22 September 2016

GJRA Governance Proposal

I am looking to expand and semi-formalise the GJRA in advance of instigating an itinerant annual conference to run during late June / early July, at the end of the (UK) academic year (initially on 4-5 July 2017 at St Mary’s University, Twickenham). What follows is a proposal for a minimal governance structure, and a call for applicants to the proposed Offices and/or criticisms/alternatives to the proposed structure.

Proposal: HQ Officers

My overall aim is to create something simple, open and flexible, with the bare minimum of bureaucracy.

Thus, I propose to institute 5 GJRA HQ Officers (HQOs), who would basically operate along the lines of a steering group or senate committee. There would be no single chair or president, but different HQOs would hold certain responsibilities, as follows:
  • HQ Memo Officer: Responsible for collating and editing the GJRA Memo
  • HQ Web Officer: Responsible for growing and editing the blog
  • HQ Lists Officer: Responsible for administering memberships and the mailing list
  • HQ Social Officer: Responsible for running the @LexComica Twitter account (and/or other social media presences)
  • HQ Events Officer: Responsible for overseeing the annual conference, liaising between the organisers and the HQOs who would act in an advisory capacity. To be clear: the conference I have in mind will be organised and administered (including all finances, bookings, etc) by the hosting institution. The Conference Officer would be the point of contact between organisers in the host institution and the HQOs in their merely advisory capacity. The HQOs can decide, once established, the degree of oversight they would need/have over content (e.g. abstracts/panel submissions). 
 There would be scope, I think, for some of these Offices to be occupied by two people (e.g. 2 co-editors for the blog, 2 Events Officers should other events emerge) depending on appropriateness and interest. And scope also, should HQOs wish, to nominate one of their number as an informal chair to help run meetings and co├Ârdinate information.
The HQOs could meet annually and openly, at the conference, to discuss various matters, such as (but not limited to) the operations and development of the Alliance, variations in Offices, etc, as needed.


There will be no money involved. The only financial aspect I foresee is conference fees for the annual conference, on which GJRA Members would get a discount. These would be administered by the host institution based on their needs—not paid to/via the GJRA. I would like membership of GJRA to be kept free if possible.

Call for Applicants to HQ Officer

If you would like to be more involved in the work and development of the GJRA, please send a 1-page CV accompanied by a short statement (100-200 words) as to why you would like to take up a particular Office and your suitability to do so, by 10 October 2016. Applicants can be based anywhere—the GJRA is international.

If you have any thoughts or comments about the proposed structure/Offices, please send them over too.

Contact: thomas.giddens@stmarys.ac.uk

Initial Appointment Procedure

Appointment to the Offices would initially be by application; if any offices end up being over subscribed, an online vote would be held. Procedures for changing/tenure/etc could be decided upon once the inaugural HQOs are established. Again, I want to keep things as simple as possible—but also fair and open.