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Sakai Foundation Board of Directors Conference Call

August 20, 2009

This document contains minutes from the Sakai Foundation Board of Directors meeting held on August 20, 2009.  Corrections and/or suggestions should be sent to Josh Baron and Mary Miles.

These minutes capture both the discussion and formal resolutions of the Board.  Simply because something was discussed does not mean that it is the agreed-upon position of the Board.  When the Board makes a formal resolution to approve an item, it will be noted as such in the minutes.  If there is no such notation, readers should assume that the minutes are simply the notes of the Board discussions.

Board members present:  Josh Baron, Joseph Hardin, Stephen Marquard, Lois Brooks, Mara Hancock, Michael Korcuska (ex-officio) Mary Miles (staff)

Board members absent:  John Norman, Jutta Treviranus
Topic: Review of July Minutes
Minor revisions were needed to the July minutes.  Michael re-wrote the section prior to it being posted on Confluence.

Topic:  Financial statements
Previously distributed financial statements were reviewed.  The balances are a little misleading as the hotel bill for the conference had not been paid as of the date of the statements (July 31).  The August report will more accurately reflect the balances.  As a reminder, income is accounted for on an accrual basis, so when a three-year membership payment is received, only the first year is actually shown as revenue, with the balance held in escrow for future years.  Membership income is slightly lower than expected but that generally happens in the summer.  The other inconsistency is that the University of Michigan failed to invoice the Foundation for June so the August payment will be for two months rather than one.

The Statement of Functional Income and Expense was reviewed, showing where income and expenses are by program and support.  Program expenses are direct spending on activities, divided into 4 categories:  Product Development, Program Coordination, Fellows, and Conferences.  The other category of expenses (Support) covers those back-office things which also include communications and administration. To this point, staff salaries have been assigned to the various program on a percentage basis, and not tracked on a day-by-day basis.  Starting next month, staff will be asked to submit their time against these categories so we can provide this information on a more granular basis.

Michael plans to provide a comparison of 2007 versus 2008 spending by categories, then a comparison of 2008 versus 2009 against the categories just discussed.  All of the Foundation history has been loaded into Quick Books so this will assist with the comparison.  In October, Michael plans to provide a presentation to show the finances to the membership and anyone else who might be interested.  Josh asked Michael to provide the board with a list of bullet points as to what they should be looking at on these reports.

Michael is currently working on the budget, which is currently running a slight shortfall.  There is a plan in place for a push both for membership and fund-raising targeted at specific initiatives.  This will start in September and run through early next year.  Michael and Mary are working on a targeted and prioritized list of contacts.  Once the targeted list has been developed, it will be circulated to the board members to provide an opportunity for background and contact information. Stephen urged that non-monetary resources in terms of community involvement be recruited as well.  This could include assistance with writing documents as to how you can get started with Sakai, your very first experience with Sakai, and other items that may be best described as "on-boarding."  Pieter is developing plans on this front – something like a welcome kit that can be sent to first involvement members.

If this effort is not successful within the next 6 months, it will be necessary to look at ways to reduce expenses.  Other avenues, such as program grants or foundation funding are also things that will be considered.  Jutta suggested that some interest had been expressed for Mobil Sakai in Africa. Jutta volunteered to take the lead in developing avenues for program grants.  Mara offered to assist with the effort as well.

Topic:  Conference Finances
Michael reported the net cost of the Boston conference as $57,480. Staff time is not included in this number.  Although Mary's time is booked on the income statement, this does not account for other staff members' time.  Michael's budget included all travel in one expense line.  If you look at that, conference travel would be included there, resulting in a cost for budget comparison of $33,925.

The conference was a success, even though it required a great deal of Mary's time as this conference was conducted without the help of an outside conference management group.  The board formally thanked Mary for her assistance on this conference.

Topic:  Retreat
The next Board Retreat was discussed briefly.  It was initially suggested that it occur around Educause as so many board members were likely to be there.  Stephen pointed out that there was still quite a lot of follow-through from the last retreat, and also that with board elections coming in the fall, it might be more beneficial to postpone a retreat until spring so that the new board members could also participate.

Action:  A Board Meeting will be held around Educause, but more time is needed to make a retreat productive.  A discussion of a retreat agenda will be moved to the list, with a goal of identifying a time frame.

Action:  Michael/Mary will poll board members regarding their availability at Educause.

With no further business before the board, the call ended at 2:31 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Miles

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