Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-10-15/Board meeting

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The Wikipedia Signpost

Board meeting held, budget approved

By Ral315, 15 October, 2007

A board meeting was held over the weekend of October 6-8, and a summary of the meeting was released this week by Foundation Chair Florence Devouard, taken partly from the meeting minutes taken by Secretary Erik Möller. Among the topics covered included the foundation's organizational chart, various foundation policies, fundraising strategies, the process of hiring of a new Executive Director, board membership, a new foundation treasurer, relationships with chapters, and the approval of the foundation's first official budget since 2005.

The Fiscal Year 2007-2008 budget, built by accounting/auditing consultant Mona Venkateswaran, was approved by the Board on Sunday, October 7. The budget is tentative, and given the difficulty of planning such a budget for a growing organization, is likely to contain some margin of error. The budget has not yet been published publicly.

Among the policies enacted by the Board at this meeting was the Travel Approval Policy, which formalizes the requirements governing the approval of travel expenses incurred on behalf of trustees and the executive director. In short, travel must be authorized in writing prior to the making of travel arrangements. Another policy enacted, the Code of Conduct Policy, covers basic obligations required of the Board and all Foundation employees. Finally, the Donor Privacy Policy was formally approved; while the policy has been in effect since December, it was never formally approved by the Board due to an oversight.

A subcommittee was created to help aid in the search for a new executive director; this subcommittee would, after hiring an ED, monitor and report on the director's actions, and, if necessary, be responsible for firing the director. Devouard, Jan Bart de Vreede, and Kat Walsh will form the initial membership of the committee.

Regarding board membership, the Board discussed extending the term length of appointed members, but did not change the length, which remains at one year. Jimmy Wales and Jan-Bart de Vreede were reappointed to one-year terms ending December 2008, while appointee Michael Davis chose not to seek reappointment. Officers were also reelected, with Devouard remaining Chair, Möller remaining Executive Secretary, and Jan-Bart de Vreede remaining Vice Chair. The position of Treasurer, currently held by Davis, was not filled while the Board discusses a new appointee, potentially one with financial experience. The Treasurer Search will be led by a workgroup, with Devouard, Möller, and Walsh as members, and the job description will be published publicly soon.

One idea discussed but not implemented was the suggestion that a delay of 6 months should be in effect before a Foundation staff member can run for board candidacy, and a delay before a board member can become a staff member. This was briefly discussed after Danny Wool resigned from the office in March, and stood for candidacy in the June board elections (Wool finished in 6th, 37 votes shy of the third and final seat).

The Board discussed how relationships with Chapters should be handled. Four options were presented, with varying degrees of support, from informal relationships to a formal business relationship with revenue sharing. They agreed that the discussion should be postponed, and also agreed to cancel the December Board/Chapters retreat until more discussion was held.

A discussion was also held regarding the Advisory Board, though major discussion was postponed until the next major board meeting. Other topics discussed briefly included a discussion on trademarks with Legal Coordinator Mike Godwin, a discussion regarding fundraising strategies with Larry Biddle, and a discussion with Ruth-Ellen, a media consultant, on how to deal with intrusive questioning tactics when dealing with journalists.

Also this week:

From the editor — Wikimania 2008 — Board meeting — Two-million Commons — Job openings — CSN closed — Adminbot approved — License changes — WikiWorld — News and notes — In the news — WikiProject report — Features and admins — Technology report — Arbitration report

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