Jasig and Sakai Establish Formal Working Group

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Jasig and Sakai Establish Formal Working Group

Haeusser, Jens
Community members,

Back in October 2010, the Jasig and Sakai boards jointly announced our intention to pursue the possibility of bringing our communities together.  Since then, members of both boards have been meeting regularly to develop a mission and charter for a collaborative working group.  In addition, we have performed an initial analysis of the scope and effort required for this undertaking, and are more confident than ever in the outcome. We are committed to continuing with a complete due-diligence analysis of the synergistic possibilities of such a partnership.  Progress on this front has been slow but steady since October, and we plan to accelerate our efforts starting this month.  

The following is the mission and charter for a Joint Working Group that also doubles as a high-level road map of what lies ahead of us.  We look forward to engaging with our communities in the months to come, both electronically but also in person at the Jasig and Saki conferences in May and June.  You can find out how to stay more involved with these efforts at the bottom of the charter, or, as always, can send your comments either directly to myself, or to the full Jasig Board of Directors at [hidden email] .

Jens Haeusser
Chair, Jasig Board of Directors

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In October, the boards of Jasig and the Sakai Foundation announced to their communities that the two non-profit organizations had decided to pursue an opportunity to join together.  The new entity would “foster the development and use of open source software that supports the academic mission”.  More specifically, the resulting foundation would promote the development and sustainability of multiple open source projects and communities of practice dedicated to exploring the use of open source systems, tools, and processes to support teaching, learning, research, and other aspects of the academic enterprise.  

Both boards felt that the similarities in goals, values, and practices between Sakai and Jasig could form the basis of a combined foundation which would be capable of providing far greater value to our communities than the sum of its parts.  

Since the October announcement, the two boards have formed a Joint Working Group (JWG) whose mission is to perform the work required to fully evaluate the processes and models by which we might effectively bring our two organizations together, seek input and feedback from the Jasig and Sakai communities, and prepare a detailed proposal for acceptance by the respective boards of directors and communities.  Specifically, the working group will be responsible for the following:
  • Establish procedures for communicating with the Sakai and Jasig communities to solicit input about the proposed partnership, set up appropriate avenues for dialog, provide relevant information, and report periodically on the status of the Joint Committee’s work.
  • Determine the most effective governance model for the new foundation.
  • Reconcile membership models and design a new, optimized model for institutions, professional affiliates, and commercial entities.
  • Develop policies and procedures for organizational and project governance.
  • Perform due diligence regarding the mechanics and practicalities of joining the two organizations (e.g., finances, legal, licensing, etc.).
  • Develop budget and staffing models.
  • Draft a high-level proposal for additional tasks that would need to be performed by the new organization, e.g., rationalize infrastructure, web presence, collaboration environments and tools, etc.
  • Develop a detailed proposal for joining the two organizations; present it to our communities and boards of directors.
The Jasig-Sakai Joint Working Group will meet regularly over the next several months to work on these activities.  Sub-groups will be formed to work on specific deliverables.  The group aims to complete its work by October of 2011.  

Community members who have questions or who wish to comment on the evolving plans are invited to subscribe to the Google Group, “Jasig Sakai Collaboration” at http://groups.google.com/group/jasig-sakai-collaboration/subscribe. The JWG will periodically post documents, questions and ideas to this group for community feedback.  If appropriate, a FAQ will be created to respond to regularly posted questions.

We look forward to working together over the next several months and invite you to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns about this process, its objectives, and its deliverables.  
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