18 Jan 2019

Minutes of a meeting of the Board of Directors of NumFOCUS to discuss the creation of subccommittees. All votes are reported in the form “(Y/N/A)” (in favor-Y‚ opposed-N‚ abstentions-A; e.g. “4-1-2” means “4 in favor, 1 opposed, and 2 abstentions”).

January 18, 2019


Board members: Katrina Riehl, Jane Herriman, James Powell, Stéfan Van der Walt, Andy Terrel, Lorena Barba

ED: Leah Silen

Board Members Not Attending: Sylvain Corlay


a. NumFOCUS bylaws on committees

Important points from the bylaws include that we have the option to form committees with or without the involvement of board members. (An executive committee includes at least one board member.)

b. Process for creating a committee

We discussed what the process for creating a subcommittee might look like, and landed on the following ideas.

Formally, community members wishing to form a committee (for example, to advise the NumFOCUS board on a special topic) will apply to the board, providing a charter that includes information such as the objectives, members, and structure of the proposed committee, as well as the resources required by the committee. The board will then review the charter/application from the proposed committee.

In practice, the board will guide the formation of committees by helping to determine where the needs for subcommittees exist and soliciting participation from active community members. The board will also provide a template charter for prospective committees to use.

c. Types of groups

We discussed the differences between types of groups that may be formed to serve our community, including committees (to be created as standing organizations for ongoing needs), working groups (created with very specific and short term objectives, such as advising the board on chat systems), and interest groups (which might provide avenues to discuss a given topic or theme, such as NumFOCUS tools in finance).

d) Committee ideas

We discussed ideas for potential subcommittees where we see a need, including committees to help with elections, project recruiting, organization of the Summit, and review of small development grants.

e) Precedents

Existing committees of which examples may be made in forming future committees include those for DISC, GSOC, and PyData.

To do: Andy will draft charter for board to discuss.