Proposed New Constitution
In response to Ronnie´s call for feedback and suggestions on the DSAI constitution and governance document, I attach a proposed constitution for the DSAI (instead of the two separate documents that currently exist). I am very interested in this topic as I guess is evident in my enthusiasm in writing a full document :) No doubt the ideas will generate debate and I look forward to your comments via this email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on the DSAI Net where the docs and comments will be posted.
In the proposed constitution, I suggest a more flexible means of working that enables the wider membership to become involved in the running and direction of the organization in their areas of interest. The idea is that the DSAI would elect only three officers at the AGM, a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The core tasks such as Web & Communication; Funding; Knowledge building and; the Postgraduate group would be carried out by flexible clusters of interested members. This enables everyone to become involved when they have the time. The Clusters would operate within a supporting framework and representatives from the clusters (which can be different each time) attend Co-ordinating Meetings (similar now to committee meetings).
This approach would address the type of gate-keeping that inheres in elected structures. In other words authority becomes invested for a full year in individuals to carry out specific tasks which thus can relegate members to a passive role within the direction of the DSAI. Interested members would have to wait a year for the possibility of being elected to get involved in the governance of the organization. Even approaches to 'flattening' committee structures can still encounter issues of how to enable broad flexible engagement.
As our aim is to build a productive and communicative network of researchers, having a set of core tasks around which members can communicate and generate ideas etc, can support greater contact and more sharing of ideas on where the DSAI should be going and how it should get there. Members can generate new 'core clusters' of activities during the year in their interest which advance the objectives of the DSAI.
The suggested procedures for this approach is included in the attached 'Proposed_Constitution_VL'.
I also attach a proposed Standing Order for the role of Chair.
These documents address some of the valuable comments raised earlier in the year by Jacinta Green. It also incorporates the relationship of the DSAI constitution to that of the DSA (on which this document is based).
My aim in circulating these ideas is to spark some discussion and debate.
From such debate I hope we can emerge with a clearer and more inclusive governance model that aligns with the DSAI mission of supporting productive and creative research engagement between researchers and practitioners in Ireland.
The documents are available here
I look forward to your views.
All the best for now,