Minutes of SRN EC Meeting
Monday 18.5.2020 at 10 pm GMT/UTC (via Skype)
Circulation list: Carmen Sofia Brenes (CSB), Rose Ferrell (RF), Alexandra Ksenofontova (AK), Rafael Leal (RL), Margaret McVeigh (MM), Paolo Russo (PR), Rosanne Welch (RW)
1. Apologies for absence
2. Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval
Some minor phrasing/wording and a few typos amended.
Action: PR to send final draft to RL for upload to website
3. Contingency Plan for SRN EC elections in light of COVID-19 (Cont’d from April meeting)
a. Proposal for special Call to Membership (CTM) to outline/consult on the following:
- i. No AGM in 2020
ii. No EC elections in 2020
iii. Current EC members’ appointment extended by one year (next 3 up for election in September 2021 when usual rota will resume)
iv. EC to issue Plan for 2020-21
v. Next AGM (incl. 2-year Activities Report and Election of new EC) in September 2021 in Oxford
ACTION: PR to draft the CTM text to send to Membership. Will circulate to EC members later this week for approval, aiming to sending it out to Members next week.
This is in accordance to the SRN Constitution, which recommends appropriate consultation of Membership before making significant decisions. The CTM will include the main points of discussion from the April and May 2020 EC meetings and outline the legal framework of the SRN, the Articles of the SRN Constitution that apply to the current situation and any further guidance.
The CTM will outline two options:
- (recommended by the EC) Postpone AGM and EC elections by one year and mandate of current EC extended accordingly. But constitution requires consulting members before making decision.
- No AGM in 2020 but virtual elections held in September 2020.
The CTM must explain that Option 2 is not devoid of risks (e.g. secrecy of vote, polling apps, etc.). On RF’s suggestion, the deadline for expressing preferences will be by mid-June, so as to be able to ratify the result by the June meeting of the EC (the last one before the Summer recess). CSB suggests that if members should be able to propose ‘other ways’ provided they give reasoning
for it. If so, the EC will consider their feasibility before final ratification. RF thanks PR for the in-depth research conducted into the matter at hand.
PR advises to use all available outlets to inform members of CTM and related deadline for expressing preference between two options – i.e. mailing list, Facebook page, Newsletter, Website, Twitter. With regards to the extension of the mandate of the current members of the EC, RF asks: should Option 1 go through, what if current members need/choose to step down. The SRN Constitution specify clearly that a minimum of 5 members if needed; therefore, so as long as no more than one current member decides to leave, there is no need the replacing them. In case, two or more did, the plan is to go back to the Membership for an interim election (protocol TBD by the EC).
CSB notifies the EC of her decision to step down from her role in September 2020.
b. Update on COVID-19 emergency and potential timeline back to normality
Unfortunately, the situation is still unfolding and there is too much uncertainty at the moment for a realistic forecast.
ACTION: EC to assess again in September 2020 meeting.
c. Drafting Call for Expressions of Interest in ECR post for 2020-21 (June posting, and deadline for submission)
The Call for EoI’s in the role of ECR will go out in late June, after the last EC meeting. The role will be filled/renewed in September 2020, at the first EC meeting of the new academic year.
ACTION: EC to finalize and issue Call for ECR at/after the June 2020 meeting.
4. Newsletter (MM, RW)
ACTION: MM and RW will put out a call for more news to be included in the June 2020 issue. Suggestion/plan to add a section analysing how the CTM was received. Another suggestion for a section titled “What I’m Watching/What I’m Teaching?” in these difficult times, and how SRN colleagues can share/help each other with example of good practice. RF suggests drafting and posting a Call for diversity in membership to follow up on and keep building on the major strategy about inclusivity initiated by the EC this last year.
a. Update on ongoing history(ies) of SRN (RF, CSB, RL)
RF shared a spreadsheet on Google drive to collected information/history about the SRN conferences. This is already getting populated with facts and data – PR and Ian Macdonald have added substantial info. Suggestion/discussion re: RW and/or CSB to figure out how to approach past conference organizers to collect their info/experiences as well. CSB suggests short oral interviews – 5 questions, same for all – which can then be transcribed and slightly edited (if needed).
RW notes this would help create a sort of oral history that can then be posted on the website or bitesize on Facebook. Suggestion to set up a YouTube Channel to post/share this type of content. RL points out this would also allow us to stream the interviews live. PR also thought of implementing new initiatives in a similar way as a proposal in next year’s Action Plan. Given that the AGM is not going to be had this year, RF suggests EC members could record short videos to report on achievement of last year and to lay out our vision for next year/rest of mandate.
ACTION: EC to discuss this further in next meeting (either June 2020 or September 2020). PR to include in proposals for Action Plan 2020-21 (to be finalized by September 2020)
ACTION: RF and CSB to start contacting other conference organizers for interviews.
b. Ideas for revamping website over Summer/Autumn (All)
PR praises RL for much good work put in updating the website so far. The EC will need to start considering (soon) how to ensure the website stays on once the agreement
with Leeds University hosting it is over – i.e. Summer 2021.
ACTION: PR to contact host contact at Leeds University to check their intention for the future. In case Leeds University won’t host the SRN website any further, the EC will need to consider an
alternative. RL and PR observe WordPress is probably the easiest solution to use but the EC will need to look into costs.
ACTION: EC to discuss as ongoing “urgent” item in 2020-21 academic year. When the above is sorted would be a good time to think about revamping the website design.
6. Social Media (AK, All)
Item postponed to next month.
7. Membership update?
RF reports subscription of 63 new Members since the Porto conference last September, against only 6 leavers. Which brings the total Membership up to 604! RF reports one issue with JISCMail not admitting one request to which the help desk has not responded.
ACTION: RF to try and add member manually.
RF observes that the new, simplified protocol for subscribing to the SRN is working very well, with 100% of new members now filling out the personal information form. RF also reports a broader range of countries now coming in, with most new joiners coming from Asia and South America, which can be taken as a clear sign that the push towards inclusivity of under-represented regions is starting to work.
RW observes that new peer-reviewers of the journal’s special issue are also joining thanks to RF’s
ACTION: RF to include all stats about membership in Annual Report (during Summer 2020). PR thanks and praises RF for her work as Membership officer.
8. Any other business
RW suggestion to swap years of the Annual Conferences between Vienna and Missouri is not applicable. Therefore, the schedule for the forthcoming three years remains as is. PR suggest for EC next year to develop long-term strategy to elicit bids for conferences to be held in Asia and Africa in next call for conferences (due out in 2022-23).
Date of next meeting (last before Summer break): Monday 22 June (TBC), 10 pm UTC/GMT (consider DST)
The meeting ends at 11:10 pm.