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

James Cummings James.Cummings at oucs.ox.ac.uk
Wed Sep 21 13:06:59 EDT 2011

John, (CC'ed tei-council)

Because I found it difficult to abide by John's plea for brevity 
(though I've tried)... I have put my answers in a blog post:



On 20/09/11 19:54, John A. Walsh wrote:
> Dear James,
> Please see the message below from TEI Board Chair John Unsworth. He is
> requesting that candidates for the Board and Council, and continuing
> members of the Board and Council, address some questions on strategic
> issues related to the TEI. These responses will be shared with the TEI
> community, along with candidate statements, in advance of the upcoming
> elections. We hope to have everything posted very soon, so we would
> appreciate if you could get your responses to me by the end of the
> week, or Monday at the latest. You may send your responses directly to
> me.
> Thank you again for your ongoing service to the TEI community.
> Sincerely,
> John Walsh, on behalf of the TEI Nominations Committee
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: John Unsworth<john.m.unsworth at gmail.com>
> Date: Sun, Sep 18, 2011 at 6:59 PM
> Subject: [tei-board] questions for candidates and continuing committee members
> To: TEI Board<tei-board at lists.village.virginia.edu>
> Cc: TEI Council<tei-council at lists.village.virginia.edu>
> Folks,
> 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

Dr James Cummings, InfoDev,
Computing Services, University of Oxford

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