The Carpentries Committee Policy

See the definition of a committee according to the Bylaws.

This policy defines the process for making and approving committee proposals, and operational processes and the lines of communication to and from committees to ensure transparency, accountability and sustainability of committees’ activities.

Committee Proposal

A committee proposal should:

  • explain the need for or the context for the committee

  • explain why it should be an on-going/longer-term project

  • list aims and objectives of the committee.

Committee proposals can be submitted by creating an issue in the committees repository in The Carpentries GitHub or by emailing the proposal to the Core Team.

Committee Formation

Committee proposals are reviewed and approved according to the following procedure:

  • Committee proposals by the Executive Council are approved implicitly

  • Committee proposals by the Core Team do not require a formal approval of the Executive Council and the Executive Council should only be informed

  • Committee proposals by community members need to be submitted to the Core Team. If the Core Team endorses and approves the proposal, the Executive Council is informed of this decision. If the Core Team feels that the proposal requires the Executive Council’s review, the Executive Director can bring the proposal to the Executive Council’s attention.

Upon approval, the committee is listed at The Carpentries website with a link to its public documentation.

Committee Operations

The following are operational guidelines for committees. Each committee should:

  • Create the official committee charter, including the committee’s roles and responsibilities

  • Appoint the committee chair, and, optionally, a co-chair and identify term limits for chair/co-chair/standard members

  • Request a Core Team member liaison to serve as a point of contact and (optionally) attend the committee meetings

  • Create a public space for the committee, including:

    • The committee’s charter

    • Contact information for the committee

    • Other public materials (if available)

    • Information on when the committee meetings are held

    • Meeting notes (if appropriate)

    • Names of the current and past members including their roles

    • Name of the Core Team liaison person

    • Information on how to apply to join the committee

  • Create internal documentation for operational procedures (which may also be made public), including:

    • Process for recruiting and/or selecting new members

    • Process for on-boarding new members

    • Process for off-boarding members

    • Succession plan for chair/co-chair

    • Decision making process

  • Maintain internal and public-facing communication:

    • Organise committee meetings (at least twice a year) and post meeting notes in a consistent location (meeting notes should be public unless the work of the committee requires them to remain private)

    • Post meetings in the community calendar (note that meetings do not necessarily need to be open to public to attend even though they are added to the calendar - for example, the Code of Conduct Committee’s business meetings are public but the incident meetings are not)

    • Aim to host at least one community discussion per year to let the community know about the committee’s activities

    • Utilise other The Carpentries community communication pathways to engage with the community as needed

  • Prepare written reports to the Executive Council with an agreed frequency, e.g. quarterly, biannually or annually (the frequency of reporting can be adjusted by the Executive Council during the lifetime of the committee).

Templates for creating the committee documentation are available from the committees repository. It is recommended that the committee’s documentation is stored in a separate repository under The Carpentries GitHub. The Core Team can assist with creating such a repository upon the committee’s approval; if this is not possible, e.g. due to privacy reasons, the committee should decide where they will keep their public and internal documentation.

A committee will not undertake any of the following actions without obtaining approval of the Executive Council:

  • Any modifications to the Code of Conduct

  • Creation and/or release of position statements

  • Host Carpentries-branded events

  • Any modifications of The Carpentries logos (please refer to the Carpentries Logo Usage Policy for the approved ways of using the logos)

  • Launch an own fundraising campaign.

Note that the above list is not exhaustive. In the case of any ambiguity, committees should consult the Core Team (in the first instance) or the Executive Council to clarify if anything they plan to do requires approval.

Committee Termination

A committee may naturally cease to function upon fulfilling its role, in which case the Executive Council should be notified. The Core Team may terminate committees that it had approved. Executive Council may terminate any committee at any time.

Past & Current Committees

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