Educause: Sakai Board Meeting

I thought I’d get a quick note out to everyone before Educause starts in earnest. Warning…this has no content related to teaching, learning or collaboration.

On Monday we held a Sakai Board meeting. There were no new Board resolutions coming out of this meeting, so there is little of real consequence to report. Mainly, I gave a report on finances, which I’ve been spending a lot of time on lately. The Board has fiduciary responsibility for Foundation funds, of course, and as Executive Director I need to make sure they have the information they need to feel confident that they are attending to this responsibility correctly. I’m also working on a 2008 budget and I felt that it was critical to get a fairly deep understanding of what we’ve been spending money on. So I’ve poured over approximately 1,000 line items in the various Sakai accounts for 2007. While many of these could be easily categorized by the description of the I coded many of them by hand, which took awhile, but really was an effective way for me to understand what was there and to establish a scheme to use going forward. Boring, but necessary. This will be part of my Sakai Foundation Update presentation at Newport Beach (don’t forget to register for the conference!).

There was a lot more conversation, though, after the official board meeting closed. This was mostly for my benefit as I’m sure many of the board members have been over this ground many times before. My purpose was to understand the board’s thoughts on the short term goals for the project and how the Sakai Foundation could best support those. We also talked a bit about the longer-term direction of Sakai as a product and as a community. I provided some grist for the mill via a document containing some of the questions I have had about Sakai and potential answers. I’ll be revising that this week and sending it out to the community lists for comments and feedback. From there I’ll finalize the 2008 priorities and budget, hopefully get it approved at the Newport Beach Board meeting, and share the result as part of my presentation.

Educause has been interesting so far, but I’ll write a separate post about that, hopefully tomorrow. If you’re reading this at Educuase I want to remind Sakai, Kuali or JA-SIG members that the Community Source Reception is tonight from 6:15 – 8:00 at the Sheraton Grand Ballroom B. I hope to see you there.


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