Sakai Product Council Announced

The Sakai Foundation is pleased to announce the formation and membership of a Product Council to ensure exceptional quality and cohesiveness of Sakai product releases in support of varied teaching, research and collaboration needs.

The Product Council has two important roles: determining which components will be included as part of each product release, and informally advising projects as they progress from R&D to production-ready maturity. As a community-developed open source project, components of each product release are contributed from many different institutions, companies and individuals. The Product Council is the coordinating body for each release, and will work to assure the product’s evolution continues to meet the needs of the educational community in terms of functionality, production worthiness, and usability.

More information about the Council structure may be found on the Sakai wiki. It is part of the Sakai Development Process which is also documented on the wiki.

The members of the Product Council are:

  • Nate Angell — Nate works with clients in education and open source communities for rSmart (, a Sakai Commerical Affiliate. Nate previously led web communications at Portland State ( and at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry ( Nate holds an MA in film, television, and digital media studies from Brown University.
  • Noah Botimer — Noah is the ePortfolio Technical Lead for the University of Michigan. He is an open source and open education advocate. Before joining Michigan, Noah helped establish a campus-wide Sakai course and ePortfolio environment at Saginaw Valley State University.
  • Eli Cochran — Eli joined UC Berkeley and the Sakai community two years ago as a user experience designer and Javascript programmer on the Fluid project. After more than twenty years experience in interface design and development, Eli feels that successful systems must be more than understandable and usable, they must also be beautiful and fun.
  • Michael Feldstein — Michael is Principal Product Manager, Academic Enterprise Solutions at Oracle and the author of the e-Literate weblog. He is a frequent invited speaker on instructional technology and has been interviewed about e-learning by media outlets including The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Associated Press, and U.S. News and World Report.
  • David Goodrum — David is Director of Academic and Faculty Services for University Information Technology Services at Indiana University. In addition he chairs the functional requirements committee as well as the support and implementation team for IU’s implementation of Sakai.
  • John Lewis — John is the Chief Software Architect for Unicon and a 17 year veteran of the software engineering industry. His passions include open source and agile methods. John is active in several higher education open source communities, including uPortal and Sakai, and serves on the Board of Directors of Jasig.
  • Stephen Marquard — Stephen is Learning Technologies Co-ordinator in the Centre for Educational Technology at the University of Cape Town, where he leads the team responsible for the University’s popular and widely-used Sakai deployment known as Vula. Stephen is a Sakai Fellow and serves on the Sakai Board of Directors.
  • John Norman — John is the Director of the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies and ‘Head of e-Learning’ at the University of Cambridge. CARET provides infrastructure and support to the campus for the use of technology in teaching, learning and research, including the deployment of Sakai campus-wide. Prior to this he had experience as an engineer and medical devices entrepreneur on 3 continents. John chairs the advisory board for OSS-Watch and is an advocate for open standards and open source software in higher education.
  • Max Whitney — Max is the technical team lead for enterprise academic services in ITS at New York University and an active member in the DIY technology communities in New York. She has managed the Blackboard implementation at NYU since 2001, most recently acting as the technical lead for an enterprise upgrade impacting 45,000 users. She also led the Sakai pilot at NYU in 2007. She holds her M.S. in Computer Science from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU.

Additionally, the soon-to-be-hired Product Manager will sit on the Product Council.

We thank all of those involved in the nomination and selection process, and look forward to the contribution of this important council in continuing to enhance the academic and scholarly success of institutions across the Sakai community.


One Response

  1. […] that I have been selected to be a part of Sakai’s new Product Council. As Michael Korcuska explains, The Product Council has two important roles: determining which components will be included as part […]

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