3 November 2019

Minutes of a Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of NumFOCUS.

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”).

November 3rd, 2019 (@ NumFOCUS Summit)


Board Members: Lorena Barba, James Powell, Andy Terrel, Sylvain Corlay, Jane Herriman, Stéfan van der Walt, Katrina Riehl (called in partway through)

ED: Leah Silen

Not attending: NA

Discussion Items:

  1. Changing board meeting schedule, with goal of allowing for more time to discuss strategy and vision, rather than being overrun with operational details.

    a. We agreed to introduce quarterly schedule for project applications

    i.  Improve the documentation for the process of approving new
        projects (on the website) - and take this occasion to
        introduce the schedule / deadlines.
        1.  Assign a deadline to submit applications \~3 weeks prior
            to the Board meeting where we decide on applications,
            allowing time to assign champions and review
        2.  Notifications will go out \~1 week after the meeting
            where we decide on project acceptances.
    ii. Urgent project applications: We may occasionally be able to
        make exceptions to the once-per-quarter cycle, but well-
        organized projects should in general be able to work with
        and plan according to this schedule.

    b. Other ideas: i. Introduce quarterly schedule for longer (two-hour) strategy meetings.

           These ideas were proposed at the outset of the meeting, but 
           was not discussed much after we realized we should be able to
           make time for strategy discussions during regular meetings by 
           treating new project applications in batch.
     ii.  Introduce yearly board retreat for strategy discussions
  2. Education Initiative (from Jan 2019)—NumFOCUS Academy

     We discussed the value that a NumFOCUS educational platform might 
    offer and who/what organiziations might be involved. Possible 

    a. Universities/university professors

    Partnering with us would allow universities to avoid having to 
    maintain their own OpenEdX site and could provide revenue streams
    to professors who have content but are otherwise not teaching 
    over the summer.

    b. DataCamp instructors

      This platform could provide an alternative to (previous) DataCamp 

    c. IBL

    We’ve previously talked to IBL about using their services in
    creating a platform/handling some of the technical details
    of creating a platform. In fact IBL can provide full vertical
    support; for example, they offer studios and can handle 
  3. We discussed ways (for example individual or NumFOCUS blog posts) that board members might voice/publicize the initiatives they would like to undertake to further the organization in the coming year.