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From our Community Blog:

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: July 21, 2023

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Meeting date/time: Friday, July 21, 2023 at 3:30pm Eastern
Attendees: L. Danielle Baldwin, Ed Beck, Rachel Cherry, Kiera Howe, Dash Kees, Reed Piernock, Eric Sembrat
Invited: L. Danielle Baldwin, Ed Beck, Rachel Cherry, Phil Crumm, Dash Kees, Kiera Howe, Reed Piernock, Eric Sembrat


  • Follow up on the 2023 conference.
  • Charter the 2024 conference location selection committee.
  • Designate a WPCampus representative for HighEdWeb 2023 in Buffalo.


Roll Call

  • Note attendees of this meeting (in the Details section above), and list any absences.

Approval of Minutes

Old Business

  • Discuss unresolved action items from the previous meeting.

Reports or Presentations

  • There are no presentations scheduled for this meeting.

New Business

  • Follow up on the 2023 conference.
  • Charter the 2024 conference location selection committee.
  • Designate a WPCampus representative for HighEdWeb 2023 in Buffalo.

Private Session

  • A private session may be held here if there are matters that only members of the Board of Directors need to discuss at this time.

Action Items

  • A list of action items as a result of this meeting


  • Confirm August 18, 2023 for the next meeting.
  • Final thoughts, reminders, or general chit-chat.


Call to order.

Dash called to order the monthly meeting of the WPCampus Board of Directors at 3:36pm (Eastern) on 21 July 2023, virtually in Zoom.

Danielle, Ed, Rachel, Phil, Kiera, Dash, Reed, and Eric were in attendance.

Guests included Shanta Nathwani and Jason Woodward.

Dash moved to approve the minutes for the June meeting, and Eric seconded the motion. The Board approved the minutes.

Review action items from the previous meeting.

Rachel asked about creating action items based on previous meetings. She wanted to ensure we finalized purchasing Zoom, as it had been on the Action Items list for a while.

The Board also noted that it hadn’t updated, reviewed, or approved updates to the Code of Conduct. Dash stated they would remind the Board to do so on 1 August, and the Board would review at the August meeting.

Rachel and Kiera need to meet to review the Board’s accounting needs. Wave Accounting is too basic for our needs; the organization needs a financing tool that can tag transactions and make reports, among other things.

Follow up on the 2023 conference.

Dash asked about the post-conference survey. Rachel answered there had been about 35 submissions to date, and all stated all would recommend the conference, and all would attend again.

Other feedback from the survey stated that the dorms were not ideal, but very much appreciated — they made the conference more affordable. Rachel explained there was much turnover that left Tulane’s lodging office understaffed.

Ed inquired about first-time attendees, and proposed that people may have different needs if they are new to development, WordPress, and/or our community; he suggested the next conference session selection committee be mindful of this and to make space for more beginner or entry-level presentations. Rachel said the conferences and the community has historically been geared towards more intermediate or advanced levels, and agreed the conference should ensure more beginner-friendly topics.

The Board discussed community engagement events and recommended they would be a good way to introduce more topics; such events could be small monthly meetups or regional conferences.

For any Board members unable to attend the conference in New Orleans, Rachel mailed the gifts; Dash brought Reed’s with them.

Eric asked what questions may have come out of the community chat that Dash led at the conference. Some items included:

  • People would like to grow the community for a larger 2024 conference.
  • People would also like to have more opportunities to help the organization and the Board.
  • Working groups can be established to find where our needs are, in order to identify opportunities for help.
  • A community directory of people and/or projects could be created to connect more people. This would be an opt-in only directory.

The Board discussed the possibility of creating a showcase of the community’s higher ed websites built with WordPress; this would help the community discover further resources, and could also bring more visibility to our organization.

Rachel mentioned the budget still needs to be finalized, but confirmed the organization is in a good place, financially. The organization is still waiting on an invoice from Tulane for the venue, and needs to verify if we were billed for all rooms, whether they were used or not. She stated the conference budget would break even, or be close to it, which is especially good as the conference lost about $12,000 in sponsorship money.

Approximately 120 people attended the conference. A health and wellness check was sent to all attendees. As of this date, only one person recorded being COVID-positive during the event. No one reported being COVID-positive after the event.

The Board recommended appointing a new head chair for the 2024 conference, for Rachel to “pass the torch” and not need to take on all responsibilities. Dash suggested someone from the 2023 committee also sit on the 2024 committee, in either the same or a new role. Ed proposed a Board member act as liaison between the Board and the committee. The Board discussed having the head chair report to the Board; however, that chair can delegate tasks and responsibilities as needed. Amending the bylaws to state that committees require a Board liaison is a topic for future discussion.

Charter the 2024 conference location selection committee.

Danielle initiated a draft for the 2024 conference location selection committee charter. Dash made light edits.

The Board discussed volunteers for the committee. Reed moved that the committee have a more diverse team; Dash seconded.

Dash stated that the Board could charter the committee if there are at least one or two volunteers; so far, 12 people have offered. The Board agreed that 12 people for the location selection committee would be too many.

Jason Woodward offered to chair the location selection committee, and acknowledged that, as a white man, he would step aside and allow someone else to lead should someone else volunteer.

Reed recommended the Board charter the committee sooner rather than later. Rachel reminded the Board that the Board or the selection committee can still recruit others once the charter is approved.

Ed offered to act as Board liaison to the selection committee, and officially recruited Jason to be its chair. Dash told Jason that, as chair, he would have authority, which also included selecting a new chair.

Dash noted the bylaws do not state that a charter must have its membership listed to be approved. The Board considered options to initialize the charter with at least a Board liaison who then can add further members as needed.

The Board discussed a deadline for the selection committee to provide its findings. Reed noted that the selection committee would report to the Board at the October meeting.

Dash asked about the average number of host applications; Danielle asked if there had ever been too many applications. Rachel reviewed the 2018 data and answered there were seven options.

Rachel explained the matrix the selection committee would use for evaluating locations; the matrix would lead to a score that would determine the best options. Any location application would need to have certain criteria that corresponded to the organization’s needs. Rachel stated the Board and the location selection committee would need to be explicitly clear on expectations, and that communication is important.

Shanta suggested holding the 2024 conference in Canada — she was only half-joking.

Ed moved to approve the charter for the 2024 conference location selection committee; Reed seconded. The Board approved the charter.

Designate a WPCampus representative for HighEdWeb 2023 in Buffalo.

Danielle asked what the role of the representative is, and what responsibilities are included. Dash mentioned the relationship between WPCampus and HighEdWeb, and that we each invite the other to attend the annual conferences. Rachel stated the representative would receive a free registration ticket, but would not be compensated for lodging.

The WPCampus representative staffs a small booth in the vendor space at HighEdWeb, and assists with outreach and information. They answer questions from attendees and provide stickers and other swag. WPCampus may be able to assist with costs associated with attending the conference and staffing the booth.

Several board members are already attending the conference, but have other responsibilities: Rachel and Reed are presenting, and Eric is a track chair. Dash previously thought they had a conflict and could not attend, but will check their calendar. Danielle and Ed could attend, but would require financial assistance.


The Board voted to hold monthly working sessions on the first Friday of each month, to start preparing for the Board’s first transition at the end of this calendar year. The Board also confirmed Friday 18 August 2023 at 3:30pm (Eastern) as the date and time for the next meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 5:01pm.

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