First Council Meeting

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Date/Time: beginning 0000 UTC on Saturday 18 October 2008 and continuing for ten calendar days unless extended or adjourned.

Location: Location changed to selected subpages of this page due to technical difficulties with WE's Moodle installation.

Objective: To action tasks for the establishment of the full WikiEducator Council and preparations for the first full meeting of Council.

Agenda: See final agenda below

Pre-meeting discussions: See below including relevant links


  1. I'm Steve Foerster, and I am present for this meeting. --SteveFoerster 19:59, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
  2. I'm Randy Fisher - --Randy Fisher 20:00, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
  3. I'm Wayne Mackintosh -- --Wayne Mackintosh 20:36, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
  4. Valerie Taylor here --Vtaylor 21:55, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
  5. Leighblackall 22:20, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
  6. Pankaj Khare available till 24th October 2008.--Pankaj 06:56, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
  7. Vincent Kizza--Vkizza 11:36, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
  8. Bronwyn Hegarty--bron 21:28, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
  9. Günther Osswald 09:43, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  10. --minhaaj 18:35, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  11. I am Ken Udas --kenudas
  12. --Victor P. K. Mensah 18:03, 22 October 2008 (UTC) is in attendance.
  13. Savithri -- savi 18:14, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  14. brent simpson 23:52, 28 October 2008 (UTC)


Below is the Agenda with items as sub headings. Discussion and actions are noted under the sub headings. Motions as follows:

To table a motion, please create a subpage of this page with the complete text of the motion you are tabling and add a link to it in the Links to Motions and Votes section above. Each page should have four sections:

  1. The text of the motion itself.
  2. A section in which other Council members may second the motion.
  3. A section for discussion of the motion.
  4. A section for Council members to register votes of approval, disapproval, or abstention.

Please do not modify the text of a motion that has been tabled! If you wish to suggest a change to the language of a motion, please table a motion to amend as a subpage of the page for that motion and direct the Council's attention to it in the relevant discussion section.

Please see the Motion of Confidence for an example of this format.

Point of information: Will we be following Robert's rules of order? I'm wondering about the need for deliberation by the elected members prior to the formulation of the text for the motion itself. Usually debate cannot begin until the motion is stated by the Chair. --Wayne Mackintosh 23:18, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Wayne's point is a valid one. I was hoping that a move for members to cast their vote or even to discuss first should be made by the chair before any action can take place. Legally, this may be taken as the chair having certified that the motion and its secondment are in order, and that, it SPEAKS to the AGENDA ITEM. We may be able to forgo this as our first time or because its Wiki ... but that brings me to a substantive point:
  • I will suggest, chair, that sections should be created under EACH AGENDA ITEM, where After your breif description of the item, members can now propose thier motions. It looks like we may be proposing or responding to motions which may not be necesarily related to the items of the AGENDA for the meeting (although i dont beleive that has happened yet). --Victor P. K. Mensah 18:49, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
I understand your point, but it's clear that unless the matter of the composition of the Council and related issues with the Governance Policy are first resolved, no other matters on the agenda will be able to be properly addressed. Besides, as this is our first meeting, once we're called to order everything else is New Business, and what we're focused on right now seems to qualify. --SteveFoerster 17:44, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Mr Chair, despite the fact that this is not the first COUNCIL MEETING, it is s meeting. We thus have an agenda for our discussions here. Despite the fact that several people may have issues relating to Governance Policy, etc., i beleive we need to ensure that we acheive a productive outcome by FIRST going through all the items of the agenda we all set for this meeting. Motions, i beleive, should thus be raised under, and speak to, SPECIFIC agenda items instead of being raised perhaps arbitrarily. --Victor P. K. Mensah 08:23, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Motions and Votes

Active: Please Discuss and Vote

None. This meeting has adjourned.

On Hold

None. This meeting has adjourned.


Not approved


Failed for lack of second


  • MOTION WITHDRAWN IN FAVOR OF THE ALTERNATIVE MOTION: Further consultation re the policy (see below). Finalise the Policy: This motion is to reopen the consultation period for the Policy for Council and address elements in it that have generated considerable concern for elected members and Wikieducator Users. (Note: This motion has been reintroduced, and is only listed here for completeness.)


This agenda was taken from the Draft Agenda as well as original items added on the early stages of this page's development

Note: All draft documents are to be developed in the wiki

What are the needs of WikiEducator

What are WikiEducator's priority needs for the next two years?

  • Discussion of the next phase of WE implementation - WikiEducator 3.0
  • Financial sustainability
  • Operational maturity (our current hosting environment should be considered our biggest technical risk) -- Peter Rawsthorne 18:16, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
  • More content
    Should WE focus on any specific subject areas? Are there any practical limits to consider when encouraging addition of content --Vtaylor 22:23, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  • More users of WE content (increase in reuse and localization)
    What are the needs of potential adoptions? Are these being addressed adequately? --Vtaylor 22:23, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Further development of (and community participation in) quality improvement initiatives -- Peter Rawsthorne 18:16, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
    Quality of content? Other? --Vtaylor 22:23, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Consistent use of categories, templates and WE "best practices" -- Peter Rawsthorne 18:16, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Easier use of technology for non-technical people
    What is problematic for them now? Interface design? Wiki application functionality? Documentation? Training? Please elaborate --Vtaylor 22:13, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Inclusiveness toward speakers of languages other than English
    What are the barriers now? What can be done to accommodate other languages? --Vtaylor 22:23, 22 October 2008 (UTC).How can we avoid a Babylonian chaos?--White Eagle 07:06, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Greater participation from K12 -- Peter Rawsthorne 18:16, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
    K12 as learners? K12 content creators? What special needs do they have, if any? --Vtaylor 22:23, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  • We need to have a general understanding of the STrategic focus/plan for WE as orignially set out by the WE project Management team. --Victor P. K. Mensah 14:39, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
  • We need documented and followed approaches to changing the WE code base. -- Peter Rawsthorne 15:08, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Other thoughts?

Working group to draft a governance manual

  • Target tabling of the first draft for the inaugural AGM (Annual General Meeting)?
  • Should the governance manual include role descriptions and responsibilities -- or do we need separate job descriptions? (Idea posted by Randy)

Discussion about personal vs. community objectives

  • Opportunity to check for understanding within the Council - What do you want from WikiEducator? Is that in line with the objectives, vision and mission of the WE founders and current WE Council? What, if anything, needs to change for these to be in alignment?
  • Is this discussion useful and/or necessary at this time? Were the problems or concerns that prompted some of the previous discussions resolved to participants' satisfaction? Are there adequate procedures and safeguards in place so these discussions could be orderly and objective in the future?

Discussion about Code of Conduct

  • Discussion about the remo Randy Fisher 01:53, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Cursory analysis of the election results

The democratic process has achieved a good result. There is a good geographic spread:

  • Asia -- 3
  • Pacific - 4
  • Africa - 2
  • Europe - 1
  • North America & Caribbean 5

There is a good spread between developing and industrialised countries.

The WE Council is fortunate to have four experienced woman leaders among our elected members. However, there is a male gender bias on our elected Council. The Council will need to think proactively about nominations -- preferably woman leaders with experience in education and a commitment to the peer collaboration model of OER when filling the skills gaps on Council. The Council should consider the need for a dedicated Gender officer to help our community in promoting gender equality.

Discussion about nominated members

A motion has been made with further discussion here relating to this issue

Looking at the composition of the elected members -- the following gaps should be considered:

  1. Expertise in managing large open projects -- eg someone from the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). WikiEducator has a good track record in collaborating with the WMF (eg wiki-print and Kaltura). WE should foster and promote ongoing collaboration among our respective projects.
  2. Legal expertise, eg someone from the Berkman Centre for Internet and Society @ Harvard, ?
  3. Strategically the relationships between OER and the publishing industry will become increasingly important, and it would be important to have someone with relevant experience in educational publishing;
  4. Copyright and licensing will continue to be a challenge in the OER arena. The Executive Director of CC-Learn could add considerable value and expertise to our team. (Assuming of course that he'd be willing to serve.)
  5. The Council is very thin on representation of the OER interests in the school (K12) sector.
  6. What about the other big OER projects that subscribe to the free cultural works definition, eg Connexions? The OER movement needs to figure out better ways to work together.
  7. Consider candidates who stood for the election but did not make the final list of 15 (Suggested by Valerie)
  8. Consider candidates outside of the Commonwealth --Randy Fisher 20:06, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  9. Consider candidates who have significant expertise in managing / operating / navigating within educational institutions (this is critical, since one of WE's goals is to obtain 1 or 2 FTEs within institutions to develop curricula --Randy Fisher 18:20, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Thoughts on the procedure to choose appointed members

(Comment.gif: Please also see the Discussions taking place on the Discussion page (Liquid Threads))

What I think the policy says we are obligated to do Since the Draft Open Community Governance Policy does not call for a special procedure, it can be assumed that the elected members are to select their appointed colleagues by normal means of resolution. In other words, at any meeting, an elected member can move to appoint a new member, and if seconded then the resolution should be voted on as would any other, with the majority position prevailing. That's it, it's simple.

Note that while the Draft Open Community Governance Policy calls for appointed members, it does not necessarily require ten, but specifies a minimum of four and a maximum of ten. In this, there seems to be no prohibition against appointing a few members to fill obvious gaps and meet the threshold, and leave spaces to add others should it later prove advantageous. Thus, from my reading of the policy, I believe it is incumbent on the elected members to move forward with four appointed members at the first meeting, but at that point the Council can be considered fully constituted, and the other appointed positions can be filled at the same time, later, or not at all whilst still fulfilling the policy's mandate.

Steve, that's my reading to. Once we have 4 nominated members -- that's a fully constituted Council. At the same time nothing precludes us from nominating 10 members right from the start. Setting up the first Council was always going to be difficult -- We have an opportunity to bring on board the best skills we can taking into account the requirement we will be facing in Phase 3 of our strat plan. I think its far better to establish a team from the start than go through repeated induction processes for members that are nominated piecemeal. It shouldn't be too hard to find 10 nominated members, particularly if we also include the candidates who did not make the "top" 15. --Wayne Mackintosh 01:49, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

What I personally think we also ought to do In the interest of openness, I believe that those who intend to make a motion to appoint a member should do so here, ahead of time, so that debate on their merit can occur amongst the Council and the community prior to the first meeting.

Hi Steve -- I personally support the notion of an open process where members of our Community (outside of the elected council) also have the opportunity to put forward nominations for consideration and decision by the elected members. We also need to think practically about the process. There are potentially privacy issues --- for example we cannot openly discuss one nominee above another without their consent. What I'd like to propose is a simple nomination process, where, for example:
  • two WikiEducator members are required to confirm a valid nomination (this can be done via private email, conversation or phone call)
  • Confirmation of availability and acceptance of the nomination by the individual concerned prior to being published on the wiki. We must give nominees the right of refusal.
  • A requirement for WikiEducators nominating folk to state their reasons for the nomination -- We nominate Ms ABC because ........ This way council will have a better idea why the community has made a nomination --Wayne Mackintosh 22:48, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

I also personally would prefer to look first to those candidates who stood for election but did not meet the threshold, as well as to those who administered the election. I think we should look outside the community if that's what it takes to fill a real need such as technical or legal expertise, but I do not think we should appoint members to our governing Council solely to foster alliances with other organisations -- an honorary Advisory Panel would do that just as well. --SteveFoerster 22:02, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree -- appointing folk to foster alliances should not be the basis for nomination. We need to fill real gaps that will serve the best interests of WE --Wayne Mackintosh 22:48, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I can't see why we need to bring expertise in as Nominated Council Members. We certainly need consultative expertise when specific issues and agendas arise, but why do we need such consultants on Council and without democratic election? It seems to me that we should aim to retain flexibility in who we consult with for decisions we make because we can't possibly know what issues or proposals we are to face in the future (can we?). The only reason I can see is if we have a very low engagement level in the Council - at which point I would refer to Steve's suggestion to look first at other candidates from the election.
The Governance Policy we are referring to has always been in draft, and up until now has not really had the input of more than 2 people, more obviously 1. Now that there are elected council members, it makes sense to me that the first task of those people be to develop the Policy from its current Draft status, to a final agreeable version to guide the first term. Anything short of that - or implementing a disagreeable Draft Policy as though it must be final strikes me as suspect conduct. We now have an opportunity to truly develop a policy in a collaborative way because we now have a number of people elected and with responsibility and perspective of this Policy. Before the elections, it is evident that we did not have anywhere near an adequate engagement level in the consultation period of the Draft Policy, nor anyone with perspective on it. If it is final, why is it still called Draft? --Leighblackall 21:16, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Just my words Leigh but you aren't alone on this. I have repeatedly mentioned the lack of rationale for nominated council members. Now that we have enough support on this, we should remove the policy where it states that we need nominated members. I think elected council has enough members with pertinent skills to handle council affairs appropriately. Lets modify the policy page. --minhaaj 22:05, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
The Draft Policy is called because it is to be finalised by fully constituted Council. Fully constituted Council is 15 elected and 10 nominated members. Only after that the word Draft can be removable.--Pankaj 06:53, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Pankaj. savi 18:53, 22 October 2008 (UTC)