Current C&B Discussion

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

2013 Discussion

December 20, 2013

1. Develop policy statement on the duration of a working group
The language in the ESIP Federation Constitution concerning a working group is as follows: "VII.3.2 Working Groups shall have a specified task to perform and shall have a finite duration." However, the Working Group we recommended to and accepted by the ExComm will be an ongoing Working Group as the ESIP Commons will be an ongoing activity. We need to come up with a "Policy Statement" that defines how the phrase "finite duration" is to be interpreted. It was deemed easier to create this policy statement instead of amending the Constitution for this kind of change. I would suggest something like. "Regarding item "VII.3.2 Working Groups shall have a specified task to perform and shall have a finite duration." in the ESIP Federation Constitution, the phrase "finite duration" will be interpreted to mean "a duration commensurate with the defined activity or goal of the working group. It is suggested that at some time in the future when a accumulation of modifications to the ESIP Federation Constitution requires that action that the current phrase be changed to reflect this interpretation."

Policy Guidance for Working Groups
When a Working Group is formed the specific tasks it will be addressing and its expected duration should be explicitly stated. If the expected duration is undetermined a maximum of 3 years will be applied. At the end of its stated duration the Working Group is required to apply for renewal from the group that originally called for its formation.

2. The Foundation for Earth Science Board will be considering changes to its bylaws during the Winter meeting but after the ESIP Business meeting. The Bylaws of the Foundation for Earth Science define the number of Foundation Director spots are occupied by ESIP Federation members, and how those board members are selected or identified. Changes to the DC statute governing nonprofit organizations and growth of non-ESIP specific activities within the Foundation for Earth Science are driving the proposed changes.

Proposed Changes
  • The Foundation Board has proposed an increase in the minimum and total number of Directors
  • Minimum number raised from 7 to 9
  • Maximum number raised from 11 to 15
  • The Foundation Board has proposed a reduction of ESIP-specific seats from 6 to 4.
  • Currently, the ESIP Federation has 6 dedicated Board seats as specified in the Foundation's Bylaws.
  • These include the ESIP Federation President, Vice President, Chair of the Finance and Appropriations Committee, and Type I, Type II, and Type III Representatives.
  • In addition, by tradition 5 At-Large Board members currently serve from the ESIP Federation.
  • The Foundation Board has proposed changing how ESIP Federation Directors are chosen.
  • With the changes on the Foundation side being under consideration, the ESIP Assembly must elect 4 representatives to the Foundation Board. In order to not immediately reduce the number of dedicated seats on the Board, we will consider electing 2 additional ESIP Assembly chosen board seats for this initial cycle. Our job is to define the election process during the ESIP Federation Business meeting.

Nominate ESIP members who for position on the Foundation Board - occur during the Assembly Meeting and after the ESIP Election and Type Caucuses
Inform ESIP members about the opportunity to serve on the Foundation Board - Send info to the Assembly Representatives
Carol will draft an email that would come from me to Assembly Representatives identifying the opportunity to serve on the board and some background information. Send out Jan 2.

Collect nominations ahead of time and then take nominations from the floor.
Two rounds of election.
First round full slate to elect 4 representatives
Second round remaining slate for 2 additional representatives.
6 representative will decide who are the 3, 2, and 1 year representatives given that they will be evenly split


In addition to the statutory drivers for these changes, the Foundation for Earth Science was created to advance Earth science data and information on behalf of the ESIP Federation and other organizations that might be able to utilize its services. With the success of the ESIP Federation, the Foundation increasingly is being approached to provide services to other Earth science networks and projects that are interested in a collaborative approach for advancing Earth science data and information. Not all of these activities would like to be members of the ESIP Federation but have complementary activities that strengthen the broader community of Earth science data and information practice. The ESIP Federation would continue to have the *only* dedicated seats on the Foundation Board and would constitute a significant minority interest (at least 25% when Board at full capacity). No other organizations are proposed to have named Foundation Board seats, nor are any anticipated.

April 2013
Report to Executive Committee on ESIP Commons Governance

April 29, 2013

The ESIP Commons has existed for a while but how to govern its operation has been an open question.
A committee has put together a draft Commons Governance Document that has been presented to the ESIP Federation Executive Committee. The text below are the draft minutes from the conversation of the Executive Committee that includes a link to the Draft Governance document. Our job is to look at this document in the context of the Constitution and ByLaws to see where this governance structure fits in, whether is has to be framed into one of the various kinds of structures described there or if there needs to be or should be changes in the constitution and/or bylaws to accomodate it, and in any case what are the steps to have the ESIP Federation vote on any of the proposed steps.

Links to the constitution and bylaws appear on the C&B Home page. I suggest we take a couple of weeks and everyone look at the documents and then lets have a teleconference to discuss the issues and decide next steps.

Draft minutes from Executive Committee concerning ESIP Commons Governance Document
Commons Governance Working Group Report (Governance Document)

The Commons Governance Steering committee established draft guidance. One outcome was to formalize the differentiation of the Commons from other ESIP web assets. The Wiki remains as a collaboration space and is front-forward facing website. The Commons is for final products. The draft guidance included the following:
  • Core principles: (1) Light weight, so that content areas are managed by experts (2) Least restrictive licensing (3) Persistence to access for resources
  • Steering Committee made up of ESIP Type Representatives, Content Area Editors and the ESiP Federation Vice President. Discussion noted that the Steering Committee was to be more like a working group (rather than a cluster).
    • Content area editors - identify experts ensure style
    • Content contributors
    • Admin - Operational/Maintenance
    • Users - viewers of content
    • The Executive Committee modified the draft to replace the Vice President with the Chair of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee.
  • Two license - contributed content micro article/meeting sessions/modules - default is cc-by ; option for public domain - don't have authority to assert copyright.
  • A motion to adopt the draft as modified was put forward by Tamara Ledley and seconded by John Scialdone. There was no additional discussion. The modified document was approved by acclamation.
  • The Constitution and Bylaws Committee was asked to see how the steering committee fits within the ESIP governance Structure.
  • A style guide will be developed with content editors. Will also work through workflows for specific content.

2012 Discussion

June 2012

VII.1.1 ESIP Federation Clusters may be established by any group of ESIP members by reporting the name and activities of the Cluster to the Vice President of the Assembly.

Vice President of the Federation [strike "Assembly"]
technical amendment (nonsubstantive)