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Governance Rules

(adopted 4 August 2010, updated thereafter)

1.0 Roles and responsibilities
1.1 PMC member (active)

Nominations (or self-nominations) to become members of the PMC should be made privately and directly to the PMC Chair for off-line discussion. Discussion prior to voting and the voting itself is done off-list, among the PMC membership. New members are elected by super majority (e.g., 2/3 of active PMC membership). Announcement of new members is done on-list.

Getting involved in the Sakai community does not require PMC membership. However, involvement in the Sakai community is required to be considered for PMC membership. Involvement includes:

There is no set term ("merit never expires") for PMC members.
PMC Members possesses a binding vote on PMC decisions.


  • Participate actively in PMC discussions and deliberations
  • Contribute actively to Sakai planning, design, development, testing, release, etc.
  • Help maintain PMC documentation.
1.2 PMC chair

Rotating position. Elected by simple majority vote of membership unless replaced by vice-chair according to order of succession described below.
Term: 6 months
Eligibility: active PMC member


  1. Propose schedule for upcoming releases, propose vote for acceptance and announcement of new releases, send email announcing new releases.
  2. Organize meetings or online discussions when necessary; responsible for assembling agenda
  3. Serve as meeting/discussions moderator
  4. Manages and facilitates process of vetting and voting on proposals. Voting results should be summarized in confluence
  5. Ensure that outstanding issues/proposals are not forgotten or ignored
  6. Serve as the PMC's initial contact point with the outside world.
    • Provide regular, monthly updates to the list of accomplishments on PMC Home page
    • Schedule regular monthly teleconferences with Sakai Foundation Executive Director (Ian Dolphin)
    • Occasional attendance (via teleconference) at Sakai/JaSig board meetings
  7. Serve as a the list owner and moderator for PMC mail lists.
  8. Provide summary reports of PMC proposals and decisions.
  9. Oversee PMC documentation in Confluence.
1.3 PMC vice-chair

Rotating position. Elected by a simple majority vote of membership every 6 months. Succeeds current PMC chair when the chair's term expires.
Term: 6 months
Eligibility: active PMC member


  1. Assists the chair in executing above duties, including substituting for chair when the chair is unavailable (i.e., vacations, sickness, etc.)
  2. Serve as a sakai2-PMC list owner.
1.4 PMC member (emeritus)

PMC members who fail to participate actively in the work of the PMC over a 12 month period or who are unable to participate in PMC work due to other responsibilities will be accorded "emeritus" (inactive) status and their binding vote will be suspended.

Changes in status from active to emeritus and from emeritus to active will be determined by a simple majority of active PMC members. Status changes can be initiated by request of the PMC member concerned at any time.

1.5 Removal of PMC chair and vice-chair

A PMC member, whether active or emeritus, may resign at any time for any reason.

A PMC chair or vice-chair can be removed at any time, with or without cause, by a vote of no confidence comprising a simple majority of active PMC members.

2.0 Voting

In general, voting is by lazy consensus:









-1 votes must be accompanied by a detailed explanation. A single -1 vote based on a material objection will block action. However, -1 blocking votes can be overridden by a 2/3 majority roll call vote of active PMC members.

Voting will be open for a period of 3 working days (Saturdays and Sundays excluded).

Proposals should contain the following text:

As a reminder, this is a public, on-list vote with a "+1" signifying approval. Per our governance documents, a -1 vote must be accompanied by a detailed explanation. A single -1 vote based on a material objection will block action. However, -1 blocking votes can be overridden by a 2/3 majority roll call vote of active PMC members.

3.0 Elections

Nominations for Chair and Vice-Chair should be made publicly and can include self-nominations.

If there is only one candidate, the nominee is usually just declared elected.

If a vote is required, it is usually secret with an unbiased PMC member (e.g. not a candidate, such as current PMC chair) gathering the votes and reporting the results.

The method for breaking a tie is still subject to debate. Suggestions include:

  • In a future PMC election if there is a tie, a run off election will be held among the tied candidates following the same election procedures. 
  • If members are still tied after the election, a virtual coin toss will be held when only two tied candidates are left.
  • The coin toss method may change, but currently it will be via between the chair and vice chair. The candidate who is represented by heads and tails is arranged prior to the toss when the chair sends the link to the vice chair.
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