[tei-council] questions for candidates and continuing committee members

John Unsworth john.m.unsworth at gmail.com
Sun Sep 18 18:59:15 EDT 2011


After conversations with each of the TEI Board members, the chair of the Council, the previous Chair of the TEI Board, and comments collected from TEI-L and Twitter, I have developed a series of questions that I believe reflect some substantive strategic issues that should be addressed by candidates for election to the Board and the Council, and by continuing members of the Board and Council.  I will ask John Walsh to forward these to candidates, and to collect and post the responses from both candidates and continuing members on the TEI web site for the election, since he's already chairing the nominating committee.  

It is not necessary for every person to address every question: it's fine to say that you have no opinion on a question, or that you haven't made up your mind yet, but if you do have opinions, please express them, in order to give TEI members a sense of what their vote might mean, both in terms of adding new voices to these committees and in terms of the context into which those voices would be added. 

I take it as a given that these are all questions on which reasonable people might differ.  Also, I note that I have tried not to over-specify the questions in  away that would suggest paths forward on these issues.  For example, the first question asks whether the TEI should cease to collect membership fees and cease to pay for meetings: that formulation allows you to say yes or no, but it also allows you to suggest, for example, how our collection of fees might change, if it continues.  The exception to this strategy is the last question, which asks you to choose one among several priorities as the most important.  By choosing one, you are not saying the others are unimportant, but I think it would be useful to have a sense of top priorities.  Finally, let me suggest that, for those questions you choose to answer, you keep your answers as brief as possible--a paragraph at most.  

Thanks very much,

John Unsworth


1) Should the TEI cease to collect membership fees, and cease to pay for meetings, publications, services, etc.?

2) Assuming paid membership continues. should institutional members have a choice between paying in cash and paying by supporting the travel of their employees to meetings, or committing time on salary to work on TEI problems?

3) Should the TEI have individual members (paying or not) who can vote to elect people to the board and/or council?

4) Should the email discussions of the TEI Board be publicly accessible?

5) Should the Board and the Council be combined into a single body, with subsets of that group having the responsibilities now assigned to each separate group?

6) Assuming we continue to collect funds, we will still have limited resources.  Given that, in the next two years, which of the following should be the TEI's highest priority? Pick only one:
	a) providing services that make it easy for scholars to publish and use TEI texts online
	b) providing workshops, training, and other on-ramp services that help people understand why they might want to use TEI and how to begin to do so
	d) encouraging the development of third-party tools for TEI users
	d) ensuring that large amounts of lightly but consistently encoded texts (e.g., TEI Tite) are generated and made publicly available, perhaps in a central repository or at least through some centrally coordinated portal
	e) developing a roadmap for P6 that positions the TEI in relation to other standards (HTML5, RDF, etc.)
	f) tackling hard problems not addressed in other encoding schemes, in order to maximize the expressive and interpretive power of TEI

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