Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes

Summary of Motions of the Provisional SGB (08/2018-11/2019)

  • 8/23/2018.
    • Board Members (10): Andrew Gelman, Daniel Lee, Breck Baldwin, Jonah Sol Gabry, Julie Bertrand, Michael Betancourt, Sean Talts, Tamara Broderick, Lizzie Wolkovich, Dan Simpson.
  • 9/3/2018.
    • Motion: The SGB will extend an invitation to Richard McElreath to join the SGB as full voting member.
    • Result: Passed. 6-4.
    • Note: Richard declined to join the SGB.
  • 9/5/2018.
    • Tamara Broderick resigned from the SGB.
    • Board Members (9): Andrew Gelman, Daniel Lee, Breck Baldwin, Jonah Sol Gabry, Julie Bertrand, Michael Betancourt, Sean Talts, Lizzie Wolkovich, Dan Simpson.
  • 9/18/2018.
    • Motion: Daniel Lee will be secretary of the SGB for the provisional year of this SGB as per Robert’s Rules of Order 11th ed. See https://www.dummies.com/careers/business-communication/secretary-according-roberts-rules for a description.
    • Result: Passed. 6-3.
  • 9/18/2018.
    • Motion: Breck Baldwin nominated as presiding officer.
    • Result: Passed. 5-4.
  • 9/18/2018.
    • Motion: Move to set up 3 specific email accounts with the “@mc-stan.org” domain: breck@mc-stan.org for Breck Baldwin to use for Stan-related communication as executive director, board@mc-stan.org for an external-facing inbound email address, treasurer@mc-stan.org to go to the active treasurer (when we have one).
    • Result: Passed. 5-4.
  • 9/18/2018.
    • Motion: Move to reject the request from Metrum Research Group to embed the Stan logo with a Torsten logo.
    • Result: Passed. 5-4.
  • 9/18/2018.
    • Motion: Motion to engage the two consultants we had as the committee: James Vasille (non-profit, board organization) and Kim Crayon (diversity).
    • Result: Failed. 4-5.
  • 9/21/2018.
    • Motion: Reject proposal for “Developing Stan’s GP Library”
    • Result: Widthdrawn.
  • 9/24/2018.
    • Motion: The SGB approves the torsten-white_Stan.png use of the Stan logo.
    • Result: Passed. 6-2.
    • Note: This vote approves the logo artwork indefinitely (the exact image), even if it does not meet our policy in the future. There was a secondary motion presented asking for the logo to be approved for now, but ask for adjustment if it was in violation of our policy. This secondary motion was withdrawn.
    • Torsten logo
  • 9/26/2018.
    • Motion: Motion to turn down proposal for “Developing Stan’s GP Library.”
    • Result: Passed. 7-2.
    • Note: We need to set up the Techincal Working Group to handle this type of request.
  • 10/10/2018.
    • Motion: Move to authorize the TWG to spend $50k within a year (by 10/10/2019) with the expectation that the TWG reports how it’s spent via email to the SGB.
    • Result: Passed. 6-3.
  • 10/17/2018.
    • Motion: The executive director is allowed to create committees with at least one SGB member. The committee must be announced on the SGB list and the committee’s power and scope must be articulated.
    • Result: Passed. 6-3.
    • Notes:

      • Committees are not meant to be non-inclusionary. (Anyone on SGB can join any committee.)
      • Non-SGB members can be on committees.
      • Each committee should have at least one SGB member on the committee. The SGB member could report back to these meetings.
      • A committee’s role could be to brainstorm and present ideas to the SGB.
  • 11/26/2018.
    • Motion: SGB authorizes StanCon2019 to be held in Cambridge UK on or around August 20-23 (3-4 day event), that the StanCon2019 committee is responsible for the conference and that the SGB authorize NumFOCUS to guarantee $25,000 USD from Stan funds for StanCon2019 expenses with the expectation that the funds will be reimbursed by StanCon2019 revenues.
    • Result: Passed. 6-3.
  • 2/15/2019.
    • Motion: Sean Talts to be TWG Director.
    • Result: Passed. 6-3.
    • Full text:

      Sean Talts be appointed the (Technical Working Group) TWG Director with the following structure and responsibilities:

      The director will be a full member of the SGB and the SGB’s representation in the technical sphere, analogous to a product manager that connects the technical work with funding and user priorities. The director will operate with a set of clear but high level goals from the SGB to be drafted and voted on separately.

      The TWG is organized as follows:

      The TWG consists of tech leads for the major components of the Stan ecosystem as determined by the SGB majority vote for both components and leadership. All positions, including TWG Director, have two year terms and no term limits. TWG Director removal requires 2/3rds majority vote, tech leads and components can be replaced with majority votes.

      Technical Director powers & responsibilities The Technical Working Group Director, has several responsibilities and powers they can use to achieve the goals set forth by the SGB.

      • “Blessing” specific projects / interfaces / libraries

        • Which interface we recommend and appear in our documentation
        • Which repositories belong on the stan-dev github organization
      • Responsible for all cross-cutting decisions:

        • Setting a technical vision and roadmap by acting as the product manager and (re-)negotiating the priorities and technical direction with the TWG leads according to the mission and goals set out by the SGB.
        • Act as final judge interpreting the SGB mandate and stakeholder needs to break ties and settle disputes between tech leads.
      • Spending money allocated to technical needs
      • Release management
        • Performing releases
        • Writing release/upgrade notes
        • Notifying the community about bugs
      • Last-resort, rarely used veto power over any technical decision affecting the stan-dev github projects.

      The director must also deliver an annual Stan-wide Roadmap representing the ideal collective project direction across all stan-dev projects by negotiation and heavy consultation with the TWG, users, and the SGB funding committee. The Technical Director will also account for money spent with quarterly reports. The TWG is also responsible for electing and ejecting developers from the stan-dev github organization, but this can be effected with a majority vote.

      The Technical Director will be paid $50,000 a year from NumFOCUS funds.

  • 2/15/2019.
    • Motion: Additional $10k for StanCon2019.
    • Result: Passed. 5-4.
    • Full text: The Stan Governing Body approves an additional $10,000 of funds for StanCon2019 in Cambridge UK with the expectation that those funds will be reimbursed with StanCon revenues
  • 2/22/2019.
    • Motion: We allow videos to have a sponsorship splash screen for StanCons at the discretion of StanCon organizers
    • Result: Failed. 1-8.
  • 5/17/2019.
    • Motion: Logo Use Authorization.
    • Result: Passed. 6-3.
    • Full Text: Allow the Thailand Stan User group to have authorization to use the following logo in their promotional Material. The Thai translates roughly to “Thai people use”, as in “Thai people use Stan”.
    • Thailand Stan User group logo
  • 6/7/2019.
    • Motion: The SGB approves $10,000 for developer meetings in 2019 to be organized by the TWG director.
    • Result: Passed. 5-4.
  • 6/7/2019.
    • Motion: The SGB will accept the Schmidt/Charles Schwab funding of $500,000 with Bob Carpenter to direct how those funds are allocated in support of the Stan project. The finance/fundraising committee will monitor expenditures and help Bob with reporting.
    • Result: Passed. 6-3.
    • Note: ultimately this funding did not go through the SGB.
  • 7/3/2019.
    • Dan Simpson resigned from the SGB.
    • Board Members (8): Andrew Gelman, Daniel Lee, Breck Baldwin, Jonah Sol Gabry, Julie Bertrand, Michael Betancourt, Sean Talts, Tamara Broderick, Lizzie Wolkovich.
  • 7/19/2019.
    • Motion: 2 month extension to SGB provisional status
    • Result: Passed. 6-2.
    • Full text:

      “We will propose the following vote to Stan Developers Only group on Discourse the following:

      Dear Stan Electorate,

      TL;DR : The SGB wants a two (2) month extension to its operating authority. Vote here at https://heliosvoting.org/<our vote>

      The members of ‘Stan Development Team Only’ are our current electorate for the SGB (Stan Governing Body). Last August we voted in a provisional SGB that would function for 1 year before another vote would be held. That vote is at:

      https://discourse.mc-stan.org/t/establishing-stan-governance/4295/42

      We would like an additional two months of operating for the following reasons:

      1) A mid August election is not well suited to people’s vacations.

      2) We don’t want the election of SGB members to be rushed and an election August 23 seems too soon.

      3) The big reason is that we want to expand the electorate beyond what it is now. That will take some time, 2 months seems appropriate since we have to develop the idea further (by August 15), have a vote by ‘Stan Development Team Only’ expanding the electorate (Sept 1), and then get the new people into the electorate by the time of the SGB elections (October 23).

      We encourage questions and of course voting at https://heliosvoting.org/ or by emailing vote@mc-stan.org but that will not be anonymous to our vote counter. You have one week to vote, deadline is midnight anywhere on the planet July 29.

      Thank you

      The provisional SGB.”

  • 8/30/2019.
    • Motion: YouTube content manager and Discourse Forum Manager positions
    • Result: Failed. 4-4.
    • Full text:

      The Stan Governing Body authorizes two funded positions at $10,000 per year each as independent contractors. The positions are:

      • YouTube content manager responsible for organizing, promoting and creation/curation of Stan relevant content.

      • Discourse forums community manager responsible for moderation of content, removing spam and ensuring that user’s questions are answered in a timely fashion. Additionally they are to develop community guidelines for acceptable content and maintain a friendly presence on the forums particularly for new users.

        Both positions will report to the executive director who also will be responsible for job descriptions/hiring/firing and over guidance with the task. Pay will be quarterly with prorated pay

  • 8/30/2019.
    • Motion: StanCon Utrecht2020
    • Result: Withdrawn.
    • Full text:

      The Stan Governing Body officially sanctions a StanCon2020 on or around August 25-28, 2020 at the University of Utrecht. They have not requested any financial support but do need permission to use Stan logos and hosting services for the website. The executive director, in consultation with any interested SGB members, will develop guidelines for this and all future StanCons to meet which reflect best practices, past experience and requirements that we expect to be met.

  • 9/20/2019.
    • Motion: Authorization for StanCons.
    • Result: Failed. 3-5.
    • Full text:

      The executive director is authorized to accept one or more offers for hosting StanCon2020, one in Europe, the other in North America as well as engage the services of NumFOCUS for running the logistics for the North American site. If there is only one StanCon it will be in North America

  • 9/28/2019.
    • Motion: We establish a general policy that allows any entity to use the following graphic in promotional material provided that it is left completely unmodified within the dashed line. This includes keeping all of the white space within the dashed line.
    • Result: Passed. 5-3.
    • Powered by
  • 9/28/2019.
    • Motion: Additional $75k budget for Technical Working Group Director.
    • Result: Passed. 5-3.
    • Full text:

      The TWG Director will have an additional $75k only to spend on part-time, targeted contractors for maintenance of CmdStan, Stan, and Math projects over the next year. The money should be spent on issues and areas that have traditionally been hard to find volunteers for. Contractors should report back to the TWG Director with a summary of their activities once per every 40 hours worked.

  • 10/9/2019.
    • Motion: Electorate
    • Result: Failed. 1-7.
    • Full text:

      Abstract

      Stan governance consists of the Stan community assembly and the Stan governing body. The community assembly consists of active members of the the Stan community who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the project. They are responsible for nominating new members as well as electing the new governing body each year. The elected governing body in turn is responsible for managing the project and facilitating its success.

      The Stan Community Assembly

      Role

      The community assembly is a group of trusted volunteers drawn from the Stan community that are eager to invest time and effort to cultivate the project. These volunteers help to manage the development of the project and promotes it’s applied use through application, teaching, and research. They elect the governing body that makes decisions that shape the future of the project and may participate in other roles required to achieve the project’s goals, especially those that require a high level of trust.

      Community assembly members are expected to act as role models for the community and custodians of the project, on behalf of the active Stan community and all those who rely on Stan in their work. In that role members of the community assembly may need to intervene, where necessary, in online discussions or at official Stan events on the occasions that a situation arises that requires mediation.

      Responsibilities

      In addition to fostering the community with their own work, community assembly members have three main responsibilities:

      • Confirming candidates for membership in the community assembly
      • Participating in formal votes to elect a new governing body every year
      • Assisting members of the governing body in the management of the project

      Membership

      Ideal members of the community assembly demonstrate a good grasp of the philosophy of the Stan project, a solid track record of being constructive and helpful to other members of the community, significant contributions to the project’s goals in any form, and willingness to dedicate some time to improving Stan.

      An incomplete list of contributions that might be considered for membership in the community assembly include, in no particular order:

      • Working on community management and outreach, such as hosting meet ups and conferences
      • Teaching and creating new educational material
      • Developing new statistical methodologies applicable to Stan
      • Demonstrating novel applications of Stan in science and industry
      • Providing support on the Stan Discourse Forum
      • Contributing code (new features, bug fixes, documentation, or tests)
      • Reviewing code
      • Participating in design discussions and decisions
      • Providing expertise in a particular domain applicable to the project
      • Managing Stan resources such as continuous integration infrastructure, the website, and the like.

      Community assembly membership acknowledges sustained and valuable efforts that align with the philosophy and the goals of the Stan project.

      The nomination process for prospective membership candidates proceeds in three phases:

      Phase 1: A candidate is nominated by themselves or a current member of the community assembly by sending an email to candidate_inquiries@stan_assembly.googlegroups.com that describes the contributions of the candidate along with any supporting references that might be available.

      Phase 2: For the week the nomination, current members may confirm by replying to the nomination email with the body “I confirm” if they feel that the candidate would be a benefit to the community assembly. There are no explicit negative votes, but members may reply with constructive feedback for how the nominee could expand their contributions to achieve their confirmation in the future.

      Phase 3: After one week the an election director selected by the governing body informs the candidate of the outcome. Nominees receiving at least three confirmations are welcomed into the community assembly once they accept the Stan Code of Conduct.

      Community assembly members are always looking for promising contributors, teaching them how the project is structured and managed, and nominating them when they are interested in participating in the community assembly.

      There is no time limit on community assembly membership. Community assembly members who have stopped contributing, however, are encouraged to declare themselves as “inactive”. Those who haven’t made any non-trivial contribution in two years may be asked to move themselves to this category, and moved there if they don’t respond. While someone is in inactive status they lose their privilege to vote or nominate.

      To record and honor their contributions, inactive team members will continue to be listed alongside active community assembly members; if they later resume contributions, they can switch back to active status at will.

      Ejecting community assembly members

      In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to remove someone from the community assembly against their will, for example due to egregious and ongoing code of conduct violations. This can be accomplished by a governing body vote, but unlike other governing body votes this requires the support of at least 2/3 of the governing body.

  • 10/11/2019.
    • Motion: Electorate proposal for referendum.
    • Result: Failed. 2-6.
    • Full text:

      “Role of the Electorate”

      The electorate for the Stan governing body consists of members of the Stan community who are interested in voting for the governing body. The elected governing body in turn is responsible for managing the project and facilitating its success.

      The current electorate is the Stan Development Team (https://discourse.mc-stan.org/g/Stan_Development_Team). The referendum expands that electorate from developers to a much broader class of users, researchers and others that care about Stan but are not in the current electorate. The primary role of the electorate will be an annual election of SGB members and the occasional referendum. >

      “Electorate Requirements”

      To be part of the Stan community electorate, you must register at

      https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1j4vZw-C4Xp3hFoxQ3VICFRG-kWmU7xmuzLIhMeSwhTE

      with a valid email address, agree to a code of conduct, and list a contribution to Stan to be considered for membership. Membership will be determined by a committee of at least 3 members appointed by the Stan Governing Body (SGB). The committee can remove anyone for any reason from the electorate. Appeals can be made to the SGB.

      Any of this list qualifies you automatically, if you have a contribution other than these, please write that in:

      • Working on community management and outreach, such as hosting meetups or conferences
      • Teaching and creating new educational material
      • Developing new statistical methodologies applicable to Stan
      • Using of Stan in science and industry
      • Providing support on the Stan Discourse Forum
      • Contributing code (new features, bug fixes, documentation, or tests)
      • Reviewing code
      • Participating in design discussions and decisions
      • Providing expertise in a particular domain applicable to the project
      • Managing Stan resources such as continuous integration infrastructure, the website, and the like
      • Attendance at any StanCon
      • Being an author on a Stan paper or paper that uses Stan
      • Submission of an accepted pull request in https://github.com/stan-dev/
      • Funding Stan
      • Reported Stan bug on github
      • Uses Stan as a dependency for an open source project

      Membership lasts for 2 years and will be automatically renewed when voting.

      The new electorate will replace the current electorate when it has 40 members or more.

      Stan Governing Body Eligibility

      The primary job of the Stan electorate is to elect the Stan Governing Body (SGB). This referendum also encompasses requirements for SGB positions, both elected and appointed if there are any

      To be eligible to serve on the Stan Governing Body, a candidate must be:

      • in the electorate in good standing
      • agree to the code of conduct
      • agree to the requirements and responsibilities of the position as they evolve
      • agree to weekly meetings and if meetings are missed read meeting minutes to remain cognizant of SGB issues.
      • must significantly contribute to the community in ways as enumerated in the guidelines for electorate eligibility.
  • 10/11/2019.
    • Motion: YouTube content manager and Discourse Forum Manager positions
    • Result: Passed. 5-3.
    • Full text:

      The Stan Governing Body authorizes two funded positions at $10,000 per year each as independent contractors. The positions are:

      • YouTube content manager responsible for organizing, promoting and creation/curation of Stan relevant content.
      • Discourse forums community manager responsible for moderation of content, removing spam and ensuring that user’s questions are answered in a timely fashion. Additionally they are to develop community guidelines for acceptable content and maintain a friendly presence on the forums particularly for new users.

        Both positions will report to the executive director who also will be responsible for job descriptions/hiring/firing and over guidance with the task. Pay will be quarterly with prorated pay.

  • 10/14/2019.
    • Breck Baldwin resigned from the SGB.
    • Board Members (7): Andrew Gelman, Daniel Lee, Jonah Sol Gabry, Julie Bertrand, Michael Betancourt, Sean Talts, Tamara Broderick, Lizzie Wolkovich.

Minutes of the Provisional SGB (08/2018-11/2019)

Meeting Notes

2019/10/28 (regular online meeting)

Board Members

  • Present (6): Jonah Gabry, Sean Talts, Daniel Lee, Andrew Gelman, Michael Betancourt, Julie Bertrand.

  • Absent (1): Lizzie Wolkovich.

  • Quorum present? Yes.

  • Others present: None.

Proceedings

Meeting called to order at 3 PM by Michael Betancourt.

  1. Meeting minutes from 10/21/2019 approved.

  2. Actively collecting things to hand off to the next SGB including all credentials and documents.

  3. Stan Conference 2020 update by Daniel Lee.
    • Dates: August 11-14, 2020.
    • 2 days of tutorials, 2 days of conference.
    • Tutorials: 2 parallel sessions.
    • Conference: general session to start and end, 2 parallel sessions on the first afternoon and the second morning.
  4. Election discussion.
    • Nominations are now open until November 4, 2019, at midnight GMT.
    • Discussed rules for the election. Michael Betancourt will post the rules prior to the election.
      • Approval voting respecting the NumFOCUS requirement that not more than half share the same employer.
      • Minimum of 5 votes required to be voted into the SGB.
      • If there is a tie for the last spot, there will be a runoff election the following week with rank voting for those that were tied.
      • If there is a tie for the last spot(s) after the runoff, members that weren’t tied will become voted in and they will be responsible for figuring out a way to choose fill the SGB from those that are still tied for the last spot(s).
  5. NumFOCUS contact. Daniel Lee will become the contact through the end of our term.

  6. Discussion about helping out the next board. We’re all willing to be as helpful as we can; it can either be a formal structure or informal and we’ll support what the next SGB wants.

Meeting adjourned at 4:15 PM.

Minutes submitted by Secretary, Daniel Lee.

2019/10/21 (regular online meeting)

Board Members

  • Present (5): Jonah Gabry, Sean Talts, Lizzie Wolkovich, Michael Betancourt, Julie Bertrand.

  • Absent (2): Daniel Lee, Andrew Gelman.

  • Quorum present? Yes.

  • Others present: None.

Proceedings

Meeting called to order at 3 PM by Michael Betancourt.

  1. Meeting minutes from 10/21/2019 not discussed.

  2. Voting procedures and responsibilities.

    • SGB members welcome to post on discourse nomination thread about their experience
    • SGB members to think about people to encourage for nomination
    • SGB members to think about what to do if not enough nominations
    • Jonah Gabry and Community Manager to monitor the “tone” of the discourse thread on nomination
    • Community Manager to remove not nomination related posts and Jonah Gabry to check the log and help out when needed
    • Michael Betancourt to set-up the vote when time comes
  3. Information to handoff to the next SGB

    • Michael Betancourt to create a google document with a list of required items
    • SGB members to review the list for missing items before next week
    • List to be sent to Breck Baldwin
  4. TWG

    • Bob Carpenter is drafting a new TWG
    • Discussion on how the new SGB should not necessarily be the entity to validate the new TWG structure (also valid for Stan CoC) but possibly vote by electorate or a structured Stan community.

Meeting adjourned at 3:45 PM.

Minutes submitted by Julie Bertrand.

2019/10/14 (regular online meeting)

Board Members

  • Present (8): Andrew Gelman, Breck Baldwin, Jonah Gabry, Sean Talts, Daniel Lee, Lizzie Wolkovich, Michael Betancourt, Julie Bertrand.

  • Absent (0).

  • Quorum present? Yes.

  • Others present: None.

Proceedings

Meeting called to order at 3 PM by Presiding Officer, Breck Baldwin.

  1. Minutes from 2019/10/07 approved.

  2. Discussion about SGB Election.

    • Discussed Breck’s proposal.

    • We came to a consensus on:

      • We need to have a vote.

      • Electorate for the vote will stay the same (developers only). We discussed expanding it, but at this moment, we are keeping the existing electorate.

      • Anyone is eligible to run for the SGB, even if they are not part of the electorate.

      • We will have an election for 5 board seats.

      • We will use approval voting. As a condition for NumFOCUS, the board cannot have the majority be from one organization.

      • Nominations will be self-nominating and done on Discourse.

      • Election days:

        • Nominations: Oct 21-Nov 4

        • Elections: Nov 4-Nov 11.

Meeting adjourned at 4 PM.

Minutes submitted by Secretary, Daniel Lee.

2019/10/07 (regular online meeting)

Board Members

  • Present (8): Andrew Gelman, Breck Baldwin, Jonah Gabry, Sean Talts, Daniel Lee, Lizzie Wolkovich, Michael Betancourt, Julie Bertrand.

  • Absent (0).

  • Quorum present? Yes.

  • Others present: None.

Proceedings

Meeting called to order at 3 PM by Presiding Officer, Breck Baldwin.

  1. Meeting minutes from 09/26/2019 approved.

  2. StanCon 2019 report by Breck Baldwin.

    • Will have a full financial report later. Was net positive.

    • No code of conduct violations.

    • About 240 attendees.

    • Overall, a positive conference.

  3. Financial status reported by Breck Baldwin.

    • SGB needs a treasurer.
  4. StanCon 2020 status by Daniel Lee.

    • Ask: please send dates to avoid in August 2020.

    • NumFOCUS can provide a lot of logistical support.

    • The local organizers at OSU have been very responsive, draft budget already prepared and available.

  5. Discussion of SGB Governance.

    • Current SGB has a deadline of 10/23/2019.

    • Recapped proposal from Michael Betancourt.

    • Recapped proposal from Breck Baldwin.

    • Discussed the pros and cons of each.

    • Will try to separate the proposal to settle on electorate this week.

Meeting adjourned at 4 PM.

Minutes submitted by Secretary, Daniel Lee.

2019/09/26 (regular online meeting)

Board Members

  • Present (6): Andrew Gelman, Breck Baldwin, Jonah Gabry, Sean Talts, Daniel Lee, Lizzie Wolkovich.

  • Absent (2): Michael Betancourt, Julie Bertrand.

  • Quorum present? Yes.

  • Others present: None.

Proceedings

Meeting called to order at 12:30 PM by Presiding Officer, Breck Baldwin.

  1. Meetings: our last meeting was Oct, 2018. We agreed to have more regular, shorter meetings.

  2. SGB voting procedures. We recognized that there is a problem with our current online voting procedure. We will take it offline to try to fix it.

  3. Stan Conference 2020.

    There are two potential hosts (that are still offering):

    1. Oregon State. Led by Yi Zhang and Debashis Mondal. Breck had a phone call with them.

    2. Utrecht. Led by Duco Veen and Matthijs Vákár. Breck has been in contact with them. They need an answer immediately on hosting StanCon 2020.

    We discussed the importance of StanCon to the community and it was clear that we feel that it is important that the SGB is responsible for having a good event each year. We should organize StanCon centrally with local organizers providing logistical support. Daniel Lee will take over communication from Breck Baldwin on StanCon and we will go forward with Oregon State for StanCon 2020.

  4. Job descriptions. Andrew would like to involve Lauren Kennedy and Dan Simpson, members of the community that would help draft more-inclusive job descriptions for positions we are spending money for. The information procedure Andrew will follow is to draft job descriptions via email, then submit drafts to SGB.

  5. TWG creation. We have not succeeded in creating a TWG yet. We identified that in our previous drafts we did not have enough focus on community leadership and focused instead on technical leadership and this needs to change. Breck’s ask: look at the discourse thread. https://discourse.mc-stan.org/t/twg-definition-roles-call-for-feedback-ideas-refinement/11094

  6. Electorate discussion. We are trying to expand an electorate. Breck will email the SGB with the latest draft of proposed.

Meeting adjourned at 1:30.

Minutes submitted by Secretary, Daniel Lee.

2018/10/03 (regular online meeting)

Board Members

  • Present (4): Breck Baldwin, Andrew Gelman, Lizzie Wolkovich, Daniel Simpson.

  • Absent (5): Daniel Lee, Jonah Sol Gabry, Julie Bertrand, Michael Betancourt, Sean Talts.

  • Quorum present? No.

  • Others present: None

Proceedings:

All,

No quorum so I’ll report it as informational which will be more detailed than typical minutes.

  1. There were some technical difficulties, so the meeting started a little late.

  2. TWG. We spoke about reaching out to the TWG for how to spend money and some further direction on how to spend the funds that we have.

  3. Discussion about the value of individual memberships. The feeling was that the costs for whatever benefits we provided for membership would not be cost effective as well. If people want to support Stan as individuals they can buy a t-shirt.

  4. Discussion about corporate memberships. Corporate memberships perhaps make more sense. But again, what are the benefits? For $1k a corp/university gets a few hours consulting, which in turn brings up who has to support this. Maybe more like $10k for some quality time? A dedicated email list for support. We discussed briefly adding tags to Discourse discussions from “corp members” that gives them some priority. Lots of issues around this. $20k gets you a 2-day course on site?

  5. I promised to get pricing on what a seat of SAS, SPSS, Strata costs. We can mirror that pricing for a license for Stan for those who desire to pay for Stan. Also the Gates foundation buys software for their use.

  6. We spoke of how to find successful OSS (Open Source Software) orgs that made the transition we are trying to make. Julia and RStudio came up. We spoke of how to address this information gathering goal.

Submitted by Breck Baldwin.


2018/09/26 (regular online meeting)

Board Members

  • Present (7): Andrew Gelman, Dan Simpson, Breck Baldwin, Julie Bertrand, Daniel Lee, Sean Talts, Lizzie Wolkovich.

  • Absent (2): Jonah Sol Gabry, Michael Betancourt.

  • Quorum present? Yes.

  • Others present: None

Proceedings:

  • Meeting called to order at 12:05 PM by Presiding Officer, Breck Baldwin.

  • Accepted minutes from 09/18/2018 meeting.

  • Minutes will be publicly posted on mc-stan.org.

  • Motion (Vote #9). Motion to turn down proposal for funding external Stan development. Seconded and passed 7-0-2.

  • Report from Breck on asking Richard McElreath to join the board. Richard said no for the time being; we can revisit again with him later.

  • Discussion on how to start the Technical Working Group (TWG). Tabled until Bob Carpenter is back in NYC. At a minimum, TWG needs to determine what budget it needs.

  • Discussion on mission statement. There’s a tension between the two broad things we want to do:

    • Stan fits the hardest Bayesian models.
    • Stan is the programming language of Bayesian inference.

    We want to be accessible to bleeding edge computation and applied research. We want to support Stan’s technical development and wise use of Stan.

  • Breck’s Executive Director report

    • Financials / NumFOCUS. Breck briefly discussed the NumFOCUS Summit that happened in NYC over the weekend. He’s been told that we will be able to directly invoice vendors, which should make working with NumFOCUS better.

    • Role. Discussion on role of the Executive Director. Two broad tasks Breck will do as the Executive Director: operating officer and building relationships.

  • Meeting adjourned at 12:55 PM.

  • Minutes submitted by Secretary, Daniel Lee.

Online Activity:

  • 2018/09/21. Vote #7. Reject proposal for funding external Stan development. Vote withdrawn.

  • 2018/09/24. Vote #8. The SGB approves torsten-white_Stan.png use of the Stan logo. Passed 6-1-2. This vote approves the logo artwork indefinitely (the exact image), even if it does not meet our policy in the future. There was a secondary motion presented asking for the logo to be approved for now, but ask for adjustment if it was in violation of our policy. This secondary motion was withdrawn.

  • 2018/09/24. Motion to create a Stan Logo policy. This is currently in discussion.


2018/09/18 (regular online meeting)

Board Members

  • Present (5): Daniel Lee, Breck Baldwin, Julie Bertrand, Sean Talts, Dan Simpson.

  • Absent (4): Andrew Gelman, Jonah Sol Gabry, Michael Betancourt, Lizzie Wolkovich.

  • Quorum present? Yes.

  • Others present: None

Proceedings:

  • Meeting called to order at 12:05 PM Eastern by Acting Presiding Officer, Breck Baldwin.

  • Noted that votes will only pass when it’s a simple majority of the full board (not a simple majority of those present).

  • Breck reported on interactions with NumFOCUS. Currently, we are unable to be issued a credit card. There are other options for umbrella organizations and we may want to reconsider if NumFOCUS is not able to handle finances for us in a satisfactory manner.

  • Motion (Vote #3): Breck Baldwin nominated as presiding officer. Seconded and passed 5-0-4 (for, against, abstain (including absentees)).

  • Motion (Vote #4): Move to set up 3 specific email accounts with the “@mc-stan.org” domain: breck@mc-stan.org for Breck Baldwin to use for Stan-related communication as executive director, board@mc-stan.org for an external-facing inbound email address, treasurer@mc-stan.org to go to the active treasurer (when we have one). Brief discussion about which email addresses and whether Breck’s email should be the role or the individual. Seconded and passed 5-0-4. Todo: Daniel and Breck will set up the email addresses.

  • Breck will send reports of his meetings with the different consultants. He will start prefacing reports with “Report” in the title.

  • Breck will post a message to discourse announcing the Stan Governing Body to general. (It has been posted: https://discourse.mc-stan.org/t/your-new-governing-body/5693)

  • Everyone on the board should have write permissions to the website. Todo: Daniel will give write permissions to everyone on the board.

  • Motion (Vote #5): Move to reject the request from Metrum Research Group (Shona Kidd) to embed the Stan logo with a Torsten logo. Discussion took place around whether it’s appropriate for any project can embed the logo, the separation between official Stan projects and unofficial ones, and that we would be ok with “powered by Stan” as long as it doesn’t imply endorsement. The motion was seconded and passed 5-0-4. Todo: Breck will respond back to Shona Kidd stating that we disapprove the use of the Stan logo as presented, but are ok with a “powered by Stan” type of wording.

  • Discussion on policy on inbound email. After board@mc-stan.org is set up, we will try to respond to each inbound email within 24 hours, typically with template email. Anyone on the board is allowed to subscribe and share the responsibilities, but is not necessary. Initial volunteers: Breck, Daniel Lee, Daniel Simpson.

  • Short discussion on funding. We discussed a number of things, including paid licenses, focusing on recurring funding, and whether this should be a committee. We decided this was important to the whole board, so will have the email discussion with the whole board. Todo: Breck will send a summary message on what he’s thought about for funding. We will continue the discussion with the whole board via email.

  • Motion (Vote #6). Motion to engage the two consultants we had as the committee: James Vasille (non-profit, board organization) and Kim Crayon (diversity). Seconded and failed 4-1-4. Quick discussion afterwards about describing the expected benefits from engaging with the consultants.

  • Meeting adjourned at 12:55 PM Eastern.

  • Minutes submitted by Board Member, Daniel Lee.

Online Activity:

  • 2018/09/03. Vote #1. The SGB will extend an invitation to Richard McElreath to join the SGB as full voting member. Passed 6-0-4.

  • 2018/09/05. Tamara Broderick has stepped down from the Stan Governing Body. We thank Tamara for her service on SGB and on the Stan NumFOCUS Board.

  • 2018/09/18. Vote #2. Daniel Lee will be secretary of the SGB for the provisional year of this SGB as per Robert’s Rules of Order 11th ed. Passed 6-0-3.