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The Samvera Governance Working Group is dedicated to creating a sustainable Governance model for the management and oversight of the Samvera Community and related technologies.

Slack channel:    #governance-models

Approval for Working Group

Voted on at Partner's Meeting in November

Re-approved in Google Groups:

  • Northwestern
  • Columbia
  • Cincinnatti


Ryan Steans - Northwestern/ Avalon

Volunteers to Date

Maria Whitaker - Indiana University

Simeon Warner - Cornell University

Erin Tripp - DuraSpace (may name different volunteer)

Nabeela Jaffer - Univ. of Michigan

Carolyn Caizzi - Northwestern University

Anna Headley - Princeton


From Doc

Samvera Governance Working Group

Initial Timelines for Charter Document

11/17 [Friday] Circulate for comment by Samvera SG and existing Governance Group

11/22 [Wednesday] Initial comment period closes

11/27 [Monday] Post finalized WG Charter and invite community participation

12/08 [Friday] Select working group members


The Governance working group is a small group chartered by the community to help synthesize and formalize the various governance discussions and documents currently underway.

The scope of the Samvera Governance Working Group’s deliverables will be:

  • Context: A one-page summary of the discussion, documentation, and feedback to-date related to the various governance models under consideration.

  • Synthesis: A summary of the themes and issues that the community hopes to address by refining existing or adopting new governance practices and structures.  Ideally identifies key differences and decision points between the models provided for evaluation and current model.  This combined context and synthesis documents should be approximately 750-1500 words (1-3 pages)  in length

  • Draft: Development of a draft governance proposal and incremental steps to implementation if appropriate

  • Community Input: Circulation of the above to Partners, stakeholders, and the Steering group for review, comment, and change requests to the proposal

    • Legal Review: This step will be shepherded by Steering, as the proposed model will also be assessed for legal, licensing, and MOU implications prior to further community review.

  • Proposal: A revised governance proposal based on community, stakeholder, & legal feedback

  • Community Review: Circulation of the final proposal for potential adoption at a Spring/Summer 2018 partner meeting

Based on stakeholder & community, the group may chose to amend or update its charter or deliverables during the course of its work as long as such changes are communicated openly to the broader community.


In order to facilitate the tight working timelines necessary to achieve the target deadline, working group membership will be limited to a small 6-8 person agile team which can collaborate efficiently to produce the deliverables in the desired timelines.  With this in mind, we will be soliciting representation from the community as follows:

  • 2-3 members from the existing Governance working team who can provide context and continuity from existing work

  • 2-3 members present at the November 2018 Partner Meeting discussion to represent and synthesize the discussion at the partner meeting.

  • 2-3 at-large members drawn from the broader partner community to represent stakeholders not able to be present at the in-person Partner Meeting

  • One individual to serve as the group’s Secretariat handling logistical and communication details to help sustain the momentum of the group

Members would be expected to attend two monthly 30 minute sessions and dedicate approx. an additional four hours a month, now through March to complete the listed deliverables.  Subteams for specific deliverables of the work will also need to convene more frequently during certain phases of the timeline.

Although the group will have limited membership, it will be accountable to ensuring broad community review of each deliverable and input leading to the final proposal.


  • Context: the discussion summary document will be completed by
    Friday, January 19th, 2018

  • Synthesis: the summary of themes will be completed and circulated by
    Friday, January 19th, 2018

  • Draft: initial governance proposal will be drafted for circulation by
    Friday, February 16th, 2018

  • Community Input: will be solicited between
    Monday, February 19th - Friday, March 2nd, 2018

  • Proposal: a revised proposal incorporating stakeholder feedback by
    Monday, March 12, 2018

  • Community Review: circulation of a final proposal between
    Monday, March 12, 2018 - late March / early April

  • Adoption: following online and in-person discussion at a Spring 2018 Partner Meeting.  Community vote to take place within 2 weeks of the partner meeting discussion

More to come...

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  1. Does the "governance proposal" necessary include details on how the community will resource shared work, and specifically software maintenance and development? I would find it difficult to support this group unless that is a stated focus of the proposal. (My understanding is that how we resource this shared work is what got us down this governance path in the first place, so I'm concerned that there's a risk this effort will be focused elsewhere. (smile))

  2. Great question, Mike.  I'll follow up.