In case my blanket "I disagree" left doubt, let me state very clearly --
I'm not seeking anybody's resignation here. (Just reread Dan's message and
realized it's possible the beginning of my response could be read that way,
though I think I'm pretty clear further down.)

On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 4:32 PM, Pete Forsyth <> wrote:

> Dan, I disagree. Three points:
> 1. Rogol explicitly said they *hesitate* to suggest that anybody resign;
> nobody on this list has asked her to resign. Best not to exaggerate.
> 2. It is true that there is a higher level of scrutiny of the board than
> there has been in the past. We should not forget that in the last year, the
> board or its members:
> * Ousted a community-selected member, for reasons generally regarded as
> frivolous and insufficient;
> * Defamed that same person following his ouster
> * Appointed a new member with insufficient vetting, who subsequently had
> to resign under pressure
> * Lost another community-selected member, who cited reasons he had been
> explicitly aware of during his candidacy
> * Appointed a member to a community-selected seat who had not, in fact,
> been selected by the community (I don't think this was actually a bad move
> given the circumstances, but it's worth noting nonetheless)
> * Lost an executive director (amid scandal) it had hailed as a perfect
> "unicorn" just two years ago
> It therefore stands to reason that people will be more critical than usual
> of the board's activities. I would argue this is healthy. The board has a
> great deal of work to do in regaining the trust it has lost as an
> institution. (I'll note that I published some suggestions about actions the
> board could take; I have seen no indication that the board even read this
> op-ed, much less considered implementing its suggestions.
> 2016-03-16/Op-ed )
> 3. On the specifics mentioned here: Without suggesting that Ms. Battles or
> anybody has done anything wrong, it is indeed prudent, as Rogol suggests,
> to consider whether this might constitute a COI that directly impedes
> important work on Wikimedia's behalf. I'm personally not as worried about
> it as Rogol; I take it as a good sign that she has proactively announced it
> here, and I trust it will be noted in a more visible location as well. I am
> not sure that her area of specialization (finance) is something that would
> really suffer from this particular COI. But as important as legal vetting
> may be, it remains important that somebody pay attention to the fit of
> board members with the general mission of the organization -- and I
> wouldn't expect WMF staff lawyers to fill that role. Ordinarily, I think it
> would be the board's role to pay attention to that -- but for the reasons
> stated above, I think it's worthwhile if others in the movement pay
> attention too.
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 3:48 PM, Dan Garry <> wrote:
>> The mere potential that a conflict of interest may arise in the future is
>> not necessarily a reason to resign from the board. This is why we have
>> legal counsel such as Stephen and Michelle to determine whether such
>> conflicts are serious enough to be inappropriate. We should all be
>> satisfied with their opinions that this situation is fine in light of
>> their
>> reputation, experience, and credentials; I know I am.
>> Minor conflicts of interest sometimes arise. That is normal, and as Kelly
>> said, such conflicts can be managed. For example, when it happens, the
>> relevant party can do things like recusing themselves from that discussion
>> and stepping out of the room until the discussion is complete. This is
>> standard procedure adopted by boards of other organisations, and also in
>> parts of our movement such as the Arbitration Committees or Funds
>> Dissemination Committee.
>> Additionally, I am disturbed by the recent trend of seemingly all threads
>> involving members of the Board of Trustees inevitably having someone
>> asking
>> a trustee to resign. I hope this absurdity does not continue.
>> Dan
>> On 2 November 2016 at 22:34, Rogol Domedonfors <>
>> wrote:
>> > Congratuations to Kelly Battles on her new job at Quora.  I believe I'm
>> > correct in saying that this is a company whose business is to make a
>> profit
>> > by pursuing its "mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge".
>> > Surely that means that in general the more and better the Wikimedia
>> > projects pursue their mission, the more they will undercut Quora's
>> > business?  In particular, would not the Knowledge Engine, at least as
>> > originally conceived, be very much in direct competition with Quora's
>> > question-and-answer model?  It seems to me that Kelly's duty to her new
>> > employer is likely to come very clearly into conflict with her duty to
>> the
>> > Foundation, and while it is posible that this can be managed, will it
>> not
>> > seriously diminish her ability to work with the Board on the strategic
>> > thinking they are just about to start?  I hestiate to suggest that
>> Kelly's
>> > best course of action is to step down from the Board but I do believe it
>> > needs serious consideration by herself and her fellow Trustees -- it is
>> not
>> > clear whether it is better for the Board to have another vacancy, or a
>> > Trustee who is unable to engage in the strategy-setting which is so bady
>> > needed.  Indeed, with two vacancies already, and no clear indication of
>> > when or how they will be filled, I suggest that the Board is in a rather
>> > awkward position now.
>> >
>> > "Rogol"
>> > _______________________________________________
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>> --
>> Dan Garry
>> Lead Product Manager, Discovery
>> Wikimedia Foundation
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