policy & Abuse, TWC, Communications, Support, Tag Wrangling
  • Approved the updated budget for 2018
  • Approved various expenses related to state filings
  • Approved a quote for the Ruby upgrade from 2.3.4 to 2.5.x
  • Approved the final payment for our 2017 audit.
  • Approved the fundraising goal for the October Drive
  • Approved the payment for additional work hours for the installation of our new server rack
  • Approved the induction of a new Communications chair
  • Approved a new Policy & Abuse policy for dealing with underage users on AO3
  • Approved Legal’s request to sign on an amicus brief in the TVEyes case
  • Approved the implementation plan for the organization’s new internal communication tool.
  • Approved the dates for the April 2019 Drive.
  • Approved the 2017 Annual Report
  • Approved Open Doors’ project to import Zine works
  • Approved the revised Open Doors Memorandum of Understanding Template
  • Approved Legal’s request to submit a response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the MMA/Classics Act released by the Copyright Office
  • Approved Legal’s request to join a Consortium applying to a Horizon 2020 call titled  “Digitisation, Digital Single Market and European culture: New challenges for creativity, intellectual property rights and copyright”

Open Session

This was a Q&A session! No decisions were made, but Board members answered some questions:

  • What does the Secretary do?

Being Secretary is not very different from being a regular Board member. The Secretary simply does more administrative work such as scheduling meetings, and keeping to-do lists and archives in order. They also write up and publish meeting minutes.

  • What decisions are up to board members and what is delegated?

A lot of what we handle are approvals; requests for new staff and for budget, as well as for specific new projects or initiatives that teams want to put on. We also help with the strategic focus of the OTW as a whole and are in charge of top-level decisions: anything that will impact the entire Organization is up to us. That can be things like fundraising goals, contractors etc. That said, we use the full support of our committees to decide, which usually involves at-length discussions with them. They are our experts in their field, and will also often be in charge of implementing decisions, so we want them to have a voice.

  • Do you ever have emergency meetings for things that could impact the org or an entire arm of it?

Yes. There are times when we have to act really fast and that is the only option. About this time last year, we had several as we prepared to bring in the GDPR, to give one rather major example. As time got close, we were meeting with each other and with relevant groups on a very regular basis to make sure everything possible was ready and deployed in time. It’s really not frequent, though! It’s more… crunch times for very specific fires. That said, we try to respond to just about everything we receive within as short a time frame as possible. Most requests to us that are looking for approval are responded to within 24-48 hours.

  • Outside of fires, Board work is not extremely time-intensive. Claire, you chair AO3 Documentation on top of Board, how do you balance the workload?

With Board, one of the biggest workload issues is meetings: we generally meet with one committee or another at least a few times per month, and I try to attend as many as I can. With time zones, no-one is expected to attend everything, as it would be near-impossible. But we try our best. The day-to-day workload for Board is significantly smaller, and usually is just responding to things as they come to my attention, whether that’s revising a note or voting on a budget request. Chairing is generally the opposite; less meetings (though we do have a standing meeting every week!) and more work-heavy. I find that having an organizer is useful to help make sure I’m managing my time well and don’t get too far behind in any one area. But outside of that, I find the different types of work tend to balance each other out well and pretty naturally.

  • Nat, since you’re now well into your first year on term, what are you thinking of it? Is there anything that you didn’t expect?

I think one thing that surprised me is that, as others have mentioned, Board work is not specially time-intensive. I fully expected to spend as much time in Board- related things as I do with committee work. But it’s much more about learning and being aware of what’s happening, and talking to the relevant chairs about it, which has been very interesting so far.

Closed Session

No item

The meeting was adjourned at 18:10 UTC
Minutes approved by the Board on 20/08/2019

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