Wikimedia board of trustees announces restructure

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jan-Bart, who was interviewed by Wikinews on the decision
Image: Lane Hartwell.

The Wikimedia Board of Trustees recently announced that it would dramatically restructure the makeup of the board. The Board announced that there would now be three seats elected by the Wikimedia community, two seats elected by the Wikimedia chapters, one 'community founder' seat appointed by the Trustees, and four 'specific expertise' seats, also appointed by the Trustees.

An image illustrating the restructure
Image: Wikimedia Foundation.

Jan-Bart Vreede, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, gave Wikinews more information about the decision in a short email interview, which was carried out yesterday. Below is the text of the interview:

((Wikinews)) How long was this decision process in the works?

Jan-Bart: We have known that we need to carefully look at the board as a whole for quite a while. We weren't sure how drastic our steps needed to be. We spend a large amount of time on this during our April board meeting, using the additional insights from our newest board members Michael Snow and Domas Mituzas. It took us a while after that fill in all the details. The election committee has been very patient in waiting for us to complete this process, because they were unable to move forward without us.

((WN)) Why did you chose to have a "community foundation person" position, a position not common among other non profits?

Jan-Bart: There have been and will always be discussions with regards to the position of Jimmy within the board, does he count as a community member or not. Keeping in mind his special role we thought it was best to take this opportunity to make his position clear as well. He does have a special seat which doesn't go in any of the other categories. His seat is up for re-appointment every year (which Jimmy himself insisted on), the big difference is that if the seat is not taken by him, it is left vacant and the board reverts to 9 members. [Note-Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia Founder, is the person who will have the "community foundation" position]

((WN)) How/when will the elections be held for the new open seats?

Jan-Bart: This has been announced by the election committee today. Please note that these are only the community elected seats. The chapters are going to formulate their own process for filling the chapter-selected seats, this may or may not involve elections. [Note: Kwan Ting Chan announced on the Wikinews Water Cooler that candidates may nominate themselves for election between May 8 and May 22, and that the voting will occur between 1 June and 21 June. ]


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikipedia and Meta Wiki have pages about Wikimedia Foundation and Board elections/2008/en.