This Governance Policy, along with related policies, denotes the makeup of WikiEducator's Board of Directors, how Board members are selected, what their scope of activity is, and related issues.
The "Interim Advisory Board" was so named in the sense that it was appointed rather than elected so that some community representation would be possible until a formal board could be elected and constituted by the community. While Wayne Mackintosh applied a set of "justifiable" criteria to inform the composition of the Interim Board - this was very much a unilateral choice without community consultation - so it would not have been appropriate to call it WikiEducator's Board of Directors.
Commonwealth of Learning Expectations
The Commonwealth of Learning supports a community governance model for WikiEducator. The board should represent the interests of the WikiEducator community.
The Commonwealth of Learning will "delegate" full authority and self-governance to the board. Their role is fiduciary at this time, namely to shepherd the establishment of a community governance structure. The Commonwealth of Learning funds the infrastructure of WikiEducator to facilitate the development of a free content curriculum. The Commonwealth of Learning would like to achieve the following objectives with the establishment of the WikiEducator board:
- Preservation and promotion of the community values listed on the WikiEducator main page
- Regional representation of Commonwealth member states
- Gender parity
- Transparent development of all processes and policies - simply stated - they must be developed in the open wiki.
- The appropriate mix between professional skills and community elected officials.
- The evolution of a community focused on development needs and priorities.
- A governance structure that promotes the Commonwealth values of democracy, human rights, good citizenship and good governance.
Those who pay the piper call the tune
COL is funded by voluntary contributions from Commonwealth governments - therefore we are obliged to promote Commonwealth interests. For example, COL could not fund a board meeting to be held in a non-commonwealth country. On the other hand, as a free content initiative every country is free to participate in content development. In fact we have many non-commonwealth projects in WikiEducator.
My proposal to overcome this challenge is to invite another international agency to co-fund the technical infrastructure of WikiEducator. My view is that UNESCO is the most logical agency for this role. I'm currently exploring options and sound boarding these ideas with colleagues at UNESCO. COL has recently signed an MOU with UNESCO and WikiEducator is specified as an area of collaboration.
Board of Directors
- How many people should comprise the board? The interim board has nine people. Is that a good number to keep?
- How long should a Board member's term of office be?
- How should we approach Commonwealth of Learning expectations that may modify the composition of the Board, e.g., gender parity, regional distribution?
- What should the threshold be for nominations? Can anyone simply sign up during a nomination period? If not, why not? What qualifications should nominees have? Any particular citizenship? Minimum age? Should the entire Board be elected at once, or should terms be staggered? If staggered, how will the initial elected Board be selected?
- Who is eligible to vote? Should it simply be open to anyone who has created an account on WikiEducator? Should there be a threshold of number of edits made, as with WMF?
- Once a set of nominees are finalized, are they all selected at once? Will voters have one vote, or will they have more than one so as to support multiple nominees?
- Sir John is our Patron. Should this position be somehow denoted in policy (if not regarding him personally the position itself)?
- Should the position of Patron have ex-officio status on the board?
- Should the position of Patron also be that of an honorary advisor?
Should the Board appoint an Executive Director capable of making day-to-day decisions? If so should this position be described in this policy or does it warrant its own?