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From our Community Blog:

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: April 21, 2023

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Meeting date/time: Friday, March 17, 2023 at 3:30pm Eastern
Attendees: Ed Beck, Rachel Cherry, Phil Crumm, Kiera Howe, Dash Kees, Reed Piernock, Eric Sembrat
Invited: L. Danielle Baldwin, Ed Beck, Rachel Cherry, Phil Crumm, Dash Kees, Kiera Howe, Reed Piernock, Eric Sembrat


  • Address Pantheon’s current statement regarding their hosting of hateful sites, and create a plan of action.
  • Update the Board on 2023 conference planning progress.
  • Review and discuss Rachel’s website proposal.
  • Discuss the addition of an official vice-president role.
  • Review options for inviting members of the general public to Board meetings.
  • Review the Code of Conduct and the bias incident response procedure.


Roll Call

  • Note attendees of this meeting (in the Details section above), and list any absences.

Approval of Minutes

Old Business

  • Discuss the addition of an official vice-president role.
    • If approved, vote on Danielle as nominee.
  • Review options for inviting members of the general public to Board meetings, and how to foster community participation.

Reports or Presentations

  • Rachel to update the Board on 2023 conference planning progress.
  • Rachel to review her website proposal with the Board.

New Business

  • Address Pantheon’s current statement regarding their hosting of hateful sites.
    • Create a plan of action, if necessary.
  • Review the Code of Conduct and the bias incident response procedure.

Action Items

Resolved or in progress action items

  • Kiera and Eric to draft a Conflict of Interest form for the Board of Directors.
  • Rachel to create documentation of the current website(s).
  • Rachel to audit a list of tools used by WPCampus, such as the website, social media, Slack, IFTTT, etc. in order to research access to those tools for use by the Board.

Unresolved action items

Other unresolved items may not have someone assigned to them. Assign to Board members new and unresolved action items. Set deadlines as necessary. Board members to review other unresolved items to claim them.

  • Update WPCampus business address with the State of Alabama.
  • Update WPCampus Board of Directors with the State of Alabama.
  • Create a running list of tasks for the Board of Directors, to create organizational knowledge when new Board members are elected.
  • Decide who shall be listed on the bank account as a signer.
  • Consider amending the bylaws to read something like “A majority of the voting members Board of Directors constitutes a quorum at any meeting. A majority of those present, with authorization to vote, have the power to act, unless another part of these …”


  • Confirm date and time for the next meeting.
  • Final thoughts, reminders, or general chit-chat.


Call to order.

Dash called to order the monthly meeting of the WPCampus Board of Directors at 3:36pm (Eastern) on 21 April 2023, virtually in Zoom.

Ed, Rachel, Phil, Dash, Kiera, Reed, and Eric were in attendance. Danielle was absent.

This meeting was recorded, and the video, audio, and chat transcript are available in the Board of Directors meeting folder in Google Drive.

Reed did not have the minutes from the March meeting available. The board opted to review both the March and April minutes for the next monthly meeting in May.

Discuss the addition of an official vice-president role.

Dash moved to table a vote on the vice-president role. Ed agreed, and moved to table a vote until the next nomination cycle for the Board. The Board decided to postpone the discussion of a vice-president role until after the conference.

Review options for inviting members of the general public to board meetings.

The Board unanimously agreed that Zoom is our best option for hosting meetings. How to set all board members as hosts is an action item for research. The Board listed the following as requirements: muting all participants’ microphones; adding a Q&A field; and opening the meeting to the community and the general public.

The Board agreed to perform testing before the next meeting, and also to research organization discounts for a WPCampus-explicit Zoom license.

Address Pantheon’s current statements regarding their hosting.

The Board addressed the statements from Pantheon, after it was brought to their and to the community’s attention, that they are an open hosting platform, and will not remove the websites for two organizations the Southern Poverty Law Center labels as hate groups.

Ed asked for clarification on Pantheon’s terms of service and acceptable use policies. Rachel confirmed their TOS states that websites hosted on their platform cannot “promote hate”.

Reed stated the SPLC is a well-respected organization, and thoroughly researches others before committing to the “hate group” label. Phil agreed, and stated that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

Rachel confirmed the conference committee has not yet received funds from Pantheon, who agreed to sponsor the conference. The Board voted to wait until we had a discussion with Pantheon before accepting the sponsorship.

Dash noted they will contact Josh regarding Pantheon’s statements, asking for clarification on their stance. The Board tabled any other matters until receiving further clarification.

Update on the 2023 conference planning progress.

Rachel reported that so far, registration is low, but often ramps up closer to the conference dates. Proposal selection has completed, and notifications to those selected would start going out next week. Early Bird pricing for the conference would be extended to those applicants whose proposals were not accepted.

Rachel further reported that a new marketing strategy would be finalized soon, and presumed that registration would increase once the schedule with speakers is announced.

A potential conflict in Tulane University’s COVID policies was resolved, and that the university’s vaccinations policies regarding proof of vaccination is only required for attendees staying in on-campus housing.

An after-party is scheduled for Friday night, with dinner included. Attendance is included with conference registration; however, guests of attendees may require a paid ticket for the after party. Rachel is inquiring about insurance for the party, including a possible open bar.

Rachel and Ryan will be performing a technical test of the venue with an on-site visit 5 May.

Review website proposals.

Rachel moved to continue discussions of the website to asynchronous communication. Ed asked if we could fix the current website’s infrastructure, or if we could switch to a new one; this is especially important as Rachel is the only developer for the website. Rachel confirmed if needed, she could make certain changes to the website now. The Board voted to begin a new website project by next summer.

Discuss the 2024 conference.

Ed requested an ad-hoc agenda item be discussed regarding the 2024 conference; the Board agreed. Ed asked if the next year’s conference is ever announced at the current year’s conference. Rachel stated that Tulane 2020 was announced at Portland 2019, but it isn’t always the case that the following year’s venue is confirmed.

Rachel further asserted that the organization would need a conference venue committee, and asked if the Board should charter one soon. Dash agreed that it would be preferable to begin soon, but it is not necessary to announce a 2024 venue at the 2023 conference. A goal was proposed to charter a committee by the end of May.

Rachel considered the possibility of gathering information, marketing, and volunteers for the 2024 conference at the 2023 conference. Dash agreed.

Dash further suggested that moving forward, a conference venue committee would be chartered in the January of the previous year, i.e. in January 2024, a committee would be chartered for the July 2025 conference. Rachel indicated that the Board would provide the committee with requirements for a potential venue, and the committee would research and report back. The committee would then submit their recommendations, along with their research and their proposal, to the Board for approval. The Board agreed that a member of the Board should lead a site visit.

Dash asked if the organization still had a copy of the site application form, in which to base the conference requirements. Rachel will confirm, and provide any previous data.

Review the Code of Conduct and the bias incident response procedure.

Dash suggested the Board review the Code of Conduct for the organization, as it may be outdated. Dash further asked who is responsible for reviewing any bias incident report. Traditionally, that has been Rachel.

Rachel suggested an audit of the current Code of Conduct; Reed agreed. Dash stated the Board should review the list of other Codes of Conduct used as inspiration for the organization’s own policy.

Ed commended the Board, and particularly Rachel, for handling the most recent violation well.

Ed also stated that the responsibility should not fall to Rachel alone, and should be handed off to others on the Board. Rachel agreed there should be clear and thorough documentation on how to respond to an incident or report. Dash noted that HighEdWeb has its own distinct bias incident committee, and suggested the organization have one point of contact at conferences. bias@ was proposed as an email address for this point of contact.

Reed asked for clarification if the bias committee would be for the organization or limited to a conference. Dash confirmed the Board would charter a committee and point of contact for each conference, but proposed a committee would be beneficial to the organization and the community. The Board agreed to table discussion of an organizational bias committee for a later meeting.

Rachel explained there is an email and phone process for reporting incidents at a conference, and it has never been used. Rachel has traditionally been the point of contact, and this responsibility would also need to be reassigned to another person. If there is an incident, the point of contact needs to gather as much evidence as possible, and that the reporter will be anonymous unless they agree to disclose their identity.

Reed asked if there is an official WPCampus phone number. Rachel clarified that a Google Voice number is activated for each conference. Dash proposed keeping one official number, and reassigning it to different people to be on-call as necessary. The Board agreed that the word “safety” should be included in the committee name, as opposed to words such as bias, Code of Conduct, etc.


Rachel will go over the services and tools used for finances, and provide to the Board with recommendations. Rachel will also review Quickbooks with Kiera, and work on transferring responsibility of finances to Kiera. Kiera asked if the organization’s fiscal year is calendar-based; Rachel confirmed.

Rachel will ask the organization’s CPA for recommendations on which tools may be the best options for the Treasurer to track finances. Phil offered help, as he uses both Quickbooks and Wave.

The goal moving forward is to provide a brief financial overview at each regular Board meeting.

The Board confirmed Friday 19 May 2023 at 3:30pm (Eastern) as the date and time for the next meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 5:02pm.