[tei-council] About encouraging, supporting, and coordinating SIG's

Martin Mueller martinmueller at northwestern.edu
Mon Jun 20 16:59:35 EDT 2011

Dear Colleague,

This is a memo to both the Board and the Council about SIG's, how to
encourage, support, and coordinate them. It is a topic where deliberation
and decision belong both in the Board and the Council. It may be that quite
a few issues straddle those two entities.

I sat in on a SIG discussion at the Council and have had so far inconclusive
discussions about the SIG chair. But I also have begun to wonder whether
from the perspective of a particular SIG a SIG chair is a good thing. By
their very nature SIG's come and go. They differ in their purposes and may
go about their business in different ways. The may not need coordinating,
and they may have little interest in lateral communication, but each will
want access to and support from the Board and the Council. Whether those
goals are helped by another layer of bureaucracy is open to question.

Here is a different and flatter model.  Each SIG should have a 'sponsor' on
the Council, who would also be the co-chair of the SIG.  A SIG reports to
the Council and the Board, with the Council in the lead. Funding requests
come to the Board through the Council.  The Board decides how much to
allocate to SIGs, but the Council ranks particular proposals. This way of
doing business would probably scale comfortably to half a dozen active SIGs,
would give each SIG chair direct access to the chairs of the Council and the
Board, and would, I think, produce better conversation and decision making.

A proposal of this kind can be implemented in several flavours.  I throw it
out here as a starting point for further discussion.

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