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Elections in the Samvera Community

In April 2018, Samvera Partners ratified a list of Recommendations for changes to Governance of the Samvera Community.  Those Recommendations included the institution of elections for seats with Samvera Steering.

Elections for Steering will be held annually for three of nine seats in rotating groups.  The term for each seat is three years with the possibility for one re-election, allowing for a total term of six consecutive years.


What is the Commitment for Steering?

  • On any given week, Steering members dedicate a significant portion of their time to Steering and the Samvera Community.  Depending upon need, a member of Steering may dedicate a minimum of a couple of hours in a week, but may see spikes of up to 10 or 20 hours required for taking on certain issues, attending meetings, etc...
  • Steering requires a commitment to travel to Steering meetings.  Please note that Steering Members are responsible for associated costs of travel as well as their time.  
    • Normally, Steering meets face-to-face 3 times per year
      • 2x associated with other meetings such as Connect and Partners
      • 1x for a stand-alone Steering retreat

What Does Steering Do?

The Steering Group's role is stewardship and central administration of the Community; they are responsible for helping create the structures to see that critical tasks are addressed, and backstopping the Partners' group in case it doesn't fulfill these tasks. So, duties include such things as:

  • creating decision making structures

  • decision making when decisions are not otherwise being made

  • backstopping partners when issues go unaddressed

  • delicate issues handling

  • stewardship and caretaking of the Community as a whole

  • responsibility for providing continuity of the Community”

The Community should be aware that this list is not exhaustive and that Steering may be asked to take on additional tasks depending upon needs of the Community and Partners.  Some of the detailed work listed below is delegated to others. Currently Samvera's Operations Adviser takes on much of the delegated work, but this will switch to Samvera's Community Manager when they are appointed.  The Steering Group will then have the additional task of guiding their work.

  • Regular calls

    • 12 90-minute Steering Group calls (usually one each month)

    • Several additional Finance Subcommittee calls (for subcommittee members)

    • three face to face SG meetings (normally winter retreat + Spring Partners + Connect)

  • Governance

    • Availability on wiki

      • MoU and LoA

    • Partnerships

      • Advice on readiness to become a Partner

      • Advice on Letter of Intent

      • Ongoing mentoring

      • Assessing and guiding applications

      • Maintenance of legal records

      • Maintenance of website and wiki information

      • Monitoring

    • CLAs

      • Maintenance of legal records

      • Management of edge-cases (UC etc)

    • Oversight and coordination

    • Applications (through DuraSpace)

    • Maintenance

    • Maintenance of legal documents

    • Annual Report

    • Trademark

    • Relationships with vendors

    • Expectations of Partners (them of us, us of them)

  • Financial

    • Agreeing priorities with Partners

    • Negotiating and agreeing Fiscal Sponsorship MoU

    • Monitoring and operating finances via Finance Subcommittee

    • Fund raising in conjunction with fiscal sponsor

    • Sponsorship of related conferences

  • Involvement in, and attendance at, meetings

    • Liaison with local committee and program committee

    • Logistical support

    • Soliciting and reviewing possible venues

    • Assistance with organization of event and program

    • Hosting and organization

    • Agenda planning

    • Agenda planning

    • Representation at other community events (eg, Hydra/Samvera Europe Group, US regional meetings)

    • Connect

    • Virtual Connect

    • Spring Partner meeting

    • Winter retreat

    • Other meetings

  • Codebase

    • Overview of health

    • Accessibility testing

  • Communication

    • Maintenance of mailing lists

    • Maintenance of website

    • Maintenance of domain names, DNS etc

    • Wiki gardening

  • Branding

    • Overseeing and protecting the Samvera "brand"

In addition, like any other Partners, members of Steering participate in community activities including contributing to Working and Interest Groups, attending meetings, giving presentations etc.

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