[Wikimedia-l] proposed urgent Board of Trustees resolution without a meeting

Steven Zhang cro0016 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 24 08:55:52 UTC 2012

I too am baffled.

Sent from my iPhone

On 24/12/2012, at 5:42 PM, Liam Wyatt <liamwyatt at gmail.com> wrote:

> Whereas I'm confused.
> On Monday, 24 December 2012, James Salsman wrote:
>> Kat Walsh
>> Chair
>> Board of Trustees
>> Wikimedia Foundation
>> In accordance with your discretionary power to divert from the Board
>> deliberation procedures approved July 8, 2010,[1] and because of
>> certain recent serious misleading and contradictory statements from
>> senior Foundation staff and obvious financial accounting regularities
>> concerning the Board's direction that the Foundation maintain a six
>> month cash reserve, and for the other reasons stated below, I ask that
>> you and the Board approve the following or a substantially similar
>> resolution without a meeting in accordance with Article IV, Section
>> 4(f) of your Bylaws[2] as soon as possible, and no later than this
>> week:
>> Whereas the Foundation's mandatory fiduciary duty of care requires
>> that trustees act on a fully informed basis;[3]
>> whereas the trustees were led to believe on May 12, 2012 that senior
>> Foundation staff were in doubt as to whether they could significantly
>> exceed last years' fundraising;[4]
>> whereas in fact senior Foundation staff knew on May 11, 2012 that they
>> were already able to exceed the performance of the best performing
>> fundraising message from 2011;[5]
>> whereas based on the information pertaining to Fundraising provided by
>> senior Foundation staff, the 2012-2013 Annual Plan was proposed and
>> adopted with a revenue target increase of $7.2 million, or $900,000
>> less than the previous Annual Plan's revenue target increase;[6]
>> whereas actual fundraising far exceeded the stated expectations of
>> senior Foundation staff, so much that the nominal fundraising goal
>> based on the stated expectations of senior Foundation staff was
>> achieved in about nine days of unlimited fundraising messaging to
>> Foundation project readers;[7]
>> whereas ceasing Fundraising prior to the last four business days of
>> December in unprecedented in the history of the Foundation;[7]
>> whereas the last four business days of December have over the previous
>> five years yielded fundraising performance typically about triple the
>> performance of the median fundraiser day's performance;[7]
>> whereas senior Foundation staff have proposed fundraising next year in
>> part during April, which this year was in fact the last month that
>> senior Foundation staff were not able to produce a fundraising message
>> outperforming those of the prior year's fundraiser;[8]
>> whereas the tax code of the United States and other countries provide
>> an incentive for wealthy donors to determine the optimal amount of
>> their donations during the last week of December;
>> whereas the Foundation staff has failed to maintain a six month cash
>> reserve as directed by the trustees, even with lower than expected
>> expenses and higher than expected revenues;[9]
>> whereas junior Foundation staff are compensated substantially below
>> that of typical advanced information processing technology workers in
>> San Francisco;[10]
>> whereas because of their low levels of compensation, the retention of
>> foundation technical staff has been substantially below optimal
>> levels;[11]
>> whereas because of their low levels of compensation, junior foundation
>> technical staff are often unable to afford housing which does not
>> involve a lengthy commute from unsavory neighborhoods;[11]
>> whereas the ratio of the compensation of Foundation executives to
>> junior foundation staff and contractors has substantially widened in
>> recent years;[10]
>> whereas Foundation staff have been unable or unwilling to effectively
>> staff programs such as the very successful Wikimedia Education Program
>> at levels preventing serious problems for the editor community, such
>> as, for example, including sufficient information to discern which
>> articles are currently pending in the Education Program;[12]
>> whereas the Foundation Annual Plan as amended lacks sufficient funding
>> to explore telepresence options for those who can not attend events
>> such as Wikimania or chose not to attend for ecological reasons;
>> and whereas senior Foundation staff have recently discontinued major
>> programs of the Annual Plan and the Strategic Plan without consulting
>> the community,[13]
>> therefore, be it resolved, that the Foundation will resume fundraising
>> at maximal levels immediately until such time as sufficient funds are
>> raised such that:
>> staff salaries and contractor compensation can be increased so no
>> contributor is compensated less than 50% of the amount of the highest
>> compensated executive staff member, calculated on a per-hour basis for
>> contractors;
>> a one year contingency cash reserve can be maintained;
>> sufficient staff can be added to the Education Program so that program
>> article talk page templates can be provided with their correct
>> academic calendar dates;
>> the Wikimania program can include a telepresence pilot program;
>> and the recent discontinuation of programs approved in the Annual Plan
>> such as the Fellows program can be put to a question of the community
>> with sufficient time for thorough consultation.
>> Please let me know your and the trustees' decision on this matter.
>> Best regards,
>> James Salsman
>> [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Board_deliberations
>> [2]
>> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Bylaws#.28f.29_Action_Without_a_Meeting
>> .
>> [3]
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_board_manual#Fiduciary_duties
>> [4]
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fundraising_2012/We_Need_A_Breakthrough&diff=3741759&oldid=3741756
>> [5]
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fundraising_2012/We_Need_A_Breakthrough&diff=prev&oldid=3739753
>> "...we can feature Jimmy, editors, staff, donors and others and make
>> as much as with our standard money-maker, the Jimmy appeal...."
>> [6]
>> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2012-2013_Annual_Plan_Questions_and_Answers#What.27s_the_revenue_target_for_2012-13.2C_and_how_does_it_compare_to_previous_years.3F
>> [7] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Special:FundraiserStatistics
>> [8] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Fundraising_2012#Questions
>> [9]
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WMF_Revenue_%26_Expenses_October_2012_-_Actual_vs_Plan.png
>> [10]
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Forum#Wikimedia_employee_salaries
>> [11]
>> http://www.glassdoor.com/GD/Job/jobs.htm?clickSource=searchBtn&typedKeyword=&sc.keyword=wikimedia&locT=&locId=
>> [12]
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_Ambassador_Program_student_projects
>> [13] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sue_Gardner/Narrowing_focus
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> -- 
> wittylama.com
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