Stewardship Committee Charter
This document lays out the by-laws of the stewardship committee, which every steward must contractually agree to abide by.
Role and Scope of the Committee
The role of this committee is to ensure the long-term operations of the project with the bare minimum of interference with the community. In practice, this means that the Stewardship Committee is focused on funding, infrastructure, branding, and site features, as well as other related matters that may arise that the community is not able to address.
In addition to the committee role of the Stewards, each Steward shares site administration privileges with the Convener and trusted members of the community. While the Stewardship Committee role explicitly does not manage the content of the center, nor define the processes the community adopts to manage itself, representatives of the stewards can influence the site via their role in the community as ordinary participants and administrators. For example, each Steward representative who is also an administrator shall, by virtue of being an administrator, have the editorial authority to modify or redact content that is inconsistent with the Pillars of the Web Development Center, consistent with the authority of any administrator.
Absent a violation of the Pillars of the Web Development Center Guidelines the role of the Stewardship Committee is intentionally limited in favor of self-governance by the Community; any responsibility not enumerated is assumed to belong to the community.
Composition of the Committee
The committee is composed of a number of members and an administrating organization (the “Convener”), all of whom are collectively referred to as the Stewards.
The Convener is the W3C.
Joining the Stewardship Committee
Any individual or organization may join the Stewardship Committee by providing material support for the project and signing the contract agreeing to abide by these by-laws. Material support is defined as having a minimum value of $35K USD annually (though more is welcome). Material support may take many forms, including funds, hardware, and sponsoring employees/spending time themselves to work on the project as members of the community.
Along with the supporting members of the Stewardship Committee, the Stewards will seek to appoint an unpaid community representative as a member of the Stewardship Committee. This individual will be selected from the trusted administrators of the site, must have the general consensus of the community to represent them, and must be elected by consensus of the Stewardship Committee. There will be only one community representative at a time, serving a term of one year.
Responsibilities of Committee Members and Convener
Organizations participating in the stewardship committee have no formal responsibilities beyond materially supporting the effort. The Convener is exempt from the requirement of providing material support. However, all organizations that are members of the stewardship committee are expected to be active contributors to the project.
The Convener is responsible for managing the operations, always in a transparent manner and always in accordance with the wishes of the committee. In the interest of efficiency, the Convener need not wait for affirmative support for an action when the committee’s wishes can be reasonably assumed. The Convener is responsible for using the funds provided by the stewardship committee members in the ways agreed upon by the committee, including maintaining the site with an appropriate load capacity. The Convener will present financial reports to the Stewardship Committee every six months. Funds provided to the Convener by committee members may not be used for purposes other than activities related to webplatform.org.
All stewards agree to be bound by the contributor agreement for all contributions, including those that are made automatically on the organization’s behalf (for example, by import scripts).
Site assets, including logo, domain name, and site design will be liberally licensed where possible, akin to the terms of the HTML5 logo.
Rights of Committee Members
Stewards explicitly do not receive much special treatment by virtue of being stewards. A page on the wiki enumerates all of the stewards and their logos, and each steward may have a sub-page of more detail on their contributions if they wish. Stewards will be represented roughly equivalently throughout the site. Stewards may additionally be represented in other parts of the site (for example, small logos in the footer), but never in a way that distracts from the site’s main goal or community, and these additional representations are not guaranteed.
Representatives of the stewardship committee organizations explicitly do not enjoy special privileges within the community of contributors, nor do they gain the ability to exert undue influence on the community. They are bound to follow the rules defined by the community and laid out in the Pillars and supporting documents.
Stewardship Committee Decisions
The Stewardship Committee seeks to make all decisions by consensus. When a decision is required and consensus cannot be reached after good-faith efforts, the Convener is authorized to make a decision on behalf of the Stewardship Committee. These decisions should be as transparent to the community as possible.
Stewardship Committee Meetings
Periodically the Stewardship Committee may meet (remotely or face-to-face) to make decisions about questions that are within the scope of this charter. Meeting minutes should be as transparent to the community as possible.
Stewardship Committee Representation
Organizations on the Stewardship Committee should plan to have 1 regular participant and 1 backup, and no more than three representatives. Only these participants may be regular participants in Stewardship Committee mailing lists, teleconferences, and face to face meetings. To ensure transparency in decision-making, all people participating in the Stewardship Committee must disclose to the committee any significant employment relations, and must keep those disclosures up-to-date as employment relations evolve.
Leaving the Stewardship Committee
Members of the stewardship committee may terminate their engagement at any time. However, any funds or content already provided may not be withdrawn.
Even after leaving the stewardship committee, an organization and its agents are free to participate as members of the larger community of the site.
Amendments to this Charter
Amendments to this charter may be proposed by any member of the stewardship committee. Stewards have 10 business days to respond 'Yea’, 'Nay’, or ‘Abstain’ to the proposal after it is made known to the entire committee. At least half of the stewards must formally respond to the proposal for the vote to be considered valid, and the Yea’s must outweigh the Nay’s.
Amendments take effect immediately and for all current Stewards upon announcement of the results by the Convener.