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From our Community Blog:

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: June 16, 2023

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Meeting date/time: Friday, June 16, 2023 at 3:30pm Eastern
Attendees: Ed Beck, Rachel Cherry, Kiera Howe, Dash Kees, Eric Sembrat
Invited: L. Danielle Baldwin, Ed Beck, Rachel Cherry, Phil Crumm, Dash Kees, Kiera Howe, Reed Piernock, Eric Sembrat


  • Discuss the Board’s decision regarding the organization’s disconnection with Pantheon, and how to create and announce that decision to the community.
  • Update the Board on 2023 conference planning progress.
  • Follow up on non-profit offerings with Zoom for organization license.
  • Review the Conflict of Interest draft.


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

  • Rachel to update the Board on 2023 conference planning progress and website migration progress.

New Business

  • Discuss the Board’s decision regarding the organization’s disconnection with Pantheon, and how to create and announce that decision to the community.
  • Follow up on non-profit offerings with Zoom for organization license.

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 June 16, 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 3:38pm (Eastern) on 16 June 2023, virtually in Zoom.

Dash, Ed, Eric, Kiera, and Rachel were in attendance.

A discrepancy in the minutes for the May meeting was found. Eric said the minutes stated the Board’s approval for the minutes from April and May, when it should have been April and March; Eric updated the minutes with the correct dates. Ed put forth a motion to approve the minutes, and Eric seconded the motion. The Board approved the minutes.

Review action items from the previous meeting.

With the annual conference so close to the July board meeting, Dash recommended moving unresolved action items for reviewing the WPCampus Code of Conduct until after the conference, especially since the current version of the Code of Conduct is the one attendees have agreed to follow at the conference.

Dash further set a reminder for August 1 for the Board to review its own Code of Conduct before the August board meeting; that would be approximately three (3) weeks after the conference.

Ed asked if the Board felt there was a need to update the Code of Conduct. Rachel stated the document hadn’t been updated in several years. Dash noted an item to review the Code of Conduct could be added to documentation for board member rollover. Ed suggested the Board review the Code of Conduct every four (4) years.

Update on the 2023 conference planning progress.

Registration for the conference is lower than usual, with approximately 110 registrations; historically, the number has been between 140 to 170 registrations.

Lodging reservations are mostly filled. Tulane University’s housing department had a lot of turnover, resulting in challenging communication regarding the dorms and parking.

Rachel mentioned there was another sponsorship application, and that the conference budget needed updating. The after-party at Carrollton Station is finalized, and the conference is now in the “order things” phase of planning, including t-shirts, catering orders, and swag. All conference attendees receive event t-shirts, and the directors also receive a polo shirt.

Attendance at Presenter Feedback Hours has been good, and Ryan has scheduled tech checks with the remote presenters.

Applications for hosting the WPCampus 2024 conference need to be updated, as it’s the first time since 2018 the organization will be seeking an event location. Rachel suggested the initial form could be as simple or complicated as the selection committee needs, and once the list has been narrowed down, further information can be gathered.

Rachel reminded Dash of the community chat session at the conference Friday morning, and that they are responsible for the agenda.

Website migration

Rachel has documentation for migrating the website from Pantheon to Digital Ocean, in the shared Board of Directors’ Google Drive. She also would like to turn it into “a story” of what she did. Currently, the monthly cost is $83; the website needed to be more “powerful” especially right before the conference.

The website has two GitHub repositories: one to hold the WordPress code, and one to store files that live on the droplet, including configuration files.

Dash suggested future action items to consider a “tech team” at the Board- or Committee-level.

Ed asked whether the infrastructure was intended at this point for a permanent need or if it were a temporary or stopgap solution. Rachel replied that she built it to be a temporary one, but her feeling is that it can live there for a long time.

Discuss creating an announcement regarding the termination with Pantheon to the community.

Dash provided a brief summary of the termination of the organization’s partnership with Pantheon, and confirmed that this termination was sent to and acknowledged by Josh Koenig on 2 June 2023, via email communication.

On 20 March 2023, Ed made a motion in writing:

“A motion to terminate WPCampus' partnership with Pantheon, begin the process of returning their sponsorship, and create messaging for our community. I'd also like to authorize the webmaster and treasurer to secure alternative web hosting and report back on the process and expenses at the next regularly scheduled board meeting.”

That motion was approved unanimously by all board members in writing.

Ed recommended the board’s messaging focus communications on the WPCampus perspective and values affirmation, and not name the third-party sites and organizations hosted by a vendor. Dash agreed.

Ed suggested mentioning the motion and the decision was unanimous among the Board. Eric requested centralizing messaging between Slack (informal) and WPCampus blog (formal), and keeping a consistent voice for the Board and the organization.

Dash will follow-up on Tuesday 20 June 2023 with a plan for messaging for the blog.

Select a WPCampus representative for HighEdWeb 2023.

Rachel requested a representative for the WPCampus booth at HighEdWeb 2023. Eric cannot guarantee a spot, as he is a committee chair and an organization Board Member. Rachel cannot guarantee a spot, as she is presenting. Dash could not guarantee Reed, as they are presenting, but Dash volunteered themselves (tentatively) for HighEdWeb 2023 WPCampus booth duties. Rachel recommended an August timeline for response.

Follow up on non-profit offerings with Zoom for organization license.

Dash reviewed the information from Danielle regarding TechSoup’s discount offer on Zoom licensing for organizations. With an $18 administrative fee to TechSoup, WPCampus can purchase Zoom licenses at 50% discounted pricing.

Ed suggested TechSoup may offer other services that the organization could benefit from, e.g. QuickBooks. Eric asked what the Zoom license would provide for the organization, e.g. administrative options for board meetings, or further community transparency. Rachel mentioned that she and Ed met in person and discussed opportunities for WPCampus, with the focus of increasing community engagement. Dash mentioned possible smaller, regional events across the country that may or may not be official WPCampus events.

Dash also mentioned that board meetings are currently run using Georgetown University’s Zoom licenses, and creating a WPCampus license would remove that dependency and allow the organization to control its own tools. Eric agreed, stating it would allow WPCampus to be more agile in how the organization communicates with its members and the general public. Rachel suggested asking the community during the conference’s community chat what it might like from the organization.

The Board recommended the Treasurer initiate the discovery and research with TechSoup for the discounted Zoom license.


Rachel commented that she and Kiera need to meet.

The Board confirmed Friday 21 July 2023 at 3:30pm (Eastern) as the date and time for the next meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 4:49pm

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