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This is a DRAFT of the Bamboo Implementation Proposal and is being published in this form to solicit community input toward developing and refining the scope of work for the first 12-24 months of Bamboo. Because this is merely a draft, there is not a commitment to carry out all, a subset or any of this work until the document is finalized and formally released.

5 - Community and Governance

Table of Contents:

The areas of work reflect the ideas and outputs of individuals who work together to enhance arts and humanities instruction, practice, research and scholarship. The collective effort in these areas are bound together by the scope defined in this proposal, which in turn, contributes directly to the long-term program for Bamboo.

Bamboo is much more than a cyberinfrastructure, e-research, or e-infrastructure initiative; it represents a range of interlinked activities, individual projects, and related endeavors that form an ecosystem of collaborative effort. It exists within an even larger macro-ecology of academic disciplines, professional fields, and technical environments and as such, it is critical that Bamboo strives to fit in wherever possible.

As an ecosystem, Bamboo will inevitably be effected by forces  within and external to the environment and, at times, beyond its control, even within this first phase of implementation. Resource availability, disciplinary interest, the financial climate, member participation, agency investment, and community readiness are some of the myriad forces that may be at play within the Bamboo ecosystem at any given time. Because of this, the organization must be flexible enough to react quickly when forces shift, yet solid enough to withstand a major change without collapsing. To accomplish this, the community will adhere to a common set of principles to guide Bamboo's growth and maturity. Bamboo will:

  1. promote innovation through sharing and collaboration,
  2. respect the diversity of its members,
  3. seek consensus,
  4. implement solutions for the common good, and
  5. evolve as needs and interests change.

    This proposal outlines a scope composed of multiple projects within related areas of work that together form a coherent foundation for Bamboo. Governance in Bamboo needs to both focus the work through its initial implementation phase and align community effort along a path to achieve its 10-year vision.

    In addition to a common set of principles (outlined above), this also requires:
  6. provide project management within each area of work so that individual efforts can move ahead as quickly as possible,
  7. coordinate of work across all areas outlined in the implementation proposal to deliver services and capabilities in a timely and efficient manner, and
  8. provide strategic leadership of the Bamboo Program.

5.1 Membership

Bamboo incorporates a number of interlinked layers of activity from a wide range of individuals, projects, and organizations. It can reflect the work of a single scholarly endeavor, share the collective energy of a global community, do both or present something in between. Each of these layers can be characterized by a level of engagement and defines the membership model that underpins Bamboo. Everyone who takes an active interest in, communicates across, and contributes to Bamboo is part of the broader Bamboo community. Within the community there are Participants, Members, and Partners.

5.1.1 Bamboo Participants

Bamboo Participants are individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions that have expressed interest in staying connected with Bamboo or freely use services and resources delivered by Bamboo or its members. Under this definition, anyone who subscribes to a Bamboo mailing list, stays connected through an RSS feed or Facebook group, or chooses to consume a service delivered through the Bamboo Services Platform would be a Bamboo Participant. Through taking intentional action to connect with Bamboo, one expresses material interest in Bamboo and as such, joins the community.

Participants who are not Members or Affiliates do not possess voting privileges and may not hold leadership positions within Bamboo. Participants may, however, take part in projects within areas of work, assist with community activities, participate in community events, etc. Community participants can serve in an advisory capacity to Bamboo and can take part in polls and other non-binding votes.

5.1.2 Bamboo Members

A Bamboo Member is a project, group, organization, or institution that is active in the Bamboo community and formally commits resources toward the growth and development of Bamboo. In brief, members:

  • coordinate activities within the community,
  • liaise with other organizations,
  • promote Bamboo-wide initiatives,
  • contribute to program and project development, and
  • shape and refine the scope and direction of Bamboo.

Members gain access to the breadth of expertise within the community, are able to take advantage of liaison relationships as they are established, and once the Bamboo Service Platform is operational, will be able to nominate candidate services that may be incorporated into the platform for community-wide support and adoption. Members can seek Bamboo collaboration, endorsement, or sponsorship of related activities that may be affiliated or intersect with the ongoing work of Bamboo. In time we envision that Bamboo Members will be able to take part in shared access and licensing arrangements, gain access to a broader range of brokered cloud-based services, contribute to a future resource exchange and take advantage of other benefits as they are established.

5.1.3 Bamboo Partners

A Bamboo Partner is a group, organization, or institution that takes on a significant leadership and development role of a project(s) within an area of work or community development, and prioritize effort within Bamboo. Partnership includes:

  • project planning,
  • project management,
  • project leadership,
  • resource coordination, and
  • project stewardship.

Partners who lead Bamboo Projects participate in the Project Executive Committee, and are eligible to participate in the Bamboo Steering Council. Like Members, partners gain access to the breadth of expertise within the community and are able to take advantage of liaison relationships as they are established. Partners can both nominate and contribute candidate services for possible inclusion in the Bamboo Service Platform. Partners can seek Bamboo collaboration, endorsement, or sponsorship of related activities that may be affiliated or intersect with the ongoing work of Bamboo. In time we envision that Bamboo Partners, like members, will be able to take part in shared access and licensing arrangements, gain access to a broader range of brokered cloud-based services, contribute to a future resource exchange and take advantage of other benefits as they are established.

In addition to the responsibilities outlined above, there are three specific roles that partners may fill: voting partner, founding partner, and managing partner. Voting Partner

A Voting Partner contributes to the strategic leadership of Bamboo by taking part in the Bamboo Steering Council. Voting Partners share the responsibility for the direction and evolution of Bamboo, and authorize Bamboo's continuing and future work.

There will be a slate of seven (7) Voting Partners, all of whom will take part in the Bamboo Steering Council. Voting Partners will serve a minimum of one term on the Bamboo Steering Council. For the purposes of the Council, a term is equal to a period of two consecutive calendar years.

The initial slate of Voting Partners for the first two-year term of Bamboo will be based on the order of formal commitment prior to proposal submission. Those institutions and organizations who commit, in writing, to being a partner by September 30, 2009, will be specifically named in the implementation proposal and as such, will be granted the first opportunity and option to sit on the founding Bamboo Steering Council. The role of Voting Partner is optional. A partner is under no obligation to accept voting status and may elect to decline the invitation. If the founding slate lacks seven partners at the start of implementation, the partners who join Bamboo on or after October 1, 2009, will either self-nominate or nominate partner peers to fill the open seats. Shortly thereafter, a vote will be held among the non-voting partners to complete the slate. In the event this is necessary, the schedule for nominations and voting will be determined by the initial set of Voting Partners.

After the initial term, new Voting Partners will be chosen from among the pool of Bamboo Partners by a method to be determined by the Bamboo Steering Council. Founding Partner

To acknowledge their roles in leading the Bamboo Planning Project and provide continuity during initial implementation, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Chicago will be granted "Founding Partner" status and as such, will be automatically considered Voting Partners for the first two-year term of Bamboo. After the first term, the voting status of the Founding Partners will be reviewed by the Bamboo Steering Council; any action to be determined at that time. Managing Partner

The Bamboo Managing Partner is a college, university or non-profit project, group, or organization that assumes a strategic coordination and leadership role. This includes:

  • project management across Bamboo projects and areas of work,
  • resource coordination across Bamboo projects and areas of work,
  • hosting the Project Bamboo Office,
  • managing Bamboo funding and fees, and
  • hiring the Executive Director of Project Bamboo.

The Managing Partner will serve a two-year term (based on the calendar year) and the position will be rotated among partners in subsequent years. The Managing Partner must either be a Founding Partner or a Voting Partner who has served at least one year of its two-year term.

Although rotating the Managing Partner role may seem a bit unconventional, there are a number of reasons why this model makes sense for Bamboo:

  • rotating the role reflects the principles of shared responsibility and leadership that characterize Bamboo;
  • having one Managing Partner increases administrative efficiency;
  • acknowledges the challenges faced by individual institutions during these difficult economic times by focusing administrative commitment onto one partner and distributing project contribution and leadership across Bamboo;
  • creates an opportunity for partner institution take on a larger role in influencing the direction, focus, and evolution of Bamboo;
  • allows a partner to strengthen both inter- and intra-institutional relationships by leveraging the responsibility and exposure created by managing Bamboo; and
  • motivates groups, organizations, and institutions to serve as voting partners.

The selection of a new Managing Partner will occur no later than six months prior to the end of active Managing Partner's term. After the first year of implementation and half-way through the first term, this process may be changed or amended by the Bamboo Steering Council as necessary. Finally, the Managing Partner is a Voting Partner.

The founding Managing Partner of Project Bamboo will be the University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley). Berkeley will begin its first term in January 2010 and extend for two years until the end of December 2012. The selection of a new Managing Partner for Bamboo must be made prior to July 1, 2011 unless changed or amended by the Bamboo Steering Council.

5.2 Organization

The organizing model for Project Bamboo traces several ideas to:

  • community source projects such as Kuali and Sakai,
  • crowd-sourcing approaches common to Wikipedia and Shutterstock,
  • formal standardization and specification bodies such as the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee and the IMS Global Learning Consortium, and
  • open-source activities such as Apache and Mozilla.

Not unlike the areas of work that fall within the scope of the Bamboo Implementation Proposal, each of the larger organizations listed above have smaller communities within them that focus on particular projects, tasks, or dimensions that contribute directly to the greater effort. For example, in Wikipedia a small team may work together to manage a set of content pages that contribute to the larger community and is bound by community rules of editorial control. What is important to note in this example is that Wikipedia plays an organizing and administrative role whereas the smaller group focuses on managing the actual work that needs to be done in a manner that best suits the group of participants.

Like Wikipedia, Apache, and myriad other projects and initiatives, Bamboo functions at the larger level by establishing and maintaining a community of individuals, projects and institutions that is interested in working together to achieve the long-term vision of Bamboo.

Within Bamboo, the areas of work outlined in this proposal represent the initial set of activities where community input and effort will be focused for the first 12-24 months. Over time these areas will evolve, new ones will be added, and others transformed and as such, it is the overarching role of Bamboo is to shape and coordinate the efforts of the community to achieve its common vision of enhancing arts and humanities teaching, learning, and research through shared technology services.

5.2.1 Structuring Work

Formal effort within Project Bamboo is structured around a set of interrelated and parallel areas of work, hereafter referred to as a Bamboo Area of Work. The activity and deliverables for each area of work is structured around a set of smaller contributing and coordinated Bamboo Projects. Bamboo Area of Work

A Bamboo Area of Work is led by Bamboo Partners who coordinate the projects, resources, and deliverables. An area of work is made up of an array of Bamboo Projects and as such, those partners, members, and participants who contribute to and drive forward with Bamboo Projects define each Bamboo Area of Work. Each member of a Bamboo Area of Work must participate in a related Bamboo Project.

Each Partner will appoint an individual who will act as a joint leader of the Bamboo Area of Work, and together distribute the work load and collaborate on managing the activity of area including assigning and coordinating Bamboo Projects and related activity. The area of work leadership will be known as the Bamboo Area of Work Co-Chairs and as such, the co-chairs will, in the context of the area of work:

  • organize explore, plan, and build efforts;
  • lead individual activities and operations;
  • provide project management oversight;
  • call, set the agenda for, and chair meetings;
  • communicate and report the work of the area;
  • coordinate work across projects as appropriate;
  • represent the area of work and projects on the Project Executive Committee and in other venues, events, and activities; and
  • be responsible for the deliverables within the area of work.

Support for each Bamboo Area of Work, including funds for Bamboo Area of Work activities, will be coordinated through the Project Bamboo Office and co-chairs. Bamboo Projects

A Bamboo Project is represents a component of a Bamboo Area of Work. Each Bamboo Project is led by a Bamboo Partner and staffed by a team of individuals who represent Bamboo participants, members, and partners. Together, they contribute to and are both individually and institutionally invested in the successful completion of the project's scope within the context of the area of work.

How work is completed within individual projects is largely determined by its participants. That said, a consistent leadership and reporting model will be common across all Bamboo Projects. Like the areas of work, each partner in a leadership role will appoint an individual who will act as a joint leader of the project, and together distribute the workload and coordination responsibilities. These individuals will be known as the Bamboo Project Co-Chairs. Reporting and coordination across Bamboo Projects will be facilitated through the co-chairs assigned to each individual project.

5.2.2 Project Executive Committee

The Project Executive Committee (PEC) is the leadership committee that organizes and advances the work of Bamboo. The responsibilities of the Project Executive Committee will be to:

  1. ensure Bamboo delivers on its intended goals and outcomes,
  2. act on behalf of Bamboo,
  3. perform program-related duties,
  4. represent Bamboo to other organizations and entities,
  5. provide managerial oversight of Bamboo,
  6. formally establish Bamboo Liaisons and oversee liaison activities,
  7. oversee and coordinate the activities of all Bamboo Areas of Work, and
  8. recommend future Bamboo efforts to the Bamboo Steering Council for review and consideration.

The PEC will consist of the Co-Chairs of the Bamboo Areas of Work, the Co-Chairs of the Bamboo Projects, and the Executive Director of Project Bamboo. The Executive Director of Project Bamboo will be the Chair of the PEC. In addition, the PEC will select from its membership on an annual basis a Vice-Chair who will work closely with the Executive Director.

The PEC will hold regular monthly meetings. Meetings may be held face-to-face or via video or teleconference.

5.2.3 Bamboo Steering Council

The Bamboo Steering Council provides strategic oversight and direction for Bamboo. As was the case for the Bamboo Planning Project, the Council will guide activities and keep Bamboo focused on its long-term programmatic goals. In addition, the Council will review and approve proposed Bamboo Areas of Work and Bamboo Projects suggested by the PEC and, provide recommendations for future action, as well as establish guidelines and policies for Project Bamboo.

For implementation, the Bamboo Steering Council will include one representative from each of the Voting Partners. Both the Executive Director of Project Bamboo and the Vice-Chair of the PEC will participate in an _ex officio_ capacity on the Bamboo Steering Council. The Executive Director will act as the Chair of the Council and in the event of the Executive Director's absence, the Vice-Chair of the PEC will assume the Chair's duties.

The Bamboo Steering Council will hold regular meetings on a quarterly basis. Meetings may be held face-to-face or via video or teleconference.

5.2.4 Bamboo Liaisons

An important aspect of Bamboo is its ability to formally liaise with other organizations, consortia, projects and initiatives in order to share ideas, minimize duplication of effort, and promote the use of already established standards, specifications, and practices. Although numerous informal connections undoubtedly exist between participants in the Bamboo community, formal liaison relationships are necessary to connect Bamboo activities with the work of other groups.

A Bamboo Liaison is a special role for a Bamboo Member where the member assumes the formal representative relationship with a specific organization on behalf of Bamboo, its members and the community. Formal communication between the organization and Bamboo is passed through the liaison to ensure that Bamboo adheres to the processes and procedures of the other organization, and that issues raised by other organizations are officially heard and potentially acted upon by Bamboo. For example, an organization may require three months advance notice along with supporting documentation for a topic to be raised at a scheduled meeting. The Bamboo Project Executive Committee may not be aware of such a requirement, but because a member is the designated Bamboo Liaison, she can ensure that the proper steps are taken to add an item to the other organization's agenda. When the time comes, she could present on Bamboo's behalf if necessary or lead a larger Bamboo team in a joint dialogue.

Bamboo Liaisons will be formally recognized and authorized by the Project Executive Committee. All formal liaison relationships will be openly communicated to the Bamboo community.

5.2.5 Project Bamboo Office

The Managing Partner will administer the business-related activities of Bamboo and hire an Executive Director to be responsible for those activities. Such work may include (but not be limited to) managing the finances for the organization; planning and coordinating community-wide events; assisting with regional activities; coordinating programs and initiatives; handling community development, marketing, and communications; assisting with grants and initiatives that want to engage with Bamboo; planning Bamboo conferences and workshops; and providing day-to-day Bamboo program management and resource assistance.

The Project Bamboo Office will be minimally staffed, relying largely on the contributions of its Members and the work of outsourced partners as appropriate.

The Executive Director along with the Vice-Chair of the Project Executive Committee will formally represent Bamboo when needed, speak on behalf of the community, and chair both the Project Executive Committee and the Bamboo Steering Council as appropriate.

5.3 Community

As was learned during the planning process, one of Bamboo's greatest potentials lies within its community of scholars, technologists, content experts and engaged professionals who are open and willing to work together to enhance arts and humanities research, teaching, and learning through the adoption and use of sharable technologies, content and services. This community spans different types of institutions, connects across multiple disciplines and fields, and extends beyond regional, national and international boundaries.

Through Bamboo and its community, the potential exists for a French professor at an institution in the western United States to discover a subset of individuals who can help her develop a new pedagogical tool that will plug into the campus learning management system. Based on her exploration of the Bamboo community, she seeks advice from an ethnographer in eastern Australia who, in turn, contacts a specific digital media specialist in the central United States with a specific technical question. That specialist works on a digital cinema project with a team in Italy that is contributing a collection of core Bamboo services in partnership with a research group in the United Kingdom. A select number of those services will directly benefit the professor, and the professor is asked if she wishes to join the services project and contribute her ideas to the effort. She agrees; by participating in the service contribution project she will be able to take advantage of the work of others and minimize the amount of time, effort, and money that will be needed to launch her original idea for a tool. As an added benefit, the major elements of the project involve capabilities delivered through the Bamboo Services Platform, thus minimizing the impact on her campus IT organization.

The original query flows through the community, solutions are found, and opportunities for further collaboration are created by tapping the broad network of people, teams, and projects that participate in Bamboo. Technology is the foundation that Bamboo is built upon, but it is through the interactions with people that Bamboo's potential is achieved.

5.3.1 Community Development

The Bamboo Planning Project demonstrated the value of collaboration and the importance of bringing individuals together both physically and virtually. This gathering of individuals brought together by a common goal where ideas are discussed, concerns are shared, and direction adjusted is central to the ongoing success and relevance of Bamboo.

Community Development will focus on sustaining and growing the community of participants, members, partners, and affiliates; fostering dialogue and sharing within the community; and exploring ways to connect Bamboo with the diverse range of institutions, organizations, and individuals who lead, shape, participate, and consume the resources, services, and capabilities afforded by Bamboo. Some areas that fall under community development include conferences and workshops, community meetings, member professional development, and community programs and events.

For the first year of implementation, we envision:

  • an annual meeting,
  • two technical workshops, and
  • formal participation in a select number of major conferences that may include both the annual Digital Humanities and EDUCAUSE conferences.

A Bamboo Partner will lead community development and appoint a Bamboo Community Coordinator who will work closely with the Project Bamboo Office, the PEC, and the Bamboo Steering Council.

5.3.2 Outreach

Where community development grows and sustains the community of individuals, members, affiliates, and organizations, Outreach shares the work and potential of Bamboo with the world. The role of outreach is to express the value and evolving role of Bamboo in scholarship, research, teaching, technology, content and beyond, and promote the potential of Bamboo to contribute to innovation in teaching, learning, research, and scholarship.

The outreach element is focused outward toward those who may be interested in the efforts of Bamboo. Those who contribute to and participate in outreach assume content direction and editorial responsibilities for Bamboo's collateral, documents, and publications. They are actively engaged in editing and refining the public content of and work with the Project Bamboo Office to guide large-scale communications and outreach work that may be coordinated through members, affiliates or outside firms.

Some of the areas that fall under outreach include:

  • content of,
  • online and print material,
  • podcasts and press releases,
  • partner events and activities at conferences, and
  • publishing and promoting Bamboo recommended practices and specifications.

5.3.3 Virtual Collaboration

The final element, community collaboration, ties together both the inward- and outward-facing elements of this area of work. Given the global nature of the community and the range of participants, developing a virtual collaboration model that supports the broader community, the Bamboo Areas of Work, Bamboo Projects, the Project Executive Committee, and Bamboo Steering Council is vital to longevity of Bamboo.

In this case, virtual collaboration includes the definition and deployment of a virtual research environment (VRE) that will support the work of Bamboo. This VRE will be an integrated online environment for outreach (, integrate the planning wiki approach ( into one more appropriate for implementation, and incorporate various tools to best support the work of Bamboo. Ideally, the VRE should be capable of incorporating services provided by or discoverable through the Bamboo Services Platform, and be able to connect to and incorporate gadgets that interact with the Bamboo Commons.

5.4 Investment

A breadth of expertise and resources are needed to enable Bamboo to build connections across the community, foster joint projects, and sustain efforts and activities over time. Therefore, an ongoing investment in Bamboo is essential to sustaining the community and ecosystem around it.

There are two dimensions to investment: financial and in kind investments. Membership takes the form of annual fees whereas an in kind investment can take a number of forms that include (but are not limited to):

  • financial,
  • project-specific staffing,
  • technical investment such as hosting,
  • community coordination, and
  • an annual donation of access to content for Bamboo Members or the community at large.

An in kind investment is expressed as a financial equivalent of either a specific resource or faculty or staff time. As an example, a member may contribute server virtualization capacity to Bamboo as part of the implementation and operation of the Bamboo Service Platform or the Bamboo Commons. That contribution would be expressed as equivalent dollars over the membership period. Another member may contribute a portion of a faculty member's time and some developer resources to lead and work on an area of work. In the case of an individual's time, that amount would be expressed as a full time equivalent (FTE) rounded to the nearest single decimal (tenth).

5.4.1 Bamboo Participants

To participate at the Bamboo Participant level, no resource commitment beyond an individual's personal interest is required.

5.4.2 Bamboo Members

Annual fees for Bamboo Members will be:


Annual Fee

In Kind Investment

Academic institution: up to 500 faculty

$4,000 USD

$19,000 USD

Academic institution: 500 to 1000 faculty

$6,000 USD

$29,000 USD

Academic institution: over 1000 faculty

$8,000 USD

$38,000 USD

Non-Profit Organization

$6,000 USD

$29,000 USD

Corporate: annual US revenue less than $5M

$12,000 USD

$12,000 USD

Corporate: annual US revenue over $5M

$18,000 USD

$18,000 USD

The in kind investment represents a minimum contribution (or FTE equivalent) in faculty or staff time, technology, access, etc. that is required in order to continue as a Bamboo Member. The in kind investment may also take the form of a direct financial contribution beyond the annual fee.

Members will appoint a Bamboo representative who will formally represent the institution or organization on matters requiring input from the membership, actively participate in Bamboo activities, and take part in meetings, events, and workshops as appropriate.

5.4.3 Bamboo Partners


Annual Fee

In Kind Investment

Academic institution: up to 500 faculty

$10,000 USD

$57,000 USD

Academic institution: 500 to 1000 faculty

$15,000 USD

$78,000 USD

Academic institution: over 1000 faculty

$20,000 USD

$106,500 USD

Non-Profit Organization

$15,000 USD

$78,000 USD

Corporate: annual US revenue less than $5M

$33,000 USD

$33,000 USD

Corporate: annual US revenue over $5M

$49,500 USD

$49,500 USD

The in kind investment represents a minimum contribution (or FTE equivalent) in faculty or staff time, technology, access, etc. that is required in order to continue as a Bamboo Partner. The in kind investment may also take the form of a direct financial contribution beyond the annual fee.

Partners will appoint a Bamboo representative who will formally represent the institution or organization on matters requiring input from the membership, actively participate in Bamboo activities, and take part in meetings, events, and workshops as appropriate.

5.5 Procedures

5.5.1 Parliamentary Procedures

On questions of parliamentary procedure within the Project Executive Committee, Bamboo Areas of Work, or other areas within Bamboo where such processed are needed and not covered in this section, Roberts Rules of Order (revised) may be used to expedite due process.

5.6 License

In the spirit of open and community-source, Bamboo proposes the adoption of the Educational Community License, Version 2.0, of the Open Source Initiative. This license is based on the Apache 2.0 license. The license can be found at and is reproduced in the appendix of this proposal.

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  1. Unknown User (

    5.2 Organization -- I found it a bit unclear about expectations for Partners in terms of leadership.  Does each Area of Work have (two) Co-Chairs?  Does each Project within each Area of Work have (two) Co-Chairs?  Can any Project Co-Chairs serve double-duty as Area of Work Co-Chairs, or should those be separate?  Or do these vary depending on various circumstances (maybe one, or two, or three depending)?  (I recall the notion of Co-Chairs being emphasized at Workshop 5, to have at least two institutions providing leadership and some measure of redundancy here.)  On the other hand, does only one Partner lead the Community "Area of Work?"  So in general, what's the mapping between Partners and leadership of the various units of work?  It would also be good to get a sense in this document of time commitment expected for various leadership roles of partners (e.g., presumably not the entire in-kind investment FTE would be dedicated to leadership?).

    Also 5.2 in general -- it seemed the previous notions of Explore, Plan and Build have been abandoned in this draft, except for the one-line reference in Bamboo Area of Work.  Maybe I'm in the minority, but I found some real value in these concepts as we discussed the overall Bamboo project, both in our workshops and back here on campus.  Might we reconsider some reintroduction and strengthening of those concepts, if others agree they had value? 

  2. Unknown User (sherrick)

    For most humanities learned societies, the amount of the cash fee for nonprofit Bamboo membership will be a challenging hurdle in the current economic climate; and for smaller societies, one that's insurmountable even in better times. Societies on an academic fiscal year may not be able to make a payment until July 2010 or later.

    With rare exception, humanities learned societies are too small to make tangible technical contributions. So their $29,000 in-kind would contribution would likely be one-forth to one-half FTE. For learned societies with fewer than 10 FTE employees (70% of humanities learned societies), contributing that amount year after year exclusively to a new initiative like Bamboo will (assuming the absence of grant support) be challenging.

    Contributing that much labor means the society's involvement in Bamboo constitutes a priority initiative. Because Bamboo's objectives are long-term, its delivery of concrete benefits to learned societies' members is years down the road. Yet for many learned societies their top board leadership (e.g., presidents) changes every one or two years. We'd be asking these leaders to support—during a severe economic downturn—a sizeable investment in an abstraction called cyberinfrastructure. And to do so based on the hope that, years after they've left leadership, those benefits will trickle down to the members of the learned societies they once led.

    Because it may be so challenging to muster the resources to meet the in-kind amount, it raises what otherwise may be picayune questions about what can be counted as an in-kind contribution. Would, for example, travel expense for attending Bamboo events be counted? Would in-kind labor contribution be limited only to what Bamboo leadership "commissioned" from the member organization? Could efforts that benefit both Bamboo and another initiative the member organization is involved in be counted? To draw slightly on the example in Section 5.3, what if staff at a particular university are developing a plug-in for digitization of cinema for their university's purposes—-if that is shared with Bamboo and useful to it, can that in the university project count as in-kind labor for Bamboo?

    Regardless of the concerns I've raised about the number of learned societies that will find the proposed fee structure affordable, there is nonetheless still a lot to like about the governance section. The structure nicely reflects the collaborative nature of the project. There's a defined system offering options for different levels of project involvement. And having a dual-fee structure—cash and in-kind—does seem a creative and productive way to structure dues.