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UniTime Project Governance Rules
1 Definitions
UniTime Community includes any individual involved in the UniTime project by participating in planning, research, design, development, testing, software maintenance, releases, documentation, or similar activity.

Program Management Committee (PMC) is an elected group representing the UniTime Community, with the responsibility to establish and communicate the technical and functional direction of UniTime, including schedule and adoption for upcoming releases.

PMC Member is an elected individual participating on the Program Management Committee. A PMC Member can represent the interests of a contributing institution.

2 Roles and responsibilities
Governance of the UniTime project is done through the Program Management Committee.

2.1 PMC Members
Nominations (or self-nominations) to become members of the PMC should be made to the PMC Chair. Discussion and voting is done among the active PMC Members. New members are elected by ⅔ majority vote of active PMC Members.

Getting involved in the UniTime Community does not require PMC membership. However, involvement in the UniTime Community is required to be considered for PMC membership. Involvement includes active contribution to the UniTime project (planning, research, design, development, testing, software maintenance, releases, documentation, etc).

An active PMC Member is responsible in active participation in PMC discussions and deliberations, and in active contribution to the UniTime project.

There is no set term ("merit never expires") for PMC Members. PMC Members possess a binding vote on PMC decisions.

PMC Members who fail to participate actively in the work of the PMC or are no longer contributing to the UniTime project over a 12 month period, or who are unable to participate due to other responsibilities will be accorded "emeritus" (inactive) status and their binding vote will be suspended.

Changes in status from active to emeritus and from emeritus to active will be determined by a simple majority of active PMC Members. Status changes can be initiated by request of the PMC Member concerned at any time.

A PMC Member, whether active or emeritus, may resign at any time for any reason.

2.2 PMC Chair
Elected by a simple majority vote of the membership. The PMC Chair shall hold office for a period of one year or until his or her successor is elected and qualified or until his or her earlier resignation or removal. If the PMC Chair resigns or is removed the PMC Vice-Chair will succeed to the PMC Chair and serve out the remainder of the former PMC Chair’s term. The PMC Chair may hold the office for consecutive periods. There is no limit on the number of consecutive periods.

Responsibilities:
  1. Propose schedule for upcoming releases, propose vote for acceptance and announcement of new releases, send email announcing new releases.
  2. Organize meetings or online discussions when necessary; responsible for assembling agenda
  3. Serve as meeting/discussions moderator
  4. Manages and facilitates process of vetting and voting on proposals. Voting results should be summarized and available online to PMC Members
  5. Ensure that outstanding issues/proposals are not forgotten or ignored
  6. Serve as the PMC's initial contact point with the outside world.
  7. Serve as a the list owner and moderator for PMC mail lists.
  8. Provide summary reports of PMC proposals and decisions.
A PMC Chair can be removed at any time, with or without cause, by a vote of no confidence comprising a simple majority of active PMC Members.

2.3 PMC Vice-Chair
Elected by a simple majority vote of the membership. The PMC Vice-Chair shall hold office for a period of one year or until his or her successor is elected and qualified or until his or her earlier resignation or removal. If the PMC Vice-Chair resigns, is removed or replaces a PMC Chair who has resigned or been removed a special election will be held to elect a PMC Vice-Chair to serve out the remainder of the term.

A PMC Vice-Chair is responsible in assisting the PMC Chair in executing the above duties, including substituting for PMC Chair when the PMC Chair is unavailable (i.e., vacations, sickness, etc.).

3 Elections
Nominations for the PMC Chair and PMC Vice-Chair should be made publicly and can include self-nominations. Only an active PMC Member can be nominated.

If there is only one candidate for the position of PMC Chair or PMC Vice-Chair, the nominee is just declared elected.

If a vote is required, it is secret with an unbiased PMC Member (e.g. not a candidate, such as current PMC Chair) gathering the votes and reporting the results.

If an election results in a tie between candidates for the position, successive run-off elections will be held until a candidate is elected by a simple majority vote of the membership.

4 Decision Making
The project is normally auto governed and driven by the people who volunteer for the job. This is sometimes referred to as "do-ocracy" -- power of those who do. This functions well for most cases.

When coordination is required, decisions are taken with a lazy consensus approach: a few positive votes with no negative vote is enough to get going.

Voting is done with numbers:
VoteMeaning
+1a positive vote (approve)
0abstain, have no opinion
-1a negative vote (disapprove)
The rules require that a negative vote includes an alternative proposal or a detailed explanation of the reasons for the negative vote.

A single -1 vote based on a material objection will block action. However, -1 blocking votes can be overridden by a ⅔ majority roll call vote of active PMC Members.

Any voting is to be open for a period of at least 3 working days.

5 Conflict Resolution
As a project grows and changes, it is inevitable that conflicts will arise at some level. The PMC Members need to anticipate issues and bring them into the open as soon as possible for discussion and resolution. The decision making rules, as described in the Chapter 4, will be used to reach a consensus.

Any PMC Member may bring up any issue at any time for consideration and anyone involved in the UniTime Community may ask a PMC Member to facilitate discussion of an issue.

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  © 2017 UniTime Last modified: March 30, 2015