Some lessons from WMF - how about a layered model of governance?
The idea of fifteen elected and ten appointed Council members sounds like a great solution for not only ensuring geographic and gender representation but also that all relevant skill sets are available. As an aside, this reminds me of Dominica's House of Assembly (parliament), which while unicameral has twenty-one elected Members and also nine appointed Senators.
So an Executive Committee instead of an Executive Director? That might be better. I read the Wikimedia Foundation bylaws, though, and don't see that aspect of the system. Do you mean that the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer sometimes act together as a unit?
One thing, if the only experienced Council members can be appointed to the Executive Committee, how will the Executive Committee be initially constituted?
Since fifteen is divisible by three and not two:
- Should we have three year terms for elected members and have an initial election where all fifteen are elected, with the sixth through tenth place winners earning two year terms and the eleventh through fifteenth place winners earning one year terms; or
- Should we have fourteen Council members, seven of which are elected to two year terms and seven of which are elected to one year terms?
In retrospect, we should have started a WikiEducator:Bylaws page rather than a WikiEducator:Governance_Policy page!
WMF does not have an Executive Committee. When I say "lessons from WMF", I mean both things that do and don't work in Wikimedia governance.
One thing I've noticed as Board member is just that it has become very difficult to make basic decisions with a Board of 7 members. You have to do a lot of follow-through to get people to comment & participate. And the lack of clear specialization / delegation in the current WMF Board often means that everyone needs to comment on everything. When we do specialize and delegate, it usually works reasonably well.